Despite the fact that I almost never exercise, don’t know how to swim, and had a 2-year craving for french fries which I ALWAYS satisfied, I somehow managed to become a fan of bodybuilder, tv host, and power-juicer Jack LaLanne, who passed yesterday at 96 years of age.
Not only do I own the power-juicer and watch his infomercials whenever I catch them (no cable, don’t judge), I also own one of LaLanne’s 1950’s exercise albums on vinyl (one of my friends picked it up for me at a garage sale. Thrifty gifting!). I actually tried to exercise to it once or twice, but stopped because it weirded me out when Jack kept saying, “Your husband and kids are going to be so proud of you!” or “You can do this exercise while cleaning, grocery shopping, or setting the table.” Plus, all those jumping jacks made the record skip. Plus, I’m lazy.
But, even if his exercise records never helped with my “figure control”, I can still appreciate a man who was neither broke nor careless nor impatient. And even though Jack always said he didn’t want to die because it would hurt his image, I think he left behind some good rules to live buy and a long list of great achievements that we can all look to during this time of year, when some of us might be falling off of the New Year’s Resolutions wagon. It’s extra inspiring that he didn’t accomplish many of his greatest feats until after his 40s. So take it from Mr. LaLanne, it’s never too late to start whatever it is you’re putting off starting, whether it’s learning how to do push-ups or crafting the world’s most awesome diorama. Here’s a list of some great Jack feats and facts*:
- lived by the rule “If man made it, don’t eat it.” way before everybody else started saying it.
- beat a 21- year old Arnold Schwarzenegger in an informal contest when he himself was 54 years old
- swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge with 140 lbs. of equipment on when he was 40, then did it again when he was 43, only this time he towed a 2,500 lb. cabin cruiser
- swam it AGAIN under water when he was 61, handcuffed and shackled to a 1,000 lb. boat!
- was addicted to junk-food until he was 15 years old.
- you cannot juice bananas in the power juicer.
So, this next glass of delicious pineapple-cantaloupe juice goes out to my homey Jack LaLanne. May your memory inspire others.
*: I found the information for Jack’s feats and facts from wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_LaLanne