Things I never thought I would do

If you told me six months ago that I would be going to boxing classes and loving it, I never would have believed you.  But having PD can encourage you do things that are out of your comfort zone.

Last November, I attended a Partner’s in Parkinson’s conference in Pasadena sponsored by the Michael J Fox Foundation.  I had read about a boxing program that started in Indiana for persons with PD that was quite effective.  Several vendors were at the conference advertising their Boxing for PD programs and I even got to put on boxing gloves and spar with one of them.  But the thing that impressed me most was in one of the sessions where a young woman with Young Onset PD told her story about how boxing literally saved her life.  The buzz at the conference was all about boxing.

In January, the Rock Steady Boxing NY/LA   program started in Santa Monica, so I thought I would give it a try.  I am in pretty good shape, I go to the gym for yoga several times a week, play tennis, bike, etc.  But boxing, by far, was the hardest thing I have ever done.  Our instructor, Lauren, put us through what she said were 3 minute rounds on the punching bags, speed bags and sparring.  I think her clock lied and those rounds were much longer.  At least they felt much longer. But it was a lot of fun, and it is exhilarating.  Boxing trains your reflexes and coordination, improves your balance and your overall fitness level.  And it is hard work.  I now have new appreciation for those boxers who last for 15 rounds.  I don’t think I could make it through 1.  Recently our class moved to BoxNBurn in Santa Monica and Brentwood, which has boxing rings in addition to the usual equipment.  Lauren put us through some of our moves in the ring, giving us a different perspective on what we are doing.

The best part is that we have all bonded quickly in the class.  After all, we have one thing in common:  Parkinson’s Disease.  And when we get into the boxing ring, we all feel like champions.


6 responses to “Things I never thought I would do”

  1. I’m excited to try Rock Steady in my area but am a little put off by the quoted (by the owner) rate of $75/session with a minimum of 2 sessions/week. Is that on par with the rates in LA, too?

    1. Lucy
      We pay $60 a month for once a week and $120 for unlimited. Where are you at? You may have different owners than Rocksteady BoxingNy/LA. Out of curiosity, how did you find me? I signed up to follow you, too. Your blog looks great. I am just getting started some need to make some adjustments to my sight.

  2. myrna specktor Avatar

    Loved your article above. I too never dreamed I’d like boxing, but I love it even though I don’t
    like “exercise” at 78 yrs old and two years into Parkinson’s. But boxing and dancing with parkinson’s
    I am doing and loving them. A way to exercise and not feel like I am!!! I too can feel the improvement and assistance. Yes, its “expensive” but damm worth it, a lot of fun!! If its not your thing, then you have lost a few dollars.

  3. myrna specktor Avatar

    I think I am a lucky soul. Yes, my initial reaction to learning that I had Parkinson’s was a difficult bout of disabling depression lasting about 3 months. But I made myself do things that helped me
    ever so much!!! 3 days after I was diagnosed I dragged myself to a parkinson’s support group
    where I listened intently to about 25 people speak together of how it was going for them. I found
    myself laughing and crying at these courageous people’s stories. When I was asked if I wished
    to introduce myself and say something, I spoke briefly that I had just been diagnosed a few days ago, & was bewildered, frightened, & just a bundle of confused feelings. A lady said, “Welcome, you are in the right place. Please come next time and take our roster with everyone’s name, etc.
    on it and call or email people.” What a source of strength that meeting was!!! I began to read
    about parkinson’s so I would better understand it, and know how to fight it. I subscribed to Parkinson’s organizations, and went to various workshops and seminars and continued to attend
    other groups too. I made new friends, and read Michael J. Fox’s 3 exhilarating books, along
    with other people who are living with chronic, deteriorating diseases like parkinson’s, ms, als, and
    alzheimers. They helped me enormously, so that 2 years later, while I can feel and see my illness progressing, I am at peace and as actively involved in my very busy life, as I can be. I keep up on the research, attend Dancing Through Parkinson’s classes, and Boxing With Parkinson’s, support groups, participate in research at UCLA & USC,& spend time with friends &
    family, and enjoy my life each day. I don’t shrink from telling people I live with Parkinson’s Disease. I find they are interested, and ask good questions, and deserve straight forward answers. Sincerely,—retired teacher, age 78

  4. Myrna, you are amazing. Please remind me when your next support group meeting is coming up. I could not come the last time you invited me. Looking forward to seeing you there.

  5. […] button to the right so that you won’t miss out on future postings.  The most viewed post was Things I Never Thought I Would Do, a short post about signing up for Boxing classes, followed by Seeking Self-Efficacy and […]

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A Note To My Readers

I love to see your comments and get your emails as we share our collective experiences. But based on a couple of private questions from some of you, remember, I am just a lay person and a patient like the rest of you. For medical and similar advice, you need to talk to your own doctor

Twitchy Woman

Twitchy Women partners with the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund to ensure we have the resources to offer peer support for women with Parkinson’s.