Ric Flair dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday to discuss his life, his career, and his book, Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, among other topics.
One of those topics? His health. Flair, 68, was hospitalized in August, but it wasn’t for cardiac arrest, as some reports indicated.
“It was drinking,” Flair said on The DA Show. “Make no mistake. Forty years, I was hitting it hard, and my body said, ‘We’re not doing this anymore, Ric. We need some water. Ginger Ale. Diet Coke. Something. Give us something to go on.’”
Flair, needless to say, is lucky to be alive.
“I will never drink again,” he said. “I know you’re laughing at that. Everybody does when I say that. But I will never drink again. Ten days of life support, man, I think it will change anybody on anything. My problem was that I always thought that a guy that was an alcoholic was a guy that drank at home, had to have that flask or that hidden bottle. I’m just the opposite. I never drank alone. I never drank at home. I don’t think I’ve ever sat in my house by myself and drank. But when I’m being social, which was obviously too much, I liked to drink. I was in denial.”
Flair drank more when he was younger but was still drinking quite a bit.
“I was drinking more in the ’70s and the ’80s and ’90s than I ever was with the WWE,” he said. “I was slowing down then. Twenty Vodkas a day, man, and that’s after about 10 cold Miller Lites. Yeah, figure it out. That’s 4,000 calories in a day. . . . If I worked out and it was hot in the summertime, I could drink beer like crazy. I don’t do it much in the winter, but I can sit outside on my boat . . . and we would put 100 beers in the cooler. Six guys would go out, and we’d drink that easy. It’s 100 degrees, you’re in the sun, sweating, fishing, just guys – that wouldn’t be a problem. That’d be like 10, 12 beers apiece.”
Or 16 or 17 if the beer was split evenly.
“That was never a problem,” Flair said. “But I didn’t look at that as being a drinking problem because it was a bunch of people. To this day, when I was out socializing, I was just having fun. I didn’t look at it as a problem until I got a really bad stomach ache and I called my fiancee, Wendy, and she took me to the hospital. Everything had shut down at one time. My kidneys, congestive heart failure, I was on dialysis – everything. My kids came into see me – I don’t even remember – to say goodbye. (My doctor) pulled me out of it and pulled me through it. I don’t think that’s anything I’ll play around with again.”
Ultimately, Flair is happy to be alive, promoting his book, and sharing his life with his family, including his daughter, Charlotte.
“I had a rough month-and-a-half, but I’m up,” Flair said. “I’m up and running and doing good and just excited about everything that’s coming up in the near future. I’m really excited about the book and the way it’s selling. I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter. It’s awesome.”