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Out There: The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It's Movember--grow a mustache and help save a life.

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It’s Movember–grow a mustache and help save a life.

Written by: Susan Lacke

Be like Pre, grow a Mo, and support men's health.

I always like November. The weather cools, running and triathlon seasons begin to wind down, and we dedicate an entire day to turkey-trotting, gluttony and football.

It’s also the month I get to indulge in my facial-hair fetish.

You heard me right: I love men who are furry-of-face. From Prefontaine’s manly-man mustache to Ryan Hall bringing sexy back with the shaggy beard, there’s something about a guy with facial hair that I just can’t resist.

Maybe it’s because there’s a dearth of hair in triathlon. If you look at most men who participate in the swim/bike/run combination, you’ll see that there’s not a stitch of body hair to be found. Many people do not know this, but the number one cause of conflict in two-triathlete couples is who stole whose Lady Bic.

There’s peace in my own two-triathlete household…for now. Neil, my partner, has eschewed his baby-smooth triathlete image (and my shaving cream, thank goodness) for the off-season. It’s been replaced by his new, rugged persona: THE TRAIL RUNNER.

For the first time in our relationship, my man comes home covered in mud, sweat, and a new game-changer…facial hair. (YESSSSS!) It’s hot. I feel like I’m having an affair with a rugged mountain man. Okay, a rugged mountain man who wears split shorts. Whatever. It’s all the same when the lights are off.

It’s not just Neil. If you notice more men flashing classy ‘staches this month, it’s likely a show of solidarity for Movember, a month-long effort to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research and other male cancers. Since 2003, professional runners, triathletes, and men around the globe have grown spectacular lip hair in an effort to get men talking about men’s health issues.

Given that 1 in2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, it’s good to see men (and their female counterparts, the Mo Sistas) serving as walking, talking billboards for men’s health.

As athletes, we tend to take our health for granted, believing that eating well and exercising will keep us all healthy for many years. That isn’t always the case. Though a healthy lifestyle definitely decreases the likelihood of cancer, we know that cancer can (and does) happen to even the fittest of individuals.

Female athletes tend to be more proactive about their health, getting regular examinations and calling up their doctors when something’s off. Men, on the other hand, seem to be perfectly okay with the age-old medicinal advice of “rub some dirt on it, thump your chest, and move on.”  They’re 24% less likely to go to the doctor than women.

But Movember changes the game. For one month, a mustache can remind guys that it’s okay to make those doctors’ appointments. In fact, it may just save a life.

I don’t know about you, but facial hair that can save lives? That’s pretty sexy.

Join the cause at www.us.movember.com.

See you Out There!