Redefining aging ... Attitude, Nutrition, Therapies, Exercise

This month’s Ageless Inspiration comes from Ernestine Shepherd

This month’s Ageless Inspiration comes from Ernestine Shepherd

We might often be led to believe that the best years are behind us as we get older but what I’m realising is like anything in life, how we age is down to choices. Each month in Ageless Inspiration, I will feature one of the many people who inspire me. I’m in awe of what they’ve achieved at an age that most people don’t reach and those who do are slowing down. They are my inspiration as I grow older and I only hope that I can embrace aging and life in the way they have.

This month’s ageless inspiration … Ernestine Shepherd

Ernestine “Ernie” Shepherd, at age 80 years of age is a personal trainer, a professional model and competitive bodybuilder. After being inspired by Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky films, she started exercising at 56 and hasn’t looked back. In March of 2010, she was formally given the title of World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder (by Guinness World Records). She looks amazing and has a body that rivals most women half her age!


Two photos of Ernestine Shepherd

Her mantra:  
“Determined, dedicated, disciplined to be fit”
She believes that “being out of shape as we age truly is merely an option – NOT a mandate!”

What inspires me most about Ernestine

What inspires me most about Ernestine Shepherd is what she has achieved by staying true to her mantra. She chose fitness as her goal but whatever goal you choose, I believe her mantra sums up what is required to make any goal a reality. When we are determined, dedicated and disciplined in pursuing whatever it is we want in life, nothing can get in the way of that kind of momentum and focus. We cannot but succeed.

Reading about Ernestine inspired me to take a second look at opportunities and goals I’ve had in my life and ask myself:

  • Was I determined to achieve my goal?
  • Did I dedicate myself to making it happen?
  • Was I disciplined enough to do what was needed to make it a reality?

In most cases, the answers were quite obvious.   When I answered yes to all three questions I achieved my goal and when I answered no, I didn’t. Launching this blog is the result of applying Ernestine’s mantra and I intend to maintain this mantra when approaching all my goals going forward.

Having goals, things to look forward to and strive towards, is what makes life worthwhile for me. It gives me a sense of purpose. I’ve often heard people comment as they get older, “Well, I’m too old for that now”. Ernestine is living proof you are never too old. The satisfaction and excitement that comes when you achieve something you’ve set out to do, is in my opinion, the best youth-serum out there!

Take some action

You have to start somewhere – so this month, I challenge you. Choose one thing that you have always talked about doing but never followed through. It can be anything – big or small. Think of something you’ve been putting off doing because you’re telling yourself you can’t. Make it a goal and set yourself a timeframe. Write down your own mantra using Ernestine as inspiration:

Over the next week/month/year, I am determined, dedicated and disciplined to ________________

Write this on Post-it notes and stick this mantra all over the place – on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator door, on your car visor – anywhere where you will see it at the start and throughout your day to remind you of your goal … and go for it!

Best of luck and remember that anything is possible regardless of age!!


You can follow and learn more about Ernestine Shepherd at

Photo is taken from an article in the Independent UK

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