Ernestine “Ernie” Shepherd proves age truly is just a number. At age 79 she is a personal trainer, a professional model, a competitive bodybuilder and happier and more fulfilled than she’s ever been in her life. In March of 2010, on stage in Rome, Italy she was given the title of World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder by Guinness World Records. Have you ever broken a world record? Me either! Go Ernie!
You may be surprised to hear that she wasn’t always this dedicated to her health. At age 56 she was a sedentary, well-padded school secretary and “slug” who had never worked out a day in her life. It wasn’t until Ernie and her sister, Velvet went bathing suit shopping that her view changed. They both laughed at their figures and realized they needed to get in shape. Ernestine and her sister joined a gym and started working out together. Very sadly though, Velvet died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. Devastated, Ernestine stopped going to the gym. After some months of mourning the loss of her sister, a friend opened her eyes to the fact that Velvet would want her to continue what they started. Ernie returned to the gym with a reignited determination to get fit. Starting slowly and building her body step by little step, Ernestine over time completely transformed not only her body, but her life, too. She has never been happier. She trains mostly senior women and still trains as a competitive athlete and motivational speaker. Age, size, nor expectations could keep this go getter from reaching her dreams!