It's funny making my first post since January that doesn't start with facts and figures related to my million meter row. It has been a few weeks since I hit that milestone, it still feels great to have achieved that goal, despite injury and other challenges.
As is normal this time of year, I have been reflecting on what 2020 meant to me and what I achieved during the year. Clearly, rowing was a significant point of focus for my year, but it was not all that happened during 2020, here are a few highlights.
Featured in Fox Foundation annual video
Each year, the Michael J Fox foundation produces a video that promotes a key theme of the foundation. This year, that video focused on Friends to Lean On. There are three sections to the video, and several of my friends and I are featured in the second section. It was humbling to be featured and I am very proud of what they put together.
Raised over $17,000 for Parkinson's research
One of my goals for the Row to Slow Parkinson's was to raise $25,000 for the Michael J Fox Foundation in support of Parkinson's research. With the pandemic, it was not possible to hold the events we envisioned around the country. Friend Katie Kleist and I decided to promote our individual rows and solicit donations. We combined for over $17,000! We hope to expand on this in 2021, assuming we are able to hold some public events.
Rock Steady Boxing Peoria
Since mid - March, we have not been able to have in person classes at our Rock Steady Boxing affiliate. Starting April 1, I began coaching Zoom classes. While we had to adjust to not having equipment available, classes have proved very popular with 20-30 people attending each class! I have really enjoyed hosting the classes and I believe it has proven to be a great source of "normalcy" for our fighters.
I have continued my advocacy for the importance of exercise for those living with Parkinson's, reaching many more people this year through this blog and posting on several forums. I continue to work toward making sure nobody else feels as alone and directionless as I did when I was diagnosed.
Even as challenging as 2020 was at times, I learned a lot about how to respond to challenges and managed to finish the year in better physical and mental shape than I started in January. I am looking forward to a great year in 2021!