Call it a Comeback
In "Mama said knock you out", a great workout song by the way, LL Cool J's first line is "Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years!"
While I initially did not view the shift in my focus toward exercise vs. my job and family as a comeback, I now see that in many ways, it was. Dee Dee nominated me for a the Comeback Program at Peloton, where they celebrate people who have empowered their life through exercise. It was a honor to be selected for the recognition. Here is the nomination Dee Dee sent.
My Parkinson's diagnosis changed my life in many ways. Perhaps the most visible way is that I make exercise a top priority. I never viewed myself as unhealthy or lazy, but in many ways I was just that before I heard those four words "You have Parkinson's disease".
As I look back now, I can see I was not as healthy as I thought back in 2012, right before my diagnosis.
In many ways, my diagnosis created the opportunity for my comeback. I took specific steps to reduce my stress levels, working with a therapist and making the decision to retire from my career. I immediately started working with a personal trainer upon retiring, which led to co-founding Rock Steady Boxing Peoria in 2015. It's been 6 years now, I would say the comeback is complete, but maintaining my fitness level is a constant challenge.
Thanks to Peloton for the support. I have begun adding Peloton workout sessions to my weekly exercise regimen. It is a wonderful change of pace and different focus than my normal Boxing and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). While all exercise is beneficial to those living with Parkinson's, high intensity, forced movement is at the top of the list. I love challenging myself while Challenging Parkinson's!
I am happy to call it a comeback, even though I've been here for years!