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Kansas City couple raises the bar at KC Weightlifting

KC Weightlifting
Posted at 6:34 PM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 23:25:11-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Paul Hansen spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, and was stationed in Korea.

"[There were] Two places to go which had heat and light — one was the local bar and the second was the gym," Paul Hansen said.

Shortly after he married his wife Joyce, she joined him at the gym.

"Years ago, they used to have men's gyms and women's gyms, they didn't allow the two to mix, but Joyce would go to the men's gym because that's where the weights were," Paul said.

The weights, and Paul and Joyce, can be found at KC Weightlifting in Overland Park.

Both of them are in their 70's and are the oldest members of the gym.

However, the couple is still raising the bar for health and strength.

"I am so grateful every minute, I should remember every minute, be blessed for every minute," Joyce said.

They've made an impression on classmates.

"Everyone says, 'I want to be Joyce and Paul when I'm in my 70's,'" Anna Martin, the head coach at KC Weightlifting, said. "You just don't see that very often."

Paul and Joyce have also dipped their toes into national competitions, bringing home shiny souvenirs from around the country.

"A year ago, you were doing Zumba. This year, you're a national champion," Martin said. "Nothing wrong with Zumba, but how empowering can that be that you're lifting a heavy weight over your head?"

Married for more than 40 years, this couple isn't just lifting these weights for themselves.

"We're having fun and enjoying our grandchildren, we're going to have a fifth grand-baby in November and that means I can lift them," Joyce said.

They hope to inspire their peers too, with or without the weights.

"If I could help just one person put on a pair of tennis shoes and get out and start walking and they feel better, I will feel like I've accomplished something," Joyce said.