Your Best Body at 74?

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For the second year running, Ernestine Shepherd, 74, has been named the oldest competitive female bodybuilder on the planet by The Guinness Book of World Records. Every inch of the massively motivated Mrs. Shepherd is sculpture, she wears glamorous makeup, a long gray braid, sneakers with sexy heels, and she trains religiously at a storefront gym in Baltimore with Yohnnie Shambourger, a former Mr. Universe. But wait, there’s more virtue! Mrs. Shepherd dines on lean chicken, green veggies, brown rice; she guzzles liquid egg whites; she promises she never craves junkie stuff, not even the c-word (chocolate). We think that’s very cool, attaining mega fitness and preserving the firm well past middle-age–Shepherd also teaches exercise classes. Still, after reading about her latest Guinness honor last week in The Washington Post, we’ve been wondering, how long could most people log miles on foot and lift poundage daily while shunning all foul-for-you food, in the name of perfect abs and added energy? What do you think? Before you answer, we feel it’s crucial to note: Shepherd got fit only in the last two decades, before which time she was a self-described couch potato. Since converting to regular weighty workouts in her fifties, she has completed two marathons and aced a couple of bodybuilding competitions, not to mention snagging these stunning Guinness prizes. Maybe the question we should really be asking is this: If you could achieve one awesome victory before you die, what would that be, and if you knew you’d succeed, would you start right now?



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