One of our favorite personalities growing up was American fitness guru Jack LaLanne.

He was a totally committed and focused on his mission in life: promoting fitness, nutrition and positive thinking. LaLanne caught the public’s attention with his charisma and exploits with the goal of inspiring others. “I did these feats to show that anything in life is possible. All of us can be much better than we are.”

And what he did on American television over 50 years ago – back in the black-and-white era – and in the open water from Southern to Northern California after he reached the age of 40 was always fun to watch.

His legacy is remembered by many; his pioneering spirit was ahead of his time, but just in the nick of time for many who were motivated by his examples of fitness:

* In 1954 at the age of 40, he swam the length of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge underwater with 140 pounds of equipment, including two air tanks
* In 1955 at the age of 41, he swam 1.23 miles from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed
* In 1957 at the age of 43, he swam across the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2500-pound cabin cruiser
* In 1958 at the age of 44, he paddled 30 miles from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco shore in 9.5 hours
* In 1974 at the age of 60, he once again swam handcuffed and shackled towing a 1000-pound boat from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf
* In 1975 at the age of 61, he swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat
* In 1976 at the age of 62, he swam one mile in Long Beach Harbor shackled and handcuffed while towing 13 boats with 76 people sitting onboard
* In 1979 at the age of 65, he towed 65 boats weighed down with 6500 pounds in Lake Ashinoko near Tokyo, Japan while handcuffed and shackled
* In 1980 at the age of 66, he towed 10 boats with 77 people one mile in North Miami, Florida
* In 1984 at the age of 70, he towed handcuffed and shackled, 70 boats 1.5 miles with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary
* In 1994 at the age of 80, he swam 1.5 miles handcuffed and shackled while towing 80 boats with 80 people from the Queensway Bay Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary

For more information on Jack LaLanne, visit here