Monday, May 29, 2023

Age Won't Stop These 11 Oxford Women, Set Personal Bests At Powerlifting Competition

Over the weekend, 50 competitors traveled to NBS Fitness in Cordova, Tennessee, for a powerlifting competition. Of the 50 competitors, 11 of them were women from Oxford and Tupelo, ranging from ages 26 to 60 years old.
Trained by Kristina Jackson out of Snap Fitness, the competitors began the training process three months ago when Jackson asked them to compete. While many had been working out beforehand with her, the training intensified, and they set their sights on competing in the three events: bench press, squat and deadlift. 
The names of each participant can be seen below: 
Michele Alexandre
Brooke Barnes
Lori Beer 
Aaron Craig 
Lori Gray 
Angela O’Dowd
Debbie Paine 
Tabitha Phillips 
Sarah Pickell 
Molly Singletary 
Kayla Wallace  
Training sessions took place as early as 5 a.m., and Jackson saw the drive in each woman as they took the challenge head on. If a workout session was missed, they would make it up and ensure that they would be ready by the time the competition rolled around. The training paid off as the day finally arrived and each participant managed to set a personal best in at least one event including 60-year old Debbie PainePaine set a PR of 250 pounds during the deadlift portion of the competition.
“The competition can be an intimidating atmosphere, but they all took it and ran with it, so it was really cool to see them out-perform what they’ve done during training,” Jackson said. “They thrived off of the competition, and they were ready for it.”
Jackson has been around competition in various stages of her life, both as an athlete and a strength coach, but having the chance to coach this group of women will be an experience that she’ll cherish. 
“It was one of my favorite days of coaching in my life. Watching them create this supportive atmosphere for each other was awesome. We went up there to be strong individual competitors, but they still motivated each other to lift more weight,” Jackson said. “They had so much fun, and smashed weight at the same time.”

When Jackson approached her clients about undertaking this type of challenge, she was unsure as to how they would react. Their response was encouraging, and they continued to strive to achieve their goals no matter what else they had on their plate: a commendable task in Jackson’s eyes. 
“These are strong women in the community that deserve recognition. We’ve got nurses, a doctor, a law professor, a salon owner and dance studio owner competing and dedicating their time to this, and it’s awesome to see them push themselves to set new goals and reach them,” Jackson said. 
Jackson wants these women to inspire those who may think that it’s too late to begin working out, and while you don’t have to compete, it’s all about believing in yourself. 
“You wouldn’t think most older females would jump in, but they all committed to training for it. It was very inspiring that they did this,” Jackson said. “You’re the only limit to yourself. If you think you can do something, you probably can. These women didn’t let age limit them, strength limit them or anything else. They pushed themselves, and they didn’t stop until they met their goals.”

Steven Gagliano is a writer for He can be reached at
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