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This 77-Year-Old Weightlifter Proves that Fitness After 60 is a Choice

By Margaret Manning December 12, 2014 Health and Fitness

Like many women, I never quite found my groove when it came to fitness. Gyms were no go zones for me. It wasn’t just a matter of laziness. It also felt like the travel time, expensive clothes, complicated equipment, showering and coordination would take away from my other priorities.

I got my exercise by cleaning the house, chasing after my children, walking our dogs and, occasionally, running after buses. Formal exercise just wasn’t that important.

Now, in my 60s, I realize that I am paying for my allergy to exercise. To say that I’m not fit is a bit of an understatement. There are times when squatting down to play with my granddaughter feels like an Olympic sport and walking up a hill feels like a marathon.

Like many women my age, I know that things have to change – and quickly! The longer I wait, the worse my situation will become, until my body eventually gives up. The time for excuses is over.

Is Fitness After 60 a Choice?

When we reach our 60s, it’s easy to convince ourselves that “the damage has been done” or that physical deterioration is a natural part of aging. Fortunately, there are plenty of examples out there of women who are proving exactly the opposite. Life after 60 can be a time of renewal and strength.

Age is irrelevant. You can be in great shape at 77 or in horrible shape at 17. What makes the difference is how you live, not how many years you have lived.

What Can a 77-Year-Old Weightlifter Teach Us About Fitness Over 60?

I want to introduce you to a wonderful woman called Willie Murphy, who changed my mind about fitness after 60. At age 77, Willie weighs only 105 pounds, but, she can lift 215. Please take a few minutes to watch her video now and then I’ll tell you what I find so inspirational about her story.

Willie’s physical accomplishments are impressive, but, it is her attitude that is truly inspirational. She started weight lifting because she wanted to give herself an “edge in life.” I absolutely love her mantra:

Never say “I can’t” and always say “I’ll try.” – Willie Murphy

This woman is breaking stereotypes through her actions more than her words. She is showing the world what is possible after 60. In her own words “They see I’m old and I’m not being pushed around in a wheelchair. Well, I can shovel my own snow… and I can push my own car if it gets stuck in the snow. I’m almost 80 and I’m still living life.” Yes she certainly is! And we should all take a page from her book!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please join the conversation by answering the following questions.

Do you find Willie’s story inspirational? Do you want to get in shape after 60? Have you already taken steps to do so? If so, what are you doing? If not, what are the biggest barriers that you are facing? Please join the conversation.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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