“Kicking and screaming” is how Edith Traina describes the first time she stepped into a gym. That was six years ago, but now the inspiring 97-year-old grandmother has a powerlifting competition named after her, BayNews 9 reports.
Dozens of lifters, some as young as 13 and some as old as Traina, met to compete at the Edith Traina Inspirational Open in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday.
“When I lift that bar up, as I’m lifting it up in here I hear words like ‘Oh my God, I’m doing it!’” Traina said. “It’s an ego builder. Nobody believes this, but I have always been very shy.”
Traina hits the gym at least three times a week. She is one of several elderly women who compete as a member of the Bill Beekley Academy of Powerlifting. The senior division members go to six competitions a year, according to the Tampa Bay News.
Traina said that by competing, she is proving to herself she is capable of doing something she never thought possible.
“I can’t find any other 90-year-olds to compete with, so if you know anybody that has a grandmother or friend who would like to compete with me,” Traina said to WTVT.
But the fact that she is the is almost always the only competitor in her age division doesn’t take away from how far the former line dance instructor has come. She won a pair of gold medals in February at the Polk County Senior Games, winning a gold medal in the 95-99 division with a 60-pound bench press and a 130-pound deadlift.
Besides boosting her ego, Traina is boosting her health.
Dr. Tanya Gold, a family physician who practices holistic medicine, told the Tampa Bay Times that weightlifting can improve balance, strength, and bone density. It can also help to maintain independence as people grow older.
Traina is proof that it’s never too late to get in shape. Watch her power lift back when she was 94.
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