Parkinson’s disease is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated 7-10% of people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease, out of which 100,000 are Canadians. The prevalence of the disease ranges from 41 people or 100,000 in their fourth decade of life to more than 1900 people or 100,000 in their older age. Among those are people who are 80 years and above. It is an old-age disease, and men are 1.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s than women. The disease affects the quality of life, making social interactions more difficult and worsening their financial conditions. And there are few who, despite all these challenges, not only come out stronger but help others to do so as well.

Our guest, Tim Hague Sr. is the founder of Parkinson’s wellness center “You Turn Parkinson”. He is also a retired nurse with more than 20 years of experience. He had shared his valuable information on the disease that cripples the elderly. He now devotes his time to speak and write about this dreadful disease. He is the author of one of the best-selling books, “Perseverance; the 7 skills you need to survive, thrive and accomplish more than you ever imagined”. He has spoken at TEDx and is sought after across North America for his motivational and aspiring topics, “Live your best and Power of Perseverance”. After having being diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease at the age of 46, Tim and his son went on to win the first season of the reality television series “The Amazing Race Canada”. He is an outspoken and effective advocate on behalf of people living with Parkinson’s around the world.

People often have struggled with the saying “Live your Best” because they don’t believe that they are anywhere near their best. Right there in this statement is the kernel that has to be broken, opened, and examined. What is their best? Nobody comes along and asks you if you wanted Parkinson’s. If we ask what your best to the person suffering from this disease is, they will often say, they could run marathons, or half marathons, take many laps in the water.

They’d start thinking that they could have made it if they didn’t have Parkinson’s. However, it is possible to do anything even with Parkinson’s disease if we are resilient. Tim Hague did run a half marathon in Winnipeg, in the snow, at -20 degrees with his daughter. It was the slowest half marathon he must have ever run, but it was the fastest half marathon he had run ever with Parkinson’s.

So, what really is Living Your Best? Living your best is running a half marathon in the snow at -20 despite having Parkinson’s, despite it being the slowest half that you would’ve ever run. There’s a difference between not being happy and wishing you could run and living your best by running a half marathon at the speed that you can. However, to achieve that dream, one must first get off the couch.

It is important that you do not compare yourself to anyone else’s passions. You should do what you love doing. If you’re not a runner, a cyclist, don’t go start running or cycling, you’ll probably hurt yourself and cannot enjoy it. Do anything that you’ve always been passionate about, the thing that you’ve always enjoyed. Even something that you have had to let go. Do not let Parkinson’s or any disease take away your passion and desire from you. Ask yourself if you can go back and pick it up, even if it’s not as good as it once was, is there an ability to go back? Can you pick your passion or desire to do what you love or let the disease take your life entirely from you?

Parkinson’s is not easy to deal with; it leads to tremors, stillness, loss of balance because of the lesser production of dopamine. However, that is all the more reason why you should go ahead and beat it. So, get off your couch and do something you loved doing before you had Parkinson’s. You will gain a sense of victory and confidence, which will give a meaning, a purpose to your life. Happy living! Check more on how to live a happy life (Here- links for a previous article for an active living)