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James Sikora - May 11, 2006
I retired in 1997 determined to pursue the 'passions' I had been unable to pursue while working a hectic business career and helping to raise three children. At the top of my 'passions' list was the martial arts, specifically Tai Chi. Learning Tai Chi would also help a problem I have. Two years before retiring, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Parkinson's Disease is a degenerative neurological condition that affects basic motor function and balance. It was the reason I retired early (at age 57).
The first two months of Tai Chi classes were the most difficult. Making my body flexible and developing a sense of balance wasn't easy after a 35 year career where my only exercise was running between airplanes. But Master Lin and his wife Synthia were compassionate, understanding and patient those first few months, and have continued to be so in the years that followed. Additionally, all the students in my classes have been very supportive and gone out of their way to help.
While the disease continues to progress, my Tai Chi practice has helped to control my tremors and provided the peace of mind that gives me a quality of life that few at my stage of Parkinson's Disease have. I should be confined to a wheel chair. My neurologists are surprised at my good condition and urge me to continue what I am doing with Tai Chi.
Would I recommend Lin's Martial Arts Academy? You bet I would. The Lins have created a disciplined yet understanding environment that ideally suits my 'passion'.
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