I have to say that I have been in similar contorted positions as the lady in this picture, and the good news is that it wasn’t from Parkinson’s disease. No, my contortions have resulted from soreness or cramps as a result of “gym time” or “arm day/leg day” or my favorite “pose in front of the mirror at the gym while I work out time”. Don’t act like you don’t catch the random occasional pose if you frequent the gym and get the chance to pass in front of a mirror. I will call you out if you won’t admit it. Now, please keep in mind that for those of you who don’t know me, I am not a fitness guru, nor am I some hulking beast who can’t fit into normal clothes because of the size of my muscles. Most of the time, if I can’t fit into normal clothes, it usually has to do with extra dessert or too much barbeque, and it usually only affects my waist. For those of you who do know me, you are simply saying “yep” to yourselves right now, and nodding in agreement.
For me, working out is not about sculpting the body. For me, working out is a necessity to take control of my body. It is no secret that I bike, but given my work hours, biking time struggles to happen in the winter, so I work out in a 24 hour gym. I use exercise as a complementary therapy to my medications, and to help build balance and strength. But trust me, even if your fight isn’t Parkinson’s, exercise, well that is one you have to ease into, sort of like those cheap “pleather” (plastic leather) shoes that you know you have to wear that will hurt your feet and give you blisters. It’s not going to be comfortable or pretty. As the years added up in my life, I honestly thought that if the good Lord had wanted me to touch my toes, He would have attached them to my knees instead of my feet. I found every reason in the world for most of my life to not exercise, but back in March, I was given one reason to not miss exercise in my life, and that was PD for me.
Now I am not one of those guys who is loudly exclaiming “Making excuses burns zero calories in an hour” or “Sweating comes from making your fat cry”, although the latter was kind of funny when I read it. I believe fitness actually draws on much more than our muscles, and actually grows much more than our muscles. There is a guy in the social media world that I have now had the pleasure of chatting with named Christian Banda. He is a fellow brother in the land of Parkinson’s, but this guy was the “First person with Parkinson’s to complete multiple Spartan Race obstacle course trifectas.” (It’s in quotes because that is straight out of his bio), but check him out at christianbanda.com. This guy is a Spartan beast, and he had these words to talk about fitness and PD: “PD is a part of me, but does not define me. In fact, it has elevated me to another level of grit, determination and perseverance that has transcended me in all aspects of my life.”
See, the really great part about challenges and the fitness and the fight that we bring to those challenges will actually make us greater as individuals. We suddenly find the warrior inside of us, and find a new fight in us each day. But even greater, our lives transform into the positive, and to coin the words of the artist Thomas Kinkade, suddenly, “I am a warrior for light.” That is why you see the #litwithin in my blogs or on Christian’s pages or Ninja Warrior Allie Toepperwein’s pages because we are not letting PD darken us, but instead to make us warriors for the light that is inside each of us, the light that you too carry inside of you. It is also the hashtag for www.LitWithin.org, an organization with the mission to empower people with disease of any kind and at any age. Donated funds are used to support various causes and outreach, and to educate and inspire people to take their lives back from their disease that grips them. Look for the ‘donate’ button. My soreness, my cramps, my contorted body when I wake up with that in the middle of the night is a wonderful reminder of how my light is growing inside, and how PD is actually shrinking when it comes to who I am. Remember your strength today, and remember to make your fat squall like a baby in the gym, but please use deodorant before you do. Have fun!
#noquit #justbe #bike2live #litwithin #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons