78 years old. This bodybuilder is still strengthening his community
Calvyn Fortuin was lifting weights every day at the age of 14. They were made by his father out of concrete and cement. With every bead of sweat, his fortitude grew. Fortuin became a bodybuilder, addicted to competing, winning multiple awards that line a shelf in his home today. Sixty years later, there’s no end in sight. Fortuin still hits his homemade gym three hours a day, five times a week at the age of 78. Bodybuilding isn’t a spectacle for him; it’s a way of life, and he is now passing on his knowledge to the youth in his community.
“By having a healthy body and a healthy mind you can achieve anything in life,” Fortuin says. In the town of Heidedal, he believes the youth are at risk of drug and alcohol abuse. To combat this, Fortuin teaches bodybuilding at his gym. There are now 30 men and women making good use of the weights that Fortuin made himself. “Bodybuilding has become a mechanic for me to teach the kids and keep them out of the streets,” he says. Through this intense form of exercise, Fortuin is helping young adults increase not only physical strength, but mental strength too.
While Fortuin’s family have warned him that the time to stop may be nearing, he has no intention of giving up his lifeblood. “You must tell a bird not to fly, then I’ll stop training,” Fortuin says. Age is of no matter to him. Seeing Fortuin balancing his entire body weight on one arm dispels any doubts about his stamina. Besides, he has too much work to do. “We have a responsibility to young people because young people are the future,” Fortuin says.