Friday, February 4, 2011

Good Bye Jack

This post is going to be short. I have been going back and forth on a proposal with my agent. My eyes feel like they’re going in circles from staring at the computer screen so long.

I was supposed to return from Chicago on Wednesday. But I had to go to a memorial Service for Jack LaLanne on Tuesday. I changed my return ticket as I was at the airport on the way out. I had no idea what a lucky break that was going to be. When looked at all the pictures of the cars stuck on Lake Shore Drive in the blizzard, I shuddered. Just the night before, I’d been zipping down the road on the way to the airport with no problem.

I know what the storm is like. I was there for the one in ‘67 when the snow drifts went to the top of mailboxes. I was working as a waitress at a neighborhood restaurant and my boss had to take a sled to Lake Shore Drive to pick up supplies because the side streets were too snow covered for the delivery trucks to come in.

I came home to sunshine and a slight chill. It was nice to go outside without having to bundle up.

Jack LaLanne’s memorial service was funny, touching and theatrical. How often do you hear applause at a funeral? Lots of people spoke and said the same thing. Jack was a great guy who wanted to help everybody enjoy the same high level of health and fitness he had.

Any of you who go to a gym owe Jack a big thank you. He was the first person to open a gym dedicated to resistence training. He was the first person to say that women should lift weights. He invented the basis for most of the equipment in gyms. The Jumping Jack was named for him.

There would be no fitness industry if it weren’t for Jack. It’s nice for a change to focus on the good one person did instead of the opposite.

So strange. All those years ago when I was a member of the Jack LaLanne Health Club in Reseda, in my wildest dreams, I never thought one day I’d met the namesake of the place. Isn’t life interesting?

Has anything like that ever happened to you?


Planner said...

Jack was way ahead of his time, and I'm so glad he lived to see exercise and healthy eating come into the mainstream consciousness in a big way. It's wonderful that you knew Jack.

For me, I didn't anticipate after reading and enjoying "Hooked on Murder" that I would have the privilege of meeting and getting to know the author, who is "the real deal," just like Jack.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I never met Jack, Betty, but I cheer what he did for the health of so many people in this country who now know that working out regularly is good for you.

signlady217 said...

I remember seeing Jack's TV show when I was really little; Mom used to watch it. Hopefully we can all take a page from his book and do our best to stay healthy for as long as we can.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I can't believe he is dead. Somehow, I really thought he'd live forever. He was such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing this, Betty.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, thanks for the compliment!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, the amazing thing is that when Jack first started, doctors told him he'd give himself a heart attack if he lifted weights.

Betty Hechtman said...

Signlady 217, the best thing about Jack is that he really lived a full life until the end.

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, Jack had this line - that he couldn't die because it would ruin his image.

His wife, Elaine, is amazing. She's my personal inspiration. She's in her mid eighties has amazing energy, is very smart, and so gracious. She gave me a copy of an exercise books she and Jack wrote. Her picture is on the cover and I realized she was about my age. I wish I looked like that.