Interview with Rock Steady Boxing Participant, Doug Hawkins
What made you interested in trying CrossFit while also attending Rock Steady Classes?
Pre-Covid, Rock steady was growing and thriving. I felt like I was getting enough exercise with that three days a week. When the shutdown happened, I had to find ways to keep
moving, such as weekly workouts online.
When the fitness center reopened, I started going several days a week, working out on my own until Rock Steady started back. One day, I was trying some pull-ups on the rig when Adam and Rob commented, “We need to get Doug into CrossFit one day.” A few weeks later, I tried it and was hooked!
What is your favorite aspect of both classes?
I enjoy Rock Steady because we perform stretching, the big movements, balance exercises, and voice exercises. Some people don’t realize how Parkinson’s Disease affects each person differently. In Rock Steady, we cover all of that.
CrossFit also presents a variety of aspects to my exercise regime, such as cardio, strength, skill, and muscle memory. While I’m not able to master the skill aspect, nor perform some of the lifting, I feel I get a lot out of the strength, core, and cardio. There is also the dopamine release that comes from exercise, and that is one thing that Parkinson’s takes away from us.
The camaraderie, encouragement, and friendships are just a few things that I am very thankful and blessed to receive from both classes.
You competed in the CrossFit Open 2022 Adaptive Athlete Division for Neuromuscular Disorders (Parkinson’s Disease). How did that feel? How did you rank? Are you ready for the 2023 Open?
I tried the Open as a kind of self-test to see how I measured up after a little over a year in CrossFit. There were all ages and different adaptive competitors. I think my final rank was 48th out of 150 in my division. They are making some positive changes for 2023 in the Open, and the grouping for the adaptive divisions will be different. I am excited to see how it turns out and compete in the 2023 Open.
What are some words of advice that you may have for the viewers of this post?
For the viewers of this post that have Parkinson’s or know someone that does, my piece of advice is get moving. Exercise is the one thing that is proven to slow, stop, and even diminish Parkinson’s symptoms. While it is not a cure, it can help improve your quality of life.
For others, exercise will improve your quality of life as well in the physical and mental aspects. AHFC has an incredible staff and a wide variety of programs/classes to choose so there is no excuse for not checking it out. You may even get to see our Rock Steady boxing athletes work while you walk or jog the track.