Rest in Peace Jack LalanneBy
I say this with a sad heart. Jack Lalanne died in his home due to pneumonia. In every type of industry there are the trail blazers and stand outs. In fitness Jack was untouchable. From the time he was first on the scene he had a television show where he would give out life lessons on how to stay in shape. He gave advice on how to be a champion and when it came to changing people’s health for the better he was undisputed.
The godfather of fitness kept up doing incredible things and leading by example. Here are a couple of his feats of strength and fitness that he had done to inspire people (from wikipedia.com).
* 1954 (age 40): swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, underwater, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of equipment, including two air tanks. A world record.
* 1955 (age 41): swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterwards he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which reduced his chance to Star Jump significantly.
* 1956 (age 42): set a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It, a television program with Art Baker.
* 1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km).
* 1958 (age 44): maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile (48 km) trip took 9.5 hours.
* 1959 (age 45): did 1,000 star jumps and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes and The Jack LaLanne Show went nationwide.
* 1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
* 1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
* 1976 (age 62): To commemorate the “Spirit of ’76″, United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
* 1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.
* 1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.
* 1994 (age 80): Once again handcuffed and shackled, he fought strong winds and currents as he swam 1.5 miles (2.4 km) while towing 80 boats with 80 people from the Queensway Bay Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary.
Seriously though how incredible is all that?
Ahead of his time I find myself still quoting some of his facts of how he lived in my facebook status updates and even just in casual conversation. His advice wasn’t dated and still stands on it’s own to this day.
Jack was the prime example of what healthy living was all about. He held a passion for healthy eating and exercise that continued right into his old age. Looking at some recent footage of him I thought he might live forever because he was still able to do chin-ups at an age past where most people are in assisted living. He was honestly incredible and his contributions to fitness will in a sense make him live forever.
Eric J. Moss (fan of fitness and of Jack’s work)