It’s all too common that bad people are featured more often and more prominently in the news for what they’ve done or haven’t done. Good people don’t make headlines that most people want to read. They just live exemplary lives.
So it is with Joe Rollino. I get up quite early each day to read news headlines and do some work before I do my workout for the day and today was no exception. When I saw the headline, “104-Year-Old Strongman Dies After Being Hit by Car” it just seemed more interesting than many of the others. What I read made me wish that the day’s news was filled with stories about the Joe Rollinos of the world, but, of course, before they died.
According to the article that appears in the New York Times, “Joe Rollino once lifted 475 pounds. He used neither his arms nor his legs but, reportedly, his teeth. With just one finger he raised up 635 pounds; with his back he moved 3,200. He bit down on quarters to bend them with his thumb”.
Sphere starts out their article by saying, “A famed strongman who once lifted 3,200 pounds at Coney Island during its heyday and was still bending quarters with his fingers at age 104 died Monday after he was hit by a minivan.”
Joe was crossing Bay Ridge Parkway after going to the deli to buy a paper as he did every morning. I hope that when I am 104, I will be as mobile and fit as he was. What is so remarkable about Joe Rollino is that he was a vegetarian for life, he didn’t drink or smoke, his friends said, and he exercised every day. His extraordinary feats of strength were accomplished not with steroids, but by nurturing his body and developing his God given gifts of strength and fortitude.
The life that Joe Rollino lived is a lifestyle that we should all try to emulate to the extent that we can. Let’s hope, too, that we hear more about people like Joe in life than when they pass away. Too much news time is spent on people in sports and athletics who cheated rather than those who excelled.