A man winds up, arm raised, ready to spike a volleyball
Mo Bro James Shaw Image by: Oars + Alps
A man winds up, arm raised, ready to spike a volleyball
21 November 2022

Why I Mo: James Shaw

James Shaw
3 minutes read time

Mental health and suicide prevention is a topic which, fortunately, is becoming less taboo by the day. Still, discussion about men's health, including their mental wellbeing, is far too often swept under the rug. My personal motivations for raising money and awareness aren't as personally intimate with suicide as others in my life, but I know multiple young men who struggle daily with their mental health and this is why I choose to be a part of the Movember movement.

Men’s health used to be a bit of a taboo subject, socially speaking. More often than not, men of past eras have been less willing to openness and vulnerability, which had a real correlation to how much they paid attention to their health. As we make our way across Movember, the month where we raise awareness about the much too common condition of prostate cancer, I become especially mindful of all of those men who’ve come before me in my family who were less attuned to and willing to dive deeper on their own health. I want to be a part of a new generation of men, a movement toward speaking openly and freely about men’s health and reproductive health as something not to hide or be “tougher than”. I think when we are willing to talk about it and fight for awareness toward this cause it’s a really positive step in the evolution of our male half of the species in general.

What’s my message to men about their health this Movember?

Don’t wait to get checked out.

This goes for being hands-off or negligent about keeping track of healthy habits like sleep amount, body fat percentage, amount of water per day, and other things of that nature. One of the best things I’ve done for myself is bought a ring fitness tracking device to be able to check in with myself as often as I want about those habits. "What gets measured gets managed.” Furthermore, what gets managed becomes something you’re able to improve upon and better yourself with.

Get outside.

There is so much good in exercise alone, yes. But combining that exercise with the fresh air you can only have outside and the ability to pass through the world and experience all that is out there is invaluable. You just can’t get that in a gym or on a treadmill or Peloton in your home. Plus, Vitamin D is an essential element for human health and happiness - one that we’re mostly deficient in these days.

Ever since my teammates and I at Stanford chose to grow out our moustaches to raise awareness for Movember when I was 18-22 years old, I have been an avid supporter of the movement to pull men's health topics 'out from under the rug' and into the limelight to speak openly about and raise awareness for. Preventing men from experiencing these issues is something I care deeply about and feel is a very worthwhile cause. This is something we can accomplish as a collective.

Thanks to James for sharing his story, and for being an ambassador for friends of Movember, Oars + Alps, and for men’s health. Support his efforts to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.