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
I was a little taken aback when a stranger came up to me in the locker room and complimented me on the concentration and intensity I bring to my work out sessions. “I don’t know you, or your medical history,” she said, “but I want you to know that watching you inspires me to push myself and not just sleep walk through my regimen.”
Was this woman talking to me? I wondered, turning my head to to scan the locker room looking for other candidates. I never would have expected that a “temporarily healthy” person would call upon my example to inspire themselves to be the best they can be. Ironically, I am most self conscious when I am working with my personal trainer out on the gym floor, which feels like a stage with me in the glare of the spotlights. The gait belt I wear around my waist is a lot like training wheels on a bike, alerting others not to get too close to me.
Exercise has never been my thing. It still wouldn’t be were it not for research suggesting that it may slow my Parkinson’s disease progression, something no drug has proven to do. I have discovered several physical activities that I enjoy and am not too bad at, transforming myself from couch potato to mall walker to gym regular. In testament to how far I have come, I have won several exercise-related accolades, including the title of “Mrs. April,” personal training client of the month.
Those of us living with chronic illnesses should keep in mind that we, too, can be the ones to offer a helping hand, a few kind words, or an understanding nod.
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
John Wooden, American basketball player and head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles. He won 10 NCAA national championships.