As I was exercising at the local gymnasium last week, I heard a woman recounting a story she had read that piqued my own interest. The tale involved an intruder not counting on an eighty-two-year-old woman who lived alone being an award-winning body builder with nerves of steel.
Here is how the narrative went: One evening when Willie Murphy was getting ready for bed at her home in Rochester, New York, a man pounded on the door, saying he needed an ambulance. She phoned the police but did not open the door. The man broke in and skulked through the dark house. “He picked the wrong house to break into,” Murphy later said. She clobbered him with a table, poured shampoo in his face, and was beating him with a broom when police arrived.
She said, “I was whaling on that man because I said to myself, 'If it’s my time to go to hell, I’m taking him with me!'”
The man got his ambulance ride after all. He was sent to a hospital and police tweeted a selfie with Murphy, calling her “tough as nails.”
Murphy works out almost daily at Rochester’s Maplewood YMCA, and said she can lift 225 pounds—more than twice her weight. She can do one-handed pullups and one-handed pushups. She won the World Natural Power Lifting Federation Lifter-of-the-Year award in 2014. Michelle Leboo, a program coordinator at the Maplewood YMCA, said, “She really helps dispel the myth of aging. She is a strong, beautiful woman who does things for the benefit of others.” Murphy said she hopes her story benefits people of all ages.
This account illustrates that unless the person is ill or incapacitated, it does not matter how old a person is. At the age of 83, I don’t lift weights or do pushups, however, I exercise daily—taking walks, swimming, and working out at a gymnasium—all of which contributes to my good health. Dear readers, it would be appreciated if you shared ways in which you keep yourself strong and in good health. What effect does Willie Murphy's story have on you?