AN AMAZING FACT: On Monday, January 10, 2010, a minivan struck and killed a man crossing a Brooklyn street. This was especially tragic because this was no ordinary man. Joe Rollino would have been 105 on March 19, and according to friends he looked younger than 80 and was the model of health. A World War II veteran with three Purple Hearts, Rollino got his start in the 1920s at the Coney Island carnival, where he was billed as the “Strongest Man in the World.”
At the height of his career, he stood about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed about 150 pounds. Pound for pound, Joe Rollino was one of the strongest men in modern times. He lifted 475 pounds with his teeth and moved 3,200 pounds with his back. But he was most proud of his finger strength—he once lifted 635 pounds with a single finger. At Rollino’s 103rd birthday party, a friend gave him a quarter, and Rollino bent it between his fingers—then apologized because he used to be able to do it with a dime!
Rollino was an avid exerciser. He walked 5 miles every morning, rain or shine. He swam in the freezing Atlantic every day for eight years, even during a stormy six-degree day in January 1974. Rollino was also a boxer. In a 2008 interview, 103-year-old Rollino said that he was simply born strong: “Fighters would hit me in the jaw, and I’d just look at them. You couldn’t knock me out,” he said.
Did I mention that Joe Rollino didn’t drink or smoke and was a lifelong vegetarian? If it weren’t for the car accident, this strong man might have become one of the oldest men in modern times as well. The Bible also makes a connection between a strong man and a unique diet: Samson followed the Nazirite custom of abstaining from alcohol and unclean foods. Would you like to live to be a healthy 100 years old? Anything is possible when we follow God’s health principles.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Judges 13:4-5