T Nation

Taminator is here...


#1

Hi, just wanted to introduce myself. I'm female, 53 years old, and an extremely hardcore veteran athlete--been lifting heavy for 34 years, had a successful powerlifting/bodybuilding/Olympic lifting career back in the day.

Best lifetime lifts, circa 1984-1990 were:

--Tied a world record on the bench at 240 lbs in the women's 148-lb class
--Squatted 375 at a bodyweight of 132
--Deadlifted 392 at a bodyweight of 132 and damned near got 402 twice but couldn't lock it out
--Rack deadlifted 600 lbs at a bodyweight of 150 (moving it about 1 inch)
--Benched 214 lbs at a bodyweight of 129, after being completely clean for 3 years.
--Routinely won Best Lifter with 1,000+ lb totals in the 132 and 148 lb classes.
--Competed in the 1990 U.S. Olympic festival for the USA South team

Prior to powerlifting etc, my sport was marathon running and college track, where I ran the 5,000/10,000 meters at a bodyweight of about 108 lbs. After my lifting career, I returned to running and completed the Pike's Peak Marathon twice and the Ascent several times.

Most recent sport was whitewater kayaking--was in the Olympic Trials in 2004, and captained our Texas Women's Kayak Polo team to win the National Championship in 2007, at age 49 and 8 months after having a total knee replacement.

My degrees are in Kinesiology/Biomechanics (B.S. and M.Ed.) and 8 years ago I got certified as a Master Personal Fitness Trainer and Level 1 USA Triathlon Coach and ran my own Personal Training biz before I got fed up with it and became a published freelance writer. Ran my own writing/advertising/marketing biz for 8 years until divorce, and have now gotten back into my original career as a mechanical engineer (I got into engineering on the graduate level, and passed the oral doctoral exams at The University of Texas at Austin so I'm technically an all-but-dissertation Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and I worked for 8 years designing robotics in the semiconductor equipment industry in Austin prior to starting the fitness biz.) Yeah, I'm an interesting lady!

Since I now have one artificial knee, I am medically forbidden to run or jump, so I get my cardio thru weight-vest walking, swimming, stairmaster, inclined treadmill, and elliptical machine.

Have also competed in mountain biking, adventure racing, triathlon, etc.

Cycling/mtn. biking hurts my artificial knee, so I now have a 2010 Harley Sportster Iron 883 which I enjoy tooling around on (and it saves gas!)

Anyhow, I'm also a volunteer Firefighter in between departments (due to divorce and moving) and so I'm working hard to shed some fat I put on post-divorce...I'm at an all-time bodyweight high of 187 after getting clinically depressed during divorce 2 years ago and going down to 119 due to zero appetite, and then making myself eat (too much!)

So I'm busting it out with some Rapid Weight Loss for Firefighter workouts I found on youtube, along with intervals on the stairmaster with the weight vest, plus cardio walking with the weight vest in the evenings and Sunday mornings swimming in Barton Springs (I live in Austin.)

Anyhow, just wanted to introduce my hardcore, badass self! Will post pix soon. Back in the day, when I was competing, I was usually mistaken for being a man and was asked more than once to get out of the ladies' room...which always pissed me off, as I am straight.

CURRENT GOALS:

  1. Be able to pass the CPAT with ease--despite being a short, 53-year-old female with an artificial knee.

  2. Increase my physical capability so I can handle ANYTHING.

  3. Just simply enjoy that great feeling of true badass-ed-ness! :slightly_smiling:


#2

WOW!! You are a badass!! Welcome.

Can't wait to follow along!


#3

Welcome. It sounds like you are in a period of transition, but apparently you are no stranger to this situation. Many of us here are working around various injuries, so I'll be curious to see how you deal with that. Are you now or planning to get back in the weight room?


#4

Welcome!

Badass indeed! Your personal bests are impressive and what an awesome athletic background. I'll be following along.


#5

WORD! Sounds like you have been thru the highs and lows of life but kept up your passion.
I am excited to read your stuff! I'm sure i can glom some knowlege and wisdom--badass :slight_smile:


#6

Welcome! You sound pretty awesome - not just the lifting but the robotics stuff is really cool too. I worked in the games industry for years so nice to have a fellow geek aboard.

I'm most interested in how you manage to overcome your limitations and keep forging ahead. I find that, now I'm in my 40s, I am always battling at least one injury (despite pre-hab and so on). It's pretty disheartening and I've not made much physical progress in the last couple of years. Definitely want to hear your take on this.


#7

You're my new hero. I hope I grow up half as badass as you :slight_smile:

Very excited to follow your training program!


#8

Hello..glad you found this place!

Seems like we can learn a lot from ya..


#9

YOur background is very impressive and intersting! I'm looking forward to following along.


#10

Welcome! You have accomplished a lot so far, I'll be following along. Powerlifting is an addiction of mine, though I'm sidelined for a few more months.


#11

oh dear god.

I dont care if it comes off as creepy, I'd take a vaca to austin just to hang out with you.

holy shit.

PW has needed you. I hope you stay.


#12

Thank y'all for the warm welcome, I appreciate it!

Yes, I've been in the weight room continuously...I had my own gym set up in my garage or barn for about 20 years, but then after getting divorced it got lonely, so I gave away some of my equipment and joined a gym about a year ago. I use weights and bodyweight for the firefighter workouts, and starting Friday I'm going back to good ole squats, benches and deadlifts...it's been too long (about 2 years) since I've done 'em.

I do have to make some modifications due to my artificial left knee (which I got at the age of 48). Also, 2 years ago I had a bad accident while training for whitewater kayaking and tore 2 rotator cuffs in my left shoulder--one a complete tear (muscle torn off the bone, that particular one for the 2nd time) and one halfway torn from the bone. So I had to have a 2 hour shoulder reconstruction, and unfortunately it was on my dominant arm (I'm lefty, and the artificial knee is also my left one.)

I did finally regain full range of motion in my left shoulder, but it's still not as strong as my right shoulder (and it used to be stronger.)

Modifications/limitations I have to live with:

  1. No running or impact--that means jumping jacks have to be modified, so I just stick one leg out to the side at a time and alternate them that way.

  2. I cant' bend my left leg into full flexion, so when I do burpees or something where I have to get up off the floor, I can't just squat my way up, I have to have a wider stance or make a funky move.

  3. No below-parallel squats. I used to make fun of people who squat high, now I have to do it. :frowning:

For firefighting, crawling around on hands and knees is painful and I have to kind of drag my left leg and I am VERY slow...so when I get my permanent assignment I will probably be a Driver/Engineer and NOT going in for interior attack. (If I were a Fire Officer, I wouldn't send me into a burning building because I'm just simply too slow, honestly. But there are other roles.)

I haven't tried benching since 6 mos after tearing the 2 cuffs, so we'll find out next week if I can do it without my left side lagging behind.

I have no idea what my BF% is and don't want to know. I'm 5'2" and my lean body mass used to be 120+ pounds. Right now, my total body weight is 185 to 190 pounds, which is a lifetime high. Goal is to get down to about 145-150 pounds, with a BF% of about 15%.


#13

I don't make a habit of posting in PW, I normally just lurk (because I don't want to be one of those creepy guys who just posts in the ladies' logs) but after reading your CV I just had to comment and say "WOW".

With your history of strength "and" endurance training at such a high level, not to mention all the qualifications you have I think you would be a really useful person to follow.

Good luck with your new goals, pretty sure with all you've achieved in the past they will be a mere formality.


#14

Just popping in to say HI. You've sure accomplished alot in 30+ years of lifting. A job in robotics/mechanical engineering is definitely BADASS.


#15

Quite the introduction.

We have a lot in common.

I compete in powerlifting, work for a fire department, and tore my rotator cuff muscle off the bone as well. Surgery a little over a year ago.

I sincerely admire your drive to persevere given your physical challenges. But [as I tell myself], what's the alternative, really?

What PLing federation did you compete with? ADFPA?


#16

Hidy Kpsnap,
Yeah, cuff tears are a real pain, aren't they? I felt 'em tore right as I capsized and knew instantly what I'd done--underestimated the river depth and braced with my paddle, which suddently impacted the rocky river bottom.

I started out competing in the USPF back when that was all there was, but then the ADFPA got going and I joined it when it was still a fledgling, rag-tag group. Imagine my surprise a few years ago when I looked up the ADFPA again (after retiring from PL in about 1989), and discovering that they are now THE ruling body for PL in the USA! Never thought I'd see the day...Brother Bennett would be so proud.

Thanks for the kind words. And yeah, the alternative to working hard is...ugly. After being divorced (against my will) 2 years ago, for the first time in my life I fell into clinical depression. Man, I had NO IDEA how dark that is...never again!!!


#17

Crap on a cracker that's huge (in a good way).


#18

Took some measurements the other morning, stone cold and fresh out of bed.

Biceps: 16 3/4"
Shoulders: 48"
Chest: 43"
Waist: 36 1/2"
Hips: 44"

My very wide shoulders are actually causing a problem riding my Harley Sportster, since my upper arms block the inner 1/3 of my side mirrors. I have to remember to tuck my elbows in so I can see behind me decently. That, or find a way to move my mirrors out wider.

FINALLY got back to some real powerlifting lifts just this past week, for the first time in 2 years. This will sound pathetic, but here's what I did (warm up was 20 minutes cardio on 7.5% treadmill or elliptical, and after lifting I do 20 minutes of balls-to-the-wall firefighter circuit training, 5 circuits with 30 secs rest in between):

Squat: 45 x 12, 55 x 10, 55 x 10

Bench: 12.5 DB's x 16, 45 x 12, 65 x 10, 75 x 10, 85 x 8.

Well, it's a start. I was taking it VERY easy, since as we all know, break-in soreness is a complete and utter bear.

Please feel free to ask me questions--some of my knowledge might be dated (heck, MOST of it is dated), but I've been lifting for 34 years and I love to help people. In my prime, I worked out in Pasadena, Texas, with guys who routinely benched 500-700 back in 1980 and squatted around 1,000. One of them was Anthony Clark, who I saw bench a negative on 750, with the bar bending. He passed away from complications of gear overuse (his ego simply wouldn't let him EVER cycle off.) So now I'm an incredibly tough room and very hard to impress. I see guys benching 405 and I kinda just shrug.

Also lifted with Mark Henry.

One of my good friends was a Houston Firefighter (and an incredibly handsome man!), but he got busted for selling gear and lost his job. Which I didn't think he should have, because a guy who benches 500 is a DAMNED good firefighter. And he told some hellaciously good stories...

One time they were working a fire on an icy roof of a 3-story building during a rare ice storm in Houston. His buddy started sliding off the roof. My friend reached over with one hand, grabbed the guy's belt, and WHOOOMPED his ass back up onto the roof. Gear probably saved the other guy's LIFE!

Another time, though, things didn't go as well. They were up on top of an open-top oil refinery tank, and the whole tank was ON FIRE and they were trying to put it out, when one of the guys fell into the burning tank of petrochemicals. And my friends couldn't reach him in time, and had to watch...very sad.

I used to go visit them to flirt with the guys and shoot the bull at their extremely cool firehouse, which was one inside the NASA compound at Mission Control in Clear Lake, outside of Houston. I used to ask what stuff was for, and I still remember one of them pointing to a large tank outside and saying, "See that, Tam? That's rocket fuel. That's why we have to have all this exotic suppressive gear." They didn't get many calls, praise God, and no really bad ones while I was visiting.

Another friend was Lindy Champion, a top bodybuilder. She was married to a big, burly powerlifter named Larry Mystric and they had an adorable 2-year-old girl. Sadly, Lindy was killed in a skydiving accident, I think her chute failed to open.


#19

love the story telling.

Thats tragic about the bb'er. Freak accidents like that are scary. Could happen to anyone anytime.

Great start to your training. And hey! I don't even have a replacement knee and I was squatting baby weight today. I think I have arthritis coupled with patella femoral stuff. Any leg stuff has been killer on them lately :frowning: :frowning:

And 85 on the bench is GOOD! Don't count yourself out..your only just beginning! (again) :slightly_smiling:


#20

the only thing me brained retained was big sexy firemen.
sorry :wink:
and welcome