At 100 years old, Edith Murway-Traina is already part of the 2022 edition of Guinness World Records which has just been released. But Tampa, Fla., Great-great-grandmother and competitive weightlifter, isn’t resting on her accomplishments.
Guinness honored Murway-Traina as the oldest competitive female powerlifter on August 5, just three days before her 100th birthday. It has been a while since she competed as the coronavirus pandemic put an end to competing, but Murway-Traina is currently training for one in November.
Depending on the exercise, Murway-Traina now lifts weights of 40 to 150 pounds or more.
“We all do our thing… and show the world what we can do,” she told USA TODAY.
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A former dance teacher, Murway-Traina didn’t even start lifting until she was 91. Her friend Carmen Gutwirth, now 77, wanted to enroll in an exercise program to fight osteoporosis, “but didn’t want to herself,” Murway-Traina said.
Gutwirth “dragged her kicking and screaming” to the gym, Murway-Traina said. (Gutwirth details a different story in a video on the Guinness World Records YouTube channel: “She likes to say she was dragged into the gym screaming and kicking,” Gutwirth recalls. wasn’t. You’re not dragging her anywhere. “)
Once they got to the CrossFit Jaguar gym in Tampa, a trainer started showing them how to lift and “before I knew it I was pushing this pile of iron that I had no use for and no idea what to do with.” said Murway-Traina.
At first, she made her friend happy. Nine years later, they both remain participants in the weightlifting program. “You don’t even think about it when you start out and all of a sudden you’re in the middle of something new, different and really exciting,” she said.
Murway-Traina recently renewed her driver’s license, but usually takes an Uber to the gym. She and Gutwirth traditionally go to lunch afterwards and Gutwirth brings her home. Gutwirth “is very, very good,” said Murway-Traina. “She’ll be in (Guinness) records sooner or later.”
Her son Gary Murway, who lives in Doylestown, Pa., Is impressed with his mother’s competitive spirit. “She’s always done amazing things, but doing things like this so late in life is pretty amazing,” he said. “She has always been inspiring and motivating, whether it’s lifting things, dancing or just taking care of her family.”
Murway-Traina survived two husbands. She has two great-great-grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 10 grandchildren and lives in a mobile home “on her own and I take care of myself with a little help from time to time. She said. When someone like her daughter Honey Murway-Cottrell, who also lives in Tampa, comes to offer help, “I make them feel good by letting them do it.”
Cottrell said the family knew Murway-Traina was probably one of the oldest weightlifters in competition, but were “shocked” and “very proud” of her recognition. “Our whole family is honored that our mother holds a record,” she told Guinness World Records.
Other weightlifters are also inspired by Murway-Traina, says Bill Beekley, the Tampa powerlifting coach who oversaw Murway-Traina’s progress. “She’s an amazing woman and one of the most mentally tough people I have ever met,” he said. “Everywhere she goes she is revered.
Lifting weights also made her healthier, said Murway-Traina, a former dance teacher. “You can’t help but find out over time that you’re healthier. You don’t even know it. You don’t even think about it,” she said. “But you get healthier because you are part of the program.”
And lifting is fun, she says. “One of the things I found in life in general, if you can’t have fun, there’s no point in opening your eyes in the morning,” Murway-Traina said. “So when I open my eyes I expect it to be a fun day.”
Beyond that, she has some simple tips. “A lot of people say, ‘Do you have a special diet? Is there anything you eat or drink or whatever you do that helps you?’ No, there isn’t, ”Murway-Traina said. “However, I remind them that I make sure I have Geritol in the morning and I have martinis in the evening. It keeps me going.”
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.