70-year-old Georgia bodybuilder wants to 'live to be 120'
ATLANTA - When Maxine Fredericks hits the gym, some days as early as 5 a.m., the Chamblee mother of five and grandmother is ready to go.
"I feel great when I wake up, actually I feel great all the time," Fredericks says.
Because the second her feet hit the floor each morning, she's moving.
"I get my first 150 push-ups in, I do 100 sit-ups," Fredericks says. "I do a lot of stretching exercises while I'm down there. Before I actually go to the bathroom. I tell myself you cannot go to the bathroom until you hit the floor!"
Fredericks, a former PE teacher, says she didn't really step up her game until she was 59 when the doctor diagnosed her with the early stages of osteoporosis, or bone loss.
"I didn't want to accept that, and I decided I wasn't going to accept it," she remembers."
So, Fredericks started lifting weights, pushing herself to get as strong as she could.
"Everything is about getting ready, and showing up," Fredericks explains. "And showing up the best way I possibly can show up. That's life for me, showing up, and showing up right."
The work has paid off. By her early 60's, Fredericks was competing in bodybuilding competitions. By 65, she'd turned pro.
"And of course when you're entering into a contest, nobody cares how old you are," she says. "It's about, 'What can you do?'"
In her mind, there is no sense in dreading the aging process.
"Because it's going to happen; there is nothing you can do about it," she says. "But there is something you can do about yourself, and how you carry yourself. It's very important to me that I look good every day."
Not just good, strong.
"Sometimes people say, 'Aw, you're in the gym, and you've got on lipstick, and you've got on earrings!'" Fredericks says. "That's getting up and going to work for me, every time my feet hit the floor.'"
The guys at the gym have given her a nickname: "The Maxinator."
Because she's preparing to turn 71 in December, Maxine Fredericks is living proof age really is just a number.
"From a kid, I always said I was going to live to be 120," she smiles. "I don't know where that came from, but I'm on the road."