In Memory, Interviews

Jim Hall from REBOPS for Parkinson’s: Lost my Mom, found my Message… all because of Parkinson’s

An interview with Jim Hall from REBOPS for Parkinson’s: Lost my Mom, found my Message… all because of Parkinson’s on  February 17, 2024 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.


I am as close to 60 as it gets. Hometown: Rockford, IL. Married w/children and I work as a Wellness Coach specializing in helping Peep’s w/Parkinson’s.
I come from a long family line of short people, who were both vertically challenged, and blessed with Body fat. So, over 40 years ago I lost 40lbs myself and committed myself to becoming the most “Trustable-Trainer” I could, and ever since, I’ve been Coaching folks on how to become their own, best Trainer.

I’ve owned Gyms, taught Women’s Self-defense, spoken extensively on the Real-Power of Real-Inclusivity, but since 2016, I’ve committed myself, and our Nonprofit called REBOPS, to delaying, even reversing, the daily symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.


 Can you tell me more about your organization?

REBOPS for Parkinson’s was created because I knew with all my heart, that People with Parkinson’s could do more than the world and often times, the medical field, gave them credit for… They just had to be given a safe space and the constructive coaching to help.
So that’s what REBOPS is about;

using Exercise Boxing, Unique Balance and Footwork drills and Stimulating strength training to keep as much Adrenaline and Dopamine alive as long as possible.

We recently became a 501c3 Nonprofit because, even though running this program isn’t cheap, I wanted to help anyone affected by Parkinson’s to whatever level they needed, not just what they could afford…and when I say Anyone, I mean Anyone, spouses and caregivers as well.”

What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?

How’d I get involved helping with Parkinson’s; well, My Mom was dying and I couldn’t save her… I’m sure you understand.

Wasn’t Parkinson’s, it was MS, and Glioblastoma (brain tumors), she would fall & feel trapped, unable to get back up, and in all my efforts using my decades of fitness experience, trying to make her stronger, it taught me that it only made her progressive symptoms worse, hastening her inevitable outcome… Aside from love and prayer, I was helpless.

But, close one door and open another window, I learned that my “the harder you work, the stronger you get” approach to Fitness and Wellness was 100% Perfect for Parkinson’s, and ever since, we’ve been utilizing a three-tier technique of Building, Balancing and Boxing to keep people with Parkinson’s “Upright and In The Fight.”


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?

It’s been said that once you’ve met someone who has Parkinson’s disease, well, now you know one person with Parkinson’s, because the symptoms and its effects are as diverse as the people afflicted by them.

When it comes to goals, everyone I work with wants a bunch of unique concerns addressed, BUT, One common, almost universal concern to be satisfied.

Their unique goals run from either not (or less) falling down, to maintaining their independence, confidence and ability to enjoy life and travel.

The universal, common concern is simple; they want Hope… something tangible they can see, feel and believe in to put their efforts towards.

Michael J Fox said if there was one degenerative, Incurable disease to get stuck with, he’s glad he got Parkinson’s… I presume it’s because it’s the one you have the most input on doing something about it to help yourself.

What type of training and how long are the programs?
Workouts for People with Parkinson’s are like workouts for people who don’t have Parkinson’s, making the most of Three Things; Adversity, Diversity and University.

We teach hour-long workouts, utilizing Building/Strengthening techniques, Balancing/Footwork drills (YES, we use Agility Ladders with 80 Year Olds!!!) and Boxing-Fitness skills, and these three are ALL designed to provide Adversity (challenge and difficulty), Diversity (variety that not only keeps you interested but keeps Parkinson’s guessing) and what we call University (a community coming together to learn what works best for each person).


What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?

Multiple studies show that Boxing Fitness is best at preventing falls, and falls are becoming the biggest cause of injury and death, world-wide.

Parkinson’s is what I call “The Un-One”, because its UnPredictable, UnPreventable and so far, it’s UnCurable, BUT, if most of the world’s population lived their lives as if Parkinson’s was inside of them already, just waiting for its chance to come out, then it’s also Unbelievably Valuable, because the Anti-Parkinson’s Movements/Exercise, Diet and Life-Approach work together in a healthy way for most the rest of the world, too.

Just because it couldn’t save my mom, doesn’t mean it’s not UnNelievably Valuable for the rest of us.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?

I read that International Parkinson’s Day 2024 (April 11) is all about Community, and that’s exactly what we’re building with REBOPS. We want every Parkinson’s Fighter to be able to bring a Co-Fighter to any/every class, so they can feel the value and impact of these workouts themselves, first-hand.
Spouse, Child, Caregiver, Neighbor, Friend, we want the program to grow so all affected by Parkinson’s are welcomed, participating, and even whenever the Parkinson’s Fighter themselves may not be able to show-up, their Co-Fighter does, because they know they’re an equally valuable member of the family, of the community.
We’re not stopping short of anything less than making this Non-communicable disease our Community Concern.
What events do you participate in?

We’re Big believers in & Co-Promoters of Pedaling for Parkinson’s programs; many folks don’t realize that if it weren’t for the efforts of a Neurologist who took his Patients out Cycling, that how we help Parkinson’s now might never have happened.

So, we’re really excited to be involved with the 20th Anniversary of the upcoming Tour de Scottsdale Event, being held over the weekend of International Parkinson’s Awareness Day (April 11,12 & 13, 2024) in Scottsdale, AZ.

Nearby, in Phoenix, exists the Muhammad Ali Center for Parkinson’s, and we’re fully committed to bringing together the Cycling community with the Parkinson’s patients that their Sport has helped so much!

How does this also assist the caregivers?

Parkinson’s Caregivers and what I like calling Co-Fighters, are a brave and tireless breed. It’s been said that “Fatigue makes cowards if us all”, because being tired makes it hard to do the brave, difficult thing… and nothing is more tiring than the slow, wearing down grind of always having to be there and watch as your loved-one’s fought a declining battle.

As I said, we’re working to grow the program, funds and volunteers to be able to co-involve every co-fighting caregiver, but more, every time I get to meet one of our Parkinson’s fighters’ partners, they express gratitude and more, they show Hope. This not only supports, hopefully, it uplifts.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?

email and phone contact is all there… Thank you for asking.


 How can others also become advocates for awareness?

LEAN into it… Long time ago, in a reality far-far away, I wrote a little book called “Live Life L.E.A.N.” and it was a system for Gratitude…(I’m kind of a “systematic-system-addict” you might say)

Becoming an advocate who’s committed to something as daunting as Parkinson’s can burn you out if you don’t stay grateful every day for your involvement, what you get and what you get to give back.
So, I try to remember those 4 steps of the L.E.A.N. method;

LEARN something new about it every day…

EARN something for it every day, either by crafting, creating or cultivating something on its behalf…
ADD to Someone else’s reality/world with even the simplest act…

Then, NAVIGATE Your way forward, take a step, move in a direction that makes sense based on what you Learned, Earned & Added to the world.
Don’t just jump out and expect too much without learning more about how what you contribute can improve other’s lives.
Why not live life like you will get it, and get ahead of it, before it gets in your head.

In your opinion what is the key to effective advocacy?

The singular, same thing you’d want from/for every person with Parkinson’s; to never quit and to always remember that every simple step moving forward makes a difference.
Get to know people, listen to their stories, and then involve the world by sharing those stories with them… People will help, but are awfully busy and may be waiting to be invited.

How can we better fundraise to support a cure for Parkinson’s?

Well, I guess, just ask. Honestly, I suck at asking for help with things, so firsthand experience has shown me that just not being afraid to ask is most important of all.

Bible says Ask and it will be answered to you, Seek and you’ll find, Knock and your door will be opened… Ask, Seek, Knock is… A.S.K.
What other activities do you undertake to help improve and support your daily living Eg exercise and alternative remedies?

Every day starts at 3:30 am with Feeding the Cat, Prayer and Coffee… In that order…then, I go Workout and Work.

So first, take care of someone else, go talk to and listen to God, put some Go-Go-Joe in the body and go put all of that to good use.
The body needs a balance of predictability, so it can trust you, combined with and UnPredictable Adversity it can grow stronger from surviving.

Why should people who don’t have Parkinson’s care about this?


At REBOPS, we call Parkinson’s disease, “The Un-One”, because its so Un-Predictable, Un-Preventable and as of now, Un-Curable that it’s no wonder it goes Un-Noticed and Under most folks radar.
Here’s the problem with all that; next year, it could be You. Or, next year, it could be me that has Parkinson’s show up in my body.

This is not pessimism, it’s pragmatic… the reality is that Parkinson’s has been around much, much longer than 1817, perhaps back to Biblical times, and we’re getting better at treating it, but I’m not sure we’ve gotten much better at how we treat each other within the reality of it, of Parkinson’s.
If you knew that there was something about you that was genetically vulnerable to a given disease, and there were actions you could take now to minimize it’s effect on you, the only reason you’d sit by and do nothing is because you didn’t care about your own life.

Well you are genetically vulnerable; it’s called being human.  That’s why you should care, because it doesn’t just impact you; you’re not in this battle alone, none of us are, so no one should act like they don’t care… I mean, who doesn’t care about Parkinson’s, right?!?

Have you had any family members or relatives affected by Parkinson’s disease?

So far, to my knowledge, only Brain cancer runs in the family, not Parkinson’s… but I’m living my life as if it’s looking for its opportunity to jump in… So I keep Building, Balancing & Boxing!
If you had one song that would tell us more about you or represent your life which song would it be?

Man, just One? Whoa, I don’t know… Every class, when we all first get there and socialize and warm-up, we play Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” in the background, as a reminder that’s what we’re there for…

For my family it’s always been Garth Brooks’ “The River”, stay dreaming… But for Me, gotta’ be Breaking Benjamin’s song “I will not bow.”

It’s such a strong reminder of hope, letting people know that they’re not alone and that they can come out stronger on the other side of their struggles. And it’s Amazing to work out to!
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


“I want to thank every single person I’ve ever met who has Parkinson’s; I may have taught you how to be a Boxer, but you’ve shown me what it means to be a Fighter.”