I wake up early January 1, 2020 knowing that my blog and social media accounts have already been updated with automated posts announcing my 2020 Row to Slow Parkinson's awareness campaign.
I pick up my phone while still in bed to get that "hit" of reassurance that comes from friends or family sending words of encouragement to what you are doing on social media. It is not quite 8:00. What I was not expecting was a private message from Christian Banda, a YOPD (Young Onset Parkinson's Disease) friend in Las Vegas (which means it is 6:00 AM his time). It says something to the effect "I want in, what do I have to do to join?". I am speechless.
I had always hoped there would be some groundswell of support for what Jojo, Katie and I were doing, but I NEVER expected someone to commit to the million meter row on the spot on New Year's Day! Within an hour, he sent a picture of the data screen of his rower showing 3500m done!
By the end of the day, Abbe Temkin, Darbe Schlosser, Michael Quaglia had all joined. These are all people I know from across the country through connections to Parkinson's. By the end of the week, several more had joined, people I didn't know before this week. One is even a world class rower, who happens to live with YOPD ... I am not sure we would have connected without me putting myself out there.
By the way, I have 16,416m in the books as of the end of the first week of 2020. It is a short week, I hope to average 20,000 on a normal week. Per my very scientific plan, I am 416m ahead of schedule as of today!
(this is what 4000m feels like.) I think this was 409 strokes. I only row this far 249 more times this year!
The goal remains the same ... raise awareness of the importance of exercise to those living with Parkinson's disease. I now have a small army forming around me to help spread the word, most living with PD, some not. Life is good!