Saturday I was with old, dear college friends watching our beloved Nittany Lions get their asses kicked by Alabama. We whooped, cheered, bitched, laughed and just enjoyed every minute together. Then, they all got to meet my son who just started attending Penn State and I really believe they enjoyed being with him as much as I always do.

Suddenly, the fun stopped. This intense pain in my chest, shoulder and difficulty with my arm definitely brought me back down to earth. Not long after, I was hospitalized, getting one test after another, and all kinds of meds from nitroglycerine to morphine...to be sure my heart kept beating and to help me get through the pain.

As I said in my last blog...I couldn't accept that now, of all times, my heart would call it quits. Didn't make sense. And thankfully, it wasn't the problem. But here's the part that blows me away. As I've entered my 50's, I know I seem to heal slower...in fact it seems that I do most things a little slower.

Until now....

Out of the hospital on Tuesday. Sleep off the drugs and pain on Wednesday at home. Fly to Chicago to see my daughter compete here yesterday. Today, I was back on the elliptical for an hour, then off to an architectural boat tour at 11, unbelievable vegan lunch at the Chicago Diner, off with my wife and kid to Wrigley Field, (the coolest old ballpark in America), then almost two hours of bike riding and more walking, before enjoying Karyn's On Green, a memorable vegan restaurant in town. A full day filled with exercise and activity only days after being discharged from a hospital.

I have put this picture above this post because I think my wife has led me to the fountain of youth. The Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park made me think of this. I know this sounds like some pretty hokey shit from the Big Sexy.....but all I know is I bounced back from the biggest health scare I've known and only a few days later I shook it off and I can't believe my energy level.

Life is unpredictable and amazing. In a minute, laughter can turn to fear. I owe it to myself and those I love to do all I can to keep the odds in my favor. Of course there are no guarantees. As my friend said to me recently....the only thing he could guarantee was that when he jerked off for the first time....he could guarantee he'd do it again.

But for me...I'll remain The Big Sexy, plant-strong vegan.  I'm keeping the odds in my favor, especially when I love what I'm eating.  I can't wait to turn 50 again next February.

If I am only for myself, who am I? If I am not for me who will be? If not now, when?

Onward and downward!