We never know what someone is going through, we might think that we do but the truth is that unless we have stood in that same person’s shoes at the same time of their life we probably have no clue. I am reminded of this every Thursday during our Kali 4 Coordination class at 5 Koshas Yoga and Wellness. One of the attendees by the name of Ralph Kronenwetter is one of my personal heroes. This gentleman started the Filipino Martial Arts at a time in his life when most people shy away from challenges. Ralph has been battling Parkinson’s as long as I have known him and have been privileged enough to call him my student.

After writing the blog post “Meet my friend Ralph Kronenwetter “in November 2016, we received many messages regarding his story. I can tell you that he is still the first person to arrive to class and still the last to leave, but that was all I knew about how he was doing until we had a chance to sit down and talk the other day.

It turns out that Ralph has a steady workout routine that he adheres to every day. Every morning he walks 3 miles to warm up for his boxing routine. Our school has provided a heavy bag for him before Christmas so that he might add boxing into his wellness plan and he works that bag at least 3 three minute rounds most days. This impact training as well as working with the Kali sticks helps him to work on his balance, rhythm, and coordination from a basic health and wellness stand point.

He told me that dealing with Parkinson’s is a constant fight and that “self-discipline can be one of the most important parts of dealing with this battle”. Many times he feels that he “must fight isolation” as well, as he feels that “Parkinson’s has been known to promote laziness”.

That is not the way that it is going in Ralph’s case though, his doctor is very happy with his activities since being diagnosed with the condition over two years ago. Between Kali 4 Coordination and his weekly Yoga and Strength training class he gets to the gym a few days a week and when he is home he works his boxing regularly.

Now WHAT is the EXCUSE for the rest of us…..I know, that list is long and personal……. but it doesn’t have to be!

Ralph’s wife has said that the smile that he has on Thursdays when I see him is from the amount of fun that he has doing Kali but I think that it has more to do with the fact that he knows that he is doing whatever he can to better himself and his condition. I know that when I am using a healthy dose of self-discipline, I tend to feel the same way.

If you have never tried doing Kali double sticks I sincerely urge you to try, the amount of fun that you can have will amaze you.

-Instructor Jamie Sparling