Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Lahalih.
Sarah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been boxing since I was 17. I am a 4 time Chicago Golden Gloves Champion.
Boxing helped shape my youth, it kept me out of trouble and taught me discipline and focus, and it continues to give me mental strength and confidence in my adult life. I moved to LA about 8 years ago. I met my business partner, Lauren at my neighborhood boxing gym. She had been teaching a boxing class to people with Parkinson’s Disease and I began to volunteer during her classes. There is evidence that boxing helps to improve, and in some cases stop some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. I have never seen a group of individuals work harder than they do. They are literally fighting Parkinson’s. It is amazing to see the obvious and immediate improvement in our boxers.
Everything from improved gate to loss of arm tremors to the overall mood. Most important of all was the regained confidence and the sense of community. I was amazed to see one of our boxers came to his first class using a walker and he was able to ditch the walker within a month. Another boxer is almost off of his medication due to this program. I can’t explain how fulfilling it is to be able to offer these classes. We opened Rock Steady Boxing LA on March 20th of this year. We are the Los Angeles Affiliate of Rock Steady Boxing, Inc. Rock Steady Boxing, Inc., a non-profit organization, was founded in Indianapolis in 2006 with six participants.
Participation has steadily increased to more than 155 members today, including men and women ranging in age from 35 to 90. Classes are geared to people at all stages of Parkinson’s disease. Multiple volunteers and certified coaches contribute their time and talents to assist with the classes.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
None so far, thankfully.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We offer boxing classes to people with Parkinson’s Disease. Forced intense exercise like boxing has been proven to reduce or in some cases stop some of the symptoms of PD. Parkinson’s makes people rigid, their gate gets smaller, they usually develop a tremor, their voices get softer and balance is affected, just to name a few. Our program helps improve or reduce many of those symptoms.
What were you like growing up?
I have always been athletic and a little rebellious. I did not tell my parents I was boxing because I didn’t want them to worry and I knew my strict father would not approve. He found out about it when he read a feature article in the Chicago Tribune stating that I was one of the first female Golden Glove Champions.
- Website: rocksteadyboxingla.com
- Phone: (805) 991-2970
- Email: info@rocksteadyboxingla
- Instagram: rsblosangeles
- Facebook: Rock Steady Boxing Los Angeles