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Fighting Back: Boxing Class Combats Parkinson’s Disease

Rock Steady BlogRock Steady Boxing is empowering people all around the world with Parkinson’s to fight back! Their non-profit organization has over 300 gyms where people living with Parkinson’s can participate in non-contact boxing fitness classes. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative movement disorder which can cause deterioration of motor skills, balance, speech and sensory function. It is estimated that over a million people in the United States are living with the disease and another 60,000 are diagnosed annually. With over 16,000 active members using their program, Rock Steady is fighting back!

About Rock Steady

The first Rock Steady gym was founded in 2006 by Scott Newman, a Prosecutor from Indiana who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 40.  There were several studies done in the 1980’s and 90’s that showed rigorous exercise, balance and core strength can help improve range of motion and flexibility for anyone living with the disease. Scott Newman found this to be true and set off on a mission to grow Rock Steady to a National organization.

They recently celebrated their tenth anniversary as well as opening international locations and even publishing a book “I Am Rock Steady”, which focuses on how 11 different people’s lives have been changed by Rock Steady Boxing. Their website even includes a store with boxing/mobility related clothes and accessories. A few months ago, Rock Steady received a generous donation from the Sallie Mae Fund and plans to help support monthly educational seminars.

If you or someone you know are interested in joining their gym or finding more information visit

STRIDE Adaptive Sports – Helping People to Get Back on the Slopes

Adaptive sports enthusiast Steve Ferro is ready for the slopes.

For over 30 years the wonderful people at STRIDE Adaptive Sports have helped teach and mentor athletes in 20 different sports. Their mission is to empower individuals to sustain healthy, active and fun lifestyles. The non-profit organization specializes in everything ranging from Dance to Archery and Target Shooting. With winter upon them at their headquarters in Upstate New York, STRIDE will be focusing on their winter adaptive activities such as skiing, snowboarding and sled hockey.

For the next 5 months STRIDE will have ski and snowboard instructors available at resorts in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Check out STRIDE’s Ski and Snowboard programs here.

Watch their video below to learn more about STRIDE Adaptive Sports:

About Adaptive Skiing Equipment

There are dozens of companies that make a wide variety of adaptive winter sports gear, or if you are just interested in trying it out, often times there is rental equipment available. Pictured to the right is the most popular model of adaptive equipment, the bi-ski. This particular model by Tessier allows for an attachable handle so the rider can be steeretempo-duo-baquet-relaxd by someone else, or there are models that can be operated independently. Organizations like STRIDE Adaptive Sports can help you to determine which is best for your level of interest and experience.


19 Year-Old Paralympic Athlete Mary Kate Callahan Competing in Chicago Triathlon

paralympic athletes
Mary Kate recently posted the fastest time ever for a female Para 1 (wheelchair athlete) in a half Ironman event .

“Never, Never, Never Give Up!”

Never give up. That’s the message Mary Kate Callahan continues to preach. The inspiring 19 year old, T8-T10 paraplegic is on a quest and has made training for and competing in Triathlon and Ironman events her life’s passion.

A La Grange, IL native, Mary Kate has been paralyzed since being an infant due to a virus that settled in her spinal cord (known as transverse myelitis). Today, she is a University of Arizona psychology student competing at the highest levels of athletic endurance and doing what she loves: racing! She represented the United States as the youngest member of Team USA at the 2012 & 2014 World Triathlon Championships. Her recent sporting travels have taken her to Mexico (winning a Silver Medal) and to London, where she won a Gold Medal at the London ITU World Triathlon.

On July 11, Mary Kate posted the fastest time ever for female Para 1 (wheelchair athlete) in a half Ironman event at the Muncie Half Ironman World Championship. She will soon be competing in the World Triathlon Championships coming to Chicago this September 15-19. In all, more than 6,500 of the world’s best triathletes will compete for world titles over four days of competition. Go to the Chicago Triathlon website for more information.

What’s next after the Chicago race?

“I will be regrouping and training to prepare for the Louisville Ironman in October,” said Mary Kate. “Because of your support, I have been able to follow my dreams and compete on an international stage… your kindness will not be forgotten.”

We wish Mary Kate continued success as she comes back to her hometown of Chicago… and in Louisville Kentucky in October!

For more information on Mary Kate’s events and future plans, go to //


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