HOW PILATES HELPED ONE CLIENT TO CLIMB MT. EVEREST

 

Back in the spring of 2013 I took a workshop about teaching Pilates to people living with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Since current treatment options can only slow progression of symptoms, keeping physically active is integral to living at one’s potential. The saying “use it or lose it” applies here.
In addition to the physical maintenance benefit, Pilates can also help restore and maintain self-confidence, and a sense of well-being that has often waned after being diagnosed, which may be the most limiting, debilitating symptom of all.
I’ve been working with a couple of Parkinson’s clients and it’s been a wonderful journey for all of us. One of them is Alan Truitt, who was diagnosed 4 years ago, but he’s worked hard not to let illness rule his life. He is pursuing the activities he loves such as hiking, bicycling and sailing, despite suffering from tremors and difficulty speaking.
“Overall, it hasn’t prevented me from doing anything I used to do, ” he said.
After his diagnosis, Alan joined the Summit4StemCell Mt. Everest Team, to complete a trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp to raise funds and awareness for the non-embryonic stem cell research project currently underway at The Scripps Research Institute.
The expedition also sends a message that people with Parkinson’s disease can still maintain active, fulfilling lives.
“It would be nice if it benefits me, but I think the real goal is to do something that’s going to benefit humankind,” said Alan.
The trekkers departed on Oct. 9 for Nepal, where they hiked for over 2 weeks, reaching an elevation of about 18,000 feet.
Before the trek, Alan has trained for months. During his Pilates sessions we focused on areas of his body, where he needed better mobility, stretching and strengthening to help him prepare for the trek in Nepal.
“Eva performed a thorough evaluation of my posture, flexibility, balance, and interests.  Eva knew I was planning a trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp to raise money for Parkinson’s research and that in spite of my disease I led an active life style.  Eva is very aware of the role physical activity plays in combating Parkinson’s.  She developed a series of stretching and flexibility exercises that I could do at home and also while traveling.  Her suggestions helped me improve a painful condition in my foot.  I have continued her fitness regimen and leave for Nepal in less than two weeks.” – Alan Truitt

 lf you know anyone with Parkinson’s and MS, please do them a favor and forward this newsletter, so they can do something positive for their bodies and improve their lives!

If you’d like to make a tax deductible donation to the research, please visit www.summit4stemcell.org

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