Ernestine and her sister, Mildred Blackwell, were inseparable. One day, at the age of 56, Ernestine was trying on clothes with Mildred. To the sisters’ disappointment, the clothes didn’t fit the way they wanted. Mildred suggested that they begin exercising. So they began weight training together – and it became an essential part of their lives.Clearly, doing the same thing every day wasn’t Mildred’s style so she proposed a new, higher goal to Ernestine. “You know what we’re going to do. We’re going to be in the Guinness Book of World Records as two of the oldest female bodybuilders. And what’s gonna’ happen is we have something else. We’re sisters…Within a year’s time, if anything were to happen to me, I would want you to keep this up.”
Ernestine was unaware of her sister’s health problems as they began training for this new goal. Sadly, Mildred suffered a brain aneurysm and passed away as a result. Consequently, Ernestine suffered from depression, high blood pressure, panic attacks and acid reflux. You can imagine that this sucked the energy and will out of Ernestine who “didn’t want to do anything.”
As soon as she gave up, her sister came to her…in a dream. Ernestine recalls her sister saying in the dream, “Get up and do what I asked you to do!” Two weeks later, Ernestine decided to fulfill her sister’s goals by weight training again. Eventually, she worked enough to perform in a body-building showcase competition, in which she earned first place in her age category. A month later, the sisters’ pact with each other manifested into a reality. The Guinness Book of World Records entered Ernestine into the book as the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world, just like her sister imagined!