MY MENTOR: JACK LaLANNE

jacklalanne smaller cover

As I’ve written in the past, motivation comes from within, but inspiration can be found almost anywhere. Finding a mentor can help inspire a chosen lifestyle to navigate one’s path without having to “re-invent the wheel” at every turn. For me, that mentor was Jack LaLanne. As a little boy I would sit mesmerized to the TV watching Jack (and all his ENERGY) direct ME (personally, because he would talk right into the camera) “to get up, and start moving” and exercising MY BODY! You could hear in his voice the passion he felt toward exercise and the essential role it played in improving people’s lives.

His props consisted of a chair, a towel and his dog, Happy. His 30 minute show ran from 1951-1985; the longest running exercise show EVER on TV. Jack was not a marketer or an advertiser. He was an enthusiast and role model for everyone and believed, “if you were willing to obey the laws of nature, you could be born again!”

He performed physical feats of strength and stamina throughout his life to prove that INACTIVITY was the demon that destroyed a person’s ability to function and thrive. In 1956 (at age 42,) Jack completed 1033 pushups in 23 minutes on the program, “You Asked For It.” In 1974 (at age 60) Jack swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco handcuffed and shackled with a 1,000-pound boat tied to a belt around his waste. In 1975 (at age 61) Jack swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge UNDER WATER towing a 1000 pound boat with his hands and feet bound. In 1984 (at age 70) Jack towed 70 row boats a distance of a mile and a half. It took him 2 1/2 hours.

Some people thought he was crazy; some people thought he was simply a “show off.” The fact is, Jack wanted to prove that a person’s limitations ONLY EXISTED if it existed in their MIND.

As I grew up, I never felt the need to prove great feats of strength and stamina to myself or anyone else. I believed the BIGGER PICTURE taught me the MIND was the most relevant organ to CONDITION.

Without a conditioned mind providing:

  • purpose,

  • passion,

  • growth,

  • drive,

  • persistence

  • knowledge

limitations would certainly become self imposed. To this day I believe “change for the better” is possible for nearly every person. Jack told me so when I was 5 years old as he looked into that TV camera and uttered his message which I heard loud and clear.

In 2011, my mentor passed away at 96 years of age. Until the end of life, Jack continued to exercise 7 DAYS A WEEK. He exercised with weights for 1 1/2 hours followed by 30 minutes of swimming. He was dedicated to a lifestyle, but his COMMITTMENT TO PEOPLE far outweighed any of the amazing feats he successfully completed.

I hope to live a long and healthy life, but just as importantly, I hope someday to be remembered as that guy who “kinda” looked like Jack LaLanne; who committed his life (the same way Jack did) to helping people achieve a life filled with good quality health, real happiness and true fulfillment.

 

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62 comments

  1. Wonderful tribute, Jonathan! I think you would make Jack Lalanne proud.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Tanya.
      People are so much better off when there are role models and mentors to look to for guidance and support. Life is challenging and difficult to figure out alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ive heard of Jack, but never saw the show. You do look like him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was quite a character, but truly cared about people’s well being. How many TV health professionals can we really make this statement about?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! There is a resemblance! Mentors and role models are so important to have and you make an amazing one:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nena.
      I believe mentors are special people. I hope as I age and continue to share my experiences, my words will inspire and help people achieve healthier, happier lives. If I achieve the level of mentor, I will truly feel blessed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would say you have and you are blessed indeed:)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeez! you look amazing! I mean lovely story and sentiment, you as a boy watching Jack I love it! But Jeez! you really look amazing! You look like you must feel great! How proud Jack would be to know he had a hand in your healthy lifestyle! And I wonder how many people have looked up to you and changed their path in life to live healthier longer lives?! Man! Sorry but good health is exciting to me I just love it! What an excellent example you set Jonathan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your very kind words.
      I would like to think the lifestyle my patients saw I practiced helped create credibility and greater trust inspiring them to reconsider a healthier REALISTIC approach to their own lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I am certain that is exactly what it did! You are not even my Dr. and still you make me want to be a better healthier person just reading your blog for goodness sake! I can only imagine what great motivation seeing you in person would be! lucky, lucky patients! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hopefully my patients felt they received quality care from a compassionate doctor. Since I never found any voodoo dolls of me, it’s just possible they really did like me. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          1. hahah! im glad you never found any! Im very sure that they did and remember you fondly for it! πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing that you had such clarity from so young an age. You found your mission!🎯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was raised in a strict but supportive environment. I was always taught to respect adults and he seemed to be such a caring high energy adult.

      I learned (over time) to utilize the energy he displayed by applying it in my practice to create an environment that patients looked forward to coming to. I made sure they left my office feeling physically and/or mentally better than when they first arrived. Learning to address the ATTITUDE of a patient was not part of any doctor’s curriculum; it was, however, an important component that Jack LaLanne made sure he successfully addressed through a TV camera. Simply amazing! You’re correct; becoming a doctor was absolutely my mission in life. Fortunately, I continue to have the opportunity to pursue my passion by sharing my messages all over the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s funny, I was just thinking about you and this post. I believe that we are led in the direction of our intentions. So, if you aspire to be high energy and to be active until the day you pass peacefully from this world, you may indeed be privileged to receive that blessing. My family was very involved in the burial committee (Chevra Kadisha) of our community. My father always said that he “wanted to go fast, and in his sleep.” He was very emphatic about what he wanted. And you know, that was exactly what happened! So, our thoughts are very powerful!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Our minds are very powerful. We use such a small portion of it on a cognitive level. I hope my “intentions” are received in a way to help inspire other people reach and achieve their goals in life. I am sure you have achieved many in your life. I wish you much joy and happiness as you continue to positively impact the lives around you.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Very nice tribute to a neat man. And you do look like him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliment.
      I remember (even as a little boy) thinking he looked so happy and full of energy; I wanted to be happy and feel good like him. Sort of like the scene in the movie, When Harry Met Sally, when Meg Ryan showed Billy Crystal she could fake an orgasm and patron at an adjacent table asked the waiter to bring her, “whatever she (Meg Ryan) is having!” πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg, I loved that movie and that scene of course! I think we all want what she’s having, lol.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Wonderful read, Jonathan. Thanks! I was aware of LaLanne, of course, but never got into him. My loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it, Tony.

      Like

  8. Which one is Jack and which one is you? Thanks for carrying on your mentor’s mission!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jack is on the left and I’m on the right.
      I have followed in his footsteps to maintain greater control over my ability to do the things in life I choose to do. This is the BIG PICTURE. The aesthetics is simply a nice side benefit.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ditto – I grew up watching Jack as well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was so far ahead of his time. Back in the 1950’s he used to profess sugar, processed foods and sedentary living were the three main causes of degeneration, dysfunction and disease. Sixty-six years later and I’m still repeating his same words!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I remember watching Jack Lalanne as well as a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was part of so many lives. There is no one today who creates the same impact on healthy lifestyles as Jack. Truly an amazing individual!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes he was considered quite the healthy one and watching him was fun. Not that I was into exercise LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s only too late when we reach a point where we are no longer BREATHING. I know you say it hurts, but you can always ratchet it back a notch until you find the sweet spot that provides benefit without pain. Maybe your son can help you with this.

          Like

          1. Believe it or not I also have breathing problems asthma and sleep apnea. I can’t even breathe right. Maybe when this oppressive heat goes away I will feel more inclined to try and walk more. My pain is a little less right now and I will take that. Better than feeling worse.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Woaw Looking GOOD!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know it’s really about following a path that delivers the quality of health and life we desire. The physical component changes over time; the mental ATTITUDE and respect for healthy living only gets better with age.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. BTW, great picture, Jonathan! Walking the walk counts for a lot. Sometimes one picture is truly worth a thousand words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tony. I don’t believe doctors have to look like body builders, but I do believe they would gain greater patient compliance if they lived by the standards they recommend and expect their patients to live by.

      Like

  13. I’ll echo almost everyone else – you truly do look like him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His message greatly influenced my approach to health and my attitude toward life. I don’t tow boats with my hands and feet bound, but I have helped prevent quite a few people from “drowning in pools” filled with destructive patterns and lifestyles.
      Thank you very much for the “look alike” compliment.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I remember my mom watching him and that sure brought back memories! You do look like your mentor! Awesome

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully my messages resonate and help influence people to make better decisions in a manner similar to Jack as well.

      Like

  15. I don’t know if you remember but I used to call you Jack Lalane back at Palmer. It’s good to know I was not successful at corrupting your diet. I love what your doing buddy. You are an inspiration to many. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to hear from you my friend. It’s hard to believe Palmer days started 23 years ago! I am so glad we have been able to stay in touch.

      I appreciate all your support and your very kind words. You set a very high bar for other Chiropractors to achieve. You are a quality person and quality doctor. All my best to the entire family!

      Like

  16. Oh my goodness! I LOVED him! He was on TV when I was a little girl. I was enthralled by his show although I never did a single exercise. I just watched him intently. I remember his dog and his wife too. I always thought it was a treat when they were on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it amazing that he had the same effect on children as Mr. Rogers except that he attracted adults to the TV as well. Those were the days where TV actually offered some QUALITY programming.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. …and that’s the first photo I’ve seen of you (other than your teeny profile photo). Nice physique!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Photoshop is a wonderful tool. πŸ˜€
      Seriously, thank you very much for the compliment. To one who truly understands the commitment required to maintaining quality health and FUNCTION, I shout right back to you, NICE PHYSIQUE!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautiful tribute. He was an amazing man.

    BTW – that is exactly how I think of you. An inspiration to all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He truly was a once in a lifetime individual.

      Regarding appearance: If you mean you think of me as an aging man with pronounced “crows feet” at the corners of my eyes and balding you are spot on! πŸ˜€

      Seriously, thank you very much for your compliment. The readership inspires me as much as I try to inspire back. It’s amazing how a group of people I have never met has become an important part of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL No, I meant an inspiration to the rest of us. You have taught me taking medications doesn’t mean your healthy. There are often healthier eating choices we can make to prevent illness and obesity. And I hope you live as long as he does so I can continue learning too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Above my “comment box” the following words appear: “Your comment can positively impact the lives of others.” The kindness of your words positively impacted MY LIFE. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

          Liked by 1 person

  19. All you are missing is the smile!!!! love the guns!!! your giving me inspiration now…and I used to watch Jack…he was amazing….your rocking the look Jonathan….thanks, this is a great motivational post…..kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t easy superimposing my head with photoshop on someone else’s body!
      Seriously, thank you for the compliment. Jack was quite an inspiration in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t believe you….

        Like

  20. I remember my Mom watching and exercising with Jack in the mid sixties as a little boy, later on in life I found out he was in his 50’s at the time, even as a kid I thought he was about 30. I’m 56 now and feel guilty complaining of aches and pains, think I’ll go to the gym!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have found a pretty good path in life. You are way ahead (in thinking) of the average person. You continue to find balance which helps create the quality of life we seek. I wish you much success and good health on your continuing journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. […] recently wrote an article entitled, MY MENTOR: JACK LaLANNE. The purpose was to share the importance of ROLE MODELS and their inspirational messages that help […]

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have never heard of Jack, until now. What a man ! I am not surprised he was your mentor. What a great tribute. Jonathan, trust me you are many a persons mentor. Btw. you look good πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very kind words. Each of us has the ability to mentor; choosing to commit ourselves to others by sharing our gifts is a true blessing that everyone benefits from.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Truly said Limitations only existed if they existed in our mind. Hats off to your mentor and you who is following his message wholeheartedly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It is easier to “live the dream” when you believe and practice the lifestyle. I thank my mentor for sharing this vision.
      Wishing you much good health and happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. OMG! I loved Jack Lalanne!!!! Beautiful tribute. πŸ’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Jack’s wife’s name was Elaine. My wife’s name is Elaine. Coincidence? πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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