April marks the start of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. More than ever, I am excited to have a platform to share with you, what I have been called to do – coaching people to move more and stay strong so that they can live powerfully with PD. The energy of the universe continues to guide me in my pursuit. With my gym closed, I have no access to a rower. I have not logged meters since the beginning of March, placing me about 100k meters behind pace. But the goal is still the same. The mission is still intact. I remain committed on my journey to row one million meters. Just because we get knocked off course, doesn’t mean we quit. Take a detour and push forward.
As I look back on last month, I reflect on the challenges that we all faced and our new normal. For me, that meant making some adjustments and decisions, both personally and professionally. Personally, I am learning a lot about myself. When things started to slow down, I realized there were previous signs telling me to take it easy – SLOW DOWN! Moments of reflection can reveal a lot. Vision becomes clearer. I heard this message before, but now I’m listening. This has been a time to hit the reset button.
The decision to temporarily close the doors of Rock Steady Boxing Charlottesville was both tough and necessary. A “shutdown for the foreseeable future” meant that my athletes would not have their daily or weekly dose of sweat and social therapy. The opportunity to congregate with fellow Parkies would cease to exist until further notice. For many, it is their only chance to interact with someone other than their spouses or caregivers. Exercise allowed them to make new friends and start new conversations, steering away from dark periods of self- isolation. Many PWPs know all too well what is like to live in isolation. You know when I think about it, many of my athletes could write a book on social distancing. They were practicing long before COVID-19 hit our communities. Good news is that many of them HAVE stayed connected with each other. And that makes me feel good!
With challenges, come opportunity. There’s some positivity for you! If you are following the fitness community right now, online training and virtual sessions have been a big hit! With every gym in the country on mandatory lockdown, virtual training has provided an opportunity for clients to continue to practice a consistent workout schedule. Coaches and trainers have been able to sustain their business by converting in-person trainings to live 1-on-1 and Group virtual sessions via video conference platforms like Zoom. I myself utilize a coaching platform that allows me to deliver custom programs to my athletes with Parkinson’s. It has been a part of my business process for a little over a year and has proven to be well worth the investment. If you would like more information about training with me (in-person or virtually), please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the past several weeks, Power Over Parkinson’s has been busy coming up with creative ways to keep PWPs moving! In March, POP gave away a limited supply of inflatable punching bags to fighters in Central Virginia. Last week, POP introduced POPtv, a YouTube channel serving as a FREE opportunity to those living with PD to stay fit and connected during this isolated time. The recorded videos are produced by a collective of fitness enthusiasts to help PWPs continue to live and exercise from home, at least for now. As this global crisis persists and we continue to navigate our way through these uncertain times, POP will continue to do what it can to assist the PD community. Stay tuned for more great resources.
I mentioned earlier, challenges can present opportunity. I am very proud to be a part of the fitness community right now. Adaptability and creativity are at an all-time high. Coaches and Trainers continue to motivate clients to stay the course and keep reaching for the goals because they are still there. We are doing a great job providing a small sense of normalcy and a stress outlet, giving people the capacity to think about what is right in front of them – today. Honestly, even in my profession, I had no idea how much of a priority fitness is in the lives of the masses. Now just imagine if they have Parkinson’s Disease.
We should all come out of this with something to move forward with. I hope that when this epidemic is no longer a part of our lives, we have a better understanding of who we are, what we need to live well, and how we as individuals can be a resource to better serve our collective.
Cheers to health and wellness. BIG LOVE to ALL!