A Story of Inspiration: Weightlifting at 65—and I Ain’t Done Yet!

Photo of weightlifter Paula Cipolla

Regular exercise is a part of my life. I’m 65 years old. A petite frame at 5’3″, I barely tip the scale at 122 pounds. What’s not so ordinary about me is that I can currently deadlift 170 pounds. That means bending down into a squat position from a stationary, standing tall position, lifting 170 pounds of metal off the floor, and rising upright again, gripping the full weight of bar and plates into a resting stand.

Sometimes we don’t look for inspiration. It comes right to us. At unexpected times. From unexpected sources. It was a flight to England in 2014 that did it for me. The thirty-something seated beside me on the airplane was headed to an international weightlifting competition. Surprised and intrigued at her unassuming size and stature, I said, “Tell me more.” Combining crossfit (a series of gym exercises that include functional movements of high intensity in rapid succession) with weightlifting at her gym, she was ready for a greater challenge internationally.

A fortuitous encounter. A short conversation. A long flight. A nugget of an idea. Returning to Seattle, …

Contributor Paula Cipolla is a self-proclaimed gym rat and exercise enthusiast who looks forward to her next goal. Read more of her story in the March issue of AgeWise King County (click here) …