Updated: Aug 2
Rock Steady Boxing Affiliate in Gulf Shores, Alabama celebrated five years of rockin' steady for Parkinson's on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. The milestone event, held at Wheeles Karate and Jiu Jitsu Gym, included Rock Steady Boxing workouts and demonstrations as well as lunch for staff, members, and volunteers.
The short program included remarks by Rock Steady Coach, Co-Founder, and Instructor, Chris Wheeles, plus a word from founding member, Gary Ellis, and Stacey Faber from the Parkinson's Foundation.
After his Parkinson's disease diagnosis in 2015, Gary Ellis began to search for a way to preserve his quality of life and battle his newfound condition. That research led him to the national Rock Steady Boxing organization, which already had over 400 chapters in 2016. He consulted with Chris Wheeles, and the two decided to "go for it!" Chris was officially trained and certified at Rock Steady Boxing Headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. Incorporating the program into his Karate and Jiu Jitsu Studio was a natural fit and even through the ebbs and flows of COVID, the program has grown and remained a success to keep those living with Parkinson's moving in the Gulf Coast region. Rock Steady Boxing has now grown to over 850 chapters globally.
"We are learning every day that there are ways in which people with Parkinson's disease can enhance their quality of life and even build impressive power, strength, flexibility and speed" says Gary Ellis. "By exercising with those of us who know the ropes, you can fight your way out of the corner and start to feel and function better." Classes are held Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's at 11 am.
Boxing works by moving your body in all planes of motion while continuously changing the routine as you progress throughout the workout. These classes have proven that anyone, at any level of Parkinson's, can lessen their symptoms and lead a healthier/happier life.
"We are thrilled to be celebrating five years of Rock Steady here in Gulf Shores," says Ellis. "And while the exercise is the critical component, the social connectedness, team camaraderie, and friendships that have developed from this group are what makes it extra special."
You can learn more about Rock Steady at: https://rocksteadyboxing.org/about
If you are interested in joining the team in Gulf Shores, you can contact Chris Wheeles at 1.251.509.3353, or visit the location at Wheeles Karate and Jiu Jitsu, 2050 E 2nd Street, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.
For more information about a boxing program or other movement class near you, visit: https://www.parkinsonalabama.com/movement-classes