China’s Basketball Grandma Goes from Destitute to ‘China’s Internet Darling’

Zhu Shumei, 76, China's Basketball Grandma getting her endurance training in.

Some of our elderly are so strong we actually look forward to growing old.  They are the reason we have the sayings “50 is the new 30” and so on.  They use their old school rules with the new school look and are a force to be reckoned with.

Zhu Shumei is a Chinese, 76-year old grandmother who became a single mother at the age of 54, when her husband divorced her and she became the sole caretaker for her mentally disabled daughter.  But, none of that got her down.  She was fired from her job at the library and took to the basketball court for a release.  Now she is on a fixed income that allots her and her daughter a third of her providence’s minimum wage at a disgraceful $67 per month.

Well, Time magazine wrote an article on the grandma who they say:

“On an average day on a university campus in eastern China, a woman runs through her usual exercise routine. She plays basketball as she has every day for the past 20 years. She runs 10 400-m laps and climbs a pole for a bit of strength training. The difference between Zhu Shumei, though, and all the other students doing similar exercises is that Zhu is 76 years old.”

Zhu Shumei flexes!

A lot of us aren’t doing that at 20 – 50 something and she’s in her 70s.  Shumei started her routine to get away from her demanding home schedule and responsibilities.  She found this routine relaxes her.  But she also gained a wicked jump shot from her routine.  But not only that, the students that she would join on the courts every day set up an account for her to help raise money for her to move into her own home and help with her daughter

Zhu needed $5,005 down payment to qualify for the monthly Social Security pension “scheme”.  (If that doesn’t make sense to you, you’re not alone.)  It is indeed a scheme, as Time magazine suggests.  The students got together and exceeded that goal easily:

“On Oct. 6, the students published an open letter on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, telling Zhu’s story and setting up a bank account to solicit donations for the down payment. Her story has gone viral on Chinese microblogs, along with a video clip of Zhu showing her skills on the court, which attracted more than 700,000 views in its first 12 hours online. Needless to say, that sum was easily reached.”

Read more here and/or check out Shumei’s moves below.  She’s a role model for us all.  Don’t let tough times get you down, let them get you going!

-J.C. Brooks


3 thoughts on “China’s Basketball Grandma Goes from Destitute to ‘China’s Internet Darling’”

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