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Based on a true story, conceived & written by Forbes Riley
Imagine a world without health clubs, fitness equipment or even the jumping jack – well most of these can be attributed to just one man – Jack Lalanne – who started his fitness career in the 30’s when it was not popular, who had the longest running fitness show ever on and who this year he turned 96. Yes, he’s still alive… but only thanks to one man, and this is their story.
Nate B was chronologically only 30 years old, but you’d never know it to look at him. 50 pounds overweight and overworked, he carried the burden of being a sexually abused, abandoned child who devoted his entire existence to helping others through foster and hospice care. He’d help to raise dozens of foster children and at his agency was the most request caregiver. That was all about to change. After testifying in court one day that a young boy’s family was not fit to raise him and should be awarded to the state – the family members, later that night, attacked him in a parking lot with a crow bar and left him for dead.
Nate, though he wished he would have died many times during his tragic childhood, was not easily killed. Weeks later, with more than 75 stitches in his head, Nate was back at work in the hospital helping others whose time really had come. His latest charge – a frail, 95 year old man who doctors had just told his wife, a suprisingly spry-looking
85 year old woman, that after his open heart surgery to replace a leaky valve, that “he had a good life, and she should just let him go.”
Like Nate, the “old man” was not ready to leave this planet and in his weak yet single-minded voice, told him he WAS determined to leave the hospital – now!. Nate thinking at the time, it was about personal dignity and choice of where you wanted to die, together with the old man’s wife, Elaine, literally carried him out to this car and drove him home to his sprawling estate in Moro Bay, California. With his job and reputation on the line, Nate had no idea what he had really done. Even while Elaine told her of his husband’s name, like most young people born in the 80’s, Nate had never heard of Jack Lalanne but got a sense from him that this was vital that he helped in any way he could.
What Nate was soon to realize as he walked the halls of their home gazing upon photo after photo of a young super- fit man, arm in arm with Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Marilyn Monroe and every past president from Kennedy through Clinton including both Bushes – was that the “old man” lying in the bed…
~was a legend.
If you’re a baby boomer the name Jack Lalanne is synonimous with health and fitness – a man who many remember for on his 70th birthday swimming handcuffed and shackled across the San Francisco Bay pulling 70 boats full of 70 people. A man who has the fitness franchised chain of health clubs, for 35 years appeared daily on national tv doing calisthenics alongside his dog and who is his 80’s is the most of the longest running infomercial of all time promoting his Power Juicer with sales in excess of $1 billion dollars.
So now Nate had to not only put up this a cantankerous “old man” with an unstoppable will to live, but had to figure out how to bring this icon back to life. Both Jack and Elaine taught Nate how to juice, eat correctly and for the first time in his life provided a loving family environment – in fact the made him quick his agency, bought out his contract and had him live with them fulltime. The adventure begins – Nate as a side note to this new way of living, eating and thinking loses 50 pounds in the first few months and slowly gets Jack back to a state of health. Enough for him to talk his ear off about his early career as a pioneer in the field of fitness and a Hollywood maverick in the heyday with all the stars, enough for him to fly cross country to appear in another infomercial and appear on tons of talk shows from Larry King to Oprah and enough for his to pop in his bright red convertible and drive 80+miles an hour down the back roads of Moro Bay – now the question is: will Nate live to tell the tale!
This is a story that is so timely not only as the retrospective of one of the most interesting men who every lived but as it relates today to our obesity and eating dilemma in this country. A bit of nostalgia as it looks back into Hollywood during from the 40’s to now – but an inspirational story of one man’s vision quest to change the world.