Press Release written about CKO Seattle’s oldest and most inspirational member Alan Hemmen:
Is being too old to work out considered a legitimate excuse? What about being diagnosed with a degenerative disease that affects motor skills, where the most common symptoms are shaking, muscle rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking. Surely that is a legitimate excuse to not work out? The oldest member of CKO Kickboxing’s Seattle location, Alan Hemmen, does not believe in excuses. Alan is 67 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease on June 15, 2012. Alan went to the doctor because he started experiencing tremors in his right hand; however, the doctor concluded that Alan most likely began experiencing the first symptoms of the disease around Christmas 2007. Alan’s health issues don’t stop there; Alan’s thyroid basically shut down over a year and a half ago and he has also been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Despite all these health issues Alan is determined to remain active! “I will not use my age or Parkinson’s Disease as an excuse! I will not give in to PD without a fight, which is why I am here, I will just keep throwing punches”, says Alan boldly.
Alan has been active his entire life, if fact in his 30’s he was ranked number 2 in the state of Oregon for white water canoe racing while competing in the pro class. Later in his 30’s Alan moved to Alaska and became the number 2 ranked racquetball player in the state! Today Alan can be found at CKO Seattle having a blast keeping pace with members half his age.
On a warm August afternoon Alan drives to CKO Kickboxing in a brand new shiny Red VW Beatle, walks through the door and tells Garett Renon CKO’s owner, “Isaw your video and you’re right, I am tired of running on a treadmill”. He then goes on to explain how he is looking for a place to hit the bag. Once it was confirmed he could hit the bag 6 days a week, whenever he wanted, and he could go at his own pace, he signed up on the spot without ever trying a class or actually touching the bags. Garett Renon says of Alan, “It is funny because Alan wanted to make sure that I knew he was only going to strike the bag with his hands, he had absolutely zero interest in kicking the bag. Fast forward two months later he is now doing round houses, front kicks, flying knees, flying elbows, and running sprints”! “I haven’t done a wind sprint since I was in grade school, and now I can’t get enough of them” says Alan visibly excited.
Alan is not only the oldest member of the Seattle location he just may be the most dedicated member as well. He arrives exactly 30-mins before class, 6 days a week. His early arrival is part of a methodical pre-class routine that takes about 20-minutes which includes putting on thin leather weight lifting gloves with wrist support, taping his knuckles and fingers, wrapping his hands and then finally putting on his MMA style gloves. “His hands are definitely well protected”, says Garett with a smile on his face.
Within his first 8-weeks at CKO Alan lost 16 pounds and has since reduced his medications. He no longer needs his high blood pressure and thyroid medication! The results do not stop there, Alan is visibly more energetic and much happier, he no longer gets dizzy spells, his arms are noticeably firmer, and his motor skills have significantly improved! “Alan has definitely become a huge inspiration to not only me but too many of the CKO members. Alan is a perfect reminder that we must continue to remain active and live life to the fullest no matter our circumstances”, says Garett!