A group of those of us who have both Parkinson’s disease and a sense of humor call our support group “Movers and Shakers,” recognizing that moving is our goal and shaking is not.

To help us, we participate in Rock Steady Boxing, a name with a heavy emphasis on the “rock steady.”

Rock Steady Boxing Group Credit: Teresa Franks

We meet every Wednesday afternoon at Title Boxing Club in a small boxing gym at 1029 Davis St. There, we push our bodies, and each other, to the limit. But for our Parkinson’s diagnosis, we would never have met.

Maybe there’s nothing extraordinary happening there, but it sure seems special and worthy of sharing introductions to Rock Steady Boxing, the class at Title Boxing Club for those with Parkinson’s disease, and the people who knowingly, or maybe unknowingly, provide some life lessons.

Contrary to some misconceptions, Parkinson’s is not a cookie-cutter disease. People have different symptoms, motor and non-motor, with different rates of progression. Some have less visible symptoms after many years, and some exhibit more symptoms faster.

Tae showing us exercises. Credit: Teresa Franks

One proven fact about Parkinson’s treatment is that strenuous exercise helps with Parkinson’s symptoms – and the Rock Steady Boxing classes are definitely strenuous.

Our trainer at Title Boxing, Tae Hwang, says when we are almost ready to stop, “Your pain is my pleasure.”

We know he’s not serious but we also know he’s only half joking. He says it’s a good day when “everyone is tired but not defeated.”