LaLanne was a self-described maniac as a pre-teen youth. He was incorrigible, unhealthy and unstable. He once attacked his brother with an axe, and set his family home on fire. He believed that his addictions to sugar and white flour influenced his moods and exacerbated his delinquent tendencies, so he stopped eating foods containing either product. Coupled with a rigorous exercise menu of calisthenics, gymnastics, swimming, bicycling and surfing, the now-teenage LaLanne become a model of health and fitness and decorum.
At the age of 21 he opened his own fitness center, against the advice of nearly everyone. He soon parlayed his initial location into a national chain of hundreds of gymnasiums, that became Bally’s Total Fitness. In addition, he became a nutritional and dietary expert, invented dozens of pieces of exercise equipment, and hosted the groundbreaking TV exercise program The Jack LaLanne Show for almost 40 years.
LaLanne was, and still is, a lunatic in terms of physical prowess. He exercises for 2 hours every day, blending swimming and walking with weights, with conventional barbell weight training. In addition, he still performs high-repetition calisthenics including 1-arm and fingertip push-ups. For years, in his younger days (up to age 85 or thereabouts) he performed an annual feat-of-swimming-strength on his birthday, applicable to his age. For instance, at age 65 he towed 65 boats loaded with a total of 6500 pounds, while shackled and manacled.
LaLanne never listened to conventional wisdom or considered the opinions of his considerable detractors. He chose a path of action appropriate for himself, and lived a life of austerity and iron self-discipline. He remains living proof that age is an illusion, and he offers a daily example that a man of greatness transcends limitations and exceeds ordinary expectations. He’s got the power, and it’s not just from his juice.
From September 2010, http://raising-a-man.tumblr.com