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Play. Swim. Hike.

Created date

April 30th, 2009

Peers who stay active, stay fit

By Heather Leah Huddleston Exercise doesn t have to be boring! It can be a game, a hobby, or even a time to socialize. These individuals, who live at local Erickson communities Maris Grove and Ann s Choice, have mastered the art of living a vibrant, active lifestyle, staying healthy and happy through sports and hobbies. The golden athlete Bo Liberatore was the gold medalist in the Ann s Choice Olympics for three years in a row. The annual event compiles points from 10 to 13 tournament events in games such as softball, water volleyball, ping pong, and darts; whoever accumulates the most points in the end takes home the gold. Last year, he was unable to participate, but this year Liberatore is back and ready to reclaim his title.

"Exercise is not only good for the body, it s beneficial to the spirit." Patricia Kenney, Maris Grove resident

No stranger to being in the sports spotlight, Liberatore grew up with five older brothers who always put a ball in his hands. He went on to play in the minor leagues, in the Navy league, and in the Penn Del semi-pro league once he was discharged from the Navy. The game captivated him until he was 44 years old, and then he took up softball until just last year when he was 78. Liberatore figures it s time to give someone else a chance to fall in love with playing ball. The yogini Ilona Lind lives a life of balance as a woman who honors the mind, body, and spirit. Her morning begins with a daily yoga and meditation practice, which allows her to move gracefully into her day. Lind also rides her mountain bike around campus three times a week and is an active canoer and kayaker when the weather warms. During the colder months, she s either on the treadmill or swimming her usual 50 laps in the community s glass-enclosed, all-season swimming pool. Lind knows how important it is to nourish the body with movement. When the body is in balance, it seems that all the other aspects of life fall into place. "I have to do something physical every day," she says. "My body needs it because it s always had it." She s glad activities keep her physically tone, but she also recognizes that when the body s fit, the mind and spirit are too. The hiker Patricia Kenney has been a member of the hiking branch of the Wilmington Trail Club since 1991. The trail club has fit her schedule over the years because they have hikes during the week that range in difficulty, duration, and time of day. These days, Kenney partakes in the Thursday Lunch Bunch hikes, which are morning routes that end in a luncheon. She will lead a 4- to 5-mile hike around Maris Grove in May, and the club attracts people from Pa., Md., N.J., and De. Also a member of the Maris Grove Walking Club, Kenney tries to walk every day. Rain or shine, snow or warm weather, it s all the same to her because she walks year-round in bad weather she just walks throughout the community, utilizing its glass-enclosed, climate-controlled walkways that connect every building. "Exercise is not only good for the body," Kenney says, "it s beneficial to the spirit." The bocce ball king Russ Neiger brought the game of indoor bocce ball to Ann s Choice, and it is now entering its third year. "Bocce ball is so appealing because it s easy to do but challenging to master," Neiger says. It takes precision, but anyone can play. The games are held twice a week Wednesday and Saturday mornings and there are as many as 100 people who play regularly. The goal is to hit the target ball, or pallino, with the smaller balls, or at least get as close as possible. This version of the game is unique because it s played year-round. Neiger also participates in the Ann s Choice Olympics, of which indoor bocce ball is one of the tournaments. The kayaker Wally Caley moved to Maris Grove in October 2008. He began kayaking six years ago and easily built up to paddling 15 miles at a time. "That s a long day s paddle," Caley says. "That s a good day s paddle." Caley has been able to quench his thirst for the calmer side of life on the water through his kayak. He generally paddles down the Maryland rivers; the Sassafras and Bohemia are his favorites, but he s also glided down the Lewes and Delaware Rivers.