Using boxing to fight back against Parkinson's Disease in Mason City

"The boxing motions and hitting speed bags really works on taking motion from your left to right and your right to left."

Posted: Apr 29, 2019 9:22 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2019 8:21 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa- Throwing punches, keeping your balance and focusing on movement, boxing is an all-body workout.

It’s good for just about anyone but it is even more important to those fighting Parkinson’s disease.

“I didn’t even think about something like this happening to me,” said Geri Berding.

Despite her father also having the disease, Parkinson’s isn’t hereditary. Berding was diagnosed five years ago.

“My shoulder can have involuntary muscle spasms, my hips can get really tight and not be able to move,” she said.
Which is why exercises like boxing or tai chi are the perfect answer to fighting back.

"The boxing motions and hitting speed bags really works on taking motion from your left to right and your right to left,” said Rock Steady Boxing Coach Jana Mentzer.

Mentzer isn’t just the coach. She left her corporate job to teach the class four days a week. It’s a way for her to help those who are suffering the same disease as her mother.

“It was hard watching somebody who was 36 years old, in the prime of her career, caring for two kids, knowing there wasn’t a cure for the disease,” she said.

All while trying to give the disease the ole one-two, Jana and Geri want others to understand what this disease really is.

“People may look at you and say ‘oh, you look great.’ But they have no idea what’s going on inside my body,” said Berding.

The Rock Steady Group will l be attending this weekends ‘Shake Rattle and Stroll.’ That event raises money for the Michael J Fox Foundation.

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