That was hard to fathom on Valentine's Day - the day after the fall - when doctors were giving Willie a 50-50 chance of ever walking again.
Now, however, the Akers family is returning to normalcy. Linda and Willie went to the movies to see "White House Down" on Saturday. Willie works a couple hours every day after completing therapy. They're learning how to adapt, to prepare before going out to eat or shop.
They do not take simple pleasures for granted.
"I just miss the spontaneity," Linda said. "You don't just jump up and go because you really have to plan things. The normal things you take for granted."
Willie misses his car. His right side is weaker than the left, so the strength and trust in the leg he uses for driving isn't there yet. He wants to drive to Morgantown again to see WVU football and basketball games. He wants to climb the Mountaineer Field and Coliseum steps without assistance.
There's no reason to doubt the spry septuagenarian. He is applying the lessons he learned and taught through sports since before he starred for the WVU basketball team from 1958-60 alongside Jerry West.
"When I was a kid they demanded that you condition and work hard and I think that's very important," Willie said. "You learn those lessons and you don't ever forget them. If you've competed in sports, you know you have to push on and push through.
"When it hurts, it's good. If you hurt, you're helping. I didn't let a little hurtin' stop me."
A day after Willie stood tall and blew out his candles Friday, Linda watched as her husband maneuvered himself in bed Saturday morning. Without her assistance, Willie pushed himself up, grabbed his walker and got out of bed by himself.
That was first. He repeated the achievement Sunday morning before church.
It was a simple gift on the eve of Willie turning a year older.
"That," Linda said, "is a wonderful birthday present."
Contact sports editor Chuck McGill at chuck.mcg...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949. Follow him on Twitter @chuckmcgill.