Meet Your Neighbour
by Rhonda Massad
Following a new trend in welcoming women into the gymnastics world at an age when they were once considered over the hill, Milda Graham, at age 50, cartwheeled her way to a gold medal at last weekend’s Master’s Gymnastics competition at Club.
“You are considered old in gymnastics in Quebec after the age of 18,” Graham explained. “There is an evolution happening, in the past two years, the Quebec Federation of Gymnasts.introduced a category for those over 18 years of age.”
The Saint Lazare resident competed as a youngster in the 10 to 14 year old category at Wimgym when it was located in Beaconsfield. She gave up the sport when she got injured. She was 28 years old watching a friend participating in Cirque de Soleil’s Saltimbanco show, when she realized she was not through with her passion for the sport.
“I was randomly chosen from the audience to do a flip in the show,” she explained with emotion. “It was supposed to be a joke and the clowns were meant to catch me when I could not follow through. The joke was on them when I got up and did a flip in front of thousands of people. I knew right then; I was not done.”
As a trained yoga instructor, nutritionist and mom of three teens Graham teaches gym in Vaudreuil part time.
“I practice what I preach,” Graham explained. “MED, Move Every Day. I believe there is more inside us if we can dispell the old traditions of how we are meant to age. We can do triathlons and gymnastics or any sport at any age. At 40-years-old I watched a 60-year-old woman doing gymnastics, she changed my life.”
“Local clubs have taken it further, setting age categories up to 50 to accommodate my performances on all four events like in the Olympics,” she said. “With the amazing support of my husband and community, I hope to take it year by year and keep moving it upward.”
Graham says ACrofit, where she trains for competition is welcoming to all ages and all levels of gymnasts.
“There is an evolution happening. People come to Acrofit to try gymnastics for the first time while others are seasoned. All ages are welcome.”
More information can be found on Facebook at AcroFit Mtl .