Fighting fit even at 72

JOHOR BARU: While most would gladly take a backseat at the age of 72, one zesty grandmother is living life to the fullest by lifting weights, running marathons and cycling long distances.

And that is why Suzie Oliver is aptly called “Iron Lady” by her friends.

She isn’t stopping there – next on her “to do” list is to climb Mount Kinabalu and trek to the Mount Everest base camp.

Oliver, who only started taking fitness seriously at the age of 57, said it was her daughter who suggested that she take part in a marathon in Singapore back in 2007.

“Before that I never did anything strenuous. So, I decided to give it a shot. I trained in the gym for several months and managed to complete the 5km stretch,” said Oliver, who is married to an American.

She said she later enrolled in a Spartan race in Singapore with her daughter and granddaughter in 2014.

“People thought I was crazy but for me it was an opportunity to bond with my family,” she said, adding that she emerged top in her age group by beating almost 800 other participants in the 10km event.

Among others, she had to flip tires that weighed up to 60kg, throw arrows, and climb over walls for the event.

“We had about 15 obstacles to overcome,” she said, adding that every time she felt like quitting, she would just simply push on.

The Melaka-born Oliver, who lives here, said whenever she goes to the United States, she would join in cycling trips which went up to 60km – up and down the valleys of Utah.

At one point, she went to the gym at least three times a week training for almost four hours to keep fit.

She previously worked as a chef in Singapore before going on mission trips with her husband.

“Due to Covid-19 restrictions over the last two years, I was not so active but now I have started going to the gym to train for my next adventure,” said the mother of two daughters who has also taken part in the Sunway Iskandar Viper Challenge @ Medini in Johor.

Asked about her weightlifting, she boasted about her six-pack abs and ability to lift up to 60kg.

“I have a group of friends in the gym whom I encourage and they enjoy keeping fit and staying healthy,” she said.

Asked if she followed any special diet, Oliver said she just ate in moderation.

“I like to inspire people especially women to feel good about themselves once they start losing weight and getting into shape.

“I have always wanted to die beautiful,” she quipped.

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