Better with age: Civilla Ball, 90, provides inspiration to other senior athletes

By Terry Groover

Staff Writer

With a bit of a grimace, Civilla Ball said that’s enough … at least for this year.

With 290 pounds of weight hanging from the bar of the leg-press machine, Ball, 90, said if she had done a better job of warming up, she probably could have lifted more. But, she had already cleared 280 pounds.

Ball was one of two women scheduled to participate in Tuesday’s weightlifting competition at the Yukon Senior Games at Valir Fitness Plus. And she was the only one lifting weights.

She was participated in five categories: bench press, curls, leg press, sit-ups and push-ups.

She also participated in last weekend’s track competition. She ran in the 50- and 100-meter runs.

“I feel fine,” Ball said after completing the leg press. “I feel great.”

Ball said she was satisfied, but was a bit disappointed. She said she pressed more last year.

Officials said her press last year was more than 300 pounds.

Tuesday, she also lifted 55 pounds on the bench and 50 pounds on curls.

She also did 45 push-ups and 12 set-ups.

Ball was honored this year with 7 gold medals.

Ball, who lives at Spanish Cove in Yukon, has been participating in the senior games for at least four years.

“I do this for Spanish Cove. I don’t do it for me,” she said.

But she does exercise for herself.

She’s lived at the retirement facility for the past 12 years, and said she began working out after she moved in.

Ball does everything that she can to stay in shape, whether it is lifting weights, doing stretch exercises, yoga or tai chi to help with balance.

“I’m strong but I have bad balance,” she said.

Ball also spends a lot of time on elliptical machines.

Shelli Selby, the events coordinator at Spanish Cove, said Ball is an inspiration to other residents of the community.

“She is remarkable in that she is doing this at the age of 90. She line dances, she does yoga and walks on a continuous basis. She does all of our activities, and that is why her mind is so brilliant too. She stays active,” Selby said.

Jan Scott, Yukon’s director of parks and recreation, said Ball is an inspiration to others.

“She is an inspiration. She’s doing that, so you think ‘I have arthritis, but look at Civilla, she’s 90. Can I make it to 90 and do that,’” said Scott.

Ball said she enjoys the activities.

“This is good for me,” said Ball.

Ball has been active most of her life. She spent most of her life as a farmer’s wife and as a registered nurse. She has six children, 30 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. She is a 1944 graduate of Yukon High School.

Ball has advice for other seniors.

“Stay with it as long as you can. That’s what I’d said,” she said.

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