Lifestyle

Molly Fisk: Where the Boys Are

When I was young and single, a friend said to me, “Molly, in order to meet men, you have to go where they are! You know: race tracks, rodeos, ball games, new car showrooms… maybe the trading floor of the Stock Exchange.” I looked at her and rolled my eyeballs. First of all, this is rather sexist. And second, the day I go to a new car showroom to meet men has not yet arrived. New cars are not part of my lifestyle. But ever since her suggestion, I’ve kept an eye on where men congregate, and why.

Recently I’ve found a new place. At 7 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, a bunch of men gather on the second floor of our local hospital, at Cardiac Rehab. There are 14 of them and one of me, which is odds I like. I’m not cruising for a boyfriend, I just prefer lots of attention. And I get it! These guys are rowdy, sassy, occasionally profane, and a whole lot of fun. They tease each other, and me, in between our three ten-minute sessions on the treadmill and the recumbent bike, our stretching before and afterwards, and our meditation. They also tease the staff, four professional women who write down our statistics, take our blood pressure, and monitor our hearts on a computer screen.

I didn’t expect to be a member of this group, and if you’d asked me, I would have said no way was I going to hang out with a bunch of Neanderthals at this hour of the morning. But life doesn’t always go the way you plan, does it?

Two of my close friends have belonged to Cardiac Rehab for years, so I’d heard about it before my own “heart event.” They both encouraged me to join up, so — half for myself, half to please them — I did. Now I go because I love it. Where else can you be sure to laugh your head off before eight in the morning and get a good workout too?

Like any group, the members take on certain traditional roles. There’s the class clown, the loner, the snappy dresser. There’s the one with a sweet smile and the one who glowers most of the time but is harmless. I’ve only known these guys a month, but already I’m in love with them. I don’t know what kind of heart problems they’ve had, and we don’t talk much about our outside lives. We spend an hour and a quarter together on our healing.

Cardiac Rehab is a place I feel very safe. I know the medical staff is going to tell me if my heart does a backflip, and the gentlemen are going to tell me if I’m out of line in any other way, so I’m relaxed: I just concentrate on breathing in and out and using my muscles.

I wouldn’t want to say it was worth having a blocked artery so I could get to meet these jokers, that would be going a little too far. But since I did have one, I’m very happy to have fallen in with this particular band of thieves. And my cardiologist approves. Whenever I tell her stories about their antics, my blood pressure drops ten points.

Join the conversation

  • Kathleen Brady April 29, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I think your guys have taken up residence in my Pulmonary rehab. Same roles, evenly dispersed, and I love each of them just like you did.

    Reply
  • Shirley April 29, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I always thought if I wanted to meet an eligible man that I would attend political party meetings/events. That way, I wouldn’t be wasting my time on someone I disagree with. But my theory hasn’t been tested because I’m still married to my first husband. We agree on politics, which is essential to me.

    Good luck on your rehab. Molly, you make lemonade out of lemons every time.

    Reply
  • Laura April 29, 2017 at 4:13 am

    You got me. Meanwhile, until I do have a heart attack, might it be a good article idea for us over fifties–where the boys are over 50 who have not yet had a heart attack? Cycling? Please no… . Sports bars? Yuk. Where oh where? I know they’re not in my yoga class. Sigh.

    Reply