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Rock Steady Boxing: Fred Hyde

Tuesday December 01, 2015

Fred Hyde showed up for the inaugural class when Rock Steady Boxing arrived in Seattle in March 2015, and has barely missed a session since!

Resilience is one of the words that Fred uses to describe how Rock Steady Boxing training has improved his life with Parkinson’s. He talks about how he recovers more rapidly not only from classes, but also from downturns in everyday life, including the falls that are so common to people with Parkinson’s.

Fred has been bouncing back his entire lifetime. Before Parkinson’s knocked on his door, he had been battling cerebral palsy. Rock Steady Boxing has become a way for him to beat both diseases. According to Fred, “My cerebral palsy pretty much affects my left side and Parkinson’s the right side, but as a result of this class, the exercises, things are getting more balanced out, my left leg is getting stronger, my right leg is getting more flexible, so together, I am much more solid.’

Balance is another area where he’s seen benefits: He talks about how the program is “keeping my posture up where it needs to be, and helping me avoid falls or recover from falls,” and Tricia, who owns Arcaro Boxing where classes are held, noted that “When Fred first arrived in the gym, his balance was questionable.  I wondered how many times he had experienced falling even with the aid of a cane.  After just 3 boxing sessions his balance dramatically improved.”

Fred Hyde

© 2015 Karen Johanson

Even though both Parkinson’s and cerebral palsy have contributed to biomechanical issues for Fred, including muscular rigidity, coaches have seen a marked improvement in his rotation as he throws punches, and his ability to execute core exercises ranging from TRX rotations (which challenge balance plus core and upper-body strength) to partner crunches with a medicine ball pass.

Beyond the physical benefits, Fred talks about the “camaraderie with other fighters.” Every session, Fred is quick to chat and fist-bump with not only Rock Steady Boxing coaches and fighters, but everyone in the gym, from people who show up for boxing fitness classes to pro fighters. Many at Arcaro Boxing talk about his drive and enthusiasm, and improvements they’ve seen in his movement.

One of our other fighters, Patty, who learned about the program from Fred, noted that “he inspires me to be a better boxer and more consistent in my training. Fred's the bomb!”

When new fighters show up, he is quick to offer encouragement, using the skills that he’s developed to explain routines or moves to newer arrivals to the program.

Even though depression has been part of his experience with PD, he says that Rock Steady Boxing training has had a positive impact on this part of Parkinson’s, and his big grins light up the room for everyone.

Look for future stories about other Rock Steady Boxing Seattle fighters! 

Rock Steady Boxing Seattle founder, owner and coach Karen Johanson decided to explore personal training as a result of seeing her father’s experience with Parkinson’s and learning that exercise therapy was a valuable tool in managing the disease. After getting her NASM-CPT certification, she attended a Michael J. Fox Foundation Partners in Parkinson’s event in Washington and learned about Rock Steady Boxing as the result of a tweet about the Bay Area date for the event from Rock Steady Boxing SF. She was instantly sold. Helping people with Parkinson’s via boxing seemed like a perfect fit for her, since was already involved with Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do training. From there, she connected with Arcaro Boxing, attended training camp in February and started teaching classes in March 2015.

Karen JohansonKaren Johanson
Rock Steady Boxing Seattle

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