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Gym offers classes in noncontact boxing for Parkinson’s patients

Tuesday June 20, 2017

Rikki King

Everett Herald - SNOHOMISH — Somehow, before December, it had never come up.

By then, Michelle Frost had been working with her personal trainer, Lacey Ramon, for more than a year. Ramon, 35, owns the Snohomish Fitness Center on Pine Avenue.

Frost says Ramon has the kind of energy that makes her clients actually want to get up early to work out.

They talk about life while they exercise. One day, Ramon happened to mention that she was interested in offering a boxing class for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Until that moment, Ramon was unaware that Frost, 59, serves on the board of Camp Brian, a local nonprofit focused on Parkinson’s.

Frost helped Ramon apply for a Camp Brian grant. The grant paid for Ramon and another instructor to undergo training in April for a program called Rock Steady Boxing. The noncontact style of boxing is said to help Parkinson’s patients with speech, balance and movement.

Classes started at the gym June 1 and are nearly full, Ramon said. So far, there are nine people, women and men. Ages range from 40s to 80s.

With support from the grant, clients pay just under $8 a class. More time slots might be added if interest continues to grow.

Camp Brian is named for Brian Camp, a longtime friend of Frost’s who has early-onset Parkinson’s. The Everett-based group looks for ways to assist organizations on Parkinson’s-related causes, especially in the local area.

Before becoming a business owner, Ramon taught exercise at a physical therapy clinic for about a decade. The Rock Steady classes are part of her life’s work: Helping people who want to see improvements in themselves.

“They are fighting back and they are taking part of their life back, and that’s inspiring,” she said. “It’s easy to come to work every day knowing I get to help them achieve that.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @rikkiking.

More info

www.campbrian.orgwww.rocksteadyboxing.orgwww.snohomish fitness.com.