Warrior Spirit Award – Stephen Barrow

Background.
I have been self-employed most of my life in the real estate industry. I have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. I am married to Annie who is a wonderful person and support model. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in July 2014 and turn 72 in September this year.
I was fortunate to be introduced to PD Warrior within a fortnight of my diagnosis and I there I met Gilly Davey. She was truly a great inspiration for my understanding of how to work to minimize any effect of Parkinson’s. Her advice was positive motivation, efficient and effective exercise and continue to repeat that equation. Effort was the key to achieving this.

Obstacles
Maintaining a positive attitude, 100% effort and an effective exercise regime has sometimes been a challenge. I have sometimes been guilty of losing interest. It is not easy to remain 100% focused. To help this I meditate, I listen to self-improvement podcasts and webinars, I write out my affirmations daily and I visualize living without Parkinson’s as well as my goals. I have found that it is essential to place more focus on everything else in your life than on your Parkinson’s. I believe in mind over matter.

PD Warrior and Exercise Modes.
My exercise regime is a morning walk for approximately an hour, which includes 100 stairs x 4 divided into 4 sections of my walk, swimming daily, a small gym workout and a weekly PD Warrior class. Some days I have to force myself to start but by the time I have finished I feel great.
A few years ago (2016) I walked the first half of the Spanish Camino, (320 km’s) in two weeks. It is my intention to finish that walk in 2024.
I have been through stages where I changed from PD Warriors, to boxing, to John Peppers seven kilometers per hour walks, full gym workouts, personal trainers and various other types of exercise. I always changed as a result of me believing that my instructors and trainers were not working me hard enough. I finally realised the reality is that it is up to me to put the effort in. In other words, learn from others, but it is totally my responsibility to create the effort, nobody else’s.
Having tested forms of exercise I can honestly say that PD Warriors is the best form of exercise. It provides the variation needed for Parkinson’s and you can do it from home and take it where ever you go.

Support Group
Over the past 8 years I have noticed that many people try and hide Parkinson’s, focus too much on it or are by themselves. It is what it is. There are still many many things in life to be enjoyed. Whilst we all visit neurosurgeons our bodies are the realization of what is happening to us. We all feel it intimately. We all have the need to tell our story and learn from other people who have “Parky” as their closest friend.
To that end I have started an interactive podcast for people with Parkinson’s where you can login and tell your own story, ask questions of others, motivate yourself, learn and realize that there is still a good time to be had.

The third Monday of every month between 6.30 and 7.30pm (AEDT) is the place to be. I look forward to meeting you all.

To register for Stephen’s support group please follow this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqc-CqqTspGdQxLFJnn8_vcmT4RtRxqHV1 

Related Articles

September – Stephen Knox

Stephen attends our ARC clinic weekly for PD Warrior group sessions and you will also recognise him from our Thursday online gym sessions.
He is tenacious in his commitment to exercise and fighting Parkinson’s and does an outstanding job putting into words his Relationship with Parkinson’s…
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Past, Present and Future, by Stephen Knox:
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“Writing a story about something that occupies your past, present and future…

June – John Lake

Looking back, some indicators of PD had been there for maybe up to two years before my diagnosis in April 2019. Principally my hand writing (I am R hand dominant) was becoming more and more laboured. Some eight months earlier I had decided to learn the violin, so the clincher became that I could not bow smoothly with my right arm, which became increasingly frustrating for me and my teacher. My father was afflicted with Parkinson’s late in his life, so all added up, the diagnosis was just a confirmation of what I already suspected.

Responses

  1. Just a quick correction, the next support group will be held on the 27th of June (not the 21st). Registration link remains the same.

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