Warrior Success Stories
Hometown: West Roxbury, MA
Age Diagnosed with Parkinson’s: 45
Home Gym: 110 Fitness
“I teach fifth grade and I notice a difference in my handwriting the next day after intense exercise. My brain is more clear and I’m just generally happier.”
P4P Warrior Julie Burke
What are your symptoms?
I have an affected right side, and while I don’t have a tremor, I’m shaky with no arm swing. I am quite slow in the mornings and have mood swings.
How did you hear about Punches 4 Parkinson’s (P4P)?
I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 45 and I felt like I had been given a life sentence. It was probably one of the darkest times of my life. My family tried their best to encourage me, but it wasn’t until I met three women and a nurse who led a support group for Parkinson’s that my life started to turn around. That night, accompanied by my older sister who suffered a massive stroke at 55 I was told by 3 fellow “Parkies” that I was going to be OK and I finally believed it.
These women were fierce fighters at 110 fitness in Rockland and I looked into it. My life was forever changed after meeting Brett Miller. He is a tough coach with raw compassion who demands hard work, cares deeply about his “Parkies“, and leads by example. His gym not only includes amazing equipment, programming and classes, he is also committed to keeping up with the latest research.
110 fitness provides workshops and outings for clients and family members, and that social aspect is probably the most important component of healthy living with Parkinson’s besides for exercise. I joined right away and am infinitely grateful to Punch 4 Parkinson’s for so generously underwriting my membership at 110 Fitness.
How important do you feel it is to stay physically active while living with Parkinson’s?
Exercise is absolutely essential to living with this disease. It helps me stay physically, mentally and emotionally balanced.
How has training with P4P impacted your symptoms?
The more intense the workouts are, the fewer and less intense symptoms I feel. I see a direct correlation with how I feel the day after an intense workout. I teach fifth grade and I notice a difference in my handwriting the next day after intense exercise. My brain is more clear and I’m just generally happier. When I box I forget I have PD.
Have you ever boxed before P4P?
Besides for training your body, how else does the organization support you?
Like I mentioned, 110 Fitness is like my second home. We are all different ages, symptoms vary, but we all have 2 things in common: we have PD and we all keep fighting back. While I would never choose to have this disease, the dear friendships I have forged are the silver lining.
What does the organization mean to you, and how has it impacted your life?
When I go away on vacation I genuinely miss my 110 family. It anchors me. I have a purpose when I’m there. I would be lost without them.
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Eric believes it is one of the most important things to stay active while living with Parkinson’s! It helps him emotionally and physically. I would recommend anyone diagnosed to start early.
I find myself encouraging others with PD I’ve either met or heard about to do this or some form of regular exercise.