Rock Steady Boxing now offered in Seymour


“Boom!” the members exclaimed as they sat in chairs in a circle and hit a balloon with pool noodles.

The warmup continued as they ran in place.

“Move those hands. Move those feet. Get that blood pumping,” one of the coaches, Desiree Hall, said.

Next, they practiced taking jabs before doing arm circles and high knees.

“Nice job. Nice height,” another coach, Amanda Dick, said.

Then they walked over to get their boxing gloves and quick wraps and put them on to do quick jabs, cross jabs and a combination of both before hitting speed bags, various types of heavy bags and focus mitts.

In the end, they gathered in the middle of the room and broke it down with “Rock Steady.”

Rock Steady Boxing is new to CrossFit Seymour. The internationally recognized program with certified trainers addresses the quality of life needs of people with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately the dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.

Although there is no cure, treatment options vary and include medications, lifestyle adjustments and surgery, according to While Parkinson’s is not fatal, disease complications can be serious. The disease affects 10 million people worldwide.

Seymour resident Jim Myers was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2016 and joined a support group in Seymour in 2019. At his first meeting, he learned about Rock Steady Boxing and signed up for the program at the end of his first class in Columbus.

He developed a desire to bring the classes to Seymour. Thanks to a generous donation of $5,000 from Jackson Lodge 146 Free & Accepted Masons in Seymour and a matching gift from the Schneck Foundation, Amy Steffey and her team jumped at the opportunity to certify trainers and begin offering Rock Steady Boxing at CrossFit Seymour.

“When Rock Steady came on, it was just a blessing,” said Myers, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s from Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War.

He said he attends classes all three days they are offered — 10 to 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — and the program has helped him immensely.

“Most of the time, we’re having so much fun, it goes until 11:30 a.m.,” he joked. “It’s especially helpful here. That was a good program up there (in Columbus), but when you’ve got two medical doctors and a physical therapist on staff here, they just know so much more.”

Joining Hall, Dick and Steffey as coaches are Alyson Fish and Emily McKeon.

“It’s nice because of the proximity, but the big thing is the training of the stance. (The coaches) are just so knowledgeable and so passionate about what they are wanting to do,” Myers said.

He has found physical, mental and social benefits.

“Parkinson’s, it affects everybody differently, and the treatments are different,” he said. “We’ve got people that have had the deep brain surgery. We’ve got people that are on various medications. In my case, it affected mostly my left side. I’m very rigid on my left side, and all of the movements we do have really helped with trying to diminish or moderate that rigidity. If I stop, they would come back.”

On Feb. 23, an open house was conducted at CrossFit Seymour for people to learn more about the program and watch an abbreviated workout featuring the coaches and six members.

“We currently have 11 members,” Dick said. “We started mid-December and we started with six, and the word is getting out and we fit some more people in here, so we’re definitely steadily growing, and we’re very happy for that and would love to continue to grow.”

Support from the lodge and foundation covered startup costs for a year, including equipment.

“We couldn’t have done that otherwise,” Dick said.

Stephanie Flinn, executive director of the Schneck Foundation, said Myers invited her to a lodge meeting and they discussed the program, and the next day, the Masons agreed to support bringing it to Seymour.

“It was seamless,” she said. “The timing of everything worked out so well. As they were building up, we were able to support that right out of the gate.”

Myers was the influence of getting it started locally.

“What do we do? We support wellness and health initiatives, and so this is perfect,” said Laura Kirtley, president of the foundation’s board.

Jeff Niccum, master of Jackson Lodge 146, said Myers made a big impact on his fellow Masons, too. Myers was worried about losing the program in Columbus since the only certified instructor was leaving.

“He came to us and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got something we want to share with you,’” Niccum said.

They were happy to support a program that meant so much to Myers.

“We’ve actually seen a difference in Jim,” Niccum said. “He was always his head down, stooped over, and now, he stands upright, he’s moving a lot quicker. He’s just overall a lot better.”

Hall, gym manager and head coach for CrossFit Seymour, said it was important to owners Amy and Sam Steffey to add the program to the facility at 209 E. Second St.

“The foundation came to them, and they all know each other from Schneck. They came to me and they were like, ‘Hey, we’ve got this crazy idea. All of the stars have to align to make it work. Are you in?’” Hall said. “I’m like, ‘How can you not be in?’ My whole goal is to try to help as many people as possible, and these people (with Parkinson’s) are really underserved as a group of people, so I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’”

She said the program has been a great addition to the gym.

“Our athletes have been really awesome because sometimes, classes overlap and they are starting to learn these people and start to love them, too. How can you not love them?” Hall said.

“It’s really cool because we’re able to take things we know in CrossFit but also put them here with Rock Steady Boxing,” she said. “It maybe isn’t a complete, total part of their curriculum, but the functional fitness aspect is just as important. … We’re able to use those functional fitness movements with the boxing, which they love, and coordination to make it a well-rounded package.”

Hall said the inclusive group helps members feel comfortable talking to each other about what they are going through.

“A lot of times, these guys are given this horrible sentence that they are like, ‘Oh, it’s taking from me,’ so we want to give them tools so they don’t feel like so many things are taken from them,” she said.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize what it even is,” she said. “I know that I knew a little bit about it but not a ton, but I was shocked at how much Parkinson’s is spreading in the community so close to us. We have to do something. Movement is medicine.”

Others with Parkinson’s are invited to join at any time. They are encouraged to meet with a coach to learn about the program, receive a member packet and answer questions. Once they have clearance for physical activity from their doctor, it’s recommended to observe a class to make sure it makes sense for them.

“Then they just jump right in as long as we get that clearance,” Hall said.

If you go

What: Rock Steady Boxing

When: 10 to 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Where: CrossFit Seymour, 209 E. Second St., Seymour

Information: 812-271-1836 or

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