I’m a pretty active gal so I won’t lie to you and tell you that I’m looking forward to my bones getting old and creaky. Heck, I can’t even picture graduating high school! Still, as active as I am, I take a look at my gram and know that someday my body will slow down a bit. Gram still walks and stays active, but she’s not as into sports as me. Never was, either. What I want to be like when I’m a septuagenarian (that means in your 70s, something I juuuuuuust learned) is Ernestine Shepherd — aka the world’s oldest female bodybuilder. The 79-year-old lives in Baltimore and is on record as the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the Guinness Book of World Records (circa 2010). Check out the video below to get a taste as to what she’s all about.
But her story inspired me, and after some online digging I found out that older females are following suit.I saw this article about how women like Sandee Tarjanyi, 57, of Oregon are finding new zest for working out and lifting weights. Like, lifting more than my 17-year-old bro can lift. *Ah-mazing! *She started out wanting to regain muscle tone and generally be fitter. Then it escalated into something way more — and way cooler!
Tarjanyi told toledoblade.com:
“My goal was to complete the workout, because they are tough.That’s my reward for myself and continues to be my goal. When it gets easy and if I’m feeling that it’s not challenging enough for me, I add five more pounds to the weight bar. … I can lift over my head probably 55 or maybe 65 [pounds]. I’ve been doing this for 18 months and I’ve experienced incredible changes in my body.”
Ernestine’s and Tarjanyi’s stories aren’t isolated. Michelle Miller, 60, is another CrossFItter who can deadlift close to 200 pounds. 200 pounds!
These women weren’t blessed with the genetics of She-Hulk. It took lots of time to develop their bodies, and even more patience to get to where they are now. It’s like when I first started playing basketball I could only dribble with my right hand. It was obvious that my left was weak. It was when opponents began to shift on defense and make me go to my left that I realized I had to step up my game. I ran drills for hours over months to develop dexterity in my left. Soon I could crossover and dribble between my legs. Then behind my back and eventually it all came together.
That’s what I am taking from this story: If you want to do something badly enough you will rearrange your life and lifestyle to get it done. Of course it won’t be easy, but that’s part of the fun when you look back on everything you overcame to achieve success.