Birthday gran says 106 is worth the weight
NEXT time you're thinking of making up an excuse to avoid exercising, just think of Catherina van der Linden.
Not only does Catherina never miss a gym session, she celebrates her 106th birthday on Sunday.
The Adelaide gym-junkie, who will celebrate her birthday with a small family gathering, is living proof that exercise really is the key to a long life.
She joined the ACH Group's Glenelg Health Studio in 2015 and has been pumping weights once a week ever since.
"I would come more often if I could but I only have a lift here once a week," Catherina said.
Exercise has always formed part of Catherina's life.
"I used to swim laps (and) I played tennis for many years," she said.
"I'm not one to just sit around.
"I like to get out and enjoy life.
"I read a lot - papers and magazines; I'm still interested in anything that happens in the world."
Of turning a year older, Catherina, who continues to live independently with help from her daughter Merielle and Meals on Wheels, said: "I don't feel any different really".
"Ageing just comes naturally; you don't notice that you're really so old," she said.
"I can still do a bit of shopping and have Meals on Wheels three times a week.
"I don't feel old - I really can't believe it myself."
ACH Group fitness leader Scott Attwood said Catherina was an inspiration to other gym-goers.
"She's a great example of the benefits of exercise," he said.
"People can't believe it when they hear how old she is."
Fellow gym member and friend Heather Mahony met Catherina last year and was impressed by her strength.
"She was lifting weights heavier than I could lift - She is amazing and an inspiration to us all," she said.
Catherina migrated from the Netherlands and settled in Glenelg in the 1950s.
For almost 30 years she tended on a 1.2ha cattle and sheep farm at Aldgate before returning to Glenelg in 2004.