HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Raising awareness for Parkinson’s disease has become a life goal for one Tampa Bay personal trainer, as he teaches those who have been diagnosed to fight back.
“These people they need to get moving, one of the first things they do is sit back and they are not exercising, they are not pushing themselves, and this kind of program really encourages that,” said Ryan Beck.
Beck helps train up to 100 people living with Parkinson’s disease each week through the non-contact boxing class, Rock Steady.
“So actually, my granddad was my second client and my longest running client now,” said Beck.
Beck had spent most of his adult life in a completely different profession, but says it was his grandfather Bill who inspired him to start helping others.
“He got this diagnosis when I was eight-years-old, so I grew up with it, I didn’t really know how hard he was struggling, I mean it’s just my granddad right, it just made me respect my idol, my hero that much more,” said Ryan Beck.
“I didn’t expect him to do all this, I didn’t expect him to jump in and get so involved, it’s just exciting to watch other people get the same results,” said Bill Beck.
Next month, Ryan is going to push the limit one step further by embarking on a 145-day, 2,200-mile journey across the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness for the disease.
“Because I want to provide these people who have given me so much inspiration something in return,” said Beck.
Every eight to 10 days he’ll take a day of rest, and he’s encouraging people living with Parkinson’s to join him. His grandfather already said he’ll be the first to visit.
“So instead of giving money they are giving their time and their effort because at the end of the day that’s really what the most important thing is,” said Beck.
Beck starts the journey on Feb. 29.
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