'Rock Steady' Battles Debilitating Disease
Boxing Training Gym Aids Parkinson's Patients
Last Updated: 820 days ago
A boxing gym with a unique purpose opened a first-of-its-kind facility over the weekend after five years as a growing underground movement in the fight against Parkinson's disease.Rock Steady, a nonprofit foundation, was created by Scott Newman, a former Marion County prosecutor and public safety director, providing nontraditional therapy in the battle against the debilitating disease, 6News' Rick Hightower reported."We were all made to be used to our fullest, and building this gym together is a way for us to do that," Newman said Saturday at the gym's grand opening.The program utilizes no-contact, therapeutic boxing training and techniques to improve brain activity. The gym is inside Peak Performance, a gym at East 62nd Street and Binford Boulevard.The gym, which offers 10 sessions per week, is already working with dozens of Parkinson's patients who are seeking something more than medication and traditional therapy."Before, I think doctors were relying a lot on medications. Now, they understand there's another dimension to how people can get better," said Marion County Superior Court Judge Lou Rosenberg, who has Parkinson's.Rosenberg, who spars regularly at Rock Steady, is also on its board of directors. Boxer and attorney Vince Perez is a co-founder of the gym."What we've found with what we have done is that we've impacted people's lives, not just the Parkinson's people, but their families as well," Perez said. "This disease is so hard to understand unless you have to live with it."Through training, patients battle for control over sometimes constant shaking that Parkinson's disease causes."The greatest betrayal of this disease is it has your brain telling you you can no longer be used, that your muscles, arms and legs cannot be used," Newman said.People who train at Rock Steady are standing up to that betrayal, denying it and breaking through barriers.A 90-year-old woman, who identified herself as Beatrice, said the training helps her get a good workout."It does what any really good exercise should do. After a while, it's strenuous, and afterward, you don't say, 'I'm tired,' because everybody is so tired they don't want to hear that word," she said.The gym, operated by Kristy Follmer, a former professional boxer, can be contacted at 317-205-9198.