When you’re living with Parkinson’s Disease, what you most want to hear from your doctor is, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. It’s working.”
Personal trainer Steve Botsford was found on Thumbtack by Heike Steers, a woman who was looking to get into shape – and manage her Parkinson’s. After working with Botsford twice a week for a few months, her doctor found that her balance and coordination had improved, as well as her peripheral perception. She was able to stop taking some of her medications and the disease wasn’t progressing. Exercise has a way of helping you reach your best-case scenario, whatever that is. Hiring someone to help you stay on track has a way of helping you drag your sullen morning carcass to the gym.
“As long as she’s staying active, that’s the key to helping her continue to function at a high level,” says Botsford. Parkinson’s is a progressive disease and can be debilitating. But when someone is dedicated to their health, it can make a huge difference – especially when they have help. “I applaud her efforts,” he says. “The exercise is helping her live more freely.”
For Botsford, exercise is about quality of life – especially for people in their sixties and seventies. “It helps them do things independently and feel better,” he explains. “It’s more about that than about how you look.” He started his business from scratch six years ago, working at big chains and waiting for the phone to ring. “Until I ran across Thumbtack, it had been really hard for me to get clients. I was bottom-of-the-barrel, just scraping by. You guys started the process for me. Now the last five months have been insane. Now the phone is ringing off the hook.” His goal in the next year is to hire three or four people to work for him.
“To see her progress and the way she’s taking everything in stride is awesome,” he says. “It’s not just about ‘Hey, I want to lose twenty pounds.’ It’s about ‘This is helping me fight this disease so I can live better.’”