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  • Writer's pictureEllen Bookman

The boxing story begins.

I have to start the boxing story somewhere. This story will take more than one post.

The story begins on February 2018, a few days after getting diagnosed and after being told I needed to box. (And, everyone knows that I am a rule follower lol). It’s weird, but I actually followed the rules for once. I started to research how to get into a boxing program. I literally had no idea what I was looking for or who to talk to.


I think most of us are so lost after the diagnosis that it takes a while for it to sink in and allow you to be able to say in words “I have Parkinson’s.” Lee and I were literally numb for three months. Felt scared, alone, depressed and every other word you can think of. My words exactly I believe “WTF. No way. I have Parkinson’s.” My fog really hadn’t cleared when I started boxing.


My former therapist had a client who had Pd. I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone, but I finally picked up the phone and called. She immediately told me about LDBF: Boxing for Parkinson’s. Need to back up. For those who know me, you know that I hate to exercise. Always have! But, for some reason, this seemed like the “punch” in the face I needed (pun intended). See I can be funny!


For three years prior to my diagnosis (which is actually when the Pd symptoms started), I sort of dropped out of my own life and became (even more) lazy then I was prior to the diagnosis. During this time, I gained 15 lbs. I was miserable. It was taking a toll on my marriage. Then, I heard the words “You have Parkinson’s” and my life was forever changed.


It changed so much, that I actually got off my butt, found LDBF- Boxing for Parkinson’s online, made one call and started boxing. I walked in the first day just as anyone would on the first day of anything. Will people talk to me? Will I have any friends?

I walked in and honestly was a little freaked out. I didn’t look like a lot of the people. I was younger. I didn’t have a tremor. Was I in the right place? (I will save the “you don’t look like you have Parkinson’s” discussion for a later post).


I hadn’t even accepted that I had the disease when I started boxing. It scared me!

Guess what? I think too much — literally over rotate on everything. Shocker right?


So, with all of my worries and baggage, I walk into the gym and immediately someone walked towards me and introduced herself. She told me her name was Denise, and she was the vice chairman of LDBF: Boxing for Parkinson’s. Then, I was introduced to the group and trainers.


They called me “new meat.” I felt immediately at home. Game changer.


On my first day and many after, I hid in the back of the bag section gasping for air. I couldn’t make it through many of the first classes I attended. I felt crappy, insecure and spastic. I had no idea what I was doing.


Stay tuned….there is no way this will fit in one post.

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