Boxing class involves people with Parkinson's and MS | KOB 4

Boxing class involves people with Parkinson's and MS

Meg Hilling
June 25, 2019 07:05 PM

DURANGO, Colorado- The Good Fight Boxing Gym in Durango is welcoming people from all walks of life.

"We say, 'if you've got the will, we're going to teach you the skill.' It's for everyone,” said Katy Kopec, owner of The Good Fight Boxing Gym.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the gym has a class that is designed for people fighting Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS).

"I am a speech pathologist. So many of my clients have Parkinson's or other neuro-muscular disorders. So when I started boxing several years ago, it just seemed like kind of a natural match," Kopec said. "Everything we do in boxing deals with balance, coordination, big range of motion, timing. All of those things people with Parkinson's struggle with."

Ed Atkinson, who has battled Parkinson’s for 11 years, said he leaves the gym better than he came in, both physically and mentally.

 "When I walked in the door an hour ago, I could barely walk. I couldn't sit down you remember?  Somebody had to help me up. Now I can do this (shows me a jumping jack) hop, skip and jump if you want me to,” he said.

Minus sparring, this class is just like any professional boxing session. From foot work, to jabs to hitting the bags, these boxers deliver a blow while gaining control of their own body.

"Obviously we modify for our clients as needed. But we just box,” Kopec said. 

At the end of the day, the boxers are just trying to fight a good fight.

“It's not like going to physical therapy or to the doctor's office. It's coming to a sweaty boxing gym and working hard,” Kopec said. 


Meg Hilling

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