MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Inside a local shopping center off of Poplar Avenue, is a woman working out in pink.
“You don’t look like a hag just cause you’re working out,” said Linda Sessoms.
You might not believe it, but Sessoms is 61-years-old. She’s a senior with three grown children, who’s always pushing the limits.
She started competing in body building figure competitions two years ago. This former teacher, turned stay-at-home mom was the oldest woman in the race.
“I felt great. The fact that I was able to follow through and do it. I felt great wonderful,” she said. “I enjoy it. It’s challenging. I like the challenge, and I like seeing my body transform.”
Sessoms said she enjoys sharing that feeling with other women. She started a fitness group called Sisters in Motion, an organization here in the Mid-South made up of about 100 women of color.
“We mostly run and walk, but we do other things. We have ladies that do pilates and yoga. Myself — I’m into strength training and bodybuilding.”
The ladies range from their 20’s to their early 70’s.
“We have some ladies come to us in their late 60’s and they’re power walkers. They walk faster than some of our joggers. So, yeah. We kind of push each other,” Sessoms said with a laugh.
“With a young lady like Linda, it’s just showing that, you know, there’s no time like the present,” said Kenyarda Patterson.
Sessoms’ trainer said now is when too many people start scaling back on their New Year’s resolutions.
“Sort of what I say — from off the couch to trying to run a marathon, you do it typically too fast.”
So, slow it down.
Patterson said in order to stay on top of it you should write down your goals, what you’re eating and what exercises you’re doing. Even more important — clean your kitchen of any and all junk food!
“Get rid of them, pull them out, throw them — and that way you’re not tempted.”
Lastly, you’ve got to make time to work out despite a busy lifestyle.
“Once you get into a habit of doing something then you’re more adept to do it,” said Patterson.
But no matter where you are on your fitness journey, Sessoms said if she can do it at her age, anyone can.