Florida woman, 97, still finds working with weights an uplifting experience

A 97-year-old Florida woman excels in the bench press and powerlifting.
Caption
A 97-year-old Florida woman excels in the bench press and powerlifting.

Credit: Ilia Yefimovich

Credit: Ilia Yefimovich

A Florida woman in her 90s went from line dancing to deadlifting, and she hasn’t missed a beat.

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Edith Traina of Tampa is a powerlifter, and the 97-year-old is no slouch when it comes to hitting the weights. She won a pair of gold medals in February at the Polk County Senior Games in Lakeland, taking firsts in the 95-99 division with a 60-pound bench press and a 130-pound deadlift. The fact that she was the only competitor in her division did not diminish her achievement.

"Being up there and being able to lift a couple of pounds and have people applaud, (well) that's great," Traina told WTVT.

Traina competed as a member of the Bill Beekley Academy of Powerlifting. The senior division members go to six competitions each year, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Traina said she enjoys competing because “You’re also proving to yourself that you’re able to do something you probably never thought you could do,” the Times reported.

Traina, a former line dancing instructor, went to the gym with a friend when she was 91.

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"I have a friend, Carmen, who is the lady who dragged me kicking and screaming all the way to the gym," Traina told BayNews 9.

Once she began working with weights, Traina realized it was an uplifting experience.

"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," Traina told BayNews 9.

Saturday in Tampa, the Edith Traina Inspirational Open debuted. Traina was there but only did the bench press, as a wrist injury prevented her from competing in the deadlift, WTVT reported.

"My record is 150 pounds, but because I broke my wrist I had to go back and start all over again so I'm back to 130 pounds,” Traina told WTVT.

Beekley said seniors like Traina are an inspiration.

"They don’t take the time that they have on the Earth for granted," Beekley told the Times. "They are out enjoying their lives."

Traina said she has no plans to stop lifting and expects to lift when she turns 100, the Times reported.

Until then, she is looking for some competition.

"I can't find any other 90-year-olds to compete with so if you know anybody that has a grandmother or friend who would like to compete with me (get in touch),” Traina told BayNews 9.

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