Marjorie Newlin - In Memoriam
Marjorie or Miss Marj as we call her has been in inspiration to me and countless others in Philly and around the world. Miss Marj starting training at the age of 72! That's right folks 72 years of age. She did it basically for her cat when she found that it was getting harder and harder to lift those bags of kitty litter in the market. She also did it because she wanted to be as independent as she could for as long as she could. I met her for the first time at Rivers Gym in Germantown around 1996 we were both preparing for a bodybuilding competition. She was cool, calm and focused. When she hit the stage and posed to Aretha's "Respect" she bought the house down! Everyone jumped to their feet to give her a grand standing ovation. Many times she competed against women who were less than half her age. She has appeared on Oprah, The View and other TV shows and commercials. She was also a great grandmother and motivational speaker.
There are a lot of people out there who think you should "act your age." You know, if you do that it will be just that, an act.
There are so many people out there who want to get in shape and change their appearance but they start believing they are being victimized by people with "gym bodies." They feel that these people set up unreal aspirations for them. This is a big fallacy. In most cases the people who feel that they can't achieve any level of fitness either really don't want to, don't have a plan or know where to get the correct information to do so. But the bottom line is that with most things what you get out of something is commensurate with what you put in. We love to play victim in this country yet we don't do the things necessary to get what we really want out of life.
In my years as a competitive bodybuilder I have met men and women some as old and older than she. I have witnessed blind bodybuilders compete on stage with the sighted, athletes with amputated limbs, paraplegic athletes, diabetics, asthmatics. You get my drift here? There is always someone more disadvantaged than you who are making their dreams come true.
Miss Marj's mission was simple. All she wanted to do was to be able to get litter for her cat! Look where that got her! Think about it!
She taught me a valuable lesson that will never be forgotten.
Marjorie passed at the age of 87 on January 24th 2008.
*note* this is not my photo