Former professional wrestler Lanny Poffo, aka “The Genius,” once used clever limericks to insult his opponents before matches. Now, years after removing his character’s graduation cap and gown costume, he is using limericks to tackle a different foe: smoking.
Using clever lines like, “A Canadian smoker named Faye, smoked more than a pack every day. I ask her how come, she replied, ‘because I am dumb.’ I guess that’s a good answer, eh?” Poffo told FoxNews.com that his message about smoking serves as a window into his health-conscious mind.
“I believe in clean living. It’s not that hard. No smoking, no drinking, no drugs and while you’re at it, no meat, fish or fowl,” he said, opting for “greens, mushrooms, onions, beans, berries and seeds.”
His passion for raising awareness about the harms of smoking led him to write a book filled with witty lines called, “Limericks from the Heart (and Lungs!)”
Poffo said that he is trying to be the “world’s healthiest man” with a goal to “live to be a hundred, or die trying.”
This lifestyle is a far cry from the image that one typically has of a professional wrestler. The community has been rocked with allegations of steroid use and drug addiction. There is a growing list of entertainers who are dying at young ages, including Poffo’s own brother, Hall of Famer Macho Man Randy Savage who died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 58.
Poffo acknowledges this underbelly of professional wrestling and blames “a little thing called celebration.”
“If you just follow the crowd, what's going to happen? All the consequences are going to happen to you. Look how many of my brethren have died young,” he said.
Poffo refuses to follow suit and be part of the crowd. He has made strong lifestyle choices to stay in the best shape possible. In addition to avoiding dangerous vices and healthy dieting he also has a strong exercise regimen to start his day.
“I play basketball, not with anybody else, I just start shooting baskets,” he said, adding, “I start doing 50-yard dashes back and forth.” This, he said, gets oxygen into his system before going to the gym.
Poffo is proud of the health decisions he makes and hopes that he can inspire others to lead a healthier lifestyle as well. He said that he has had positive feedback from his book while traveling to schools and churches with kids promising to live smoke and drug-free.
Poffo also took aim at celebrities who don’t use their platform to send a good message.
“When you look at somebody like James Cameron, the greatest director of them all. And he’s got the two greatest box office attractions, 'Titanic' and 'Avatar' and they are both love a love song to tobacco,” he told FoxNews.com.
Poffo wants to do the opposite. “I will preach to anybody that will listen but mostly I want to set a good example,” he said.
For more information about Lanny Poffo, visit his blog at GeniusLannyPoffo.com.