For immediate release: Mick Jagger, lead singer of a music group called the Rolling Stones, has been named a honorary TOJ, a recognition that must rank a close second to having been knighted by the Prince of Wales in 2003. Many hard core TOJs are confused how such a high and rare honor could be conferred on such a skinny runt (143 lbs.) better known for sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Thus far he has not commented publicly on the honor; rumor has it he is just too overcome with emotion.
The other night I was watching Martin Scorsese's 2006 "Shine a Light," an entertaining documentary about the Rolling Stones' performance at New York's Beacon Theatre, when something caught my attention -- Mick Jagger's energy as he strutted and danced during the entire concert was mind boggling! He was around 63 at the time. In a concert, you can fake singing by lip syncing, but there's no way to fake the intense workout he put his body through in that performance. A TOJ recognizes strength and endurance when he or she sees it.
I'd seen Jagger perform up close in 1970, and though his stage style was high-energy, but he was limited in his range of movements by microphone cords and a relatively small stage. But when I saw him again on the Voodoo Lounge tour in the 90's, and he had clearly elevated his fitness to a new level because he was performing in Mile High Stadium in Denver, where I've seen many NFL players brought to their knees by the altitude. The stage had long runways extending twenty yards on either side, and Jagger, liberated by a wireless microphone, skipped and ran back and forth, non-stop, all night long. That night I wondered if he wasn't a closet fitness nut, the yin of Keith Richards' dissolute yang, because that level of fitness doesn't happen by accident or just good genes.
The Scorsese film confirmed my suspicion. I went online and Googled "Mick Jagger + physical training." What popped up was an article from the Vancouver Sun, written in the same year, that reported Jagger routinely runs 12km, kick boxes, lifts weights, rides a bike, and practices yoga and ballet. He also eats an excellent training diet that is heavy on low-fat foods and grains. He even travels with a trainer and dietitian like many pro athletes. Read it for yourself at:
Mick Jagger has earned his honorary TOJ membership because he's an inspiring example to young and old alike when it comes to fitness (yes, his love life is another story). You do not need to compete for medals or endorse energy drinks to be an athlete. It's more simple than that: you exercise hard, eat right, and rest.
In the documentary, there is a clip of an interview with a twenty-something Mick Jagger. He's asked if he can imagine himself being a rock singer when he is in his sixties. With a smile, Jagger answers, "Easily." I bet if you asked him today if he imagines himself exercising when he is in his nineties, his answer would be the same. Jagger may be a famous rock star, but away from the stage, he's a TOJ.