After attending Jack LaLanne's keynote address today, I don't think we could've picked a better recipient for our 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. He really has a genuine desire to help people lead healthier lives--and it shows. Jack said more than once that his goal is “helping people help themselves,” even at the young old age of 95.
His wife Elaine introduced Jack with a short video montage highlighting his many accomplishments and activities. We saw footage from his TV show in the 1950s that included his canine health hounds Happy and Smiley and his famous “Goodbye” song, which he and Elaine sang as a duet at the end of his keynote address.
He also talked about meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger when the California governor was only a teenager. After Jack challenged Arnold to a fitness showdown and then beat him, even though Jack was several years older, Arnold reportedly said, “That Jack LaLanne's an animal!”
One of his most fervent messages was about healthy eating. In fact, Jack proclaimed, “If man makes it, don't eat it, and if it tastes good, spit it out!” He stressed the importance of eating whole foods and noted how Gov. Schwarzenegger is trying to reform the school lunch program for kids in California so they aren't encouraged to eat junk food at school.
And Jack shared words of inspiration for the fitness professionals at the show, saying, “I feel we haven't made a dent in America today. All these people are out of shape, and there's no reason for it.”
He encouraged the audience to go out and make a difference in people's lives, just like he's done. Talk about a life well spent!