Life is hard, and no one is immune to its difficulties. Not even the most happy-go-lucky man alive. Richard Simmons, the world’s most renowned fitness instructor, fell off the radar nearly a year ago and people have been asking questions. Rumors regarding his whereabouts and the reason for his absence have been swirling all week, with news outlets reporting that he has been struggling with personal issues as a result of a knee injury. Sources close to the fitness superstar say that he needs to have a left knee replacement, and he confirmed his struggles on social media today.
“I have had a tough time dealing with this injury, as it is keeping me from doing what I truly love to do and that is to teach classes around the world,” Richard posted on Facebook.
And while he wasn’t available for a comment today, his Twitter account has been vocal in his gratitude for the support he’s found.
thank u soooooooo much to all of you for all ur kind words today!!! xoxoxo
— Richard Simmons (@TheWeightSaint) November 13, 2014
He is known across the globe for his love of fitness and his ability to make it fun. He is a health and fitness guru, and he has changed the lives of millions of people, including mine.
I met Richard for the first time in 2011 after writing an open letter to him on my blog, alltheweigh.com. In my letter I told him that it was my dream to someday meet the man who inspired me to “Party Off the Pounds,” and a few days later he invited me to Slimmons, his studio in Beverly Hills, CA.
When I arrived, I was star struck, but I quickly learned that Richard was a sincere and loving human being who wants the whole world to experience health and happiness. When I arrived for my first class at Slimmons I was in awe of Richard’s ability to draw everyone into the workout.
The Today Show was there to tape my second workout with Richard for a segment about me that would air later that week, and Richard came alive for the producers. He spoke on my behalf about obesity and the mistreatment of plus-size individuals and the need for individuals to love themselves. He was the Richard that we all know and love, and he didn’t disappoint. He was encouraging and flamboyant, just as he appears to be in his videos. At one point, he told the producers of one of the most popular news programs in the world to turn off the cameras because he genuinely wanted to know if I was OK. He also wanted to know what I planned to wear on my TV debut, and when I said that I didn’t know, he sent me to a plus-size boutique to pick out an outfit…on him!
Richard Simmons is a fitness icon, but he is also a loving man, a real human, who faces battles just like the rest of us. His larger than life persona has drawn us in for decades, and my hope is that he will continue to do that. The world is a better place because Richard Simmons is in it, and I think I can speak for millions of people when I say that I hope to see him sweating again soon.
article by Kenlie Tiggeman; photo via Kenlie at alletheweigh.com