New York Yankee right fielder Roger Maris hit 61 (home runs) in 1961.
I hit 61 today. My 61’s are not home runs. My 61’s are chapters in my life.
Most years I hid my birthdays from friends. There was no reason for it. It is just something I did. I did not want anybody fussing over me.
Today, I don’t mind telling the world because birthdays mean much more to me because every day I live from now on was not promised.
More than three years ago I suffered two strokes and two seizures that me feel weaker, more vulnerable and more emotional about life. After those serious bouts of poor health I changed the way I live.
I thought I was untouchable because I felt so good.
I was not a member of the untouchables. I discovered the path to better health centers around what you put in your mouth. I eat more grilled fish, chicken and vegetables.
I enjoy my cheat days. For instance I enjoyed my first Red Coat burger today in 10 years. I plan on visiting Union Woodshop in Clarkston before the weekend finishes. I drink a lot of water, but I still drink a little beer.
I did not exercise today, but on Thursday I will be back to my twice weekly classes of body pump at the West Bloomfield Power House gym. And later this week I will visit my pals at Planet Fitness for less structured workouts.
However, there is another baseball number I must remember.
Doctors have told me that if I suffer a third stroke that I won’t be so lucky. That could be the end of me or I would probably live the rest of my life as a vegetable. I don’t plan on that happening.
That’s why I eat differently, work out, visit the doctor and take my medication.
I mentioned shortly after I became ill that a third stroke would likely kill me. I heard from a few dick heads who said they were hoping for one more stroke. It really bothered me at the time because I was still in a fog from my illnesses.
I know I was a public figure. But why would someone say that? Why would someone wish the worst for me or anybody else? It hurt me and made me angry.
Today I have a new attitude. If that is what you wish then fuck you.
People often ask how I am feeling.
Not the same.
My balance is good. But not the same.
My speech is good. But not the same.
Sometimes my blood pressure spikes when I do too much and it scares me. However, doctors warn me about lounging around too much. It could lead to depression.
A stroke is an attack on the brain. Most of my issues are mental. For instance doctors want me to do things that make me happy. Volunteering for a communication class with the Detroit Police Athletic League makes me happy. So does dinner with my friends.
My family makes me happy. Writing this blog and doing podcasts makes me happy.
Going to the Detroit Tigers opening day makes me happy. Hope to see you there.
Physically I am doing well. Mentally it is a struggle many days not to fall into the trap of isolating myself from the world. One of my doctors said it is the worst thing I could do. I cannot give up on life.
I will not give up on life.
I’m certainly not giving up at 61.