Healthy Living

Parkinson's Rock Steady Group Comes Out On Top in Big Dawg Dare Obstacle

Parkinson's Rock Steady Group Comes Out On Top in Big Dawg Dare Obstacle

Running, and even walking, in a 5K race is a challenge for many. For some, the challenge might be to just beat their previous time, while others challenge themselves in training to complete the race. But, some people want to take the challenge of a 5K race one step further: participating in a race that also has mud and an obstacle course.

Mud and obstacles runs are races that have a series of obstacles, from large mud puddles to climbing-nets. Mud runs are not for the faint of heart. They are extremely difficult, and even the most seasoned of athletes could struggle to finish it.

The Big Dawg Dare is an annual 5K run held near Litchfield, Illinois. Not only is this course filled with difficult obstacles (and mud), this year also included a special group of participants who wanted to take this challenge head-on. This year, for the first time ever, this team had the opportunity to participate, thanks to some slight modifications. With a shortened distance, seven participants with Parkinson's disease laced up their sneakers and completed the run together.

Parkinson's did not stop them from completing this race

Because Parkinson's has such a devastating effect on the body, it's remarkable to see how these patients participated in the course, let alone finish it. However, many people with the disease would think that the best thing to do for their body is to avoid any intense activities.  The reality is, according to Josh Grant, that “for Parkinson’s the higher the intensity the better it is for the body.” Grant runs the Memorial Sports Care’s Rock Steady Boxing program, which is designed specifically for those with Parkinson’s to learn to work through a high-intensity activity like boxing.

A member of Grant’s program came up with the idea of participating in the Big Dawg Dare. And, needless to say, Grant loved the idea, especially since this race combines high-intensity training and team building.

Fast forward to the actual race: The team reached the finish line with smiles and pride, as their accomplishment was evident. Even patients who had severe symptoms of the disease pushed through, finishing the race with the rest of their team.

Read on to learn more about this amazing accomplish for these Parkinson's patients, and how intense exercise can help patients overall.

Photo source: Rock Steady Boxing Group/The Journal-News