120 ain’t nothing but a number.
Most days, Maxine Fredericks, mother of 5, hits the gym at 5 a.m. When her feet hit the floor in the morning, she drops to meet it.
“I feel great when I wake up, actually I feel great all the time,” The Chamblee resident told Fox 5 Atlanta.
“I get my first 150 push-ups in, I do 100 sit-ups, 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!”
Although Fredricks is a former PE teacher, she says her obsession with fitness only took off when she was diagnosed with earyl stage osteoporosis at age 59. Osteoporosis is basically bone degeneration, and like most diseases, can be mitigated or even reversed with proper exercise.
“I didn’t want to accept that, and I decided I wasn’t going to accept it, she remembers.”
Fredricks began with calisthenics and weights, pushing herself to get as strong as she could be.
“Everything is about getting ready, and showing up,” she 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 evidently paid off. Fredericks was competing in bodybuilding competitions by soon after age 60. 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. Sometimes people say, ‘Aw, you’re in the gym, and you’ve got on lipstick, and you’ve got on earrings!’That’s getting up and going to work for me, every time my feet hit the floor.'”
Fredericks will turn 71 in December, and she’s taking the number in stride.
“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.”