All of us have role models for various things in our lives like career role models, parenting role models, or just general "I wanna be cool like that" role models. But, do you have any health role models? Are there people in your life, in the media, or in your community where you see as positive role models for health and vitality?
I got thinking about health role models a couple weekends ago after a conversation with my Dad. Dad will be cancer free 15 years (straight) this summer from colon cancer. Later on, I'm planning on doing a more elaborate story about my Dad's experience and healing from colon cancer because it's truly a remarkable story. My close friends all know that I have had two Dads in my life, there was pre-cancer Dad and post-cancer Dad, and they are two completely different people. My Dad is an example of one of those people who took a life threatening illness and turned it into something life altering for the positive. This is why he's been cancer free for 15 years and beating the odds, and not only is he cancer-free he's a specimen of vitality and health. Here's Dad on his birthday last year with his triplet grandkids. My Dad is the at the top of my health role model list.
One of my other health role models is Jack LaLanne. Seriously, some of you may be giggling at this but "The Godfather of Fitness" totally rocks! "The Jack LaLanne Show" was the longest running television program devoted to exercise going from 1951-1985. Dude will be 94 this September and he can still do one armed push ups. I can't even do one one-armed push up and I'm less than half his age. In 2009, he and his wife will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They even have 12 tips on how to create a healthy relationship. I love his attitude at 93, "I cannot afford to die, it will ruin my image."
I loved all those crazy fitness stunts he used to do back in the day like at the age of 60 he swam from Alcatrez to Fisherman's Wharf (here in SF) handcuffed, shackled and tugging a 1,000lb boat, or at 65 he towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko near Tokyo Japan handcuffed and shackled. The boats were filled with 6,500 pounds of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp. The guy was in his 60's! The idea of just walking tugging my nieces in their triplet stroller strapped to my back makes me gasp for air.
One of Jack's philosophies on food is something that I follow myself, not religiously, but almost, and that is "if man made it, don't eat it." What Jack is referring to is foods loaded with food additives, preservatives, genetically altered, etc. Jack eats primarily foods that were made purely by Mother Nature, and who's to argue that any lab can make foods better for you than Mother Nature. If I can even be 1/4 or 1/2 as fit as Jack when I'm in my 90's, whoa! I'll be a thrilled camper.
So, who are your health role models?