No, I’m not kidin’. Jack Lalane’s death over the weekend has made me think about just how true it is that old things and old ways are far better than our newfangled plastic world.
Now, I’m already pretty much of a throwback, having been variously described as a Neanderthal, a caveman, a Luddite, and, by those who wish to be kind, retro, and I am all of those and probably more.
But I get in a hurry, and I skim, both in my talk and in my actions. It’s not that I don’t believe in what I say or do, I just have a tendency to get in a hurry and hit the high spots.
Jack Lalane didn’t get in a hurry, and he didn’t “hit the high spots”. In short, he didn’t skim.
I remember watching Jack Lalane back when I was little more than knee high. I don’t really know what I liked about him at that point. I was around 10 years old, a bit young to be a fitness buff, but there was something about his show that I actually liked watching. Maybe it was just all the energy, I don’t know, but I was always in front of that black and white console TV watching Lalane show American mothers how to stay fit. Looking back, what was really amazing (though I didn’t realize it at the time) was that Lalane was 50 years old even then.
Now, though, I find that there are two things about Jack Lalane that I find inspirational:
First, he was living proof that it didn’t take every newfangled exercise machine in the world, every exercycle, every treadmill, every stair stepper, every nutritional supplement, every protein rich shake this and nutrient dense bar that…in order to stay in shape.
Jack Lalane showed us that if you want to lose weight you simply burn more calories than you take in, and you could burn those calories with little more than a straight back chair and a 3 foot piece of stretchy cord. He would have been the nightmare of every 3:00 AM infomercial pitch man in the world (including Billy Mays, my hero and a Great American, RIP).
The second thing Jack Lalane taught us was that in our quest for good nutrition there was one cardinal rule:
“if God didn’t make it, you don’t put it in your body.”
Now, Jack Lalane is dead and the country (including me) is fat.
See… I told you Retro Is Right.
- Jack LaLanne, Fitness Pioneer, Dies At 96 (mtv.com)
- Paying Tribute to Fitness Guru Jack LaLanne (athleticrepublic.com)