TRAVERSE CITY — Age is just a number.
Kelli Lockwood is 50 years old. But the more important numeral this week for the Traverse City mother of two and bodybuilder is three.
That’s how many trophies she claimed in Saturday night’s 34th annual Grand Traverse Bodybuilding & Figure Show at the Leelanau Sands Casino. She won the Overall Women, Women’s Master and Women’s Open titles.
“I was a little nervous going into it,” Lockwood said. “But I had made the commitment and I knew I deserved to be on the stage because I had worked really hard and my physique was in the best shape of my life.”
Due to low turnout numbers in the Women’s Grand Master category, Lockwood had to compete in the Master class, which is for participants 35 and up. Competing against younger entrants goes right along with what she was aiming for anyway.
“Part of it was because I’m older,” Lockwood said. “I wanted to be an inspiration to older people that you can be in the best shape of your life if you work at it.”
She turned 50 in January, and had only given bodybuilding a shot once before. Entering in the same event 28 years ago, Lockwood placed third out of three in her age category. Still, she received a trophy, but the ones last weekend were more special.
“I was ready this time,” Lockwood said.
She attended last year’s competition as a spectator, and that was when she decided to get back into the sport.
“That was probably the initial time I felt like I’d like to try it again,” Lockwood said.
She and her husband had also just happened to have joined a gym not long before that.
They hired a personal trainer in July, but a broken rib suffered in a waterskiing accident that same month delayed her training for a month.