Terre Pruitt's Blog

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A Small Tribute

Posted by terrepruitt on January 25, 2011

It was late Sunday night (January 23, 2011), when I learned Jack LaLanne died.  I was sad.  I am often sad when celebrities die.  They often represent a lot to us, whether it be a generation of music, an idea, a movement, whatever . . . .their celebrity makes them larger than life.  I think Jack was one of those larger than life type of people.  He was amazing.  He was an inspiration.

He was a junk food junkie.  Granted he changed his ways when he was 15, still he changed.  Also, I still maintain that the “junk food” back then was a lot different then what it is today.  Today it is more full of chemicals and it is way overprocessed. 

Jack was born in San Francisco in 1914.  He opened his first gym in 1936 in Oakland.  And according to his website; he “designed the world’s first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables, and weight selectors”.  Jack believed in fitness, whole body wellness.  He originally went to school pre-med, but then decided he wanted to help PREVENT illness instead of treat illnesses.  Our entire medical structure is based on treatment of illness.  I believe the fitness industry is based on the prevention of illness.

His ideas were so advance for what was known at the time regarding health, fitness, and entire body/mind wellness.  He felt that working out with weights was good for everyone.  He felt exercise was good for both the body and the mind.  He was a pioneer.

He also managed some amazing feats.

He swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater, while he was 40 years old.  It was 1954 and he was carrying 140s of equipment. He also set a record by doing 1,033 pushups.  He did it in 23 minutes, he was 42.  He towed a 2,500 pound cabin cruiser while swimming the Golden Gate Channel when he was 43.  The SECOND time he swam the length of the Golden Gate he was towing a 1,000 pound boat AND he was handcuffed.

He also received many recognitions and awards.  Some called him to the godfather of fitness.  He was an innovator.  He was 96 when he died.  He died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia.  I would like to say, thank you to Mr. LaLanne for bringing fitness, health and the tools for wellness to so many people.

6 Responses to “A Small Tribute”

  1. Wow. Jack is the guy who sold the Juicer. Right? I didn’t know he passed away. He was definitely one of the pioneer of Health.


    • Yes, he did sell the juicers, but that was something he did in his later years. He believed in health and juice can be healthy if it is made up of whole fruits and veggies.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.


  2. niachick said

    I remember watching Jack LaLanne when I was a kid. My mom and dad used to watch his program every morning (sitting on the couch of course). He never let anything stop him. He lived a long and healthy life though. We have the Jack LaLanne juicer. It’s probably one of the best ones we’ve owned.

    Thanks for posting a nice memorial for him, Terre.


  3. I didn’t know all those facts about him. How incredible that he dedicated his life to helping others better theirs. You did a wonderful tribute to him. I hope his legacy continues in preventing illness (great way to put it).


    • I know that his legacy will continue to help people because he came up with a lot of the stuff we are now doing today. Stuff we think of as “common ‘fitness/health’ knowledge”. Someone had to think of the stuff we now know. He thought of it. He was doing it. It just took a while for “research” to catch up to what he already knew. So his legacy lives on. Everytime you pick up a weight you are part of it!


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