60-year-old bodybuilder hopes to inspire others
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Linda Childers-Perry has been working out her entire life, but never imagined she’d grow up to become a professional bodybuilder.
When she was entered into Women’s Protective Services in 1996, she was taken to a gym, where she was inspired to take on a life encouraging others to move and stay in shape.
Childers-Perry said, “It’s like a stress buster. I found myself, got myself back and just been into it ever since. I just got into the sport of staying fit and keeping me, rebuilding me back. A lot of it is also prevention. You don’t have to grow old and look old. You can grow old and be in control of growing old. Age ain’t nothing but a number.”
It wasn’t until 1998, after a conversation with a friend who owned a protein shop and hours and hours of research and reading books about the sport did Childers-Perry enter her first competition in Plano, Texas. She won first place, and never turned back.
“You don’t expect to win them all. You go in to learn what you need to work on, to go back to the next show,” she said. “A lot of time people do it just to do a show, but mine is a passion. Mine is in here. If it’s in here, you’re going to continue to work on it.”
Now, at the age of 60, Childers-Perry is a grandmother of six, and a great-grandmother to three others. She’s been in about 30 competitions for both body building and physique, and is her grandchildren’s biggest hero.
“I’m doing this for a reason. Not so much to step on stage, but you’re an inspiration to somebody else that think they can’t do it,” she said.
Childers-Perry trains at least twice a day in one of two gyms or even at home. She’s also perfected a way to dance while lifting weight and working out the joints she wants to strengthen. Childers-Perry also practices clean eating to keep her body fat down. It includes eating a lot of eggs, fish, and greens while drinking at least a gallon of water a day.
Not even the coronavirus was able to slow her down. She contracted COVID-19 back in September of 2020, but instead of resting, she used her quarantine time to exercise at home. Linda used everyday items like a pound of rice, beans, canned goods, and even cups to work out inside her own home while recovering from the virus.
Last month she placed third in the Masters National show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - for competitors 60 and up. Although she didn’t come in first place, she automatically qualified for the national show next July. But her motivation and goals in the sport go far beyond the stage.
“It’s just an empowerment to know that I’m an inspiration to somebody else,” Childers-Perry said. “So, that’s what I want to be. I want to be an inspiration to somebody else and let them know that you can do it, too. You can find yourself, you can build yourself, you can get yourself back. You can take back what the devil stole. You can get it back.”
Linda said she may enter in another competition prior to the nationals next year to get in some practice for the big show.
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