The boxers of Outfight Parkinson’s have donned their gloves – and what an inspiration the boxers are. Hiromi, our coach; and Eiji is our cornerman. Together with the involvement of family helpers; the boxers are focusing on balance using hurdles, stretching using poles, strengthening using the punching back and mits, and enjoying it all with plenty of smiles and grunts.
It doesn’t seem so long ago, but two years ago, while listening to an interview on CBC, I heard about Rock Steady Boxing – a wellness and strengthening program for people living with Parkinson’s Disease. My father has it and we went to our first visit of this new program in Vancouver. He was hesitant but with the encouraging words of the coach he said he would try it. It was fun for both of us. I was his corner man and he enjoyed the challenges and rewards of doing what he felt was meaningful exercise. We attended for months – sometimes he needed a break with flu season or a bad fall. But it was his favorite program – after boxing we would always enjoy a little dessert and coffee. It was a great way to spend time with my father. He passed this April 2018.
Today, the Kenko Wellness Lounge opens its doors to boxing for Parkinson’s. Hiromi our coach took her training at the head quarters of Rock Steady Boxing in Minneapolis. Eiji our volunteer cornerman was a pro boxer for some years and continues to work on boxing with moms and community.
Outfight Parkinson is not in a gym but in an activity room with all the parts we need to help our seniors living in our community (both Nikkei and beyond) to continue to enjoy their lives as they take charge of Parkinson’s Disease.
In May and June, we hada demonstration class which was free for those who were curious and wanted to know ‘is this for me?’. Our classes are on Monday and Tuesday, they start with a warm up – stretch, moving shoulders, arms, joints and legs.
From there they work on form.
The exercise step up a bit with some boxing, shadow boxing, and for circuit exercises. Using their voices, calling out numbers to strengthen those vocal cords, everyone has fun.
The cornerman is always by the boxers to make sure everyone is feeling ‘ok’.
The classes close with relaxation and a stretch – for the boxers. And we’ll see them again the next week.
What the cornerman says “this is a great class, I am enjoying it and at the same time so inspired by our boxers!”
If you are a person living with Parkinson and wish to try a class we encourage you to contact us at – tel: 604-777-5000 email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Classes held at Kenko Wellness Lounge, 6680 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby, BC
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