It looks like Willie Nelson is on the road to recovery YouTube/USA Today
YouTube/USA Today

It’s been a rough couple of years for Willie Nelson as far as his health goes. Actually, it seems that ever since his lung collapsed in the early 1980s, the iconic singer-songwriter has dealt with chronic respiratory issues. Willie did quit smoking cigarettes and also underwent stem cell therapy to improve the condition of his lungs, and it has helped to some degree. But just this year, the 84-year-old legend canceled shows in January and February, first attributed to breathing problems. It was later confirmed that he was suffering from the flu.

The good news is, Willie appears to be getting back to his fighting shape.

It appears that his March show dates are remaining on his calendar, and many of the shows that he had to cancel are being rescheduled. And in a new post on his son Lukas’ Instagram page, Willie is seen resuming some of his normal activities.

RELATEDWillie Nelson cancels a month of shows due to illness

“My dad is a badass,” Lukas writes. “Resting in Maui and feeling much better, according to him … Thanks to everyone who’s been asking how he is”

Yep, that’s the red-headed stranger, hair in his signature braids, throwing a high kick at a punching bag that is as high as his head.


Literally, not figuratively. Although, you never know!

Willie had to postpone several shows in 2017 due to respiratory issues, along with a handful in 2016, but the country music legend has always bounced back and made up for the cancellations. And this is proof that, once again, he’s not quite ready for retirement.

As far as that Rockette-worthy high kick, Willie began practicing martial arts by studying Kung Fu when he lived in Nashville decades ago. At the age of 81, he earned his fifth-degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, which he has practiced for 20 years.

RELATEDWatch Willie Nelson team up with sons Lukas and Micah on new video

Although Willie is a known proponent of recreational marijuana, he also credits his ability to rebound from illness to a pretty healthy lifestyle. Last year, he told “Southern Living” that although he enjoyed great southern food like chicken fried steak and fried chicken, he mostly ate oatmeal, and bacon and eggs.

He also has a philosophy on living in the moment that helped him eliminate a lot of worry from his life. Willie says, “I have this kind of philosophy that I can’t do anything about what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I feel like I’m in full control of what’s going on now.” He also added, “I think worry will make you sick. I’ve never seen it accomplish anything. I’ve never seen worrying about anything change it. So, I decided not to do it. If you can’t do anything about it, then why in the hell worry about it. Every negative thought you have releases poison into your system that will kill you or give you cancer, or tumors or whatever else you can think of, so if you’re thinking negative about anything, erase that.”


Willie will turn 85 in April and he released his biography, “It’s a Long Story: My Life,” in 2015. At this rate, he may need a second volume.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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