Retiree's second career as body builder

April 2, 2008 9:38:35 AM PDT
Dolly Francis has found life after retirement at the gym. What began as daily workouts have turned into a competitive quest-- She is now a bodybuilding champion.Sometimes working out is hard to do. But not for Francis. She and the exercise machines at Bally's in Calumet City get together four hours or more every day. It's a lifestyle she began in 2003 after retirement.

" I keep working out because I feel good. I can leave here go cut the grass go work in my garden, go do anything. Like I say, again, it's like a pill," said Francis.

The mother of two adult daughters and three grandsons, Francis is a 62-year-old body builder who shrunk seven dress sizes and lost 35 pounds.

"I bench press probably a 110. Leg press 315 to 330. Pull up from my back it's a 100 to 110," said Francis.

Last October all her hard work paid off when she was named champion of the South Suburban College's bodybuilding competition for women over 50.

"The people there at the South Suburban Competition they said, 'You're not the age you say you are,'" said Francis. "And I said 'Yes, I am.' Well, I'm gonna be like you when I grow up.'"

Francis' husband, Michael, is a weight lifter.

"I encourage her I give her the exercise to do. And she does it. And she's still doing it," said Michael.

"Deep down inside, my body feels like a new body. I got the age, but my body feels like a new body. I just really feel good. I can lay my head on my pillow each night and say I feel good. And top it off, I feel I look good."


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