When you hear the term ‘powerlifting,’ the image of a 97-year-old grandmother is likely to be the furthest thing from your mind.
Yet not only is Edith Traina of Tampa, Florida, lifting weights well into her 90s, the retiree even has a powerlifting competition named after.
The 2018 Edith Traina Inspirational Open was staged on Saturday at Tampa’s Stronglife Training Facility, and included weightlifters as young as 13 competing among a number of elderly lifters, including Edith herself.
Strong lady: Edith Traina of Tampa, Florida, has gained fame as a competing powerlifter at the age of 97
Proud of her work: The former line dance instructor was first introduced to weight lifting six years ago when her friend convinced her to join the gym
Hitting the mark: The hobby soon turned into a passion for Edith, and she found herself setting higher and higher goals
The inspiring grandma has been a member of the Bill Beekley Academy of Powerlifting for six years after first falling into it by accident when a friend convinced her to join a gym.
‘I have a friend, Carmen, who is the lady who dragged me kicking and screaming all the way to the gym,’ Edith told BayNews 9.
It began simply as a hobby for Edith, but soon turned into a passion. Now, she describes it as ‘an ego builder.’
‘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!”‘ she said, adding that despite all appearances, she has ‘always been very shy.’
Changing: Edith has called the sport an ‘ego builder’ and insists that she has actually ‘always been very shy’
Hitting the limits: Edith’s strength and passion for the sport has led to a competition being named after her
Looking ahead: Edith hopes to be able to life 200lbs by the time she turns 100
A former line dance instructor, Edith goes to the gym three times per week and attends six competitions per year as a part of the senior age division – and has found plenty of success.
Back in February she took home two gold medals at the Polk County Senior Games for the 95-99 division with a 60-pound bench press and a 130-pound deadlift.
She is frequently the only person in her division, but she doesn’t let her lack of competition take away from her determination.
‘If I find I’m sitting in a chair for a whole day, and not doing anything constructive, the next day I light a fire under my tush and get out of the house,’ she said.
She is also after competitors and hopes that the media attention around her weightlifting will inspire some other 90-year-olds to take up the sport.
As for her own personal goals, she is hoping to be able to deadlift 200lbs by the time she turns 100.