You’ve heard the old adage, ‘a fine wine gets better with time, but does that also hold true for female bodybuilders?’ Marilynn Mathis-Carle and her well-developed physique are certainly making a case for that argument.

At age forty-seven she is making a comeback and has her sights aimed at Southern States in Florida next August, the same bodybuilding competition where she grabbed first overall, fourteen years ago. One may ask, why now at forty-seven?

“Last year my husband and I coached two women through bodybuilding and fitness competitions, and I started to feel the urge to compete again,” Marilynn recalls. While considering the pros and cons, she realized that as a personal trainer she encourages women of every age to reach higher physical goals than they thought possible, and perhaps she should heed her own advice. Aware she was only a few years from fifty and that competing would prove to be a hefty challenge, she discussed it with her trainer and husband, Bill Carle. He agreed she should go for it, and this summer they started gearing her workouts toward spring and summer competitions of 2012.

The Competition Bug

Marilynn picked up her first weight twenty years ago, after meeting her weightlifter husband. “Before I met Bill I was really thin, so I ate anything I wanted, and my idea of working out was dancing until two in the morning. His dedication to fitness and extensive knowledge of nutrition and weight training began to rub off on me,” she says. Marilynn started to see fast results from accompanying Bill to the gym. So, shortly after they married she entered her first competition at the age of twenty-eight in Southwest Texas, San Antonio.

She placed in the top five and the experience fueled her with a drive to continue competing. Equipped with a new muscular physique and a sense of comfortableness on stage, she won Ms. Bahamas in 1984, and then in 1985 represented the Bahamas in the IFBB World Bodybuilding Championships in Brussels, Belgium.

“Bodybuilding is a powerful concept, the idea that we have the ability to change and sculpt our bodies through diet and weight training is an art.

Growing up, I had been relatively shy and would have never competed in a beauty contest or spoke in front of a large audience, but weight training made me feel more powerful and confident. I also knew that what I looked like resulted from my hard work. That was exciting.” She smiles with her eyes when conveying the positive aspects of her sport.