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  • Writer's pictureDayna Culwell

The Heat is On

So, apparently the heat is affecting everything. It may even be the cause of our flight fiasco. Just a few hours before our departure time, we learned that our first flight was delayed, causing us to miss our connection to Milan Italy. Now we get to stew in frustration, waiting, and trying again tomorrow. And that is why I am now able to write my weekly blog to you!

I know that many of you have at one time or another missed a flight, usually because of something out of your control. Maybe there are simply not enough workers to run the show!

So, I would like to turn to something that will highly inspire you, as it did me. In fact, I have two exciting things to share with you. Let’s start with a 79 year old woman that you will want to meet.

Experience: I’m a 79-year-old world champion powerlifter

People look at me and say, ‘She won’t be able to lift that.’ I like surprising them

I Started powerlifting when I was 65. I worked in real estate in Michigan for about 35 years, and when I retired I decided I wanted to lose a bit of weight. A friend’s husband, Art Little, who is a personal trainer, invited me to his gym. He introduced me to powerlifting and is still my trainer now.

The first time I went, he gave me a broomstick to lift. The next day I told myself I wouldn’t return, but I heard a voice in my head telling me to go back. So, I ended up returning day after day. After a few weeks, my trainer encouraged me to go to a tournament to watch others compete. I was really amazed by all these young women, but there was no one of my age. I asked my trainer if he thought I could do it and he said, “Oh, sure.”

The first time I competed was at a state meet. There were about 45 people across the different age groups, which ranged from teenagers to people my age. There were only three of us in my age category. I did the bench press, the deadlift and the squat – the three types of lifts in powerlifting – and came first in all three. I was amazed that I won, because the others had been doing it far longer. I just came in after two months and wiped them all out. After that, I knew powerlifting was for me.

My trainer had me going to the gym three times a week. I improved so quickly because I was consistent. If I was supposed to be there on Monday, I would be there, regardless of whether it was a holiday, raining or snowing. I didn’t miss a day – and that’s how I’m up to the weight I’m lifting now, although the gains happened slowly. Each year, I was getting better.

When I began powerlifting, I could bench press about 36-41kg, but now it’s 91kg. My top squat is 188kg and my deadlift has increased from about 36kg to 188kg. I’m the world record-holder in all three in the 60-plus age category.

I didn’t do any sports when I was younger; I was lazy. By the time I was in my 60s, I felt constantly tired and I’d get out of breath walking up and down stairs when I was showing homes as an estate agent. It was embarrassing. Now, the doctor tells me my heart is strong and healthy.

You have to build yourself up, do something active, move your body. If you sit down and do nothing, you turn to dust.

My father was a workaholic. He was employed in a steel factory and passed his work ethic down to me. He instilled in me the idea that you have to be consistent and set your mind to things to get anywhere in life. I still train three days a week, with each session lasting one to three hours. Each day is dedicated to one of three powerlifting disciplines. I also do a lot of varied workouts in the gym to get my body ready for a tournament, such as leg presses, squats and pull-downs.

Working out can be challenging sometimes, but whenever I get home afterwards, I feel great. My trainer is really proud of me. I’ve been invited to take part in the world championships every year since I started powerlifting and I’ve won in my category every time. The younger competitors tell me they want to be like me when they get to my age. Judges have been shocked by how much I can lift. People often look at me and say, “Oh, she won’t be able to lift that.” I like surprising them.

It can be expensive, though – there’s a lot of travel involved, and a piece of specialist kit, such as a squat suit, costs between $200 and $500 (£243-£404). I supplement my income doing food deliveries.

I’m 79 now and I tell people who are my age that they can do this, too; they just have to be consistent and start with something small. You have to build yourself up. If not powerlifting, then do something active. You have to move your body. If you sit down and do nothing, you turn to dust.

When I’m out and about, neighbours will ask me if I’m the lady who powerlifts. My daughter is a nurse and her colleagues ask if she powerlifts, too. She doesn’t, but is proud of me. My son loves that I do it. His friends say he should be in the gym and he tells them it’s his mama’s thing. I can lift more than he can.

My goal is to do 454kg (1,000lb) total across the three disciplines by the time I go to the world championships in November. Though my biggest achievement is improving my health. As long as I keep my good health and a strong mind, that’s all I care about.

Stay Inspired! Coming soon----


As many of you know, I enjoy teaching yoga at resorts around the globe, or at least in Mexico. Having just returned from a spectacular week in Akumal, Mexico, I am refreshed and ready to learn anything new that help you, my students, move forward in your goals. CoreFirst is an intriguing versatile creation you can take anywhere. It actually removes one of the biggest limitations to achieving core strength. Instead of over tasking wrists, hands, shoulders, etc., CoreFirst introduces a new way to activate your core instantly and more safely. You will be amazed at how a Standing Plank can immediately activate your abs to turn on, and you are simply standing!

Just in time for our trip (albeit delayed), I participated in a live Zoom training with the masters of CoreFirst, Stacey, and Kathy. We started with a quick 20 minute run-through of key CoreFirst exercises that included moves from yoga, pilates, and regular strength training. We were each given one move to teach to the other students. My move was the Burpee! Yes, I was out of my comfort zone. However, I yoga-fied the move so that we did it slower, with intention, and with breath. They loved it and I felt much safer doing it the yoga way. The class went from 9-1:30 p.m. I was amazed at how those who cannot get down to the floor could get much benefit from simple standing moves. The sit up was my favorite. I felt my core activate in both concentric and eccentric motions. After the course, I ordered two more sets plus extenders. This way, we can tie them around the posts in the yoga studio. You will surely want one once you see how they can help you.

My returning date is Friday, June 24th. Schedule now for a time late Friday morning or early Saturday, June 25th. Private slots open include:

Possible Perfect Posture Yoga Friday at 9:45 a.m.

Friday, June 24th, 11 a.m.

Friday, June 24th, 1 p.m.

Saturday, June 25th, 9 a.m.

Saturday, June 25th, 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, June 25th, noon

Text me now at 512-914-4870

No classes or privates this Week

Rest or get all your other stuff done!

Or, go to and search for

yogabydayna. Videos will be made available for you.

Please come back and join us for a

full schedule starting Thursday, June 30th.

Teaching on the beach at Secrets Akumal Resort, May 22-29th, 2022

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