But for one 64-year-old fitness fanatic from Los Angeles, California, a recent victory over her perky twenty-something rivals at the FitSciences Championships was just another notch on her belt.
Ruby Carter-Pikes, also known as ‘Miss Ruby’, is a great grandmother with a six pack that even a college athlete would be jealous of and a cabinet of bikini competition trophies to prove it.
The sexagenarian, who calls herself a health expert and fitness guru, is a familiar face on the body-building and fitness competition circuit and most recently picked up two winning shields at the Atlanta, Georgia competition.
Strutting the stage in a skimpy, string two-piece, Ms Carter-Pikes scored a second place win for the category titled Women’s Figure, as well as claiming a prize as Women’s Super Masters Winner.
In Women’s Figure judges rated the contestant on her shoulders, latissimus dorsi and quadriceps.
‘Abdominal development is very important as well,’ spelled out the rules on the website. ‘Definition with a limited amount of striated muscles.’
Other categories in the contest hosted by the healthy lifestyle management company, were Fit Mom, Female Fitness Model, Bikini Spokesmodel and Junior Fitness Spokesmodel.
Fresh from her victory at the Atlanta’s 14th Street Playhouse venue, the muscular great-grandmother told FitSciences competition organisers: ‘It was fantastic. Overall I’m having a blast.’
Her enjoyment of the event is hardly surprising for someone whose challengers are less than half her age.
Ms Carter-Pikes has been eating well and exercising for years, inspired by the tragic health issues suffered by several family members, problems that she attributes on her blog to poor nutritional education during childhood.
‘I am the oldest of twelve siblings and the first grand daughter of 45 grandchildren. We lived in a rural and remote area in Mississippi,’ she explains on BodyProud.org.
Growing up on a farm, she continues, though the family were active and regularly held dances and horse riding games, the food produced from the land consisted primarily of white flour, sugar and meals were often fried.
She had also been born with a heart condition that affected her ease of breathing and so attention to health had always been a priority.
After having four children and seeing how precious life could be when she lost family to cholesterol complications and diabetes, she upped the ante and fitness became not just a priority but her life.
Though a post dated 2008 claims she ran a gym in Canoga Park, Los Angeles, Ruby’s Fitness Gym proved an elusive establishment, untraceable on the web.
What is certain however, is that this great-grandmother’s ‘dedication to the fitness industry’, as one impressed You Tube commentator put it, is nothing short of remarkable.
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