NWI Times, Sunday October 20,2013 sports section.
HAMMOND | They move much slower now, though not by choice. Their hands and feet often betray them and the inability to focus frustrates them to no end.
They have Parkinson’s disease – a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system – but refuse to surrender and don’t want your pity.
Providing them with “weapons” to fight back is Dennis Hardesty’s Hammond Boxing Club and instructor Frank Rumoro, who is certified in the Rock Steady Boxing Method designed for Parkinson’s patients.
This is boxing without the contact and consists of drills involving cardio, speed bag, heavy bag and bob-and-weave rope workouts.
Homewood’s Scott Giffney, Lansing’s Mark Hajduch and Munster’s Mike Fortener pray the Rock Steady Method can provide them with a better quality of life and delay the ravages of this disease.
“It helps with the agility and focus,” said Rumoro, who has a martial arts background and is also suffering from Parkinson’s. “It helps with mobility and balance because balance is big with Parkinson’s.”
Rumoro was first diagnosed in 1999, at the age of 36, and walks with a slight shuffle.
“Always moving and working helps fight against the tremors, stiffness, and slows the process down,” he said.
Rock Steady Boxing was formed in 2006 by Marion County Prosecutor Scott Newman, who has Parkinson’s. Long-time personal trainer Kristy Follmer, a Hanover Central grad and former women’s boxing champion, is largely responsible for developing the program now used by the Hammond Boxing Club.
I toured the facility and watched Scott, Mark, Mike and Frank work at various stations in and out of the ring. I was told when it’s break time, they don’t want to stop.
Pain and sweat won’t scare them off.
“We teach real old-school boxing,” Frank said. “It’s not just come in and punch a bag. It’s technique. There’s so much to think about in boxing, it helps Parkinson’s people keep their mind active.
“By the third week or so, you see it take effect.”
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are more than 500,000 Parkinson’s patients in the United States and 50,000 new cases annually.
There is no cure.
Dennis Hardesty invites anyone with Parkinson’s to try his classes. It’s exerting and frustrating at times, but the benefits are worth it.
On this particular day, Mike Fortener had his own cheering block — his two children.
“The biggest part for me is the motivation to continue on and don’t give up,” he said. “I’ve got a 4-year-old little boy and a 12-year-old little girl.
“That’s the most important thing in my world.”
Fortener, 47, was “devastated” when diagnosed five years ago.
“The boxing is just another way to get up, get off the couch, so you don’t feel like you have a disabling disease,” he said.
“There’s days I can’t even brush my teeth. I can’t move my hand. I can’t operate the mouse on my computer. Reaching into your pocket sometimes takes all your effort.”
Fortener hopes the Rock Steady Method can reverse some of the effects of the damage already done.
“With vigorous exercise like boxing, there’s days where I can almost feel normal again,” he said.
That explains the big smiles at 250 Ogden St.
For more information about the classes please call 219-670-0394.
Our force in Indy. Sept. 14, 2013. Kahleel Mosely and David Stevenson won unanimous decisions. Kahleel is the third from the left in the front row. The Sanchez brothers Manny and Alexangel didn’t get matched up. The opposition was lucky, they were ready. Coach Ralf Ruiz and Jimmy Shelton were missing from the pic as well as Bri Ruiz.
All new regular gym members start on Wednesdays only. 5:45pm are sign ups and 6pm is the start session. First lesson free.
“Specialized training for those with Parkinson’s”
PD patients at any stage of the disease are urged to get up and get active – because the benefits of exercise for them far outweigh any of the drawbacks. People with PD who keep their bodies fit are better able to meet the many challenges of the disease. They reduce the impact of symptoms at every stage of the disease, stay healthier for longer and may even slow down the progression of the disease, stay healthy for longer and may even slow down the progression of the disease.
Tremors and rigidity or stiffness of muscles slow patients down and disrupt their balance and coordination. Boxing emphasizes agility, coordination and rhythm which are especially beneficial since they help to maintain the ability to perform complex movement combinations that may otherwise be undermined by PD’s stiffness and slowness.
Dennis Hardesty (the trainer / boxing club manager) has trained champions and boxers all over the world. He understands that training people with limitations have different strengths and weaknesses – just like every champ is not trained the same. The benefits of boxing are huge, regardless of age, gender or level of mobility it is a complete work out of body and mind.
For more information please contact Frank Rumoro (Specialty Coach) via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Class Times: Monday – Wednesday – Friday 9:30 AM – 11 AM (Gym is reserved for Parkinson’s training only)
Rates: $48.00 per month, includes access to all specialized classes, use of all equipment (gloves, pads, everything needed to get you started), exercise equipment and weights. Plus access to open gym hours.
Private training is available. Contact for more info.
Exciting day February 23, 2013 as history was made at the Hammond Boxing Club.
HBC was the only facility in this country chosen by the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville for “character education”.
The dedication was well attended. My friends Mike Joyce and Jamillah Ali were great. Our Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. and Marcel Parent from the Ali Center all participated in all the presentations from the pic and wisdom quote from the Greatest boxer that ever lived Muhammad Ali presented by Muhammad’s daughter Jamillah Ali. Also was presented to us was the stained glass silhouette portrait of The Greatest done by Susan and Brady Tabers. Susan a giving city employee from our Marina.
Fittingly we introduced our new training for those with Parkinson’s.