Part One of Chatting with Dickie V – Passion, Exercise and Enjoying Each Day

Posted on May 9th 2016 by Christie DeNave

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When you meet Dick Vitale, you can’t help but be inspired by his charisma and enthusiasm for life. The Hall of Fame sportscaster and former college and NBA coach has an energy that is contagious, as are his Vitale-isms. As the man who coined terms such as “diaper dandy,””Mr. Pac Man” and “Wilson Sandwich,” I wasn’t too surprised when a passerby yelled out his most famous phrase, “awesome baby,” as we chatted outside the new Alignment Healthcare Center for BlueMedicare Preferred HMO members in Bradenton near Vitale’s home.

Dickie V, as he’s known in the sports world, joined Florida Blue and Alignment Healthcare for the dedication and grand opening of the new facility designed exclusively for Medicare. At 76 years old, Vitale shared with attendees how he learned from his father the importance of staying active after retirement.

Here is part one of my conversation with Dickie V where he shared with me his passion, his exercise regime, and how he tries to enjoy each and every day.

You’re known for your energy and enthusiasm. How do you maintain that every day?

I have a passion. I love what I do. I try each day to have a plan for that day as to what I want to do in terms of organizing my thoughts, physically and every other way. I work out every day. I exercise. I do a minimum of an hour walking. I play singles tennis. I work on weight machines. My wife will tell you, if I’m on the road or not, seven days a week I devote to myself an hour a day.

Have you always been conscientious of your health and activity level?

I’ve been that way the majority of my life. I’m 76. I think I got a lot of inspiration from my father. My father, when he retired, all he did was sit in a chair with a remote and watch sporting events. And after a while, his legs started to go. He was always falling. I said, “Gee, I don’t want that to happen to me.” So I have dedicated myself to really trying to pursue a healthy existence. I also watch what I eat. I’m not a fanatic, but I do try to watch what I eat.

What is the best part of your day?

Each and every day to enjoy the beautiful area that we live in. To be with my family. One of the great gifts that I have is my family lives close by to me. My daughters live five minutes away with my five grandkids.

I wake up and try to be excited for that day with a plan of what I want. Now obviously, there are people out there who aren’t as blessed and aren’t as lucky, maybe financially or other ways. But I didn’t have money all my life. I grew up in home where my mother and father weren’t educated. They had a fifth-grade education. We grew up in a home with one bathroom, the whole bit. But I learned about love, I learned about family and I learned about enjoying life. I think my trademark all my life has been passion, energy and enthusiasm. And I try to utilize that every day. 


Filed under: Mind/Body/Soul  


Christie DeNave

Christie Hyde DeNave is a Senior Media Relations Consultant for Florida Blue devoted to serving Central Florida, Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida. She has worked around the globe with local, national and international media for nearly 20 years representing organizations such as the U.S. Olympic Committee, NASCAR, AAA and the State of Florida. In her free time, you’ll spot Christie cheering on the Clemson Tigers and serving on the Clemson University Alumni Council.

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