Mark Siegel

Parkinson’s patient

Tell me about your experience working with Jon.

Found Jon when I went to the gym looked at fliers for independent trainers. Jon’s took a more disciplined approached. Jon’s very interested and enthusiastic about working with someone with Parkinson’s. He’s really intuitive on how to approach things. There’s no cure for Parkinson’s so we’re not working toward that. I was trying to get my functioning at optimal or maximum level.

What are some of the physical challenges you face with your disability?

I was facing tremors in my arms and legs and stiffness in my arms; they didn’t swing. My head was curling down and I shuffle when I walk. We spent a lot of time working on upper body strength and a lot of work on balance and my gait.

What are some of the mental challenges you face?

People with Parkinson’s get depression, they get discouraged and they have the blues. You’re constantly fighting to stave off the disability. You have to accept the disease for what it is. Jon kept a positive attitude. He’d tell me I’ve got to fight with all my might and that’s what he gets me to do. I’ve had Parkinson’s for 12 years and have worked with Jon for past 4 years.

How has Jon helped you overcome some of your physical challenges?

I’m more physically fit. I’m stronger but I still have problems walking. We work on floor patterns with traffic cones. These are all made up exercises based on the circumstance. I’ve sustained myself. I seem to be one of the survivors.

Parkinson’s is generally considered an old person’s disease. I got it at the age of 47. That’s too young. Depression is part of Parkinson’s disease. I think people get discouraged. It’s like hitting the bottom of the well.  I tried going to a physical therapist but it was inconvenient. They only wanted me to go once a week. I worked with Jon 4 times a week. The gym was close. Jon was constantly pushing me to go another day. I think that made a difference. It feels good to work out. It’s something anyone could do.

Tell me about some of his techniques.

We’d do a lot of walking around cones. I have trouble navigating. I stop and get frozen in place and I fall over. We spent a lot of time working with cones exercises that he adapts. He calls it a ladder it’s a grid on the ground and I do steps over them. It doesn’t look very challenging to others but it’s tough for me. I credit Jon with my ability to stand and stay as healthy as possible. I’m not passed it but I have it under control. I know a month ago I was falling 10 times a day now I haven’t fallen in the past 3 weeks.

Jon’s very creative he knows what he’s teaching. He’s very adaptable, flexible in meeting the challenges. Jon has been a great trainer and a great friend of mine.

Call to speak with Jon now: 213-814-7667