The Race Called Life

3 Feb

Jack LaLanne, referred to by some as the “Godfather of Fitness” died January 23rd at the age of 97. My mother and I used to exercise with Jack in front of our Black&White TV (yes, we’re talking back in the 50’s) every morning! LaLanne spawned countless other gurus, but continued to be a leading figure in fitness and nutrition until his death.

What I find notable is how he chose to celebrate his milestone birthdays. Here are some of the highlights (as noted on his website):

1954 (age 40): swam the entire length (8,981 ft/1.7 mi) of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, under water, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of air tanks and other equipment strapped to his body; a world record.

1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km)

1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.

1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.

1976 (age 62): To commemorate the “Spirit of ’76”, United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.

1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.

1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.

1984 (age 70): handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.

Clearly, this was a man who was not limited by society’s expectations of “old age.”

The relating to your Being in the sense of being energy begins to bring you to realization and evolution in what is real about this world and life. Energy does not die or cease to be, it just shifts and changes… -Pa’Ris’Ha  (from To Live Fully in Joy)

It occurs to me that moving through life is indeed like moving through a long distance race. Although most of us don’t know the exact time of our exit from this plane of existence, many begin to slow down at a perceived point – often years before it’s “our time.”

Some people, like LaLanne, run full tilt to the finish line. That’s what we all need to be doing.

“There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. …But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.” — Deepak Chopra

When you want to score a basket in basketball, you aim at the backboard. Either you hit the backboard and the ball bounces in or you might just arch the shot in without hitting the backboard. The point is, and what’s known from a practical coaching standpoint, that if you aim at the hoop, chances are you’ll miss. It’s aiming the shot at the backboard (beyond the actual target) that helps it “make the distance.”

Racers running to the finish line don’t slack off in the final lap. If anything, they speed up. Yet, in the race we call “Life” many slow up and become stiff and infirmed – because of an expectation? I am constantly surprising people with my age. I turned 60 last October, but most people guess my age to be in my 50’s.

There is not pre-determined aging process. We’re all dying – life, as Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha reminds us, is a constant journey towards death from the moment we take our first breath, however, we have choices as to the quality of that time and what we achieve with it.

Recently I found myself discouraged regarding some personal goals. I felt something creep into my thinking that I quickly had to isolate and eradicate. I had to get very definite. The timeline for my achieving what I want to achieve with my life is only over when I stop breathing.

So there’s no such thing as “too late” or “not enough time” – because we don’t know how much time we have. The only thing we know is we that have today. And the only question needs to be asked is “What am I doing with my time today?” -Deborah Adler

What really matters to you? Where do you see the need to change? What is the next move you need to make? Remember this is the next moment of the rest of your life. How many times have you heard or said that? Well in this Moment all can change or remain the same, what is your decision…Now? –Pa’Ris’Ha (from Words of Wisdom)

To Live Fully in Joy © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved. ©2008 Pa’Ris’Ha. All Rights Reserved

Words of Wisdom © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.


©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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