A passion for powerlifting

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at TU member Pauline Horn, 76, champions mind/body fitness 

By Kyle Hobstetter on January 26, 2019

Pauline Horn at the Baltimore Kettleball Club
Dealing with a torn meniscus and two arthritic knees, 76-year old Pauline Horn took up weight lifting. Now the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Towson University member is a regular at the Baltimore Kettleball Club. 

Suffering from a torn meniscus and two arthritic knees, it was suggested that 76-year old Pauline Horn take up strength training.

A physical therapist’s recommendation led Horn to working with the Baltimore Kettlebell Club and becoming a state-record holding powerlifter. She is one of the handful of women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who train there. The group is known collectively as the “Golden Girls.” 

Through her newfound weightlifting prowess, Horn — who is a member of the Osher  Lifelong Learning Institute at Towson University — was featured recently in the Wall Street Journal.

While the article chronicles Horn’s initial journey into weightlifting, it also focuses on her workout routine, diet, gear, playlist and the importance of staying active as a person grows older. 

“So many people my age can’t even turn their heads without pain,” Horn told the Wall Street Journal. “A few minutes of stretching a day keeps those pains away.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL: She’s Powerlifting at 76, So You’re Officially Out of Excuses 

While Horn has found a passion with weightlifting, she’s also incredibly active in TU’s Osher community. Not only does she take a variety of courses, she’s also involved with the Classroom Facilitation Committee where she provides A/V assistance to instructors, helps with handouts and helps with monitoring attendance. 

And according to Tracy Jacobs, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Towson University, Horn is a perfect embodiment of the spirit of what Osher represents.

READ MORE: A lifelong learning community 

“Her interest in weightlifting and fitness show that she is open to learning new things, trying something she’s never done before, and then taking it to the next level,” Jacobs says. “Similarly, I think many of our members recognize that they aren’t too old to get involved in new activities and to continue developing new interests.   

“Like Pauline, many of our Osher members want to keep their minds and their bodies active.” 

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Towson University has offered adults age 50 and older opportunities to continue learning — including classes, day trips, book clubs and even discussion groups — since 1999.

The Osher spring course catalog for 2019 is available online. Session 1 starts on March 4; Session 2 begins on April 8. 

The Osher Institute at Towson University also offers opportunities to volunteer on numerous committees, including the Classroom Facilitation Committee, Philanthropy Committee, Social Committee, Art Exhibition Committee, Membership Committee, and Curriculum Committee. Learn more about different opportunities to get involved.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland.