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78-year-old woman sets 4 records in powerlifting competition

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 3:33 AM EDT
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KOAT) - A 78-year-old grandmother from New Mexico set four national records in her first powerlifting competition. She hopes her story can inspire others to accomplish anything they’ve ever wanted to do.

Linda Patterson, 78, is the only person in the history of the Natural Athlete Strength Association to compete in her category at her age. She participated in the squat, bench press and deadlift Saturday, attending the meet alongside her trainer, Derrick Williams.

“I didn’t go to do anything. He thought so, but I just thought I’m just going to do it because it’s there to do,” Patterson said.

Linda Patterson, pictured with her trainer, Derrick Williams, participated in the squat, bench...
Linda Patterson, pictured with her trainer, Derrick Williams, participated in the squat, bench press and deadlift in her first powerlifting competition. The 78-year-old set four national records.(Source: Derrick Williams, KOAT via CNN)

But Patterson did more than just compete. She went seven for nine on her lifts and set four NASA records. Her best lifts included her squat at 71.63 pounds, her bench press at 66.12 pounds and her deadlift at 132.24 pounds.

“Seventy-eight is just a number. People get fixated in their brain about the age 78 [that] you’re supposed to be something, but it’s not a definition,” Patterson said.

Just a few years ago, Patterson wasn’t able to lift anything. She had knee surgeries and a lack of mobility following a car crash that left her unable to even get off the floor on her own. She wanted to become stronger because she lived alone and wasn’t able to keep up with her two granddaughters.

Patterson hopes her story inspires everyone to go after what they want to do.

“I don’t compete with other people because that’s kind of ridiculous for me. I just want to be at my best, and if I’m my best, that’s perfect,” she said.

She says she can hardly wait for her next competition.

Copyright 2021 KOAT via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.