Gary Stanton My diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) came in 2013. I was always involved in sports; running, baseball, hockey, golf and softball. But more and more I found myself: out of shape, overweight and on the couch. By 2016 I was not interested in any sport or exercise. Originally when someone mentioned Rock Steady Boxing to me for PD, I could not imagine putting on a pair of boxing gloves. After the first month of attending these fun but intense workouts, I quickly realized that this program addresses all the major challenges of PD. Rock Steady includes exercises for balance, coordination, strength, mobility and flexibility. Furthermore, the cardio benefits and improvements in my non-motor symptoms was icing on the cake too.
Eventually, the Rock Steady program became a consistent part of my life. It has given me a much-needed fighting spirit for my PD. The improvements I have experienced in mobility, balance, strength and tremor control are remarkable and empowering. Rock Steady Boxing gives me a sense of control against this disease I thought was uncontrollable. I am becoming “Rock Steady” and I’m fighting back!
The honor and privilege is all mine, to associate with such a wonderful bunch of determined individuals. I am also thankful for our dedicated coaches, Jennifer and Lindsay. Our coaches have been an intregal part in pressing us all forward and encouraging us to never give up. Without them, so many of us would not have this Program to fight our disease.”
Bottom line: If you know anybody with Parkinson’s disease, send them to Rock Steady Boxing Rochester. I promise they’ll be happy in their decision to get off their couch and fight back !!
It’s been over a week since you asked me to write a testimonial. “How hard could it be?” I thought. It turns out, very hard. My testimonial is more a love letter to the Coaches Jennifer and Lindsay and my fellow boxers. Yes, Rock Steady has, empowered me, given me some measure of hope. However, given that I had a fairly varied exercise routine before Rock Steady as well as plenty of motivation to “fight back”, I think the program gave me some different and very unexpected tools.
Here’s a list:
First, APPRECIATION. Appreciation that all my exercise efforts were more or less in vain unless I consistently broke a sweat. Yoga and walks around the neighborhood would not raise my heart rate to where it needed to be, nor would they challenge by agility, footwork or cognition. The drills that we do have made me appreciate what it means “to work out” and it feels fantastic.
Second, RECOGNITION. I thought I had learned to listen to my body from years of yoga, but when the insidious aspect of Parkinson’s called fatigue began knocking on my door, I looked everywhere but inside myself. I didn’t want to think of Parkinson’s inevitable progression, but it was pretty remarkable what “doing less” can accomplish. Once it was pointed out that it was okay (and actually helpful, even necessary!) to recover, I could face the reality and ultimately accept that sometimes less is more, sometimes you just need a nap. I learned to give myself permission to REALLY listen and REALLY respond.
Third, INSPIRATION. Doing for others has allowed me to cope with Parkinson’s, but when I began to show symptoms of disease progression, the tables turned. The outpouring of compassion and concern shown by Lindsay and Jennifer and fellow boxers brought me to tears on more occasions than I can count. This compassion, borne out of concern and empathy, is free of pity and judgement but brims with no-nonsense perseverance. To a person, the Rock Steady family inspires me.
Fourth, ENCOURAGEMENT. Jennifer and Lindsay remind us to set ourselves up for success. Another boxer expressed the sentiment that Rock Steady is a place where people are doing something positive about Parkinson’s. These words of encouragement are reminders that I think of nearly every day: “How can I make this task more PD friendly or safe?” or “What can I do to be successful?”
Living with Parkinson’s is tough but encouragement from the Rock Steady coaches Lindsay and Jennifer and other boxers uplifts me and inspires me to press on, push forward, and fight back. PD is insidious, relentless in its demands on our body and mind…but Rock Steady provides a place for us to be, just be. And I love every minute there.
Time to ring in the New Year with a gift to yourself.
The gift of health and fitness.
Maybe you have tried and tried in the past to achieve your fitness goals and gave up before you got where you wanted to be. What if this year things could finally be different? It’s been proven that working with a personal trainer has so many benefits and here are a few to help you empower yourself to take the next step. Just Imagine having that extra push to help you get to the top: Once and for all.
Injury Prevention: A big reason that many people give up on an exercise program is injury. We see it so often in the new year when people are joining large group classes and exercising at home with little to no guidance. While we encourage ALL types of fitness and exercise, we also suggest that encourage you are to be very careful and make sure that you understand proper form and technique. Working with a personal trainer can give you the tools that you need to be successful while keeping you training for the long term.
Goal specific programs: Often people exercise and still come out feeling like they are spinning their wheels. Based on your own personal goals, we can create a program specifically for you and help you to make sure you are getting exactly what you need. We also track your results and change up your programs as your goals change.
Accountability: If I have heard it once I have heard it a million times. I just ran out of time or I forgot my shoes or I’ll just do it tomorrow or or or. Sound familiar? Having an appointment and paying the dinero will make you much more likely to committ to your session.
A plan will set you free: How many times have you wandered around the gym, awkwardly looking at equipment that you don’t really know how to use? Only to eventually end up on the treadmill and doing a few crunches then leaving feeling a little underwhelmed and dissatisfied? A personal trainer will save you time by writing your plan for you and showing you how to execute it properly. And you know what they say about time and money!!!
Tips: Our goal as personal trainers at Fighting Chance Rochester is to make you work harder than you think you can while teaching you proper form and technique. Our hope is for you to keep training with us even after all that we teach you because you work harder with us than you would on your own, it’s just human nature.
Decembers Boxer Spotlight is Jim Frenck.
With hard work and consistency since our opening last year, Jim is one of our first Boxers to get 100 classes under his belt. We are so proud to have Jim on our team.
This is what Jim has to say about his Experience with Rock Steady Boxing Rochester
“I have been a regular participant in the Rock Steady Boxing program for over a year. Each hour-long session is designed to specifically combat the effects of my Parkinson’s disease. Not only has it stopped the progression of the disease, I’m in the best overall physical shape I’ve been in years.
Under the direction of the highly skilled trainers, Jennifer and Lindsay, participants are guided through activities at the appropriate level of difficulty. Each hour-long session integrates strength and endurance activities. No two of Lindsay and Jen’s sessions are the same and they maintain a high level of engagement by providing interesting routines.
Above all, the sessions are positive, constructive, and upbeat. An atmosphere of mutual support and camaraderie is maintained throughout and participants are pleased to see one another.
While the Rock Steady Boxing program is intended specifically for those with Parkinson’s disease, anyone seeking fitness could benefit by participating in one of the other training programs offered by Jennifer and Lindsay.”
Our Boxer Spotlight this month is Lori Smith. Her testimonial lands exactly one year from receiving her Gloves and starting with us. Happy Anniversary Lights Out Lori!! Read what she has to say about her year at RSB Rochester
***I’m am a Boxer! I never imagined I would ever say those words. I am approaching 60 yrs old, have 2 grandchildren and never played a sport in my life (does marching band count?). My Parkinson’s symptoms began 8 years ago. The official PD diagnosis came over 3 years ago. It was then that I began an all out search for effective ways to fight this progressive disease. My husband and I heard about Rock Steady Boxing through media reports. It gave hope to Parkinson’s patients by lessening or slowing the progression of the disease. We hoped it would come to the Rochester area soon. Eventually, we were thrilled to hear that the dynamic duo of professional trainers, Lindsay and Jennifer would launch Fighting Chance RSB. That was 1 year ago. Today was my 1st Anniversary (no party or cake) of becoming a boxer. I am thrilled about the changes RSB has made in my life. Through Boxing, Cognitive, Core and Aerobic exercise, I have enjoyed some measurable victories. I can sit on the floor and play with grandchildren and get back up without assistance. Gained confidence when out in public Learned to fall safely I now can get in and out of a car without assistance. My hand dexterity has improved Gained more Independence in everyday home tasks I must add that the socialization that RSB provides has been great for me as well. Additionally, my husband and I have gained many new and valuable friendships. Jennifer & Lindsay are kind, enthusiastic, motivating and wonderfully helpful. We greatly appreciate how creative and energetic they are. Going to RSB twice a week gives me something positive to look forward to. Training and boxing are now the highlights of my week. I can even do a plank! Did I mention….I am a Boxer!
This is firsthand story of Rock Steady Boxing has done for a person living with Parkinson’s Disease.
“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 8 years ago. At that time, my only symptom was a slight finger tremor. Over time I developed a shuffle when I walk, my gait was very slow, and I seemed to be losing my balance. Although I haven’t fallen due to lack of balance, I find it difficult to ride my bike or climb stairs without a handrail. My handwriting has become so small that even I cannot read what I’ve written. My voice has softened and my cognition has greatly declined. I am no longer able to cut meat with a knife, and find it easier to use a straw when drinking any beverage. It is difficult for me to coordinate my body movements to get into bed and cover myself with a blanket.
A year after diagnosis I began an exercise program in my home, using a treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike for an hour 4 times each week. I slowly added hand weights and stretches which were given to me by my chiropractor. This continued for 6 years. My neurologist labeled me as “stable”, attributing most of my stability to my exercise routine, but I was not seeing any improvement, only a slow decline in my abilities. In addition, I began feeling isolated, as if no one really understood my life, except my wife.
7 months ago Rock Steady Boxing opened a chapter in East Rochester, called Fighting Chance. I immediately signed up after reading of the benefits others had received from participating in this type of program. I attend class twice each week and for an hour we undergo intense physical training. The classes are never the same. We participate in weight and strength training, agility, games to improve our cognitive abilities and fine motor control exercises, and of course boxing!
The improvements I have experienced are so very encouraging! My balance has improved, my gait is now fast enough to satisfy my wife, who loves to get out there and power walk, and I now only shuffle my feet if I’m extremely tired. When I started Rock Steady I found I simply could not hop or jump, as if my feet wanted to move, but were stuck in cement. I can now hop 4-5 times in a row before having to stop and collect myself, ready to hop a few more times. Lastly, the social aspect of this Rock Steady group is terrific; being in a group of people who totally understand my abilities and my limitations, each of us encouraging the others to keep going and do their best.”