There’s one thing that drives Edith Murway-Traina of Tampa, Florida, to push herself every time she steps into the gym: the applause.
As a lifelong performer, the former dance teacher originally from the Bronx craves the spotlight. She’s the life of any party and will try just about any physical activity for fun, which is how she wound up weightlifting in her 90s!
Edith recently celebrated her 100th birthday. A very special gift arrived just in time for her big day: an advance copy of the 2022 edition of “Guinness World Records.” Edith is featured in the book as the oldest competitive female powerlifter around!
The star athlete, who has a slew of grandchildren, some great-grandkids, and two great-great-grandchildren, set the record in 2019 when she was merely 98 years old. Her history-making act? Hefting more than 150 pounds!
The centenarian’s journey to claiming a Guinness World Record started when her friend, Carmen Gutworth, asked her to go to the gym with her.
“She didn’t want to go by herself,” Edith recalled. “She dragged me kicking and screaming all the way, so that’s more or less how I got there. I saw all these other ladies lifting weights, and it looked interesting. I picked up a couple of weights and had to prove to myself that I could accomplish this.”
Carmen has a slightly different memory. “She likes to say that she was dragged into the gym kicking and screaming,” Carmen said. “She was not. You don’t drag her anywhere.”
Edith admits that she is strong-willed, and that determination is what led her to lift heavier weights.
“I’m kind of annoying,” she said with a laugh. “Tell me I can’t do something, and I will prove that I can. That’s more or less or my attitude.”
Her doctors advised her to stop going to the gym during the novel coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, so she took a break, but she’s already back at it. She hopes to add to her ever-growing trophy collection this November. After all, the only thing better than her world record and her trophies is the praise she receives on the mat.
“I love to hear the applause,” she said. “What better [thing] is there than feeling like you accomplished something and to hear everyone applaud and make you feel like you’ve done something powerful and important?”
As for her status as a newly-minted centenarian, Edith credits her friends for keeping her laughing throughout the years. She’s also thanking her genes for her longevity, noting that her grandfather lived to be 102.
“I didn’t expect to be in that category [too],” she said. “But since I got here, I feel pretty good about it.”
What a legend! Edith said she’s grateful just to be healthy and happy, but being recognized by Guinness World Records is such an honor! We have no doubt she’ll be in future editions once she gets back to competitions this fall.
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