Remember when grandmothers were little old ladies who did needlepoint and baked pies? Well, these days those “little old ladies” aren’t in the kitchen anymore. They’ve left to head to the gym. And once there, they’re not just stretching rubber bands, they’re pumping iron.
Iris Davis is a grandmother. She’s 71 and she is fierce! She once tackled an armed robber on the street trying to flee police.
Far from Lawrence Welk, this grandma’s favorite band is AC/DC. At 5’1″ and less than 100 pounds she’s in the best shape of her life and she wants you to be too.
This eleven-time bodybuilding champion is determined to prove it by working as a fitness trainer. She believes she is uniquely qualified because, as it does for just about anyone who’s been alive long enough, life has presented Iris with her share of challenges. At the age of 45 she contracted encephalitis and was bed-ridden for two years. “Doctors told me I would probably end up in a wheelchair,” she said. “Because many with the disease end up totally disabled.”
Out of desperation she began working out, starting with the lightest weights possible. One year later at the age of 50 she entered her first bodybuilding competition and has been at it ever since.
She believes working out has also helped her battle depression, and helped her recover from a ruptured appendix.
She says people often do a double take when they see her work out, but the biggest benefit to being in shape is not how she looks from the outside, but how she feels from the inside. She believes staying fit has helped her avoid or recover from illness more quickly. She feels strong and confident enough to participate in her grandchildren’s lives in a way that would have been unheard of a generation ago. She believes her flexibility allows her to avoid many of the aches and pains associated with age, and her energy level has her excited to greet each new day.
Bodybuilding certainly isn’t for everybody but doing something to get in shape is. There’s nothing wrong with making pies and doing needlepoint, but throwing in a little extra physical activity can be a life-changer. Even at 71, Davis is looking ahead to new challenges, “I love what I do and plan on never stopping,” she says. “It’s just such a great way to live!”
What a great lesson to learn from a grandma!