Winning Attitude by Lizl Kotz
Rita Price was born on June 22nd, 1926. She calls Aurora, Colorado home. I had to check my math carefully. Yes, Rita will turn 92 this summer and I found no indication that she may be slowing down. In fact, the longer we talked, the more energetic she became. Rita loves living in Colorado. She is very active in her community and is the MC for the Sunshine Serenaders group. This group performs songs from the 20's, 30's and 40's era to senior residences. Rita tells me that she gathers her energy from interacting with other people: "The residents with Alzheimers might not remember what they had for breakfast but when they hear these familiar songs there is a connection and it brings them to life."
Rita's tennis accomplishments are truly too many to write down. She has earned so many gold balls that she has started giving them away because she has no more room to keep them.
Her exercise menu consists of getting up at 6:30 every morning and spending time at the gym. She is a big believer in Tai Chi and was quick to demonstrate a Tai Chi pose to prove her confidence in her balance. "I wish more seniors would embrace Tai Chi. It really helps eliminate the fear of falling." Another favorite hobby of Rita's is to line dance. "I love people and I love the idea of moving together as a group." "It's also nice that you can go looking like a slob if you feel like it". Rita believes her time spent dancing, transfers over to the tennis court and makes her movement on the tennis court one of her strengths.
Rita plays two times a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. She is sponsored by Babolat and believes they have the best rackets and shoes on the market. When warming up for a match, she carefully watches her opponent to pick out their strengths and weaknesses and whether they can move. Her winning strategy has been very effective and she is sticking to it. "I use the drop shot and then the lob repeatedly and wait for an opportunity to approach the net. She made a point to explain to me that in her age group, approaching the net beyond the service line is not a good idea.
Rita's love for tennis is obvious, but it's her love for people that had me captivated. When doing a mental checklist on which questions I would ask such an inspirational athlete, What's the secret to your success, had to be one of them. After spending only a few minutes interviewing Rita I saw no need for this question. It was obvious that Rita's love for people is the secret to her long, healthy life. "When you go through a difficult time, do something for others, you will feel better instantly. And smile wherever you go."
See Lizl Kotz Performance Facebook page for highlights of the Women's 90's finals