An interview with Nathan Ward from Motorvation on August 24, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Please tell me a little about your background.
I was born in Flint, Michigan. At 19 I began my career as a 911 dispatcher for the county of Genesee. I did this until the age of 24, at which time I began noticing symptoms. At 26 I was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s by Dr. John Goudreau at the Movement Disorders Clinic at Michigan State University.
Can you tell me more about your organization?
I am the Lead Trainer at Motorvation USA, and Corrective Exercise Specialist who operates Rally Cap Fitness LLC. At Motorvation we focus on building a multifaceted toolkit for each client so they can learn how to integrate proper cuing and dual tasking into their daily exercise regiments and life at large. We teach people to think well so they can move well. Rally Cap Fitness is focused on integrating corrective exercise interventions specific to the needs of each client and specific to the characteristics of how their personal movement disorder presents in the musculoskeletal system.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
Well, I lost my passion for a long time because of this disease. I was a public servant and loved my role. Helping the PD community via enriching myself, learning new movement methods and theory and applying them to clients who become close friends…is a win-win-win in my book.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?
To have a semblance of their old self. People want to do the things they love, and they want to enjoy time with the ones they love. The goal of any intervention into Parkinson’s has to have these things central.
What type of training and how long are the programs?
Motorvation is an online virtual program and details are available at MotorvationUSA.com
RallyCapFitness.com offers in-person sessions to Mid-Michigan, and online sessions worldwide. Session durations vary depending on client and severity of issues.
What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?
Motorvation’s goal is to affect the client’s ability to do multiple things at once as is required in life. We aim to improve the client’s ability to think through complex situations while maintaining a safe fluid movement. This translates into less freezing episodes, and ultimately less falls. It’s a brain-down approach to Parkinson’s. Whereas Rally Cap’s effect is a concentration on skeletal stability through improvements in posture, strengthening and stretching specific muscles as dictated by assessment.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?
To collaborate and grow within the community. We are in a very exciting time because there are so many programs available, and new ideas coming about daily. It gives each person the option to tailor a regiment specific to them and use programs like ours to complement their efforts. Through collaboration we can bring together assets and give a more well-rounded option set to those with Parkinson’s.
What events do you participate in?
I host multiple Podcasts on PD and have been very involved within the online community. I have raised funds to provide laptops for two individuals who are Parkinson’s advocates. One in El Salvador and one in Uganda. These laptops are precursors to upcoming endeavors that Motorvation is now undertaking via the gracious funding of one man from our community. I am very excited to be able to share more on this soon!
How does this also assist the caregivers?
Caregiver integration into any program is vital to its success. If the person who is tending to them has no idea what tools are being implemented, they have no chance at aiding them with efficiency through their daily life. We always request caregivers be active and involved in the training. Having a caregiver who continues the exercises with your client through the times you are not with them makes all the difference in their improvement. Clients with involved caregivers in my observation also have a better quality of life.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
MotorvationUSA.com and RallyCapFitness.com
How can others also become advocates for awareness?
Reach out to Together For Sharon!! This guy is doing really cool stuff in honor of his mother, but for our benefit. Reach out to him or any organization and just ask, “how can I help?”
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
Live it up buttercup.