One Story of Courage

Every one of our fighters at Rock Steady Boxing, have their own stories of their lives with Parkinson’s.  Last week, we had a new fighter come in.  He was 68 and in a wheelchair.   When I have a new fighter come in, I first do an assessment on balance and fall risk.  This gentleman’s freezing was really acting up showing me he had significant risk of falling.   I sat with him and gave him cues for to work through the freezes, (posted in my blog on November 15, 2018).  Although he was fit, he had significant weakness in his legs, primarily from his reliance on his wheelchair that stems from his fear of falling.      


He did his first class without the chair but with assistance from my amazing volunteers from Touro University’s Physical Therapy school.  At the end of class, he was beaming but tuckered out.  I helped him to sit in his wheelchair.  We agreed there and then, that he would soon be able to dump the chair.  As everyone was gathering up their stuff, I watched him start to wheel himself out, then suddenly he stood up and left the chair to his wife as he walked out our door.  Today, his second day at class, I looked out to the parking lot and there he was walking into class.  After hugs and a few tears, his wife told me that the chair hasn’t left the trunk of the car since that first day.


Watching this courageous man, take on this huge challenge was inspirational and, as it is with watching our fighters daily, made my heart grow bigger.    But there were a couple more things I learned from the experience:   No one told him the cues about freezing and he didn’t know where to find them on the web.   That is why this website was created to get people the information they need when they need it.  And the biggest thing I witnessed and learned is to see his courage to work hard and earn the confidence to walk through that door to fight another day.  That was his day to shine but each and every day all our fighters are working hard to delay this disease and live the best life. 

 Written by Martie Vlcek

Parkinson's Place