COMMUNITY LEADERS: AN INTERVIEW WITH Colleen Greenhalgh from Beyond Fitness Delray.
I decided to learn more about community leaders who have dedicated their lives to Parkinson’s awareness & hope for a cure. My first interview was on 2/7/2023 with Colleen Greenhalgh from Beyond Fitness Delray who provides Rock Steady Boxing training.
Please tell me a little about your background and what got you involved with awareness –
I was an athlete and a competitive swimmer for many years. I worked with seniors for 22 years in all different areas. I went to FAU for a degree in Exercise Science.
I worked with a few people with Parkinson’s and they mentioned a program called Rock Steady. I loved how the program had a setting with everyone smiling and happy together.
I do not have someone related to me with Parkinson’s but I wanted to treat people with love and a welcoming place. I have been doing it for six years.
Someone can come in to the studio with a walker but after a few weeks after that are walking out. Seeing them shift through motivation around them and hope as well as treated well.
Can you tell me more about Rock Steady Boxing?
To become certified through Rock Steady you would go to Indianapolis to be certified. The concept is why do we choose boxing over other sports? https://rocksteadyboxing.org/ Rock Steady boxing is a method to empower people. People feel stronger. Parkinson’s patients do balance, ability work, partner drills, loud voice exercises and punching bags. It has a little of everything to support the symptoms of Parkinson’s. It helps with memory and games for memory. It is like a support group and people become great friends.
The mission of Rock Steady Boxing is to equip our affiliates and empower the coaches to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease through a non-contact, boxing-based fitness curriculum. https://rocksteadyboxing.org/about/
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
Loving people, making them feel safe, supported and empowered is my goal. Empowerment goes a long way. Individuals encourage others around them when they are motivated. I believe the cure for now is between exercise, hope, support and community.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when attending the courses?
Many individuals want to feel strong and healthy. They want to feel like themselves and interact better. Some are limited but when they attend classes and start moving, they begin to improve balance and overall coordination. To bring back some of the simple pleasures they once had. Many caretakers come back years later and tell me that some of the favorite things their loved ones did was Rock Steady.
What type of training does Rock Steady Boxing offer and how long are the programs?
Rock Steady Boxing is one level but we are all together. The is one main class currently. Everyone helps motivate one another. Some individuals may feel they cannot do the exercises but they end up doing amazing things.
What effect can it have on Parkinson’s fighters?
The classes can have a major impact. It is not medicine but it can help mentally and I see different progress in each person. Some people are in better shape today then ever before. Some never worked out before they were diagnosed but now, they are out there boxing away.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?
I would love to see a cure. In the meantime, I would like to speak more on the importance of exercise and offer online classes for people who cannot be there live. I want to emphasis the importance of more people moving and taking care of themselves but they are not alone. Being together with others is the goal. When people are surrounded by others and motiving each other it has a positive effect. I would also like to inspire younger generations to work with seniors and help Parkinson’s awareness.
What events do you participate in out of the studio?
The American Parkinson’s Disease Association Symposium, APDA Walks, FAU volunteer for undergraduate students and I teach at the Marcus Neuroscience Institute and helped create a wellness center.
How can someone get in touch and sign up for the classes? What is your website?
Colleen Greenhalgh, Beyond Fitness Delray
The classes are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 10:30 at
5180 West Athletic Ave. Unit 106 Delray Beach Fl 561-441-4444
Anything you would like to add?
People to connect to their inner joy and self-empowerment.
Colleen has been working with Special Population for 14 years and has been practicing holistic health for 21 years. Colleen believes that the mind and body are connected and that taking care of both are essential for overall wellness and health. She has worked in several country clubs including Boca West and Broken Sound and has a heart to help and serve her community.
Colleen graduated FAU with a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion then continued her education each year taking courses and several certifications. She believes that one must always be a good student to be a good teacher.
Please visit https://www.beyondfitnessdelray.com/