Up from your chairs, Tampa Parkies! It’s time to get serious about Rock Steady Boxing. It’s in our backyard now, not just far across the Bay.

From the corridors of USF Health to the meeting rooms of support groups, I have been hearing this from you for months: “If only RSB would jump the Bay, we’re game for the challenge. BUT the drive to Largo is too far.”

Tara Schwartz, director of the Largo RSB program, took my nagging and your concerns very seriously. She put money on the barrel head and leased space for a Hillsborough RSB program near Westshore. It’s in the Performance Compound, 5850 W Cypress St.

She needs a dozen additional Parkies to start the program.  (That’s in addition to the three of us transferring from Largo.) Her Tampa director and niece, Jordan Whittemore, has but half that at last check.  The rigorous but deeply caring Whittemore is a recent USF grad in physical therapy.

Don’t worry that RSB will be too much for you. Largo has two grades of RSB, regular and high test–or as one wag put it JV and Varsity. Varsity is for those with less impairment. JV for those with more impairment. There is almost certainly a place for most of you.

Whittemore is starting with the Varsity program in Tampa. It will meet from 1:30 to 3:00 M-W-F. A JV program will be added as needed. You pay a monthly fee for all the gym facilities. My cost at Largo is roughly $6 a session (plus gas for three 94 mile roundtrips a week from Tampa Palms). Call Jordan at 727-276-8431 to get started on assessment and enrollment. Please do it now.

You have heard me say this before: RSB is my best PD medicine. I have gone from one “bad” day a week to virtually none. (I also credit the interval, high-speed spinning I do twice a week at the South Tampa and Carrollwood Ys. Still, RSB is the big therapeutic gun.) Exercise, plus finely-tuned meds, plus expert care from my MDS Juan Sanchez-Ramos have provided me a full, vigorous and mostly normal life.

To see what RSB is like in action , go to the website
https://www.rocksteadyboxing.org/videos/ and open the YouTube video “We are Rock Steady Boxing.”
Additionally, I came across a past Tampa Bay Times story that  I had missed about the Largo RSB program. Have a look.


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