It’s never too late to get in shape - at least that’s what the research keeps reminding us.
And then along comes a firecracker like Ernestine Shepherd to prove it.
Every day, at 2:30 a.m., she hops out of a bed and goes for a 15-kilometre run. She pumps iron in the gym and leads an exercise class in the church in Baltimore. At bodybuilding competitions, she wins her fair share of trophies, earning the nickname “Miss Ernie.”
But here’s the kicker: She’s 75-years-old - the oldest bodybuilding in the world according to Guinness World Records.
And she only started bodybuilding four years ago - at the ripe old age of 71.
In fact, as she recalls in a recent news video by the BBC, although slender, she wasn’t an athlete growing up. “Too prissy,” she explains in the video. When she was 56-years-old, the former school secretary says she was invited to a party and had to wear a bathing suit. As she explains in the video, she didn’t “like what she saw,” and vowed, with her sister, to get in better shape. Those plans were cut short when her sister died suddenly of a brain aneurysm, and Ms. Shepherd stopped going to the gym.
It was not until she turned 71, that she started intensely working out with weights. Today, she says she has no aches and pains, and has never been injured. At the same time, she advises others to start slowly with a trainer, eat properly, and have a positive attitude.
“Age is nothing but a number,” she tells the BBC.
“If there was ever an anti-aging pill, I would call it exercise.”
Inspired by Ernestine Shepherd to hit the gym? What are your own tips for aging well?