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"What I've Learned!" -- Jack LaLanne

"What I've Learned"
            Jack LaLanne

Esquire Aug. 2004
Interview by Cal Fussman

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Jack LaLanne, 89 years young at home in
Morro Bay, Ca.

"I'm not as sexually active as I was when I was younger. But look at my wife-she's still smiling!

The guy who's most impressed me is Paul C. Bragg. He completely saved my life. When I was a kid, I was addicted to sugar. I was a skinny kid with pimples and boils. Used to eat ice cream by the quart. I had blinding headaches. I tried to commit suicide. And then one day, my life changed. Bragg was a nutritionist. My mother and I were a little late getting to his lecture. The place was packed, and so we started to leave. But Bragg said, "We don't turn anybody away here. Ushers, bring two seats. Put those two up on the stage." It was the most humiliating moment. There I was, up on stage. I was so ashamed of the way I looked; I didn't want people to see me. Little did I know they had problems, too. And Bragg said "It doesn't matter what your age is, what your physical condition is. If you obey nature's law, you can be born again."

From that moment on, I completely changed my diet, began to exercise, and went on to become the captain of the football team. And do you know something? Every time I get ready to lecture, I think, if I can just help one person like I was helped. Show me the guy who doesn't get nervous in front of a crowd and I'll show you a lousy speaker."

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