DALLAS, TX---With the accuracy of a Dirk Nowitzki three-point shot and the flair of a Lee Trevino golf drive, Darleen Springer has the winning form.
The 86-year old resident of Highland Springs, the Erickson Living retirement community in North Dallas, is a self-taught Wii bowling "pro" who achieved a milestone in 2012.
During open play and tournaments, she bowled an amazing 365 perfect games in the calendar year.
"The pins see the ball rolling and just lay down," joked Mrs. Springer, a native of Tennessee who eventually moved to Texas with her husband to be closer to family.
As a youngster, Mrs. Springer bowled for "real," but admitted it wasn't her sport. However, Wii bowling was right up her alley, and she utilizes the two gaming systems found at Highland Springs four times per week.
Mrs. Springer has taken on all-comers, whether in competition with employees of Highland Springs, students from the University of Texas-Dallas or residents from other Erickson Living communities across the country.
"I'm impressed with her focus," described Chris Emmett, Executive Director at Highland Springs and a "victim" of one of those perfect games during a resident-employee match. "She's unflappable, with the same consistent delivery every shot. I have never seen anyone get into 'the zone' like she does."
Her quest included late-year drama. In early December, she noted on the "bragging board," where residents post their perfect games, that she was forty-nine games from the mark. She got into that "zone" and recorded #365 on December 21st.
"I ran down the hallway and let Barbara Blachly, our community resources manager, that I made it," recalled Mrs. Springer. "I'm 86 and proud of it!"
Besides incredible hand-eye coordination, what's the secret to her success?
"For me, it's lining my spot to the head pin, slightly off center, and then releasing the shot," revealed Mrs. Springer. "I tell new Wii bowlers to practice and then repeat your delivery."
Her instruction goes beyond gaming. For four years, Mrs. Springer has taught chair aerobics five times per week to fellow residents.
Mrs. Springer admits there are no new goals for 2013. "I'm competitive and enjoy the challenge of Wii bowling, but I really like teaching others to play, too. It's a fun, social game for people of all ages, and our group has lots of laughs when we play."
About Highland Springs: Highland Springs, managed and developed by Erickson Living, is a retirement community that provides worry-free living for America's seniors-the country's fastest growing population segment. Erickson Living's financial value and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into our continuum of care, lead to demonstrated resident benefits. A robust complement of resident programs and facilities promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average. For more information, please visit www.ericksonliving.com.