|UMTV: Senior Weightlifting Wonder|
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At 72, Ernestine Shepherd runs marathons, competes in – and wins – bodybuilding competitions, and as Barry Simmons reports, defies anyone to tell her she’s getting old.
(Locator: Baltimore, Maryland)
Ernestine leads class: “Leg goes straight out. Everybody okay with that?”
Once a week at Union Memorial United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland…
…Ernestine Shepherd leads an exercise class for senior citizens.
Ernestine: “This is what Michele Obama does to get her bi’s looking good!”
Ernestine is not just their instructor. She is, at 72-years-old…
Participant: “I just want to thank you.”
Ida Massey, Student: “When you look at her and then you look at yourself, you’re inspired to work a little harder. Sometimes I wonder how she does it.”
Ernestine, born during the Roosevelt administration, runs 80 miles a week, lifts weights nearly every day…
Trainer: “Look at those guns.”
Ernestine: “Okay let’s have some fun.”
…and in-between, leads classes at her church and gym.
Maggie Johnson, Student: “When I walked in I said, ‘Okay, ‘I want you to do whatever you did to make me look like you.”
She has a bookshelf filled with trophies, but most surprising is this one from a bodybuilding competition…
Ernestine: “No one was my age, no one was.”
…where she came in first place.
Ernestine: “I was so proud to be up there on that stage.”
Some wonder why – at 72 – Ernestine works so hard…
Ernestine: “Give me fifteen.”
Ernestine: “They feel that they can’t come into the exercise class. ‘I don’t want to come, someone will laugh.’ I reach out to them to let them know that they too can exercise.”
Ernestine hopes other seniors will discover a love for fitness…
Ernestine: “Work those tris.”
…they just hope whatever Ernestine is doing…
Ernestine: “Put your arms out there honey.”
… is contagious.
Ernestine was recently contacted by the Guinness World Book of Records. They think she may hold the record for the world’s oldest performing female bodybuilder.
You can contact Ernestine Shepherd through her church: Union Memorial United Methodist Church, 410-945-2723.
Also, see: 72-year-old bodybuilder inspires church class
Posted: May 20, 2009