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Osama Bin Laden – Fitness Coach?

August 6, 2011
In the last four months, two extremely notable men have passed away, two of the most famous people in the last hundred years and although they had one thing in common, they could not be more different in their approach to people and their value. January 23rd 2011 marked the passing of one of my All-Time Heroes, as a matter of fact, this guy had such an influence on my life that I have modeled my career and life’s work after his similar example. In 1936, this guy opened one of the first gyms designed to help the average person, (like I did) there were ‘gyms and studios’ before his, but like today, they catered to the ‘serious’, ‘hardcore’ or bodybuilder-type member. He advocated a more sane approach to nutrition rather than the fad-diet, extreme weight loss plans of his day (or our day) and he believed firmly that everyone who had a body was supposed to exercise it. He had seen the labor-saving devices of his day (read ‘technology’) make physical activity decline in the general population and he understood that when it comes to Strength, Health and Energy it’s “Use it or Lose it!” In 1951, he pioneered television’s first Workout Program buying time on a local station because he believed that TV and mass media would be a great way to reach and teach more people. (I felt the same way!) The producers thought it would be short-lived, (they thought nobody would want to watch this guy do exercises) but it went nationwide a few years later and ran until 1985. I’m talking about Jack Lalanne. He believed everyone had Value and a Purpose and that the only way you would be able to realize both would be through taking better care of the one body you’ve got. He was living proof that ‘age was just a number’ and that if you got in shape and kept yourself that way, you could continue to do amazing things (and easily take care of family and career demandswhich is pretty amazing in itself!) well into the rocking chair/nursing home years. My favorite was his swimming handcuffed and shackled towing 70 boats and 70 people when he was just age 70! That guy really knew how to throw a birthday party… Jack knew that bad health, low energy, weakness and the emotional burdens that accompany them all doggedly pursued, then inevitably overtook the individual who didn’t exercise to keep fit and he has been proven right across his 94 year career as a Fitness Coach. That brings us to our other Notable passing of 2011… On Sunday April 30th, the planner of the September 11th 2001 attacks, Osama Bin Laden was gunned down outside of Islamabad, Pakistan. For nearly 10 years every law enforcement agency in the Western world was looking in every cave, under every rock and in every country trying to find him to no avail- until last weekend. Now if Jack Lalanne was a positive example of how to live your life getting the most out of it, ol’ Bin Laden has the role of ‘What NOT to do’. Not so much because of his health habits, although he probably was forced to eat a lot of crummy, packaged food since he couldn’t hang out in any public restaurants. Instead, he is a proverbial example of where bad choices will lead everyone who chooses to make them. There is no doubt he thought he would get away with the things he had done and that in spite of the terrible things he was doing, that he would eventually be in a position to ‘enjoy life’ again, but that’s not how it usually goes… Everyone in the world is governed by Laws related to Crime and Punishment AND Laws of Physics and Biochemistry, just like Osama could not escape human Justice, no one will escape Biochemistry’s judgment. Eating a lot of sugary junk and drinking sodas? Hypoglycemia and diabetes are hunting you down like the Navy Seals, still going without a daily Exercise regimen? The C.I.A. (Cardiovascular Intervention Agency) is hot on your trail since the last U. S. Surgeon General’s Report said that “living without exercise is like smoking a pack of cigarettes a day”. If you think you can ‘blow up’ your health and wellness with terrible life choices on a daily basis and ‘get away with it’, like Osama- you are fooling yourself. The casualties of your poor health maintenance are the Civilians-you-love, without enough energy to play with your kids, go to their extra-curricular activities, manage your stress levels and still take your spouse out for regular Date-Nights, they are already suffering the consequences. But the real problems come when ‘Special Forces’ show up, you know, the special forces of Health Care like your Cardiologists, Orthopedic Surgeons, Diabetic Educators, etc… by then it may be too late to avoid major repercussions from your actions- or the lack thereof. Terrorism is awful, but individually we have little control over what Al-Qaida is determined to do, they (sadly) will give their lives just to wipe out competing lifestyles and worldviews different from their own. Can’t we ‘give a little of our lives’ in time training and planning better nutrition choices? Who knows, you may need to swim 70 boats carrying 70 people to safety when you’re 70 years old. I don’t know about you, but I want to be ready for that circumstance, just in case…

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