Need a little inspiration to keep your resolution for regular gym visits? Meet seventy-seven-year-old ball of fire Joan Berman. U.S. Track & Field ranks her as the third-best discus thrower in the nation in her age class.
Berman didn’t start actively training for competitions until she was in her late fifties, initially by race walking (she compares that sport to a slow jog with exacting knee placement and says you really need a coach to learn it). When she was seventy, she became interested in the discus, shot put, javelin, and weight throwing after seeing the strength and grace of female athletes on the U-M campus. The late U-M track coach Kenny “Red” Simmons initially showed her how the sports were done. She now lifts weights with a trainer three times a week, works with another trainer on her throwing skills once a week, and walks three to five miles six days a week. “I’m extremely strong,” she says, “and I plan on getting stronger.”
In June, Berman plans to compete in weight throwing and discus in Lyon, France. And she’s looking forward to turning eighty–when she’ll be the youngest in her age class.