mer dentist. Her disability is approaching a profound stage, but she will continue coming to class until her body
betrays her. People fall—that’s a constant
worry—but we have had few dropouts.
Still, a careful observer can see the march
of the disease from week to week: growing rigidity in posture, random movements, tremors, slurred speech. PD
moves in one direction only.
AS THE LAST BELL rings, I am perspir-
ing freely. My knuckles feel a bit bruised.
And a gang of endorphins have chased
the PD bullies in my head. For now.
Recently, Sahakian complimented my
hooks. He said they were really good—
not just PD good, but good for normal
boxing folks. I felt a sharp frisson of
pride. Later, telling my wife, I got a little
weepy. Who knew that hitting an inanimate object could animate me in ways
that no drug can duplicate?
There are a number of things I can
no longer do. I cannot ride a two-wheel
Mountains in New York—a 35-year pas-
time with family and friends—is no lon-
ger possible. Fatigue at day’s end defeats
my meds and slows my movements. PD
seems to accelerate alcohol’s e;ects on
body and brain.
Yet there are things I love that are still
available. Travel is a passion, and I do as
much as my wife—and our budget—will
countenance. I can paddle a canoe, handle a stick shift and make magic on a
stove or grill. I preside over a book group.
My progression is slow, doctors say. Do
I worry about a time when the bottom
drops out? Of course. Until then, I will
find my way to the gym. I will box. I will
throw punches as hard and fast as possible. I will live. n
Steve Goldstein is a freelance writer and
editor and the former bureau chief in
Moscow and in Washington, D.C., for ;e
Boxing is “probably the most challenging”
of exercises that can slow the progression
of Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Codrin Lungu says.
“And it is more fun.”
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