My MORE Half-Marathon Challenge, Week 19: Jumping Jacks

Nancy finds a new way to jump-start her exercise.

by Nancy Berk • Guest Writer

This week the world lost Jack LaLanne, the incredible father of fitness. Jack literally brought exercise into our homes when “The Jack LaLanne Show” went national in 1959, the year I was born. Soon moms and kids everywhere were doing toe touches and jumping jacks with Jack as he turned exercise into a family affair. Ironically, this week I learned that my fittest moments happen outside of the house without my family. Sorry Jack. If that sounds cruel, you’ve probably never had relatives walk in on your basement Zumba performance. Some things are best practiced among strangers who are too polite to laugh. I love Jack’s concepts in theory. Fitness doesn’t require expensive equipment. A broom, a chair and a few soup cans will do. And they will...for some people. For me, a broom, a chair and soup cans mean clean, sit and eat. Not exactly what Jack had in mind and probably why he later opened a line of gyms. 

When you’re not an exercise enthusiast, it’s especially easy to let distractions get in the way. Requests from others keep you from the treadmill and when you do get on, laundry and anything that speaks, rings or buzzes can coax you off. Household distractions were my sort-of-legitimate excuses to shelve a fitness plan. It became apparent once snow and cold forced me into the basement. Now that I’ve found a great gym that fits my needs, it’s obvious. I’m diligent, dedicated and excited about my workout when it’s the only thing in the room to do. We’re all different. At the age of 70, Jack pulled the weight of 70 boats. At the age of 51, I’ll be happy when I can pull my own weight and finish one half-marathon. I know he’d cheer me on. Farewell, Jack. Hello, Gym.

Nancy Berk, a clinical psychologist, humorist, & co-host of Whine At 9. See her new college video clip,‘twas the Night Before SATs. Follow her journey on Twitter.


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Week 18:These Boots Are Made For Walking

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First Published January 31, 2011

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