A Tribute to the Late Jack Lalane

I’ve dreamed of interviewing Jack Lalane ever since starting this blog last September. How was I to know how little time this embodiment of the positively old spirit would have left to share with me?

That probably sounds like a stupid comment given the icon’s ripe old age of 96, but he seemed incapable of aging. He was a tour de force for personal health and stamina at any age and a truly inspirational figure to many of us who were weaned on his T.V. exercise program. I remember my mother and I (she was in her 40s at the time and I was about 10) making grotesque faces in the mirror together in an effort to prevent wrinkles and sagging chins.

Even recently, I caught a video of Jack Lalane and his wife doing a partner workout, and he was encouraging her to pull his hands higher behind his back, demonstrating the full range of motion and flexibility he still had in his mid-90s. And Elaine, in her early 80s, was no slouch herself.

While most of us aren’t aspiring to pull a 2,500 cabin cruiser through the Golden Gate Channel (yes, he really did this), we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the “Godfather of Fitness.” LaLanne designed the world’s first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables, and weight selectors, now a standard in the fitness industry. He was the first to encourage women to work out with weights. And he created all kinds of exercises, most so common I had no idea they were his inventions, including the aforementioned “face saver.”

Known in some circles only for promoting his well-known juicer, Lalane, forward-thinking and adventurous, was a leader in many ways. In fact, his web site includes an entire page of his firsts. It’s a fun read.

The world has indeed lost an incredible role model, but because of the way that he lived his life, his influence will live on. His mindset will continue to inspire all healthy agers who learned from Jack that “People don’t die of old age, they die of inactivity.” He believed this, and now an entire generation of Boomers are living proof, making 50 the new 30.

Our prayers go out to his widow and children with a strong assurance that Jack Lalanne was 100% wrong. He liked to say, “I can’t die. It would ruin my image.” Not a chance, Mr. Lalane. Your legend (and your positive example) will live on forever.

Visit Jack Lalane’s web site and his IMDB page for more information on his amazing life. And here’s a few tributes delivered by his famous friends.

Please share any fond memories or stories you recall about this amazing man.

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Comments
One Response to “A Tribute to the Late Jack Lalane”
  1. Chris says:

    Jack made 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s LA Television fun, God Bless Him, and all of us

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