Monday, April 23, 2012

Keep the Fire Burning

It was an incredible sadness to return from our vacation, plug back in and discover that the fitness world had lost an icon. Robert Kennedy, aka Tough Love Bob, was and will continue to be, a voice of strength, knowledge and passion. For the last week I have struggled to find the words to express my perspective of this intense loss. I simply cannot find them. My heart breaks for his family, and those who were intimate with him. I hurt, too, for the loss to the "every woman" who picks up Oxygen Magazine each month - those personal letters from the Editor were always the first page I'd read. His guidance, insight and motivation will be missed.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet Bob and his wife Tosca. I was able to spend some time with them last year during the Arnold Sports Festival, and was impressed by how real and open they both were. Bob pulled no punches - he told it like he saw it. As I sat and listened to him, or watched him listening and speaking to others, it occurred to me that here was a man who had made himself - but didn't stop there... he made it his mission to help others make themselves... but only if they put in the work. There was no enabling from Bob... there was empowerment and education, but no carrying. You have to do it yourself. Only you can.

When I began my journey toward health and fitness, Bob's editor's letters and the resources he made available (magazines, books) were key to my education, motivation, and eventually, my success. I have accomplished what I have, and maintained it, and continued to reach for new goals and heights, in a large part because of the work Bob Kennedy has done. His impact on my life is unmistakable. He lit a fire in me - to be better, to be more... to be me.

While I do not have the words to properly honor a truly great man, I do have that fire - one spark that he passed on to me - just one small light that I promise to keep burning. Though my reach is not as deep, not nearly as far, as Bob's, I will keep sharing that flame. I hope you will to.


  1. I beg to differ with you..........your words do honor him!!! Beautifully written!

  2. This is a wonderful post, Chelle. He will be missed.

  3. His column was also the first thing I read when I opened my new issue. He will be greatly missed by his readers and the fitness community, he has touched so many lives. I feel for his family and know that with the support of each other they will remain strong. Your post was very thoughtful and thank you for sharing your spark with us. :)