A north state woman is able to do things that few people her age, heck, even people half her age can do. She's 61-years-old, but that hasn't stopped her from becoming one of the most fit senior women in the world.
Redding resident Lois Charlton could barely contain her joy, and her amazement as she climbed the podium to accept her bronze medal at the Reebok Crossfit Games in southern California.
Out of dozens of women who set out to compete in last week's women's Master'S division for athletes over the age of 60, Charlton finished in 3rd place.
"Very proud of myself that I was able to do that," said Charlton.
That feeling was far removed from how she felt two and a half years ago, when she arrived at Redding's Northstate Crossfit.
That day, Charlton carried some physical baggage into the gym with her, weighing her down after years of declining health. Doctors were concerned.
"I do have arthritis and they mentioned that I should be strengthening the muscles around my hip so I would have less pain and more mobility. I was also on lipitor for cholesterol, high cholesterol," said Charlton.
Trainers recommended the intense exercise patterns used in the increasingly popular crossfit program, and once she decided to give it a go, charlton noticed positive results within a matter of months.
"It's been great, I have more mobility and I'm stronger. I was off the cholesterol medication six months later and I haven't been on it for the last year and a half," said Charlton
Other younger female athletes at the same gym were supportive, but also envious as Charlton worked herself into great shape.
"They are astounded at how a 61-year-old might be lifting more weight they are," added Charlton.
The rewards go beyond her physical well-being. She says she's more comfortable and confident, and now as Charlton prepares for a return trip to the games next year she marvels at how far she's come.
"I'm retired and my focus on life is, my job now is staying fit, so I can have a quality life in my older years and crossfit has been the goal for me and the way to make it," concluded Charlton.