Jack LaLanne inspired Americans to be their best

A Personal Perspective
By Greg Burkett

Jack LaLanne, America’s icon of fitness and a life of vitality died Sunday, Jan. 23. He was 96.

I have been fitness professional for over 25 years. I did not start in my work world as one. I went through some other arenas prior to getting into this industry. I must admit it has been the best decision of my life. I am so fortunate to go to work each day in my playground. I feel like a kid every day at play in the gym.

Through the years I have met many people that have had an influence on me. Dale Carnegie, Jimmy Baker, Glen Turner, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Hendrix, Jesus Christ, and Jack LaLanne.

All of those mentioned are very famous in their own right and have impacted many more then myself. Each of them has a lasting life impact on society.

The last mentioned, however, is why I am in the fitness industry. I remember watching him as a child on black and white television when I came home from school. My mom would have him on diligently every day of the week. The most popular man in America during a time frame extending from wars, beatniks to hippies and greasers, the Vietnam War, Psycodellic drugs and many difficult periods of our history.

But through it all, there he was with his different appearance dressed in tights on TV with his chair and every woman in America getting into better physical condition with him. His trademark chair always there in a room not much bigger then a closet.

All during a time of society when only weird people did this “exercise thing”. I noticed him and was enamored. I did not know why but this guy was different. I didn’t understand the mystic but was hooked on something. It did appear to me this guy was doing something good.

Because of him I began to do proper exercise and keep myself in condition. I did push ups, deep knee bends, arm curls, jumping jacks, and talked about exercise. I read books about all aspects of the human body. I learned nutrition.

Yes Jack, you are the man that put the stamp on fitness on America well before it’s time.

It’s because of you that I work with the handicapped and obese. You ultimately inspired me because of your teachings that they need the help, and can and need to exercise for their health and vitality. Increased quality of life. You inspired me to help them feel worthy.

He did fits of strength as he got older to prove that you may maintain health throughout life.

I can say a lot about Jack LaLanne. He put me, without knowing it, where I am today.

Thanks Jack. You put your stamp on me. You have always been a part of my life and always will be.

Rest In Peace. May God Bless.

Greg Burkett is a fitness advisor in Orance County. For information you may contact him at 550-0777 or go to www.gregthetrainer.com.

About Greg Burkett

Fitness CounselorPersonal Trainer/MasseurMultiple Certifications