October 2021 Warrior Spirit Winner – Mary Willcox
For those who frequently view our weekly Online Gym sessions you will not be surprised to see Mary as our October Warrior Spirit Award winner.Not only is Mary consistent with her exercise routine she is consistent with her effort in these sessions which we can all agree is extremely important but also extremely challenging.
Here is Mary’s story: “I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 7 years ago and from the beginning, I was pretty determined that I didn’t want the disease to define who I was. I chose not to take any medication for the first couple of years after diagnosis and there were many times when I was in tears at not being able to do simple things, such as brush my teeth and peel potatoes. When I eventually started on the medication, I was so excited at the difference it made. It was a good lesson for me in not taking simple things in life for granted. Apart from medication, my neurologist says that the 2 important things in treating Parkinson’s are meditation and exercise. I have found regular meditation to be extremely helpful, both physically and emotionally. At times it has been the only thing that would calm my tremor. Being someone who has always been pretty undisciplined about exercising, I really appreciate the structure of the PD warrior program. Apart from the physical benefits of feeling more alive and confident, I love the chance to share with a group of people who have the same experiences as me. There is something comforting about not having to explain what you are going through. One of the things in life that I love is being in the bush and I used to be quite a keen bushwalker. But after breaking my ankle a few years ago, I have lost a lot of my confidence in walking on rough tracks. So one of my goals for the next few years is to get my confidence back and take on some challenging walks. Although I certainly haven’t got to the stage where I can say that Parkinson’s is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I am thankful that it helps me to remember what things are important in life and I am very grateful for the things I am able to do and for the richness of life I experience.” We can’t wait to see where your walks take you in 2022!