Jack LaLanne Just Changed My Life, Posthumously

The guru of exercise is dead, at 96.  He launched a fitness craze that has influenced many, leading to healthier bodies, longer lives and weight lifting for all.  Jack LaLanne was a natural for television; he met us there and led us on.

His obituary in The New York Times is an interesting one, as theirs usually are.  I could read obits all day long. Sometimes I do.

According to this obituary, LaLanne was “pimply and nearsighted, craved junk food and had dropped out of high school” when his mother took him to a lecture on nutrition and health.  The rest is history, but a history that lasted his whole life.  At 70 Jack LaLanne pulled 70 boats with 70 people in them a mile and a half through the water, handcuffed and shackled.  Because he could.

So how did he change my life?  Today?

Because I read in this story the following two sentences:

“Mr. LaLanne, 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds or so with a 30-inch waist, maintained that he disliked working out. He said he kept at it strictly to feel fit and stay healthy.”

No, I’m not trying to be 5-foot-6.  That’s not what grabbed me.

I’m shocked to read that “he disliked working out.”  Cause, obviously, that didn’t stop him.

I “dislike working out” myself.  Except I’m always glad I did it.

And I admit that I’m always waiting for a magical day when it will be my preferred activity instead of what it feels like, a time-waster that keeps me from writing, my actual preferred activity.

It makes me think of a Dallas Willard quote I’ve used in this blog before: “I want to put into practice actions that habituate me, through grace, to act for what is good.”


Pay now or pay later.

No pain, no gain.

Even for LaLanne.

~ by Cary on January 25, 2011.

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