Wellness Blog post #4: Walking Together

Friday walking group 7-2015 PD  smaller

Thank you Bill for sending this summer 2015 photo capturing several of the folks who walk together on Friday mornings at Minto Brown Park in Salem. Walking together each week was initiated by a wellness participant last Spring and has quickly become a vital tradition for those who want to walk together! Everyone welcome. Call me (Tricia c: 408.507.7187) if you want to be kept up-to-date with the walking schedule throughout the year!

At about the time Bill sent this photo, a friend shared a poem that she wrote in 2009 while delving more deeply into her own wellness in the midst of non-hodgkins lymphoma. She gave me permission to share it here on our blog in honor of our shared path of vitality and peace.

I walk the path.
I walk the path one foot in front of the other.
I walk the path
birds sing their welcome song.
I walk the path
a daffodil smiles at me.
I walk the path
the breeze kisses my face.
I walk the path
my connection to the earth is strong.
I walk the path
the sun wraps my shoulders in warmth.
I walk the path in peace and serenity.
I’m glad I walk the path.

Positive Affirmations Are Necessary Thoughts

ANTS are Automatic Negative Thoughts. Most of us have too many ants roaming around our waking thoughts: “you can’t do this” “that was a stupid thing to say.” We however can’t blame the ANTS, they are only trying to help us try harder or pay attention. ANTS are a leftover from our brain’s innate ability to filter out potentially dangerous situations and ready the body for ‘fight, flight or freeze.’ The ANTS are trying to get us to PAY ATTENTION.

Unfortunately ANT messages can scare and discourage us from trying again. They rob us of our potential. So what is a person to do, be positive. YES, but in a specific way: PANTS. Positive Affirmations are Necessary Thoughts.

Affirmations are a purposeful desire to look for and remember what you specifically did well, what you did to keep a situation from getting worse, and what you are thankful for. Unfortunately we live in a society that thinks and says ANT messages to self and others.

Make it a point to give others affirmations, hang around affirming people or keep a log of daily affirmations. For the next ANT message you think, say to the ANT, “Stop. I know your trying to help, but you are not.” Then choose to find an exception to the current problem: Today I filled the form out wrong but I didn’t yesterday. Think about how you kept things from getting worse: After I said the hurtful word, I did catch myself from saying more. Talk to yourself as though you are speaking to your best friend: I forgive you. I understand that you were hungry and had a headache. Talk to God who loves you and thinks you’re awesome enough to give you his very best: John 3:16.

By Bill MacMorris-Adix
July 2015

“Grand Canyon” Inspiration from a Wellness Participant

Bill and his wife at Grand CanyonGrand Canyon

During the last week in April, my wife and I joined up with a Road Scholar hiking tour of the Grand Canyon.

I have PD x 2-3 years now and was more than reasonably concerned about my ability to Hike down to the Colorado River from the South Rim (4500 feet) and back out again two day’s later. I have done difficult hikes in the past, but the idea of stumbling and taking a dive was in my mind. Since the trip was already paid for, I was going and preparation was the key.

To train for the event I looked for stairs that I could go up and down, did extra time on the stair stepping machine and, since last summer, occasional hikes with elevation in the area with backpack and recommended 20 points of weight. Worry is a useless reaction. Get the facts, ‘plan your work’ and ‘work your plan’. What the heck, what’s to loose. I helicopter ride out is only $3000.00: paid in advance. My credit card can take the hit. With that in mind, off we went. I found out that naming the canyon “Grand” is correct. It truly is Grand and it was a grand feeling after reaching the top again.

PD may tempt one to think, ‘no way.’ A PD golf friend told me today, PD is part Sinemet, Exercise and Attitude. attitude. Go for it. SEA what you will see.

Bill MacMorris-Adix
PD Class of 2013

Inspiration from a Wellness Participant

One of NWRA’s Wellness participants recently emailed me this meaningful reflection by Pema Chodron (an incredible author, retreat leader, teacher and more) and welcomed my sharing it on our Wellness Blog.

A first step [in remaining open] is to understand that a feeling of dread or psychological discomfort might just be a sign that old habits are getting liberated, that we are moving closer to the natural open state. Trungpa Rinpoche said that awakening warriors would find themselves in a constant state of anxiety. Personally, I’ve found this to be true. After a while I realized that since the shakiness wasn’t going away, I might as well get to know it. When our attitude toward fear becomes more welcoming and inquisitive, there’s a fundamental shift that occurs. Instead of spending our lives tensing up, as if we were in the dentist’s chair, we learn that we can connect with the freshness of the moment and relax.
Pema Chodron

Welcome to the NWRA Wellness Blog!

As mentioned in the Wellness classes, the NWRA BLOG is another avenue for education as well as for inspiring and supporting one another by way of:
1. Wellness Program updates
2. Wellness tips, resources, research including topics relevant to people who have PD, MS, and other related health challenges.
3. Inspiring stories, quotes, tidbits, questions, ponderings that YOU want to share. One participant already calls this aspect of the BLOG “Success Stories” or “Wellness That Works” in that the sharing of our experiences helps move us, and move each other, with inspiration, courage and hope. (Email ideas to me and I will follow-up with you.)

Stay tuned!
Director of Wellness
“Engaging hope, possibilities, connection, life.”
c 408.507.7187

Welcome, Tricia McMahon

NWRA is pleased to announce Tricia McMahon has accepted our promotion to a new position as “Director of Wellness”. Watch for blogs from this page with details about our wellness programming, an expansion of our efforts to serve the greater Salem community with affordable, evidence-based, and energetic wellness opportunities.

– Parkinson’s Disease agility

-Tai Chi for better balance

– Multiple Sclerosis support group

– Movement for mind, body, spirit = “m3”

Tricia’s training in the Stanford University Living Well program will serve as a foundation for several other additions.


Please contact us at: info@northwestrehab.com OR tricia@northwestrehab.com with questions.

MOST classes will be offered at our 3220 Liberty Rd S. location – future blogs will detail.

Wellness, Classes, and Personal Training

NWRA Capital City half with Kat1

Learn better balance, relaxation, and energy!

Learn better balance, relaxation, and energy!

NWRA continues to lead the way in wellness…and WE’RE NOT DONE! We have options for class participation that include:


Tai Chi for Better Balance

Tai Chi for Energy, Control, and Centering

Parkinson’s Disease Agility Class (flexibility, balance, speed and power)

Personal training 1-1 for improved quality of life, sport, or function – Kat DeGroat

These classes are offered onsite at NWRA. Registration is required. Contact Us