Jack LaLanne transformed his body and his life through exercise and nutrition long before studies proved their relationship to wellness--actually before there was a notion of wellness. One of the first stars of daytime TV in the 50s, the Jack LaLanne Show was a lot of jumping and a little bit of philosophy. His passing in January, 2011 at age 96 stands as a testament to his discipline, his ideas about pure foods, and his love of life.
LaLanne amazed people with his demonstrations of strength. In 1955, at age 41, he swam San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz to Fisherman's Wharf while handcuffed. At age 65, he dragged 65 boats filled with 65,000 pounds of pulp (again handcuffed), and at age 70 he hauled 70 boats with 70 people. Time after time, he found a way to make each birthday a better and better example of how his daily choices gave him vigor and great health, as well as happiness
I had the honor of meeting Jack and his adoring wife Elaine at a party celebrating his 95th birthday. It was a fantastic event, thrown by a dear friend of the fitness icon as a fundraiser for The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. They had been touched by the disease so, although they supported many causes, it was time to focus on this one. He even authorized a teal version of the Jack LaLanne juicer to help promote the color of ovarian cancer awareness.
Even at his birthday party, LaLanne did not touch the fantastic cake that was to feed the hundreds of people at his celebration. He had given up sugar decades earlier when he decided to change his body from that of a scrawny kid with a wicked sweet tooth to that of a muscle builder, and he never looked back.
These are the lessons we can all take from LaLanne, lessons that apply to any person of any age in just about any condition:
~Eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
~Exercise every day.
~Be positive and optimistic.
~Embrace each day with enthusiasm.
~Be nice to others.
Thank you, Jack. Your wisdom is the gift of a lifetime.