Let's All Aspire to Be Weight-Lifting Grandmas Like Willie Murphy
77-year-old power lifter Willie Murphy is proof that you’re never too old to master new skills. It just takes some practice. A few years ago she started lifting five pound weights, and this year she won first place in power curl, bench press and bench press repetitions at the WNPF World Championships, plus the World Natural Powerlifting Federation 2014 Lifter of the Year Award. In a video profile by Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle, Murphy says, “I never use the word ‘I can’t.’ I simply say ‘I will try.’”
105 pounds herself, Murphy does the deadlift at 215 pounds in competition and the power curl at 60 pounds. Democrat & Chronicle columnist Erica Bryant graciously puts Murphy’s strength into context, adding: “the 120-pound newspaper columnist can't deadlift 100 pounds and could barely roll the 215-pound barbell along the floor.” The power lifting makes it so Murphy can shovel her own snow (especially important in a place like Rochester), push her car when it gets stuck, and lift her grandchildren. “Best of all,” she says, she doesn’t need any help carrying her groceries. In fact, she’ll be balancing them on her back, doing one-handed pushups all the way across the parking lot.
Watch the video here.