Appomattox Co., VA - It took her 20 years to achieve, but she finally got the gold. An Appomattox County woman won a masters title in the Lenda Murray Bodybuilding competition. This win qualifies her to compete nationally.
Freda Cothran, 51, is a mother and grandmother. She's six foot tall, has six children and seven grandchildren. Cothran has always been into fitness, but a few years ago, she decided to kick it into high gear.
Cothran is a trainer at Golds Gym in Lynchburg. But in the past five years, she's been training herself for this moment.
"It felt just like Christmas Eve. It's the greatest feeling - all this hard work and all those 4th places and third places, made this 1st place win," said Cothran.
She says her motivation is her family. A life changing moment for Cothran was in 2008 when her son-in-law was deployed overseas.
"They were married and had just had their first little girl and sitting and watch all those soldiers shipped off to Afghanistan, it about killed me," said Cothran.
To be strong for her family, Cothran decided to start with herself.
"I just took all the stress and everything I felt for her and put it into this. And if he could stand 115 degree weather, I can stand a little bit of pain in the gym," said Cothran.
Since she got serious, Cothran has flexed in roughly 15 competitions. Her biggest fans are her children.
"Every time I do a show, each one of them, they'll come and see me or they'll write me notes and tell me how proud they are and what a strong woman I am. And I'm thinking, you're the ones that made me like this," said Cothran.
And it seems Cothran's journey to the top has made her as strong on the inside as she looks on the outside.
"I'll be 52 in November and I feel great and very blessed. I feel very peaceful, very happy," said Cothran.
Cothran plans to compete in a national bodybuilding show sometime next year. Now, she just enjoys training others and helping them feel good about themselves.