Meet my friend Ralph Kronenwetter. He is one of my students in the Filipino Martial Arts. I have had the honor and privilege of being Ralph’s Guro for one year now and he attends my class at 5 Koshas Yoga and Wellness in Wausau,WI. Ralph has a unique perspective on the “warrior mentality”, one that he uses daily as he battles Parkinson’s disease. I am very thankful and humbled that he shared his insights with me recently.

Ralph was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over a year ago, but began having issues the year before that. After being diagnosed he began doing research on the internet, “but the information was so frightening.” he soon lost interest and hope. It was at this time that his wife Diane found a book for him on one of her internet searches. She ordered him a copy of “Tremors in the Universe” by Robert Lyman Battie and probably hoped that it would do him some good.

Ralph was inspired by the book to look at life and Parkinson’s from a different perspective. He took a warrior’s mentality, “after fear leaves & reality sets in, start forming a plan” is what he was motivated to do next. He investigated what he referred to as “honest fears and honest alternatives” that he researched online and moved forward. At this time he currently is dealing with his Parkinson’s with no medications, but he doesn’t have anything against medications. He is just trying to handle his illness on his own terms, and with a great support system led by his wife Diane he is doing just that.

Ralph inspires me every Thursday and more than he knows to train a little harder, try a little more, and most of all to look at situations from as many different angles or perspectives as I can wrap my head around. It is hard to believe that he received what some would consider the “worst news of his life” just five months before I met him. I’ve never seen him not smiling, but as he says, “KALI does that to most of us.” I agree! Ralph is using Kali to add to his physical therapy, predominantly Double Stick which increases coordination and works both the left and right side of the body, as well as the brain. Thanks for inspiring us, Ralph!!!

Instructor Jamie Sparling