I am a Men’s Health specialist and a vintage car buff. On more than one early Sunday morning jaunt down the Pacific Coast Highway in an old Ghibli, I have reflected on how similar these two beasts are.
1. When they run, they run hard. Tune that old Italian just right and you are in for a sweet ride to the limit. That big, throaty V8 with all of those cams and chains sounds like all hell is breaking loose, but the torque and exhaust notes are true symphonies of power and might. Similarly, a young man is his prime is the definition of immortality, pushing physiology and productivity to seemingly boundless limits, even on the most tortuous of roads.
2. They run well, even when neglected. It is amazing how well a vintage Italian can run, even when it is not run as often as it likes. Likewise, men can abuse their bodies through bad diet, sleep deprivation, and workaholism for years and not look or feel the worse for wear. Incessant plowing over the bad roads of an uneven and untempered life only makes men stronger if it doesn’t stop them.
3. The metal bends quietly before it breaks. A vintage Italian can be pushed to the limit, a limit that is often unclear until it is reached. The crack may not be preceded by a creak in a well-oiled machine. This is just like many men; tough as nails until they fall; and when they fall, they fall hard…and fast.
4. Listen carefully as the gauges may not work. Although there are many spirited sounds emanating from an old Italian at speed, some are more ominous than others. To pick these up, you must listen carefully to get a better sense of things, as gauges don’t tell the whole story. Similarly, the messages of health can be subtle, and often unrealized and unreported by the driven male. If it doesn’t hurt, then it is unlikely to harm, and so it is ignored.
And this, I believe is the secret to taking great care of men. You must listen. Not only hear what is being said, but really listen. Open the hood, study the underside, and work the throttle. The messages may be subtle behind the sound and the fury, and only by listening will you truly understand how well that man or Maserati is running.