Complacency Has No Place in My Battle

Complacency Has No Place in My Battle

Third in a series. Read parts one and two.

Complacency setting in

“Complacency is a continuous struggle that we all have to fight.” –Jack Nicklaus

It has been about a year since I started Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) classes. It has been a great journey filled with many triumphs, and yes, a few meltdowns. I had started to become complacent and overconfident in my abilities. I experienced this complacency in the past, when I used to dance. Whenever I took a dance class from a different instructor, I sometimes struggled with their style of choreography. My body was so used to working with my previous teacher week after week. Their dance moves came to me so naturally. Just because I studied dance for many years did not imply that I would quickly learn new and different ways to use my body. I had become complacent.

Recently, I took an RSB class that reminded me of my dancing days’ complacency. It was a good reminder; a lesson in humility.

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A cognitive challenge

Coach Michelle, my teacher, took the week off. I wanted to continue my streak of attending class every week, so I went to another location to take a class from a different RSB teacher, Coach Seth. Coaches Michelle and Seth have unique teaching styles. The RSB organization provides a focus each week, but coaches may use different drills to support that theme. The RSB focus for the week was footwork agility.

We did a drill I had never done before, and unsurprisingly, I failed miserably. My processing speed to get my feet to quickly perform the footwork drill was definitely impaired. People in the class thought I was moving fast, but I knew my accuracy was poor. My previous dance background honed my ability to learn choreography, but Parkinson’s disease (PD) has dampened this skill. I am a perfectionist, and so I felt that I was not up to par in drill performance. My neurologist reminds me I used to go at 85 MPH and now, with PD, my speed is closer 55 MPH. Of course, this does not sit well with me. I want to be speedy with accuracy!

What lessons do I take away from this class?

That class humbled me. I should not set the bar so high with my performance. I need to be kinder to myself. I am no longer the dancer I used to be, and I must acknowledge that reality. I can’t rest on my laurels or let my guard down when battling this disease.

“We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” –Thomas Edison

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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At the age of 62, I started writing to inspire conversation about mental illness and suicide after my life partner, Steve Tarpinian, took his own life in 2015. Seven months after Steve passed, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Now, in addition to Steve's story, I am telling my own.

4 comments

  1. Shana says:

    Jean, you are inspirational In so many ways. I appreciate you sharing your story and I admire your strength and courage to move forward with a great attitude through such challenging times.

  2. Pam Thomas says:

    Thank you Jean for sharing. I am 66 and was diagnosed last year with PD.
    What a journey we are on, no two alike, Yet we are. Keep up the good fight!
    Blessings to you, and to all whom fight this battle
    Pam Thomas

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