This blog is aimed at people with PD and those without PD but with a thirst for knowledge … and it’s mainly true!

This month I have joined a group called PD Warrior at my local hospital’s physiotherapy unit, having initially been anxious to avoid meeting other PD sufferers. Head in the sand, or what? PD Warrior information is scarce – I know because I have searched it on the internet and not found a lot; so maybe it’s a new thing, or perhaps it’s an Australian thing as the rare mentions you get have an Aussie skew.

The hospital physio persuaded me to try it because the group was aimed at people like me, mobile enough, but suffering from stiffness and related inflexibility. Added to which, PD Warrior seemed like a great name for a spirited attack on the enemy, otherwise known as Bloody Parkinson’s Disease.

A simple circuit was set up around a large recreation room with 10 stations labelled: eg. box step (4 marks to step back and forwards and sideways), overhead ball throw (bounce off the wall and catch ball), banded side step (rubberised material to stretch out, like a soft chest expander … and so on). Each exercise lasts 2 and a half minutes, so the pressure comes from repetition rather than length or strength.

Good old rock classics accompany this light exercise. Some tunes even get us singing, particularly Ray Charles’ Hit the Road Jack.

At other times we are encouraged to chant names such as cities of England or cars or film stars. So we set off with London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Canterbury, Cardiff, Venice … but wait a minute, isn’t Cardiff in Wales? And Venice is surely in Spain. Or perhaps Italy? So back we go … Wolverhampton, Worksop (not a city?). Thankfully the 2 and a half minutes are up, although some geographic stickler will still be arguing about the eligibility of Glasgow.

Ten more weeks to go and I’ve run out of cities…

Over a wind down cup of tea we discuss the effect of Parkinson’s on our bodies and agree it’s vital to keep going and the Warrior exercises feel refreshingly good. No one admits to feeling as tired as I do though!

Meanwhile in the pub we spoke of the global financial markets, oil prices, Scottish independence, Burns night, the NHS, Jeremy Corbyn, Kingfisher versus Cobra and so on. For some reason we got onto famous people we’d met and I told the story of my parents being at a wedding of one of the Banks family of Sheffield. My mum asked the woman on her right what her husband (on mum’s other side) did for a living, and she replied that he was the England goalkeeper, Gordon. My dad almost died laughing…

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