(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — An intruder didn’t count on an 82-year-old woman living alone being an award-winning bodybuilder with nerves of steel.
Willie Murphy was getting ready for bed Thursday at her home in Rochester, New York, when a man pounded on the door and said he needed an ambulance, Murphy told WHAM.
She called police but wouldn’t open the door. Then, she said, the man broke in and skulked through the dark house.
“He picked the wrong house to break into,” Murphy said.
She clobbered him with a table, poured shampoo in his face and was beating him with a broom when police arrived.
“I was whaling on that man,” Murphy told the Democrat and Chronicle. “’Cause I said to myself, ‘If it’s my time to go to hell, I’m taking him with me!’”
The man got his ambulance ride, after all. He was sent to a hospital, and police tweeted a selfie with Murphy, calling her “tough as nails.”
Murphy works out almost daily at Rochester’s Maplewood YMCA and said she can deadlift 225 pounds — more than twice her weight. She can do one-handed pullups and one-handed pushups.
She won the World Natural Powerlifting Federation Lifter of the Year award in 2014.
“She really helps dispel the myths of aging,” said Michelle LeBoo, a program coordinator at the Maplewood YMCA.
Murphy is “a strong, beautiful woman” who does things “for the benefit of others,” LeBoo said.
Murphy said she hopes her story inspires people of all ages.