MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — A 73-year-old CrossFit athlete from Murrells Inlet, Kathleen Molloy, was recently named a “Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete” out of 50 applicants from across the country.

Senior Planet is the flagship program of Older Adults Technology Services from AARP, which promotes older adults thriving in a digital world, and they are on a mission to challenge outdated stereotypes around the type and level of athleticism that older adults can achieve

“You just wanna get out some frustration,” Molloy said. “So again, you pick it up similar to a deadlift or a squat and you lift it up in your arms and you just slam it. Put somebody’s face on that.”

“We started sponsoring athletes in this program called ‘Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes” and that brought people together — about five people each year that we selected,” said Tom Kamber, executive director of OATS from AARP. “They’re telling their fitness journeys to the rest of the Senior Planet network, which now measures in the hundreds of thousands of people every year.”

Molloy said she was motivated to get into the gym by fear.

“Getting that diagnosis of Osteoporosis, where basically over time your vertabrae just compress down upon themselves and it’s a very painful process,” she said. “I said ‘well, I really don’t want to go down that road.'”

Over time, Molloy has really started to enjoy it and has seen improvements in her bone health.

“I like getting [personal records],” Molloy said. “I just enjoy that affirmation that you know you’re doing something right, you’re doing something good, and you know, you’re very strong.”

On top of the improvement she has seen in her physical health, Molloy has also seen benefits of CrossFit in her everyday life.

“I can pick that Costco bag up with no problem,” she said. “I go to the nursery, I need soil, most of the bags are 40 pounds, no problem. Pick it up.”

Now she is one of five Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes who will use her fitness journey to inspire other seniors to improve their lives through the movement, just like she did.

Molloy said she’s no longer motivated by fear, but by the community she has found at Senior Planet and the empowering stories they share.