Shellie Edington, 52
From: Columbus, OH
Stats: Crossfit Games Masters Champ (2016 Winner, 50–54)
Edington has a six-pack that women 30 years younger would envy. Her abs (and the rest of her impressive physique) were earned through an intense five-days-a-week CrossFit program that includes running, rowing, Olympic lifting, and other CrossFit staples.
Edington discovered the sport five years ago, after getting bored with her occasional workouts at a traditional gym. “I felt at home there the moment I walked in,” she says. That didn’t mean it was easy: Edington says she could barely do a pushup or a pullup. “I was shocked by my lack of strength and skill. I was terrified to go back—which is exactly why I did.”
Although she competed in gymnastics through high school and was a cheerleader in college, Edington stepped away from fitness when she became a full-time mother of three. Starting a company called Tumblin4Kids that taught gymnastics classes for toddlers in 2000 kept her somewhat active, but she felt her body slowing down. “I was really dragging. I had put on about 20 extra pounds, and I thought I was going to have to retire from teaching kids because it was too hard to move around.”
She committed to going to a CrossFit affiliate three times a week for an hour at a time, and after a few weeks she started to add twice-weekly Olympic lifting to work on her technique. Around the same time, she started
a Paleo diet that helped her drop about 25 pounds from her 5’3″ frame. Her coaches encouraged her to compete in CrossFit Open events, and she took up the challenge with gusto. In 2014, Edington placed third in her age group at the Reebok CrossFit Games, and fifth in 2015, then went on to win the Masters 50–54 division in 2016.
As proud as she was to stand on the podium, Edington says the ultimate payoff is how she feels. “My hashtag is now #youarenotdoneyet because every day is a chance to get better.”