Patti Batt, a certified fitness instructor, was deeply moved by a national news story about Rock Steady Boxing on a morning news program in 2015. She immediately started researching and gaining certification to start up the first Rock Steady Boxing location in Wisconsin, at Hybrid Athletic Club. Rock Steady Boxing specifically serves people diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a neurological degenerative disease.
Lee Ann “Cauliflower McPugg” Cooper, of Middleton, shadow boxes during a Rock Steady training session at Hybrid Athletic Club in Fitchburg. She says her boxing name comes from a character in comedian Red Skelton’s sketches. Rock Steady is a non-contact fitness program that aims to address and improve many of the signs and symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s. “Our program emphasizes hope. We focus on what you can do — not what you can’t,” Batt said.
Carla “Kit Kat” Marolt (left), of Madison, does a speed bag exercise during a recent Rock Steady Boxing training session at Hybrid Athletic Club in Fitchburg.
Certified Rock Steady Boxing instructor Patti Batt (right) sturdies a punching bag for Madison resident Bob “Bob-n-Weave” Waterman during a recent Rock Steady class.
Lee Ann “Cauliflower McPugg” Cooper (center), of Middleton, and other Rock Steady participants work the speed bags during a recent training session. “It keeps you limber, builds your muscles and it’s a great workout,” Cooper says of Rock Steady Boxing. Plus, “It’s great to be among others that have the same problems I am having with Parkinson’s.”
Patti Batt leads a group cheer at the end of a recent Rock Steady Boxing Class at Hybrid Athletic Club in Fitchburg. “The classes are exhausting because I’m running around for 90 minutes focusing on a lot of people, but after every class, my heart feels full,” Batt says.
Photographed by Valerie Tobias