Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
When I learned that I had been named “personal training client of the month” (Mrs. April for short), I thought for sure it was an April Fool’s joke. After all, stories of my checkered past involving physical activity, leave nothing to brag about. In high school gym class, I couldn’t even complete a forward roll without the help of two friends to turn me over. Hoping to preempt further embarrassment, I only considered colleges that didn’t require physical education credits for graduation.
So, what am I doing differently to warrant the positive recognition I am enjoying as “personal training client of the month?” I’ve come to realize that taking exercise seriously is key to standing my ground and improving my quality of life. My trainer cited the “tremendous progress” I have made in a short period of time; and the “great determination” I show in doing everything I can to fight my many and varied health challenges, which include two total knee replacements, Parkinson’s disease, and stage 4 cancer.
After a year-long hiatus following cancer surgery and chemotherapy, I returned to the gym to learn how to compensate for the peripheral and sensory neuropathy I was left with. Working with a personal trainer, I have improved my balance during movement, increased my flexibility, and corrected my gait to help maintain the postural stability and mobility needed to prevent falls.
Once again, Parkinson’s disease has taken me somewhere I wouldn’t have otherwise gone, and helped me see that Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.