Today we lost a person who made an enormous contribution to the world of fitness. Jack LaLanne left us at the age of 96.
A role model and all-around decent human being, Jack was also a wonderful showman. According to Wikipedia on his 70th birthday Jack, “handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.”
Swimming a mile in open water is an accomplishment in its own right. Doing it while handcuffed is astounding. Doing it while handcuffed and towing dozens of boats is beyond astounding. All of the above at 70? One in a billion. And this was no fluke. Jack did his shackled swimming feats many times over his career.
What I admire most is that he was an innovator. Next time you’re in a gym using what is now common equipment you can take a moment to thank Jack LaLanne for:
– inventing the first leg extension machine
– inventing weight stacks with selector pins
– inventing weighted pulleys for exercising
– inventing what later became the Smith machine
Thank you, Jack. We are very grateful for your hard work and we continue to benefit from it. RIP