More Than a Year Later, My Boxing Class Is Still Zooming Into Fitness
As a Rock Steady Boxing coach, I conducted class via Zoom for the first time more than a year ago. Since then, our class has spent three mornings a week doing shadowboxing and strength training, and working on our balance and mindfulness.
We have used water bottles as dumbbells, and developed our own mindfulness exercises called “Lori chi.” (Some trivia: A gallon jug of water weighs about 8 pounds!) We end each class with a superhero pose, a posture exercise in which we place our hands on our hips, stand tall, and start our day with confidence.
Our classes have evolved from being held in a room at the gym to the sunroom in my home, and finally, to a mini Zoom studio in my basement. Our online group has grown and includes participants from other areas. It is open to anyone. Many of us have never met in person, yet we call one another friends.
Over the last year, the importance of staying connected and active has prompted many articles and research studies. An isolated and sedentary lifestyle is not healthy for anyone, especially those of us with Parkinson’s disease. We have a movement disorder, so we must keep moving.
The physical benefits of exercising and staying connected are discussed regularly. However, the social interaction the boxing classes provide may be overlooked, but it’s an important benefit. Chatting before and after class has become a regular occurrence. We also have “Motivation Mondays” and “Meditation Wednesdays.”
During the pandemic, virtual platforms have become part of our daily lives, whether we use them for work meetings, telemedicine appointments, entertainment, or fitness. There is a plethora of virtual fitness options, including live and on-demand classes, prerecorded programs, and personal training. There is something for everyone, including other resources if virtual fitness isn’t for you.
What do virtual classes mean for instructors?
While I can’t speak for all instructors, I can tell you about the view from my side of the Zoom camera, and what it has come to mean to me. Coaching is more than just a job. It makes it easier to motivate myself to get moving when my body doesn’t want to cooperate. My class will be in our Zoom waiting room, and they count on me to let them in.
Our program is small, and we don’t have a team of instructors. While the instructors from our gym help me when I need them, most of the time, it’s just my boxers and me. There are bloopers, but that just keeps it real.
Occasionally, we have a guest. So far, my son, dad, and husband, Mike, have all made appearances. The class loved seeing both my dad and my son beside me. Mike entertained the class and provided a glimpse of the caregiver being carefree. Because I was wearing earbuds, I had no idea he was jumping around and wreaking havoc on my class.
Some of my boxers have said that the class has been a lifesaver for them over the last year. However, I feel that I am the one who has been saved. They have given me a purpose during this crazy COVID-19 chaos. I have come to rely on seeing their faces three mornings a week. We welcome each other into our homes. We save each other.
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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.