“On August 4, 1997, at the “ripe old age” of 36 years old, I was informed that the symptoms that I had been struggling with for the previous 5 years were the result of my having Parkinson’s Disease. I was told to expect to be in a nursing home needing care to survive within 5 years and to have my affairs in order within 10 years so that when I died everything was as I wanted it. At 36 years of age and with my one and only child on the way, I set my resolve that this would NOT be my fate. On March 24, 1998, I held my son in my arms in a hospital and I promised him that I would watch him graduate High School and that he would have a Daddy with him to raise him. By the Grace of God, the help and encouragement of family and loved ones, and dogged determination I have not only met, but exceeded that goal. This Spring Isaac (my son) will graduate from the University of Northern Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in Orchestral Trumpet Performance and several offers to continue his studies on scholarship. And I have outlived the “experts” prognosis by more than 12 years.
I am so glad to say that I have had some amazing help on my journey. One of the key ways of keeping Parkinson’s at bay is through exercise. While I tried to always stay as active as possible, as the disease progressed I found myself becoming more and more discouraged, more and more lost in what to actually *do* since the “same ol’ same ol’” wasn’t cutting it anymore, and putting on more weight than I would have liked. Don’t get me wrong – I never looked gigantic, but I’m a big-chested, big-boned guy and I can pack quite a few pounds on and look acceptable. A little over two years ago, I had had enough. I was struggling to keep my balance for more than a block without falling to the right, running was out of the question, and I was sinking into a pit of depression every time I thought about it or looked in the mirror.
Enter Jamie Hahn and NW Personal Training. I’ve known Jamie for a long time from other areas of life. I knew that she had been working on getting licensed as a trainer. One day, Jamie asked what was wrong and I let her have it. After listening to all I had to say, and hearing my reticence at going to standard Parkinson’s help groups (because I was 25 or 30 years younger than everyone in them and the exercises were NOT geared to guys who should be active and had had boxing careers), Jamie asked if I would give her a try. I am so glad I did. Jamie researched and learned all about Parkinson’s and what I would need for cardio, core, balance, and strength issues and fixes tailored for me. I honestly believe that I owe a big part of my life to her and the wonderful folks at NW Personal Training. It was a long and slow slog, but worth it. I’ve gone from only being able to run one block to doing multiple 5Ks, 10Ks, and two half marathons. This summer I completed my first Triathlon! AND I’ve lost 77 pounds along the way! Without Jamie and NWPT I would have accomplished NONE of this! I might not even BE here!