89-year-old Scituate woman, 94-year-old sister are champion powerlifters

SCITUATE, Mass. — Carol Miles isn’t your typical grandmother.

“I have a lot of people at my condo that encourage me and say, ‘Good for you. I’m glad it’s you and not me,’” she said.

The 89-year-old longtime Scituate resident spends a lot of her free time pumping iron at the gym.

“It’s fun,” she said. “You want to do something when you’re retired that is interesting and fun and keeps you going.”

Miles is a champion powerlifter. She holds the United States Powerlifting Association national record for dead and bench lifting in her age group.

“I train her as I train a 14-year-old or a world powerlifting champion,” Mark Sieminski, owner of Bay State Athletic Club, said. “She trains the same way.”

Miles trains three days a week under the watch eye of Sieminski. Each training session lasts about an hour or hour and a half.

“This wasn’t just a situation where she’s older, I’m not going to make her work hard. I’m going to let it go. I didn’t do that and she responded,” Sieminski said.

Miles caught the powerlifting bug about five years ago. After her husband of 56 years, Paul, died in 2008, she spent a lot of time visiting her sister, Leona, in Florida.

The pair would powerwalk together, but they eventually turned their attention from powerwalking to powerlifting.

Leona, who is 94, is also a champion powerlifter.

“She’s 90 to 94. I’m 85 to 89, so we’re not really competing against each other, but we really watch carefully,” Miles said.

Carol and Leona are proving age is just a number.

Miles is training for her next competition in the fall.

In February she turns 90 years old and has no plans on slowing down.

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