Friday, Oct. 15, 2010

Jack LaLanne

For decades he's been the face of fitness. But it didn't start out that way. In fact, in his childhood LaLanne was (admittedly) addicted to sugar and junk food. But he kicked his habits at the age of 15 when he heard a speaker discuss the benefits of health and nutrition. He soon became a pioneer in bodybuilding and weightlifting, both often completely unheard of in the 1930s. In 1936, LaLanne opened a health spa and began designing leg-extension and pulley machines, the first of their kind in home exercise. LaLanne is now 96 and has a lifetime of unbelievable and zany achievements to look back on: at age 40, he swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater dragging 140 pounds of equipment; at age 41, he swam handcuffed from Alcatraz to Fisherman's Wharf; at age 70, he swam 1.5 miles while pulling 70 boats full of 70 people. While his days achieving feats of strength are over, he says he still works out daily.