Rock Steady Boxing Saved Me from the Great Lakes

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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I will never again underestimate the strength of a McDonald’s paper cup — or my Rock Steady Boxing class.

The other day, I took my grandson to his favorite playground: McDonald’s. A friend was meeting us there with her grandson. By the time she arrived, the place was packed. There was only one spot available with a good view of the playing area: a table near the back windows that was covered with a gigantic puddle of sticky soda.

Someone had a massive spill and didn’t bother to report it. By the time we got there, it had formed a smaller version of the Great Lakes. Soda was all over and spilling onto the floor, creating a pool at least 2 feet wide by 5 feet long.

With a root beer in my right hand and a box of apple juice in the other, I turned to set the drinks on the table and lost my footing. I was facing the windows when my feet suddenly began sliding into the middle of the Great Lakes. I couldn’t grab onto anything to steady myself and slammed my shoulder into the top of the chair. In an attempt to stop sliding, I banged the root beer cup onto the window ledge, and with all of the strength I could muster I pushed my weight against it and tried to pull myself up. 

It sounds crazy, but that large paper cup filled with root beer gave me the leverage I needed to get upright.

The entire time I was pushing against that cup, I was wondering when it would give way and leave me crashing to the floor. But then I realized my left arm and hand pushing against the windowsill were holding me up.

Six months ago, I couldn’t have held myself up like that.

I would have tumbled to the floor, ended up in the middle of the Great Lakes, and needed to be rescued from drowning in my embarrassment. But the muscles in my arms are stronger now. Other muscles throughout my body are more powerful, too. I can thank my Rock Steady Boxing class for that, and the encouragement of the coaches and the friends I’ve made there. Without the classes, I would have landed on my backside on the cement floor of the play area at the local McDonald’s, otherwise known, for the sake of this column, as the Great Lakes.


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.


Kathleen L. Karafonda avatar

Kathleen L. Karafonda

Great news! I too am trying to strengthen my PK arm.
(You write so well!)


Kathleen, Thank you so much for your comments and yes, Bob's story gives me hope as well.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

thank you, Kathleen, for your comment! Keep on keeping on!!! and thanks for your encouraging words.

Karen Bate avatar

Karen Bate

Hi Sherri, I remember you telling us you got DBS. I would love to read your columns on that journey. How do I find them? I really appreciate your humor and hope..... nice combo!

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Hi Karen - i’m Glad you enjoy the posts and thanks for asking about my DBS experience. You can read about my experience with it here:

Go to the website above and then click on the DBS category near the top (under the butterfly banner). You will find most of my DBS articles there. If you type ‘DBS’ into the search bar (under the butterfly), you may find some others. Let me know if you have any questions!


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