First Punch Boxing for Kids

 

Check out the video below!  This summer pilot program for kids who may have any type of challenge is up and running. As I sit back and watch, it is like this program is meant to be. So many people are coming together to make it successful. It is a testament to when many people work together and bring their individual talents for the good of the group and for the good of others, amazing things can happen.

My Top 10 From First Punch, so far.

1.The smiles
2. The Laughter
3. The fierce look on a six year old’s face when hitting a punching bag
4. The intense focus of a shy 13 year old when hitting mitts in the boxing ring
5. The New Logo
6. Our T-Shirts
7. The Hugs
8. The sweat that makes me know the kids were challenged
9. The Support from the boxers’ parents
10. And most of all the cadence and chant when we all break it down at the end and together say 1,2,3…. First Punch

And We Smile On

I was with a friend yesterday. I picked her up and we went together to buy a gift for wedding that we are both attending. We stood at the registry of a local store for about 15 minutes deciding what to buy. Then it took about 20 minutes for the cashier to figure out how to split our bill, order, and ship the item in between waiting on other customers. It is amazing how you can connect with someone through a song.

I only know his name because of his name tag. David started singing to the radio playing in the background Versace on the Floor by Bruno Mars while he waited on us. I have a funny story about that song. You can read it in an earlier blog post of mine called “Sachie on the Floor!” I told him that story, and we shared a laugh. He then proceeded to tell me that he is a writer, too. One thing led to another, and then My friend was telling him about First Punch, the song by Heather Richardson that I cowrote. I thought he would be bored with it, but I played a little of it.  It is far from being Versace on the Floor. But when this young, African American kid got tears in his eyes and said he needed to hear that because of the hard time he is going through right now in his life, I thought, “yes, this is why we wrote it.”

This kid and I have nothing in common, but I got a glimpse of his pain and his struggle through a few seconds of a shared song. I may never see David again, but I will never forget this honest moment when the wall of “put on a smile” came down for just a moment to remind me– we all are struggling with something behind our smiles.

Be kind always because there is pain behind our smiles — and we smile on.

First Punch – Single by Heather Richardson https://itun.es/us/8suEib

Take the Plunge!

Why do they do it? The crazy ones. The crazy ones who wanted their moment of fame and took the plunge over the Niagara Falls. The first one to go over the falls in a barrel was Annie Taylor in 1901. She intrigues me because like me she was an educator. She was close to my age when she did it. Actually, she was just 7 years older than I am. It is documented that she did it for financial reasons, but there had to be something more that motivated her. Maybe not, people will do insane things motivated by money. In the end, she died destitute.
What did she have inside her that made her want to attempt something that had never been done before and risk her life?

That is what I think about now as I drive home from my trip to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side this weekend. As I watched that powerful force of water drive over the edge, I tried to climb into Annie Taylor’s mind and imagine her as the barrel closed over her with no turning back. Was she confident that she would survive or did she have doubts? When she climbed out of that barrel at the end of the ride was she expecting her life to be completely different? What about as she was preparing for her journey over the falls? I can just imagine the talk of the town about the “crazy one.”

Then I started to compare my life to hers. Now I’m in no way saying that I want to risk my life doing something like going over those Horse Shoe Falls. I’m a scaredy squirrel when it comes to heights and roller coasters, so that’s not my thing.
But am I living my dream or just “swimming upstream?”

That is the comparison I think about. Since I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, I have this desire to be more of a risk taker. Life is no longer routine for me. I do crazy things like write songs, write this blog, enter song and writing contests. I am in the process of cowriting a children’s book. I am more out-going and love to meet new people. I do all of this not because I want to get rich or famous. However, I hope not to end up destitute like Annie Taylor. What motivates me? I think I’m a little bit like Annie Taylor inside. I do not think of the outcome of success or failure. I do not think about those around me who think I’m a little off my rocker. I do not listen to those who question me and say I will never have a hit song or wonder why I invest in this book I believe in.

I wonder if Annie Taylor enjoyed the journey of going over the falls? Yikes! I bet it was both exciting and terrifying at the same time.

That is how I want to live the rest of my life. Living the dreams that God whispers to me, “This is going to be both exciting and terrifying. People are going to think you are crazy. Do it anyway!”

That may be the difference between Annie Taylor and me. I pray that the risks I take and the dreams I follow honor God help me to see his miracles in my life.

Funny, Annie did walk away from that plunge over the falls in a mere wooden barrel! Miracle?

So I ask you. Are you living your dream or just swimming up stream? Do you have a dream for which you need to “take the plunge?” Do it! Life is short. Just don’t tell me that your dream is to go over the Niagara Falls– or life could be a little shorter. Live your dream!

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Thank You

Thank you to everyone out there who watched the news or YouTube video. Thank you for your kind comments. Thank you for your support. Thank you for downloading the song. Heather and I hope and pray that this song encourages and lifts people up.

I have caught myself saying that Parkinson’s is the worst best thing that has ever happened to me. Yes, I would gladly give it back, if I could, but then I would have to give back all of the wonderful people I have met. I would also have to give back all of the life lessons I have learned. I would have to give back this deep appreciation for each day of the rest of my life I have been given. I don’t have a choice but to keep you, Parkinson’s. I do have the choice to wake up and say “it’s a beautiful day!” Bring it on!
Thank you, all!

First Punch – Single by Heather Richardson https://itun.es/us/8suEib

Listen for the Battle Cry….

It’s finally here– First Punch. I know it seems like an odd title for a song of hope. Those two words sum up so much for me. I look back at when I would sit in the darkness of despair, literally in my closet, with the realization that this Parkinson’s Disease is not going away. My closet was my place of refuge, and I could not find my way out. “Mom’s crying in the closet again!” Those are words  I will never forget living with all men who did not know how to help me. Then I was encouraged, or should I say coerced into going to a Rocksteady boxing class for people with Parkinson’s. Taking that “First Punch” changed my life.

When I shared the lyrics with a friend of mine going through a different type of struggle in her life, she told me, “You Know, Lisa, this is not just a song about boxing and Parkinson’s. This is about my struggle, too. It helps me to face what I fear, too.”

So to anyone out there who is facing despair and needs encouragement, “listen, listen to the battle cry calling to get up, get up and try”…..

Don’t give up! There are people who care.

Sometimes you need to trust and have faith to take that first Punch at what you fear most.

….. so dig deep, find strength and trust….. and throw that First Punch!

First Punch, by Heather Richardson

https://itun.es/us/8suEib

First Punch

First Punch by Heather Richardson, of Bloomington, IN, to be Released on iTunes March 24,2017 is a Song of Inspiration, Hope & Strength The song was co-written with Lisa Cox of Zionsville, IN.
BLOOMINGTON, March 24, 2017 – The song “First Punch” recorded and co-written by Heather Richardson, a local musician, tells the story of inspiration and hope for all of us fighting to not give up when life presents its unavoidable challenges. Picture a teen struggling with depression, a father losing his job, a child with special needs or an injured military hero. Now picture a gym full of Parkinson’s patients & their coaches fighting to regain stability in their stance, power in their punch and ownership of their mind and body they once knew.

The lyrics of this song were born from the depth of despair. In her fifties, Cox works as an elementary school counselor, and fully enjoys the active life of raising three grown boys.  When she was “punched in the gut” with the news that changed the course of her life, Parkinson’s Disease, despair and loss is the only way she. can describe the words first heard, “no cure!” Then she “listened to the battle cry, calling, to get up, get up and try!”  This was the  battle cry of friends and family encouraging her to go to a place called Rocksteady Boxing. She went there reluctantly, but when she took that “First Punch,” she began to feel hope! What she and Heather want to share with the world is that sometimes it takes reaching out and throwing that first punch at what you fear in life. Then “ you’ll start to feel your spirits rise”. Although inspired by one battling Parkinson’s Disease, this song is for everyone battling something, and that is all of us! Be brave and don’t let your fears stand in your way…

“First Punch” is not the first time Richardson & Cox have collaborated musically. Heather sang a song at a Kindness Concert sponsored by Stonegate Elementary school February, 2016 that she and Cox wrote together two weeks before the concert and before they actually met each other in person. Cox says that she is fortunate to have found such a talented musician to bring out the depth of emotion of her words through Richardson’s melodies. Richardson is a very talented songwriter. You will be hearing more from her in the future. Cox is inspired by all the children who face living with disabilities. Heather’s cousin’s daughter, Bella, who has cerebral palsy is one of her heros. Bella and Cox box together.

For more information about Heather Richardson and hear a sample of the song, visit http://www.heatherrichardsonmusic.com.

For more information about Rock Steady visit http://www.rocksteadyboxing

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Calling Me!

Calling Me

I know I should eat right
A thought I do despise
I know that I should lace up my shoes
and get some exercise
I know I should cut out fried foods
And eat less sugar too
I know I should drink in less caffeine
But I’m not in the mood

I know I should cut GMO’s
Ingest only what’s cage free
I know I should eat super foods packed with a, b , c and d
I know life would be better
I’d have more energy
I know my skin would glow
If I’d consume what grows on trees

Ok. I start today
I’ll do it wait and see
Pump that iron run that race
I’ll count the calories
My will power starts to waver
The smell it gets to me
Perhaps I’ll start tomorrow
That donut’s calling me
Perhaps I’ll start Tomorrow
That donut’s calling me
.
By: Lisa Cox “Never met a donut I didn’t like!”

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