75-year-old grandmother presses the bar along with the pitching: “If I can, then you can”
Everyone’s life is different, and the 75-year-old Iris Davis considers her life to be quite normal. The fact that she continues to receive bodybuilding awards at her age, and she celebrated her last birthday by pulling herself 21 times on the horizontal bar, she also considers normal. “If I can, then you can,” she says to everyone she helps in the gym.
Iris Davis now lives in Melbourne, Florida. In the 1960s, in this city a woman was still not allowed to go to the gym – this was inappropriate, and sometimes simply forbidden. Now, according to Iris, she herself is the best proof that times have changed – she is a woman, she is 75 years old, and she teaches other people, including male bodybuilders, how to properly perform certain exercises and workouts.
Iris herself was born in the capital of Ireland. She was one of 14 children in the family, so at 16 she moved to London in search of a better life, and she got married the next year. And then in a short period her whole life went awry: her first child died as a baby. Iris was terribly worried about this loss, but almost immediately became pregnant second. And so, almost immediately after giving birth, her husband died. Iris was in such a terrible state that depression literally fettered her hands. But she still had a child in her arms – her son, who had just turned two months old – and the girl had to look for ways to pull herself together. When the baby was six months old, Iris moved with him to the United States. It was there that she first came to sports.
“Then I was a very pretty girl, but very unhappy. “My husband died due to a terrible accident when I was only 22 years old, and I remained a single mother with a baby in her arms, without money and without work.” “Then I walked through the streets of the city and sobbed, sobbed all the time. And then it was the first time I went to the gym. It was an old sweat-smelling room with a bunch of men and where there was not a single woman. I’m somehow lucky that they let me in, because at that time, almost all the country’s rocking chairs didn’t allow women to be inside. ”
According to Iris, she then did not care whether her muscles were pumped up, whether she would meet the standards of bodybuilding – at that time, this did not exist for women at all. Therefore, she simply walked and trained, and this allowed her to escape from her painful experiences. Moreover, the training helped her to gather herself mentally and find the energy to live on, not to give up, and fight for a better future for her son. And as a bonus, a more toned body was already going on, which, of course, appeared quite soon after the start of regular training.
“I liked how my body looked and I made a promise that I would try to maintain my shape. Of course, I could not imagine then that I would still study in the hall 51 years later. But then I just liked the gym, I liked that I didn’t feel sad there, didn’t cry, and certainly you couldn’t do the exercises and be depressed at the same time. “For me, you know, it was a kind of my own church, my shelter from adversity, my safe place where I could come at any time when I needed it.”
At that time, Iris was probably the only woman in the whole city who would go to the rocking chair, but at the same time she did not connect her life with professional sports. At least until the age of 50, she didn’t bind – and then she decided to take part in bodybuilding competitions and took second place. “Just think, 30 years before that I couldn’t go to the gym, and now I was already on the stage, and around me there are 20-year-old young people, and I take second place!”
After that, Iris began to regularly participate in competitions. According to her confessions, she was always the oldest among the participants at such events, and in 90 percent of cases she took first places.
Once Iris even helped stop the criminal. A car crashed near her house, which the police were chasing, and the criminals ran scattered, so one of the men decided to run past the “harmless grandmother.” And his grandmother took and knocked him to the ground and held him until the police came to the rescue and took the offender under their responsibility.
“Now I am 75 and I work as a personal trainer for clients from 18 to 80 years old. I would say that the fact that I devoted my life to sports not only saved my life, but gave me a very good life. ”