The image of the boxing gloves in Martin’s post caught my eye after my taste of life on the ropes this time last week, courtesy of the charity Spotlight YOPD and Rooney’s Boxing Gym. As well as an eye-opener for me on the added challenges of early onset, it was great to meet new people (including author Pete Langman whose book Slender Threads I’d enjoyed. although our projected tango round the boxing ring sadly didn’t happen) and network a bit. And of course to experience the satisfaction of hammering that punch bag. If I lived a bit closer to London, I’d definitely be back – I can certainly see myself benefitting from a good workout once or twice a week. A personal treat at the end of the day came when I bumped into John Conteh, World Light-Heavyweight Boxing Champion from1974 to 1978 so already a local hero by the time I began teaching in his native Kirkby in 1975 and was able to spend half an hour revisiting old haunts in his company and setting our corners of the world to rights.
So. #UniteforParkinson’s is this year’s hashtag. Awareness-raising or empowering or both, this seems like a good slogan. I watch the video & find a couple of seconds of me dancing somewhere in the middle. As usual when I watch something like this, by the end I feel a bit tearful although I’m not entirely sure why. Is it something to do with the fact that I have a birthday in a couple of days and am not convinced that 68 is something to celebrate? But yes, the desire to celebrate is in there somewhere and, bizarrely perhaps, I feel more than a little proud: to be part of something, a worldwide ‘web’ of a different kind.
You can watch the short Unite for Parkinson's video here: https://uniteforparkinsons.org/
Slender Threads: a Young Person's Guide to Parkinson's Disease was written and published by Pete Langman in 2013 & is available from Amazon.
The poem 'Naming of Parts' by Henry Reed was first published in 1942