Do you know the coolest thing about being human? We have no idea what we are capable of until we just close our eyes, jump in and do it. Then we see we’re capable of almost anything. That’s what makes us amazing.
Ernestine Shepherd is amazing. The Baltimore native, born in 1936, is the world’s oldest competitive bodybuilder. And at 85, she is still going strong: She has run marathons and worked as a personal trainer, teaching women’s fitness classes to students who are sometimes decades younger.
In this video originally posted to YouTube by NBC’s The Today Show, Shepherd is just 80, and explains her evolution from couch potato to being the fitness role model she is today.
It was older sister Velvet who first got Miss Ernestine into the gym when the sisters got fed up with how dowdy and flabby they were looking in their swimsuits (yeah, we get it). Velvet was 57, Shepherd was 56. Shortly after they began, Velvet passed away from a brain aneurysm. Shepherd vowed she would stick with the fitness routine, though, and in 2010 she was officially inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest competitive weightlifter.
Check her out here — and prepare to be amazed.