By Jeremy Jones
On January 23, 2011, a very special man and contributor to the world of fitness passed away after 96 years of inspired living. Jack LaLanne was known as the godfather of fitness, and by many as the first fitness superhero. Jack was highly recognized for publicly preaching the health benefits of regular exercise and a good wholesome, nutritious diet. He published numerous books on fitness, and at the age of 21, he opened one of the nation’s first fitness gyms. He maintained his 1-2 hour long workouts every day until his last day with us. His dedication and commitment to his health serves as a great example for everyone, young or old, man or woman, athlete or businessman.
Many people don’t know that it wasn’t always easy for Jack. Up until the age of 14, Jack ate poorly and didn’t exercise. His bad temper, headaches, and frequent violent episodes were attributed to his addiction to junk food and sugar. At 15, thanks to the help of a health food pioneer, Jack decided it was time for a change. He turned to fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, and fish and began noticing immediate changes and differences in his body and behavior. His new found healthy conscious enrolled himself back in school and his daily fitness regime began. Jack took control of his life and continued to push forward.
Several years later, Jack faced scrutiny from many as he opened up his fitness gym and encouraged people to work out and reap the benefits of a fit lifestyle. Doctors, however, advised their patients to stay away from his health club, a business totally unheard of at the time, and warned their patients that “LaLanne was an exercise ‘nut,’ whose programs would make them muscle-bound” and cause severe medical problems. Jack refused to let the ignorance of these doctors interfere with his mission of motivating and encouraging his clients to improve their overall health. Once again, Jack sided with fitness and continued to push forward.
The godfather of fitness battled through many other obstacles and speed bumps to enjoy his healthy 96 years, but he continued his daily workouts and nutritious caloric intake. What speed bumps have you allowed to slow you down? What obstacles have you allowed to control your life? Why aren’t you living a fit lifestyle? Make today your day to commit to a daily exercise and nutrition plan. Notice your behavior changes and increased energy levels. Notice the strengthening of your relationships at home and at work. Notice your slimmer, fitter, and stronger body. Notice everything Jack did since his rebirth at the age of 15. And then, you too, can thank the first fitness superhero.