A World Champion Powerlifter at 60 & Becoming a CEO at 60 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 6
Over the course of this series, we’ve seen just how incredible life can be, no matter your age. We’ve met Sandra, who became a model at the age of 61, we met Joan who is hiking all 58 national parks at age 79, and we met Allen, who’s writing his 27th book at age 80… and that’s just to name a few.
Needless to say, age is clearly just a number. And the two individuals in today’s installment of the series take that notion to an entirely new level.
Robert Herbst is a record-breaking powerlifter – at age 60. And Lynn Woll found herself becoming a CEO at age 62.
ROBERT HERBST, 60 YEARS OLD
Robert Herbst, age 60, is an attorney, weight loss and wellness coach, and powerlifter.
And he’s not just any powerlifter – he’s a 19-time World Champion, 33-time National Champion, and member of the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame.
Don’t believe us? Check out this picture:
But Robert has had to overcome a seemingly insurmountable challenge to get where he is today.
FROM SCOLIOSIS TO POWERLIFTER
When Robert was a child, he was afflicted with scoliosis – one hip was higher than the other, which made his right foot turn out 90 degrees when he walked or ran. The doctors told him to avoid lifting anything heavy and to live a fairly sedentary lifestyle.
In retrospect, we all know where this story is going. Robert ignored the doctors, pulled inspiration from Charles Atlas and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he purchased a York Barbell 110 pound set.
That changed his life.
“Even though my back hurt, I stuck with it, and I kept adding weight and training week after week. I soon started to notice the changes – I got healthier and stronger, and while my spine still corkscrewed around, it didn’t bother me as much,” he says.
After college, Robert started entering powerlifting competitions, and the rest is history. Just five years ago, Robert was a semifinalist for the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award. “Not bad for a guy in his 50s with a crooked back,” he laughs.
Robert also supervised the drug testing at the Rio Olympics.
He explains, “Being fit helped me strike a rapport with the athletes as I looked like them, and they immediately had a comfort level they did not have with the usual middle-aged official. The Korean wrestling team even sent their interpreter over to ask me who I used to be and what I used to do!”
ON AGING AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Robert acknowledges that our society is full of agism, but he’s constantly going against the norm. “At 60, I’m more fit than most men half my age.”
Good thing he didn’t listen to his doctors back in the day – his current one says his weight training has given him immense benefits.
“My doctor tells me that weight training has given me good cholesterol levels, helped me keep off those extra pounds that usually come as you get older, and it slowed many of the normal signs of aging,” Robert explains.
Every single day, Robert makes the conscious decision to keep training, to keep pushing himself, and to keep inspiring others to take action. “I know that anyone can improve their life like I did through the benefits of exercise and a positive mental attitude,” he says.
That’s why his goal is to inspire others to follow in his footsteps. Well, not exactly – you don’t have to be a powerlifter to benefit from his message.
Robert now works with a number of not-for-profits to inspire youth to be fit and to use the discipline they gain from exercise to study and advance themselves. He also speaks at corporate events.
“As someone who wears a tie and has a mortgage, I understand how to balance fitness with a career and family life. Overall, I want to spread the message that people should exercise to improve their lives.”
LYNN WOLL, 62 YEARS OLD
At age 62, Lynn Woll is truly living life to the fullest.
ON BECOMING A CEO AT 60
When she turned 60, Lynn moved from Seattle to Austin to try a new job at Key Ingredient. One year later, she became the CEO.
Key Ingredient is a recipe website with over 2.5 million unique visitors every month. The idea behind the site is to bring together foodies, bloggers, and great content to inspire home cooks to make better food.
Lynn was only a natural fit as CEO – she started cooking and experimenting at a very young age. “I’d toss in a few new ingredients to see how it might turn out. This might be why baked goods don’t always turn out so well!” she says.
Lynn is constantly learning new marketing techniques, and in a world where technology is constantly shifting, it can be tough to keep up. Funny enough, Lynn doesn’t think today’s marketing techniques are that different from what was done decades ago.
She explains, “It’s enjoyable to take traditional marketing tactics like word-of-mouth marketing and implement them in today’s digital space – influencer marketing. Not everything is really new again!”
Alongside her new position as CEO, Lynn also launched Create Whimsy, a website that shares the stories of makers to inspire everyday creativity.
During the day, Lynn works for Key Ingredient, and in the morning, at night, and on the weekends, she spends time with Create Whimsy.
“I’m a lifelong learner. I love the digital world where there is always something new to learn, whether it’s about technical SEO or learning to crochet (which was my goal last year!).”
Lynn has taken on new adventures, and she’s been successful in record time.
“It’s funny – when I listen to the news, I hear things like ‘he was 55 and died,’ like it was an old person,” Lynn says.
To Lynn, her age has given her the tools she needs to hit a major milestone in her life that’s truly the start of a new adventure.
She explains, “Unfortunately, there are some people that feel and act old, which plays into the stereotypical thoughts of a ‘senior’ being someone with mobility and memory issues.”
But she doesn’t see her age as an obstacle of any kind – if anything, it’s an asset.
“Being a senior means you have breadth and depth of experience and expertise – more to share and contribute.”
Lynn closes by saying, “With age comes the time to explore your creativity and be less influenced by others opinions.”
Other Posts in this Series
- Introducing: The Inspiring Seniors Series
- 84-Year-Old Pat Boone on The Gold Label, Shark Tank, Aging, and the Future | Inspiring Seniors, Part 1
- Becoming a Model at 61 & Reuniting with a Long Lost Love at 68 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 2
- Getting a Black Belt at 60 & Launching a Podcast at 67 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 3
- Hiking All 58 National Parks at 79 & Writing His 27th Book at 80 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 4
- Trying Surf Kayaking at 66 & Growing a New Consultancy Business at 61 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 5
- A World Champion Powerlifter at 60 & Becoming a CEO at 62 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 6
- 10-Mile Bike Rides at 69 & Graduating at Age 62 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 7
- Writing a Math Musical at 60 & Skiing Downhill at 75 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 8
- Starting a Goat Farm at 64 & Joining a ‘Circus Family’ at 63 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 9
- Starting a Second Business at 60 & Writing About Light and Health at 93 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 10
- Publishing Her 14th Book at 70 & Appearing on Television at 62 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 11
- Developed a Fitness Program for All Ages at 77 & Hunting With a Pack of Beagles at 70 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 12
- Giving Speeches All Over the Country at 72 & Published 100th Book at 74 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 13
- Volunteer Blacksmith at a Historic Gold Mine at 67 & Co-President for the Master Gardener’s Board at 64 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 14
- 4 Things I Learned From Interviewing 29 Incredible Seniors | Inspiring Seniors, Part 15
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