SAN RAFAEL (KPIX) — Dixie James of San Rafael spends more than 25 hours a week in the gym. She has run in 26 marathons, climbed Mounts Shasta and Kilimanjaro and likes to swim in the chill water of San Francisco Bay. She’s about to enter a bodybuilding competition.
She’ll be 73 this month.
If you need inspiration to get off the couch and get moving, look to Dixie James.
“I thought, ‘that takes a lot of guts, Dixie. Y’know your skin is starting to get spotted and it’s saggy and you’re not as buff as these twenty-, thirty- and forty-year-olds.’ And I said to myself, ‘I’m doing this for me,'” James told KPIX during a break in one of her strenuous workouts.
James got into bodybuilding in her sixties, after having gradually increased her physical stamina while helping her daughter Holly, who has Down syndrome, achieve a healthy, active lifestyle.
James’ daughter Holly married weight-lifter Jon Shapiro, who also has Down syndrome.
“I feel better about who I am. I feel maybe I can make a difference for my son and daughter to keep being fit,” James said.
Dixie James’ golden wedding anniversary and 73rd birthday are coming up and the backless dress she plans to wear provides motivation to push herself a little harder in the gym.
Later in March, James will strut onto a stage — in heels — and flex for judges in a fitness competition.
“We don’t have to be old-thinking. Old posture and really old-looking. If you feel inside you’ve got it, why not go for it?” James said.