A moustachioed Mo Bro, with spectacles and a backwards baseball cap, poses for a photo sitting in the open trunk of his car
"Enjoy the journey more than the success of the finish line."Image by: Ethan Hosford
A moustachioed Mo Bro, with spectacles and a backwards baseball cap, poses for a photo sitting in the open trunk of his car
21 September 2023

This Mo Bro is cycling from Seattle to San Diego to start conversations about men’s mental health

4 minutes read time

How I first got involved with Movember

I started raising money for Movember a couple of years ago when my dad came home with a gnarly moustache, telling me that each of the Chiefs at the fire department was doing Movember and donating money at the end of the month to the Organization. I became intrigued by the mission.

As a Resident Advisor in college, I began to learn how many young men struggle with a spectrum of mental health issues. Ranging from school stress to suicidal ideation, students would approach me with some very difficult topics. I then began to realize how limited resources were for young guys. It just made sense to start supporting Movember by strutting a moustache every November.

Setting challenges in the face of societal pressure

Mental health has always been a topic I’ve had a hard time opening up about. Personally, I struggle with the lack of personal recognition for my accomplishments due to bearing the burden of societal expectations. Everything in my life has always been pursued due to pressures from someone or something else. My parents expected a college degree. Society expected a high-paying, comfortable job. As a man, how do I know what I am supposed to feel with everyone else dictating what I should be doing and then not acknowledging who I am as an individual when I ultimately achieve these goals?

In recent years, I have worked to stop succumbing to others’ expectations and set challenges for myself to learn more about who I am and what is important to me. In creating space to allow myself to be tested at my own pace and under my own conditions, the feats I achieve carry more weight and allow myself to be proud of who I am becoming.

Setting the ultimate challenge to raise funds for men’s health

This year I’m taking on a physical challenge to help raise funds for Movember. Carrying only the camping gear on the frame of my 2023 Specialized Diverge bike, I plan to pedal my way to raise 10,000 dollars for the Men’s Mental Health Organization: Movember. On September 20th, I will embark on a 1600-mile expedition from Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California.

As I duck in and out of coastal towns and major cities, I plan to chat with the locals, chow down on calorie-dense cuisine, and enjoy the occasional beer or two. I know this ride will be the experience of a lifetime, but my motivation to challenge myself in this way is to raise awareness for one of my favorite organizations.

I hope to meet anyone and everyone along the way! Young and old, I hope to engage in conversations that impact people’s lives. Whether buying a round of beers for the guys at a brewery or getting a cake pop for a kid at Starbucks, I hope to make everyone’s day a little better.

I am excited to meet with other Mo Bros who are on their own mission to spread awareness. We are all on our own journey, I just hope to be able to be a part of yours, and to enjoy the journey more than the success of the finish line.

Learning from hard things

The Ride is a constant reminder to do hard things. “Hard” runs a spectrum. Biking from Seattle to San Diego, to me, at this current point in time, scales on the higher side of that spectrum, but the only way to prepare myself for unchosen suffering is through chosen suffering. Keep the body sane, keep the mind sane.

I find peace outside. Being out in the mountains, on a trail gives me clarity. It gives me the time to think about my emotions, thoughts, and feelings without the noise of the everyday world. I solve all my internal struggles while drenched in sweat at 14 thousand feet.

We all need our own space to answer questions about why we feel certain ways. When outside, I can check out on the impact of social influence and allow my head to focus on the topics that really matter.

Why men’s health matters

I think we as men, put our health on the back burner. We prioritize our careers over going to therapy, our finances over doctors' appointments, and our personal success over our relationships with others.

Our society does a pretty poor job of acknowledging our struggle. They praise the strength behind ego, disregarding the emotional toll we all face. We are surrounded by content that depicts what a man should be, instead of celebrating the men we are.

It's about time this changes.

My message to my fellow Mo Bros and Sisters who have challenges to overcome is this: This too shall pass. Pain and suffering, this will pass. Love and Joy, this will pass. Loneliness and sadness, this too shall pass. We are all biking up one hill or down another, regardless we just gotta keep peddling.

Support Ethan's efforts to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.