World Parkinson's Day
April 11 is World Parkinson's Day as part of Parkinson's Awareness Month.
Dee Dee and I participated in the 5 Live Team event to establish a world record for Most People Performing an Exercise Online Simultaneously. Good friends Bill Bucklew, Jimmy Choi and Eric Johnson were part of the team that put this together. We logged on to the YouTube live broadcast and joined in on the fun! Thousands of people from 49 states and over a dozen countries participated. It was a phenomenal way to raise awareness of the importance of exercise for those living with Parkinson's.
Yesterday, I was approached on Facebook to answer "What have you leaned by having Parkinson's?" It seemed like a simple question, so I quickly clicked on the post and started typing. Within a minute or two, I had completed my response. I skimmed it for errors, and hit send.
A few minutes later, I started reflecting on what I had written. I realized that because I simply let the words flow, I had encapsulated what having PD has meant to me on a pure level ... no deep thinking and revising, just what came out. I felt this was important for me to share beyond the simple Facebook post on Parkinson's day.
Here is what I wrote:
What I have learned from living with Parkinson's is mostly about myself ... How would I react at age 46 to being told I have an incurable, progressive, neurological disease?
I learned that I would go through significant anxiety and depression.
I learned that I would trust a therapist to work with me to not allow those emotions to take over my life.
I learned that my wife would be the strongest person I know.
I learned that my family and friends will be just that no matter what this disease holds for my future, it doesn't change their perspective about me.
I learned that Parkinson's does not define me.
I learned that exercise is critical to my successfully living with this disease and that Rock Steady Boxing would become not only a way for me to inspire myself to exercise more, it would be the way for me to base my PD advocacy for exercise and to help others exercise through coaching them.
I learned I would meet some of the most amazing people that are also living with Parkinson's and we would work together to help find a cure and make life better for those living with PD.
Perhaps most importantly, I learned that "it's going to be ok!"
World Parkinson's Day, 2020.