Welcome to RobinsonvsParkinson’s.com. This blog is meant to serve as a public testimony and record of my battle with Early-Onset Parkinson’s Disease. This is my attempt to produce some semblance of a positive effect from my affliction by sharing my story, both the triumphs and the setbacks so that other’s might know that they are not alone in the darkest times and also see that it is possible to wage war against this disease or any other malady. You see it’s my mission in life to resist the slow shuffle to the wheelchair. They say that exercise is the best medicine in the fight to slow PD down, so I decided soon after my diagnosis in March of 2013 to take that concept to the extreme.
My sport of choice is Powerlifting where I compete in both the Master’s and Open Divisions of the 220lb weight class of the USPA and my goals are nothing less than to set state (California) and possibly even national records in that organization despite this so-called disability. I am currently the national record holder in the Deadlift for Reps event of the United States Strongman organization with a record of 415lbs for 12 reps in 60 seconds.
On November 7th I set what was believed to be the California state record in the deadlift with an opening pull of 578 lbs. This represented a victorious culmination to my first 2 ½ years with Parkinson’s and is detailed in my most expansive post ever here: CULMINATION . I would only find out weeks later that the records had not been updated to show the new record being 600.75lbs set just one month before. If I had been successful on my 2nd and 3rd lifts at 606lbs the oversight wouldn’t have mattered. While disappointed to not put the record into hands that sometimes tremor with PD, I am more staisfied that the point was made that we do not have to give up our ability to stand and compete shoulder to shoulder with the able-bodied. The real goal for this lift is the national record of 661 anyhow. I have pulled 605 in training a few times and I’m quite confident that I will eventually reach my lifetime goal of 700lbs as well as the USPA national record.
Make no mistake this blog is not an effort to recommend competitive lifting as appropriate therapy for a movement disorder. I’m quite sure that I could find an easier and more therapeutic outlet for my competitive drive, but that’s not me right now and it doesn’t jibe well with my mission in service to brother’s and sisters with PD. My goal is to inspire and to my way of thinking, a PD sufferer will not necessarily care if I can Squat 525lbs or Deadlift 574 or even 662lbs. If they hear that those are California and national records set by a PwP (Person with Parkinson’s) competing against fully able-bodied men then I might be able to help them rejoin their own fight.
Is this a longshot? You bet, but the odds against me contracting PD before age 40 were extremely long and I beat those just fine so why not push my luck? Also understand that the true purpose of this blog is not to catalog me reaching these astronomical goals. Instead, it is really to show the importance of the WORK to keep moving. To that end I envision two main areas to this site. First is the blog which features my writing that many of you are familiar with. This has come to represent the therapy for my spirit and has brought me many rewarding testimonies from people both well and unwell who have been inspired by my story. Second, and this is a new idea, will be a simple training log which will also include my weekly experiences with PD and life in general. It’s my hope that chronicling the effects of my training as it relates to PD might help to show what works and what doesn’t. The title of this new category will be “This is PD”, reviving my original photo album from the RobinsonvsParkinsons Facebook page.
Once again, I am in no way recommending this as a training course for anyone, it is simply a record of what I do in my own battle and serves as a medium for me to reach and influence as many as possible.It is also a longshot that my efforts reach the people that I aim to help so please feel free to follow, like and/or share with anyone who this might help. I am also new to this, so input on the website and the mission in general are greatly appreciated.
Thanks very much for joining me on this project, I hope to keep you informed, inspired and engaged for a long time. Roughly 7,447 days is my goal, but I’m open to more if you are.
Welcome, read on and enjoy -Josh Robinson, editor/author/administrator/life coach/photographer & test dummy