Michelle Franklin is half the women she used to be...yet she couldn’t be happier!
In fact, she could soon be on top of the world - as a powerlifter.
Michelle is not your average powerlifter. She is 51, a grandma and a professional dog walker. She only took up the sport a couple of years ago!
Twelve months ago, she won a silver medal in her age and weight category at the world championships in South Africa.
In May, she will be aiming to go one better and strike gold in the 2017 world championships in Lithuania.
There’s just one problem for Michelle and other GB hopefuls.
They must cover the cost of the event - from their official tracksuits to accommodation and food.
Michelle, though, is a determined lady and is hoping local businesses will back her bid for a world title.
Michelle is a member of Horncastle Powerlifting Club, based at the town’s Squash Club on Hemingby Lane.
Amazingly, coach Marc Giles has 13 internationals on his books.
Like Michelle, they will head off to various parts of the world in the coming months in search of world titles.
Michelle, who clocks up 160 miles a week travelling from her home near Lincoln to train at Horncastle, said: “It’s an amazing success story and Marc is a remarkable coach.
“He’s doing a brilliant job. He coaches people from the age of eight to 80.
“There’s some brilliant lifters but most people don’t know the club even exists.
“When I compete people ask where I’m say with great pride - Horncastle.
“They look blank at me and I say it is a small town in Lincolnshire.
“We’d love to win for this club - for this town and hopefully people will really get behind us.”
Michelle admits that if someone had told her three or four years ago that she’d be a competitive powerlifter, she’d have ‘laughed her socks off.’
She explained: “I’d never even heard of powerlifting - let along thought about trying it. “
“I was on a weight loss course. I managed to lose half my body weight but just felt I needed a challenge to keep me going.
“I read a blog by a women powerlifter and that was it - I was hooked.”
Within months, Michelle had moved to the Horncastle club after meeting Marc at a competition.
She has high hopes of success in Lithuania but will first compete in two major British events.
She weighs just 57kgs but can dead lift 140kgs (the equivalent of more than 20 stone), bench lift 60kgs. She will compete in the equipped suit class and had lifted 105 kgs.
Husband Nicolas and grandchild Izzy (20 months) are two of her biggest fans.
Michelle added; “I feel I am on a journey - one that has a long way to go. It would be nice to think that in a few years time, Izzy could look at some photos and say that’s my nanny winning a world title.”
“For details about Michelle, go t0 www.facebook.com/thisgrannycan/