A number of days ago I stumbled across the June 1966 issue of Muscular Development, a bodybuilding magazine that has been home to some of the greatest names in the sport. In the Mail From Muscledom column a letter to John Grimek from a Joseph A. Dalessandro, Floral Park, New York caught my eye.
In his short letter, Dalessandro aptly summed up the mind, body and spirit benefits that accrue from dedicating one’s life to physical exercise.
“. . . Anyone who has trained for any length of time knows that because of it a deeper meaning of life is found and a new sense applied in that individual’s life.
If it were just for the physical improvement attained, I would only be experiencing one-third of the true benefits. It is through the other two-thirds, both spiritually and mentally, that the reward of real perfection is achieved.
I believe that if more young people (and the older) would follow a plan of weight training there would definitely be a substantial decrease in cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug addiction as well as the attitudes of the people from a materialistic world to a world of deeper meaning.”
Unsurprisingly John Grimek responded by saying that he “heartily” agreed with Dalessandro. In so few words, Dalessandro captured what it means to be physically active and what we can expect from it.