The old saying goes "rugby is a game played by thugs, watched by gentlemen whereas football is a game played by gentlemen and watched by thugs". This is a terrible generalization but it is the notion of "thug" that underpins this blog.
I now take time, when sliding or emerging from that chasm in my mind, to research depression as a social and psychological phenomenon, as well as my own personal brand. As my understanding has grown, the shroud of mystery has begun to unravel.
We all experience feeling wounded. Yet women tend to verbalise and process pain much more efficiently, as women have each other to confide in. Women are also 'allowed' to feel emotion, whereas men are socialised to be 'tough' and to push away any pain, instead of acknowledging it.
The moral of this story so far is that everything might seem alright, but, as the old song goes, that ain't necessarily so... Years ago, we used to say "Most people die with prostate cancer , not of prostate cancer". But with longer life expectancy, that is no longer the case. So here's the thing: it is no use men being shy about their bits and pieces. That can lead to death.
I believe that examples of equality are all human beings being treated equally. That does not happen due to; who our parents are, our sex and gender, our ethnicity and the value that is placed on these, and one of the most intangible categories of all, the class we are born into and inhabit.
We tell boys to be brave, to 'man' up. If they are gentle or show emotion they are often called a 'girl', as if that was a weakness. Compassion is seen as a feminine characteristic, undesirable in men - with tragic consequences.
Male factor affects one in twenty men, so is actually very common, around 90% of cases that we treat will require intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This procedure requires fewer normal sperm than nature and the sperm is injected directly in to the egg to fertilize.
A quick search on Twitter of the phrase #BeachBodyReady will show you the campaign that broke the camel's back, and its fairly obvious why people could be upset by it. Personally, I wasn't offended. I see it as OK that we promote healthy bodies and lifestyles, and I say that as someone who struggles to get into shape.
My role as a senior nurse on Macmillan's Support Line is to provide information and support to anyone who calls us with worries about cancer. So read on for my top facts about breast cancer in men, the symptoms to look out for and what to do if you think you might be affected.
There's always been a stigma attached to a man going through depression. The machismo attribute of never showing tears or displaying weakness is unashamedly still the definition of a 'real' man in today's society.
People expect that anything as serious as cancer will have obvious symptoms which will warn them to get a check up. But early stage prostate cancer doesn't usually have any: no visible lumps to look out for, no funny pains to get checked out.
I know this is a contentious area. Lots of doctors don't like using the PSA test because it's unreliable and can lead to over-diagnosis and over treatment. But at present it is the best thing men have got. And our clinical consensus will help GPs to use it more effectively.
As someone who has witnessed many changes in the field of fertility over the past 40 years, I was fascinated to see that researchers are increasingly focusing their attention on male fertility factors.
Nine down, one to go - the end really is in sight. We've been over hills, down dales, along canals, over fields and stiles. Truly a walk on the wild side for this gentleman of the road and my trusty wingman Russ Green, who has walked every step with me. And we're getting cracking support as we inch closer to the finish.
I deal in statistics - but the prostate cancer ones are totally shocking. One man dies every hour from this disease. That's six during Soccer Saturday every week. Yes, my feet are killing me. But who cares if it will save even one man's life?
Men down talk about their emotions, and we certainly don't ask for help. I've fallen out with several friends and partners because one or both of us felt we couldn't ask for what we needed. This inability to talk is linked to higher suicide rates, poor mental health and use of substances as a coping mechanism.