This is a post written by Anne Adams, a first time Guest Adventurer and Empty Nester. Her program for people with Parkinson’s Disease is so remarkable that I begged her to tell her story! Please share this inspiring article with your friends and family, you could change someone’s life. I have volunteered at a class and have observed first hand the progress these fighters have realized. I guarantee it will astound you and warm your heart. – Suzanne
Best Volunteer Job In The World…..Apply now!
I really just want to stop here and let you read the rest below but I feel I first must explain why I am appearing in this great Blog…Bare with me.
I am lazy. While I never pictured myself sunning at a Country Club after my kids left home, a Diet Coke, chocolate chip cookies and an occasional Dr. Phil Show sounded right up my alley. Who could blame me and most importantly… Who would know? Well, I would. I knew a few things about myself and felt compelled to make a list of “dream jobs” to contemplate. I love to exercise but only if I have a friend to exercise with. I love being with people that make me want to be a better person and I love wearing comfortable shoes and clothes. What kind of job description is this??? God answered my question in a way I could not have expected.
My dad and mom live in Indianapolis, Indiana and my dad has Parkinson’s Disease (PD). I watched my dad go from healthy and strong to slumped in a wheelchair barely able to move. I thought I was losing him three years ago and then a fantastic program changed his life…Rock Steady Boxing. It is a program for people fighting Parkinson’s disease and it has been a lifesaver and a Godsend. I have my dad back with only age chasing him down now…like all of us.
Okay, if you are expecting the typical job offer you will not find it here. However, the benefits are above anyone’s expectations and the friendships feel like blood relations. This is truly the most loving, kind, hopeful thing you could do with your empty nest time…I promise!
Last May I opened Rock Steady Boxing SC which is an affiliate of Rock Steady Boxing in Indiana. This program is designed to help with the side effects of PD as well as slow it’s progression. The athletes have all been diagnosed with this horrible disease and are determined to do all they can to fight back…they are literally fighting their disease.
What is Rock Steady Boxing?
It is a kick-ass non-contact boxing class that trains the athletes minds and bodies. It challenges the brain to take on 3-5 tasks at a time when the PD brain only wants to do one. People who come to the gym shuffling will high step their way through a 90 minute class and put all of us empty nesters to shame…Seriously. I have never been around such tough competitors and I married a Division 1 College Football player.
Camaraderie, competition and ability meld together to give an experience to the volunteer that words just cannot describe. These athletes have bodies that hurt every moment of every day and the notion to quit trying is ever present…Yet, no one quits…No one wants to. They all come with a common opponent and are determined to win at all costs. Words cannot capture the feeling that permeates the gym. I have never experienced anything like it. Hope…Joy…Love…all of these are visibly present in the 90 minute classes that take place every week at a Boxing gym in Costa Mesa…It is just awesome.
I’d like to invite any of you that want to experience what I am talking about to come and watch a class. We are growing and expectant about what the future holds including our newest venture…looking for our own space to build out a gym so that we can offer many, many more classes. Want to get in shape? Look for a class for volunteers to open up once we have achieved this goal.
I love that I get to talk to you about this unique opportunity. Thank you Suzanne for building a platform so that we can share great ideas to make our empty nest years more fun than we expected…You are wonderful! Want to come over for a D-coke, cookies and Dr. Phil sometime? I still have plenty of time to fit that in too.
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One more thing from Anne!
I am looking for several people who have an interest in Parkinson’s Disease: I need someone who has legal knowledge about running a non profit (attorney with experience is ideal), someone who is well connected in the community who would like to help raise awareness of the Rock Steady Boxing SC program, someone who would be interested in fund raising to help with our expansion of classes and new location, someone who wants to make a life changing difference by supporting a program that helps people right now struggling with the disease.