Class at The Y helps with Parkinson's disease

  • The Hartwell Sun
    The Hartwell Sun

I hope your holidays were as good as they could be. Yes, the virus put a damper on some things, but we made it through.

Because it’s a new year, I would venture to say that everyone older than 55 has given some thought to how they’re going exercise more, eat healthier, sleep better and take more time for themselves, especially people with Parkinson’s, like me.

I’ve been open and honest about my battle with Parkinson’s. Every single day is a challenge. So if you or someone you know battles PD or other movement disorder, this is for you.  

My friend, Gail Milford White, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about the same time I was. Since we are Hartwell natives, we’ve known each other a long time. We attend the same Bible study and I see her regularly there. Because her doctor was an MDS (Movement Disorder Specialist) at Emory I decided to change docs. Now we go together to appointments, and we are able to share with mutual understanding our joys and our fears about PD. 

Honestly, I let myself get out of shape this past summer. I needed exercise or I wouldn’t be walking. So I started working out with David Leard at the Y. It was so helpful to me that I told Gail White and she decided she would come too. So, we see David once a week for PD exercises. He calls us “The Two Gails.” 

We stretch, do some floor exercises, chair exercises, a little TRX, and my favorite, the punching bag, I just punch that Parkinson’s as hard as I can. 

It has helped both of us so much we asked David if he would be willing to work with  other people with PD.  He said yes. So here’s the deal — we would like to have group sessions as well as individual coaching, depending on the interest that we have. I can tell you that I feel better, have a better attitude and more determination, and that’s because I have to go somewhere, be there on time, and have a good coach. 

Any groups or classes will be tailored to our needs. And the greatest benefit is being with others who understand when you talk about your PD symptoms, your meds, and your feelings. For a PWP (person with Parkinson’s) there’s nothing more helpful than to talk with someone who understands.

So if you’re having trouble with movement, Parkinson’s or not, call and talk to David at the Bell family YMCA. “The Two Gails promise that you’ll be glad you did.