BOZEMAN — Norm Dreyer is the owner of First Choice Home Health in Bozeman and started the Rock Steady Program in Bozeman after seeing many Parkinson’s Disease patients at his business and then being diagnosed himself.
With more than 800 affiliates around the world, Rock Steady Boxing is making an impact on lives, physically and emotionally.
“One of the biggest pluses to the workout is the comradery that’s developed. So much so that it’s almost like a support group wrapped in one,” said Dreyer, who started the Bozeman chapter around 3 years ago.
Dreyer says roughly 300 people in the Gallatin Valley have Parkinson’s Disease, and around 15 boxers show up to Prime Performance and Physio every week for a vigorous 90-minute long workout.
“Obviously exercise is good for Parkinson’s. Exercise, exercise, exercise,” said Dreyer.
“But certain ones like boxing have been shown to produce better results, more symptom abatement and it’s good for the brain too. It’s good for the mind.”
“We work out together, we motivate each other. It’s really thrilling to see people actually improve in their symptoms,” said boxer Bill Haff, who’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for around 11 years.
“We’ve had some boxers that have needed corner-men and safety belts, and now they’re walking and running on their own so it’s really been a lot of fun.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many boxers to stay home and do workouts via Zoom.
But boxing together as a group brings that extra level of support that helps boxers thrive.
This is why Dreyer tells us it feels even better to be at the gym again.
“There’s a lot of commiserating that goes on. A lot of sharing. And it’s like a club. We’re a family as well,” said Dreyer.
For those with Parkinson’s looking for a fitness routine and community in the Gallatin Valley, Rocky Steady Boxing is always accepting new boxers.
Link to learn more about Rock Steady Boxing: https://www.rocksteadyboxing.org/