There may not seem to be a relationship between parkrun and Parkinson’s, but I can assure you there is.
And while there isn’t yet a cure for Parkinson’s, there are three important things that people with Parkinson’s can do, to help treat the symptoms and maintain a healthier life.
The first is to take the medication to replace the brain chemicals lost because of the disease. Second, maintain a positive attitude along with as little stress as possible. Thirdly, and most importantly, get as much exercise as the body can take, without overdoing it. Overall fitness and good muscle tone can help minimise some of the abnormal movements associated with Parkinson’s disease.
I am a 71-year-old man who was diagnosed with the disease in November of 2015. It took a couple of weeks to get over the shock but I then set my mind to fighting this disease. Having just finished treatment for depression, I was in a good state of mind and had started walking for 30 minutes every day. After a while, I changed to walking as fast as I could. Soon, I become bored with walking and started jogging every day. From there, the natural progression is to start parkrunning.
My home parkrun is in Devonport, Tasmania. I found that I couldn’t initially jog 5km non-stop, but I was determined that one day I would. And I did.
Now my PB is 29:50 – not bad for an old guy with Parkinson’s. We ‘Parkies’ do not say we suffer from the disease, we say we live with it.
parkrun has become the exercise I feel is the best for me. I have now done 26, but not all in Tasmania and I make sure I wear my Parkinson’s t-shirt each week to promote awareness. My motto is ‘I have Parkinson’s, it does not have me’.
I am very grateful for parkrun, as it gives me the challenge I need and helps me to maintain my exercise. I have also participated at the Burnie Ten 10km run and was honoured to carry the Commonwealth Games Baton in February. There is too much life still to be lived to let this stop me.
Echuca Moama is another beautiful part of Australia. Very scenic in a river and bushland setting, it provides a perfect backdrop for a free, weekly timed event. The locals have been quick to adopt and love their local parkrun. Established in May 2017 when a few members of the event team visited Shepparton parkrun and…
Recently my husband, Jon Fearon’s, ran his 200th parkrun; no small achievement since he turns 80 in a few weeks’ time. His parkrun adventure began in 2014 when our daughter, Ruth Gaspar, at that time already a St Peters enthusiast, excitedly told him of the joys of Saturday morning running and encouraged him to…