In Fort Collins, Colorado, there’s a place where athletes train seven days a week.
The gym, run by Ryan Schultz, is called Trials Mixed Martial Arts and it’s not an ordinary gym.
“This gym isn’t for your average person,” Schultz says “You’re going to be pushed here. You’re going to be tested. Overall, I think this place is for everybody. I think you just have to have the right mind set.”
This gym is opened to athletes, and Schultz said that includes everyone.
“If you’re an adaptive athlete, for example someone who had their leg removed, we have stuff for you as well here,” Schultz says. “But our mentality here is that there’s no laying down in life. Life doesn’t wait for anybody. I think that when people get a disease, or some sort of diagnosis it’s overwhelming for them and they tend to shut down. That’s more of the time to keep moving forward.”
Schultz has multiple programs running through his gym. One of the programs was started by him and his friend Glenn Beach.
“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago,” Beach says. “And I’ve been training with Ryan to help treat it.”
“Glenn brought to me the Rock Steady Program,” Schultz says. “I like Rock Steady, because they have research that proves this type of program works.”
Rock Steady uses boxing to help those fighting Parkinson’s. Beach says this program changed his life.
“I’ve had, I would say, a 100 percent improvement,” Beach says. “I had no control over my left hand. Now, I only have a subtle tremor every once in a while. It’s so much more manageable now, and a lot of it has to do with the training I got through Rock Steady.”
The course is offered three times a week, and the workouts take about one hour. Beach says that the class does progress assessments every six to 12 months.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, it's estimated 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The foundation reports more than 60,000 people are diagnosed each year.