Rita’s Fight Against Parkinson’s in Rock Steady Boxing

By Stevie Adams / in , , , , , , , /

– [Mark] Who’s ready? – [All] Rock steady! – [Mark] Cone! – No! – [Mark] You said you were ready! (laughing) – [Ann] That’s not how we play it. – [Rita] No! Wait a
minute, let’s start again. – My name is Rita and I’m
a coach for real estate agents and businesses. I was diagnosed with
Parkinson’s two years ago, actually, exactly in August, and the doctor who diagnosed me told me if you need to do something go to Rock Steady Boxing. When I was diagnosed,
the first reaction was no, not me: I’m a very active
person, I run marathons, I eat healthy. That cannot happen to me. I went into my car, I
cried for five minutes, and as I was crying, I took
my phone and started Googling Rock Steady Boxing. And I was lucky enough that
this place was actually having the Grand Opening that Saturday. And now, actually I don’t think about it. I get on with my life every
day, just like a regular person. I think of myself as a regular person. So Parkinson’s is just
there, and it will be there, but I’m fighting it.
And I’m fighting it with actually with my mindset,
my mindset is what’s working for me. My favorite thing about Rock
Steady actually is the mitts. I love to hit the mitts. And Paola, my partner, she
does a great job with me and she really challenges me. Also, the atmosphere… when we come here we are a huge family. I have wonderful friends
from Rock Steady Boxing. We created our own support group. We meet every four to six weeks. Sometimes we have guests and that’s very helpful
to everybody to learn the different things we’re going through. And also, I created a
little group with my girls. We meet also once a month at lunch and we discuss what’s
going on in our lives. So it’s been awesome. It’s really become my second family. And also my Coach, Emily, she’s awesome and she makes us work hard, yes she does! My heart rate goes up! Since training in Rock Steady
I’ve made different changes. Number one, like I said
before, I was a runner. So runners, we just know how to run. But we don’t know how to stretch, we don’t know how to pick up weights, we don’t know, obviously,
how to hit the bag. We just know how to run. So now, you know, I do other stuff. Like I say, I do the squats, we do the wall sits which last two minutes. You know, in the beginning I
couldn’t even do 30 seconds. – [Emily] Do you want a drink or anything? – No, I’m fine. I’ll drink afterwards. – [Emily] You’ll drink afterwards? – Not water! I’m just kidding. (laughing) The experience I have with Mark, which I started to work
out with him right away after I met him that Saturday is, sometimes I don’t like him that much because he makes me work so hard! But what I love about him is,
he never treated me like a Parkinson’s person. He just has me do squats, 104 one day, he has me do planks, the right way, he has me do weights. Also, he helped me to change my habits what do I eat. Actually since I started
working out with him I lost 32 pounds. I look great, 32 pounds less. I feel stronger. So like I said before,
Parkinson’s is not here. I just feel stronger, I
eat healthy, I look good. What more can I say? (laughter) Everyday I want you to know, before I leave my house, I
go in front of the mirror, I look in the mirror and say,
“Hey, you look great today.”, and I leave. And actually, by the way, when
I started working out with Mark, he liked to start at
eight o’clock in the morning. Slowly I brought him to 7:00,
to 6:30, and now we actually meet 6:00 a.m. so in a way
we help out each other. – [Emily] Um, I don’t know
if Mark would consider that helping. (laughing) – I woke up this morning,
four o’clock in the morning. I know it’s crazy and it’s a Sunday, but besides Rock Steady
Boxing I still do my walking with my friends. So we call it a 5k Sunday. So I actually did a little bit over 5k, three and a half miles. And that’s part of my mindset too, you know, I just still love to do that because I did in the past. So at six o’clock in the
morning we were walking. I do want to become a
spokesperson for the Parkinson’s and help somebody. If I
can just help somebody in their lives and their
mindset and become stronger, I’ll be there to do that. And that’s my goal in my life. My message is don’t even think about it, just go on with your life. Parkinson’s is there, nobody denies it’s there. But just think, get your mindset in place, exercise, be out, talk to people. If you feel depressed call somebody because there will be moments,
you know, that you will feel that way. Just limit it for a little
moment and let it go. Every research today says exercise, exercise, exercise. And even if you don’t feel
like it, which some days you don’t feel like it, no matter what, show up. Even sometimes when I have
to meet Mark six o’clock in the morning and I didn’t
have a good nights sleep I still show up, I still show up. And when you show up and
you start doing the things that you need to do, then
you forget how you feel. As long as you do
something, just be there. Rock Steady Boxing mean
to me my life-saver at this particular time of my life. I am so blessed to be part of that family. I’m so blessed to have the friends I have. I’m so blessed to be able
to move around the way that I move around. And I wouldn’t change it
for anything in the world. – [All] Punch out Parkinsons!

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