At 74-years-old, Nancy Slocumb wears a lot of hats.

She’s mama to 19 pot-bellied pigs, who live at a sanctuary she runs on Woodcrest Hollow Farm near Middletown with her “hubby,” Deac Slocumb. She’s a cancer survivor, too, having beat the disease about five years ago.

And earlier this month, she added a new title to her collection: a Maryland state record holder in powerlifting.

On Nov. 13, at the United States Powerlifting Association competition at The Gym in Westminster, Slocumb bench-pressed 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) and dead-lifted 70 kilograms (about 154 pounds), setting state records in both categories for women in her age bracket, 70 to 74.

Before Slocumb competed, there hadn’t been any record set in either type of lifts for women in her age bracket. She also didn’t have any challengers for the title during the competition — the first she’s participated in.

“So, if I hadn’t set a record, I would have been very disappointed,” she joked.

Still, she confessed to being “pretty jazzed” about her ranking.

Having gone through radiation therapy and an operation to treat uterine cancer in 2016 made the accomplishment all the more meaningful, she said. For a period of two and a half months while she was recovering from the disease, she recalled, she couldn’t lift anything at all — not even her 7-pound rescue dog.

“It’s just amazing,” she said. “I mean, you think at one point, you’re just not sure that you’re going to be able to do anything or be alive. And when you pass that point and somebody says, ‘You’ve got the all clear now, you can go back to living your life,’ you appreciate life a lot more.”

Though Slocumb used to participate in equestrian sports such as barrel racing — and acknowledged, with a laugh, to being “kind of competitive” — she didn’t start experimenting with weightlifting until around 2019. She’d always found gyms boring, but she wanted to stay healthy enough to continue running the farm she lives on with her husband without having to hire somebody to help her out.

She worked out on “those little machines” at Gold’s Gym in Frederick for about a year and hated it, she said. Then, right before the pandemic struck, one of the trainers introduced her to powerlifting. After the gym closed to suppress the spread of the coronavirus, she and her husband built a weight-lifting gym in their basement so she could continue practicing.

Now, once per week, she meets with a trainer who “tortures” her, she said with a laugh.

“He’s outstanding. He pushes me,” she said. “I keep telling him, ‘Oh, I can’t do that, I can’t do that,’ and he just says, ‘OK,’ and he loads up the barbell and teaches me how to do things, and we go from there.”

Powerlifting runs in the family. Slocumb’s daughter-in-law is a state record holder in California for a few events, she said, and her children also dabble in the sport. Though the two medals she won on Nov. 13 are sitting on her desk for now, her husband is planning to hang them on the wall along the steps to their basement, along with photos of awards their kids have won, to make a family Hall of Fame.

In May, Deac is planning to join his wife — along with his son and daughter-in-law — when she participates in her second powerlifting competition. She’ll be 75 by then so will be entering a new age bracket that doesn’t currently have any state record holders.


Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @24_angier

(6) comments


Impressive and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing the good news!


Great story!!


Wow what a role model! 👏🏻




You go, Lady! Down to the weightroom for me today.



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