By Beverly Perkins
In early November, Jennifer Enslein of North Miami Beach was invited by Mayor Enid Weisman to attend a commission meeting. Weisman told Enslein that they were going to surprise her father and honor him that evening.
However, it was Enslein being honored for her efforts with the Rock Steady Boxing MAR-JCC program as she was presented with a proclamation from the City of Aventura naming November 7th, 2017 as “Jennifer Enslein Day”.
“To my shock and surprise, it was me who was being honored,” exclaimed Enslein. “It was a very emotional evening. I felt humbled and grateful and was surrounded by a large portion of my family, some friends and a large representative group of my boxers and their spouses.”
Just a bit over a year ago, the Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) program was introduced at the Michael-Ann Russell (MAR) JCC in North Miami Beach. The purpose of the program is to help those living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The progressive disorder of the nervous system gradually affects movement, and symptoms worsen as the condition progresses over time.
Although RSB was founded in Indianapolis, Enslein made it her mission to bring the program to South Florida after her husband Spencer was diagnosed with the disease. Enslein was determined and ambitious, and refused to be knocked out. She found grassroots funding from the community and a grant from the National Parkinson’s Foundation to make it happen.
The free MAR-JCC Rock Steady Boxing program started with just 12 boxers and very little funding in August of 2016. Currently there are 96 registered boxers and the number continues to grow.
All participants are extremely dedicated and come to each of the weekly sessions. Each have seen and felt astounding results. Enslein’s husband Spencer never misses a class. It has allowed him to stay off heavy medications and helped keep his body moving and his muscles strong.
“Our boxers are usually lethargic and stiff, so when they come here they are always moving,” said Jennifer Enslein. “As a matter of fact, the motto of Rock Steady Boxing is ‘People who move change the world’.”
The group chants together at the end of each class, “I am not a patient; I am a boxer!” Parkinson’s is a tough disease, but these boxers will knock it out one punch at a time, and zealous individuals like Enslein prove that people who move do change the world.
Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 and 1 PM and Wednesdays at 1PM at the MAR-JCC, 18900 NE 25th Ave. in North Miami Beach. Contact Dany Weil, RSB Certified Coach and Director of the Health and Fitness Dept. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-932-4200 ext. 136 or visit mar-jcc.rsbaffiliate.com for more information.