Alone at home, tears are running down my cheeks. I’m watching the video of the 81-year-old woman bodybuilder, Ernestine Shepherd. Despite her age, she’s unstoppable.
Someone this week told me, “You’re always hurt!” That’s a slap in my face. It’s so untrue.
Yes, my back has periods of soreness, depending on how good I’ve been at stretching and exercising. Bad posture as a child led to years of the shoulders rolling forward with my head extended. Now I pay for it.
But always hurt? It’s not true. That’s toxic thinking.
No, I’m not shaped like Ernestine Shepherd, and perhaps never will be. But I want to be exactly like her in spirit. She knows how to work for what she wants.
When she was 56, she and her sister Velvet agreed to start weightlifting. Velvet’s dream was that they would be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the two oldest women bodybuilders.
Her sister died of a brain aneurysm. Immersed in grief, Shepard experienced depression and panic attacks and went back to sitting on the couch. Then she remembered her sister’s goal. Still, it took Ernestine weeks to get back at it.
Age-defying, that’s what Ernestine Shepherd is. When I’m 81 years old, I won’t be hunched up on the couch, complaining about back pain.
I’ll keep going. Always hurting? Not me.