Wordless Wednesday: Kickboxing Bloggers

bloggers night at title boxing utah

Blogger’s Night Out at Title Boxing Utah

RIP Jack LaLanne

young Jack LaLanne

“I can’t die. It would ruin my image.”

“I do it as a therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline. “

“How do you build up your bank account? By putting something in it everyday.Your health account is no different. What I do today, I am wearing tomorrow. If I put inferior foods in my body today, I’m going to be inferior tomorrow, it’s that simple.”

“Maybe you don’t believe in Jesus. But was Jesus a showman? Why did he go around making the blind see and the lame walk and those kinds of things? He did it to call attention to his philosophy.”

Jack LaLanne, the American fitness icon, passed away Sunday, January 23rd at age 96. He died of respiratory failure as a result of pneumonia complications. With so many years of health and vigor, some wondered if he would live forever. And as we see with Jack LaLanne’s passing, all good things must come to an end.

Francois Henri “Jack” LaLanne was born September 26, 1914 in San Franciscio. He was the son of French immigrants, and grew up addicted to sugar and junk food. He experienced bouts of rage, suicidal feelings, and at one time tried to burn his house down.  When he was 15, he heard health food pioneer Paul Bragg give a talk on health and nutrition. Inspired by Bragg’s teachings, Jack started focusing on his exercise and eating habits and studied human anatomy. He concentrated on bodybuilding and weightlifting.

Nicknamed the “Godfather of Fitness,” LaLanne was a bodybuilder, exercise and nutritional expert, TV personality, and even earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002.  Quoting his obituary in the LA Times,

“Though LaLanne was for many years dismissed as merely a “muscle man” — a notion fueled to some extent by his amazing feats of strength — he was the spiritual father of the health movement that blossomed into a national craze of weight rooms, exercise classes and fancy sports clubs. LaLanne opened what is commonly believed to be the nation’s first health club, in Oakland in 1936. In the 1950s, he launched an early-morning televised exercise program keyed to housewives. He designed many now-familiar exercise machines, including leg extension machines and cable-pulley weights. And he proposed the then-radical idea that women, the elderly and even the disabled should work out to retain strength. Full of exuberance and good cheer, LaLanne saw himself as a combination cheerleader, rescuer and savior. And if his enthusiasm had a religious fervor to it, well, so be it.”

Jack LaLanne stretching

“Have you seen some of the crap they’re selling as exercise equipment now?” Jack wondered. “How about that Suzanne Somers? She should have been thrown in jail for selling the piece-of-crap Thigh Master. It just develops a little muscle on the inner thigh. What good is that? And have you seen Tony Little, the guy who screams on TV? He’s like an imbecile. He says you need this little thing to hold you while you do a sit-up. Why does the government let him get away with it?”

Jack LaLanne in his 90sAs a woman who has struggled with health and weight issues since my childhood years, Jack LaLanne has been somewhat of an idol to me. I have several of his books, and tried to adhere to his fitness and nutrition advice. I’ve consumed countless glasses of freshly juiced fruits and vegetables …. thanks to my persistence after watching his juicer machine infomercials. My father-in-law tries to be helpful by encouraging me to give Jack LaLanne’s advice a try…little does he know how much it’s been a part of my life already. He preached the gospel of eating right and being active…joking,

“It is a religion for me. It is a way of life. A religion is a way of life, isn’t it? Billy Graham was for the hereafter. I’m for the here and now.”

To the man of eternal health and vigor – Rest in Peace.

Momentum

Three weeks ago, Taylor and I signed up for a gym membership. My health’s been better recently and I’m feeling motivated to lose weight again (especially looking at myself in all those London pictures). In the past 11 days, I’ve had 7 cardio workouts. I started out barely being able to hang on for 25 minutes, now I can make it through 40 minutes. I haven’t done much weight training yet, but I’ll incorporate it fairly soon. I got a freebie session with a personal trainer and went over some suggested exercises, and did a health profile. I’ve been feeling more energetic, my clothes fit a little better and am motivated to stick with this.

Despite the newfound motivation, I’m frustrated. I stepped on the scale and I’ve gained 7 pounds in two weeks. Everyone gives me the “gaining muscle mass” excuse (which I think is partially true) but it’s still disappointing. On the whole, my eating has been really healthy; lean meats, fruits and veggies, whole grains, etc. I’ve splurged a few times, like cupcakes and sweet potato fries, but my portions have been MUCH smaller than the last few months. I hope I’ll be able to take off weight (or at least not gain anymore) as the holidays (and holiday food) will be present for the rest of the year.

Spring Walk

Taylor and Rosie left today for California for spring break. We had lunch together today, then they headed off for the airport. They’ll be returning Friday night for Taylor’s reserve shift on Saturday (yet another quick trip) As I drove home, I opened up the window to let the warm breeze in. It was sunny and 65…funny since yesterday was snow flurries! I decided to get myself outside to exercise, but wasn’t quite sure where to go. I went onto Decatur’s parks and rec website, and tried to remember the directions to a selected park…but got lost as usual in downtown Decatur. I remembered my boss telling me that Lullwater at Emory was one of the most beautiful walking trails in Atlanta, so I cut my losses and headed for campus.

If I haven’t said it before, Emory’s campus is one of the most beautiful I’ve been on. Since I’ve been on staff there, I have been working off campus. I wasn’t quite sure where to park, so I circled around and stopped at Candler Park. I walked up Peavine Creek, past fraternity and sorority houses, past The Depot and Wishcab (the nickname for the building I’m moving into on campus in two weeks) Lullwater was beautifully manicured with wide walking trails. The rhododendrons, dogwoods and cherry trees were in blossom. I walked all the way to the lake, and partially around before I turned back. I walked for a total of 70 minutes, and felt like my feet were going to fall off. I could only find my walking shoes that are a size too small, and only are comfortable on stationary gym equipment. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful evening in Atlanta, and I was happy I decided to get outside instead of home on the elliptical.

Cutting back

Another thing we’ve recently cut back on is our gym membership. Although our loyalty is with 24 Hour Fitness, which isn’t available in MI, we’ve been with Lifetime Fitness through our time in MI. Their closest location is practically a palace. It has a salon, dayspa, massage area, and all sorts of other amenities that I could never afford. We’ve been paying $106/mo, which has included the kid’s center for Rosie. Unfortunately, we haven’t used it enough to make it worth the money. On a good week I’ll make it 3-5 times, but usually it’s only 1-2. Since Taylor was going to Atlanta, we decided to end our membership at the end of October.

I typically work out every Saturday (unless I’m sick or out of town) and last Saturday I decided to do some non-gym exercise. I donned my thick sweats, thick socks, gloves, and beanie and trudged out into the 37 degree morning. I brought along my iPod and 5 lb hand weights. It was raining and windy, and my cheeks were burning quickly. After 25 minutes, I felt chilled to the bone and the rain was coming at me horizontally. I hopped into a hot shower afterwards, and still was shivering an hour later.

I need to find a friend with a treadmill or elliptical in their home so I don’t lose my motivation to exercise. I do a lot of walking in the hospital, but I rarely walk more than 10 minutes at a time. I’m hoping to have good, convenient access to a gym in Atlanta…I need to work off all this extra Michigan weight I’ve gained. This place is so depressing…