Ester Marsh: Moving day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

As you are reading this, our Rowan County Parkinson’s group is finishing “Moving Day” at Carolina Field of Honor at Triad Park in Kernersville.

This day started to honor loved ones and raise funds to fight Parkinson’s disease and celebrate movement, which has proven to manage Parkinson’s symptoms. This will be the second year for me to drive the bus for people attending who can’t or don’t like to drive that far. I am honored to have been asked to have yoga demos at our Rowan County tent. Granted, as I am writing this, the forecast says rain all day but it won’t stop us! I do hope the weather will give us a break. On July 5, 2022, I started a class called “Box Mix for Stability.” With my extensive martial arts background, we wanted to keep the cost down instead of paying for (great) programs out there.

So Box Mix for stability is focused on exercises that benefit Parkinson’s patients. But guess what? Yes, it benefits anyone! We, (Karen Webb, who has Parkinson’s and is on the committee for “Moving Day” and the reason we have Box Mix for Stability) didn’t want to limit the class to Parkinson’s alone, we wanted anyone who needed strength, balance, flexibility and stamina to be able to attend.

So my class consists of Parkinson’s patients, post stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer survivors, family members and friends of participants and more. It has been so humbling to see how far they have come. In the beginning of this year, I added (took over from Novant) a class their amazing physical therapists held at our Y until unfortunately their funds ran out.

It was so well attended and improved the class participants so much that I felt I needed to continue this. I am not a physical therapist, so with the help of Trudy and Lauren (both amazing PTs at Novant Health), I studied, researched and created a program called “Brain, Body and Balance,” or as one of my awesome class participants calls it, “Bumps, Bubbles and Bruises.” It has absolutely made me step out of my box to learn and create movement for balance, but also exercises to enhance the brain’s ability to move the body.

Classes such as this are not limited to people with Parkinson’s, stroke or cancer survivors. There are many great classes around Rowan County you can attend, so check and find out what works best for you and your schedule. Whatever you do, keep moving!

Ester H. Marsh is director of healthy living at J.F. Hurley Family YMCA.