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Bodybuilder, 73, wants to inspire others

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Most days, Dallas Urquhart looks and plays the part of the quintessential 73-year-old woman.

The Moncton woman is proud of her six children, loves her 10 grandchildren and does a variety of activities to keep herself busy: she walks, bikes, dances, curls, bowls and maintains her career.

But every once in a while, Urquhart shows another side of herself as one of the oldest competing female bodybuilders in Canada. Her latest appearance was this month at the 2003 Atlantic Classic Bodybuilding Championships.

On the stage during the morning judging, Urquhart strutted her stuff in a yellow bikini.

“In the judging round, we’re judged on our appearance, muscularity, the music we chose and posing,” explains Urquhart, who chose to pose to Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life.

“We’re on the stage for just 90 seconds, but a lot of work goes into those 90 seconds. Saturday night is when we had the real show for our fans, with routines, prizes and a presentation by the fitness girls, who are really impressive.”

Urquhart says she’s always been the type of person who doesn’t do what’s expected.

“As a girl, I would always be the one to climb a tree higher than I was supposed to, or jump out of a window just to show that I could do it. I was always doing something someone thought I shouldn’t.”

Nearly 20 years ago, at the age of 54, after her children were grown and she had retired from nursing, Urquhart took up bodybuilding.

“I wanted to be an inspiration for other older people,” she says. “I wanted to show them that just because I was older it didn’t mean that I couldn’t work out and take care of myself, and that if I could do it, they could do it, too.”

Once Urquhart decided to become a bodybuilder she began working out at a gym.

“I had to be committed,” she remembers. “I worked out five days a week, every week, for at least an hour, unless I was doing some cardio. If I was doing that, too, I’d work out even longer, sometimes another hour.”

Urquhart also had to contend with some skepticism.

“Some of my friends said to me ‘Dallas, I can see you taking up knitting, but not bodybuilding,’” she re-members. “I told them I’d take up knitting when I was 110!”

As for her family, Urquhart says that after watching her move from a career as a nurse to a career as a hypnotherapist, they knew to expect surprises.

“My family is used to hearing about my adventures,” Urquhart says.

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