By Mary “The Overachiever” O’Donnell

When I first started as a boxer at Rock Steady Boxing South Shore, I was very tentative and cautious.  I had taken several bad falls and was very nervous in crowds, afraid I would get jostled and fall.

In my 3rd or 4th class, Brett had put out a variety of stations everyone had to try. One of them was jumping rope. I looked at him like he was crazy when he came over and asked why I wasn’t jumping rope.  I replied, “I have Parkinson’s, I’ll fall.”  He showed me the technique and then stayed close by to make sure that I didn’t fall, but not close enough to do it for me.

Tentatively I tried it and after a few attempts I was skipping over the rope.  I looked over at him grinning expecting a big grin back.  Instead he said, “Now do it, jumping with both feet at the same time.” I thought, “This guy is never satisfied!”  But, after a few tentative tries I did it.  Again, I looked over and he said, “I knew you could do it.”  And that began my continuing journey with Rock Steady Boxing South Shore and 110 Fitness with Brett.

Since that first day I have conquered many things that Brett told me I could do, after my initial reaction was looking at him incredulously.  I have performed a box jump, and I have biked 30 miles on a tandem in traffic. I have climbed a rope to the top and rung the bell (it took 8 months to get to the top!).  And I have enjoyed every minute.  Well, maybe not a few moments at the top of the rope trying to ring the bell and having to come back down! When I finally conquered that rope, Brett again showed no surprise and just said, “It’s about time.”

It’s one of the many things I love about 110 Fitness: Brett treats you as a boxer not as a person with PD.  He pushes you all the while playing great music. Brett helps every boxer work hard to achieve their goals.  He gives the boxers hope and encouragement as we fight back against PD!