On my way into the mall where my favorite coffee shop is located I paused to hold open the door for an older gentleman. It was one of those awkward situations—he was just outside of the distance that demanded the courtesy, but of an age that I worried about his stamina. I erred on the side of being an overly concerned citizen.
He thanked me with a smile. “This old man appreciates your help.”
“Old? Hardly. Besides, I see by your t-shirt that you’re one of the folks who’s part of the boxing class that works out here. I doubt you need any help at all.”
I’d noticed the Rock Steady t-shirts before on elderly boxers at the small fitness center in the mall. The boxers always looked serious in a fun way. Like, “I could probably kick your ass, but I won’t ’cause I’m a nice guy.”
The man laughed. “Well, the class is only for folks with Parkinson’s, so depending on the day, I just might need your help.”
“I had no idea. Does the boxing help?”
He stopped at the entrance to the gym. “Absolutely. Best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Helps me forget what this disease has taken from me. Makes me feel young again.”
“Maybe I should take up boxing,” I said.
He smiled. “I highly recommend it. Thanks again young lady.”
I resisted the urge to hug him for the young lady remark, and hurried on in hopes of securing my favorite table at the coffee shop—the one in the corner that allows me to people watch as I work on editing my current work in progress. After ordering my usual chai latte I set up my laptop in the highly coveted location and scanned through yesterday’s pages. Outside the window I caught a flash of red. Boxing gloves. The Parkinson’s pugilists were throwing punches at unseen opponents. It was a beautiful sight.
Here’s a link to the Tallahassee gym that offers the Rock Steady boxing program for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s. https://sweattherapyfitness.com
Rock Steady has its own website to provide further information and to direct folks to facilities near them that offer the fitness program. If you’d like to donate you can do so there, as well. https://www.rocksteadyboxing.org/