I never liked the Celebrex commercial that used the phrase, “Its simple physics, a body at rest, tends to stay at rest; and a body in motion, tends stays in motion.” I thought this was silly. I mean come on, they left out the critical phrase, “until acted on by an outside force.” The phase used in the commercial is empirically incorrect, and it’s wrong on a couple of other levels.

First, physics is not simple; I got a D in college physics. Second, they were applying a law that was meant for inert particles of matter to our human bodies. The two bodies were completely different and the physics comparison didn’t make any sense. In physics, the bodies that are in motion are inanimate objects that don’t get tired, stressed, or suffer illness like our living bodies.

Then, they left out an important phrase that makes all the difference. A phase that humans can relate to, the “outside force” that acts upon many of us…the juggernaut of sickness and disease. The “outside force” that acted on me was Parkinson’s disease.

Despite having these issues with the commercial, as someone with Parkinson’s, “A body in motion, tends to stay in motion”, is a positive thought. For me, maintaining my momentum is essential to any kind of movement. I’ve realized that when I make large, strong movements, I move better than if I try to make small, gentle movements. For example, if I try to move deliberately and quickly, such as going outside for a walk, I move better than when I have to make movements in a confined area, such as in a bathroom or bedroom.

Another example, which is kind of embarrassing, but Parkinson’s patients will understand, is rolling over in bed. I really don’t roll over in bed, I have to throw myself over in bed. When I try to turn over in bed, I must get some momentum going before I can get the speed up to exert enough force to get my body moving so I can throw myself to another side.

Similarly, I learned during my Lee Silverman Voice Treatment sessions, (LSVT helps people overcome the weakening voice problems that accompany advanced Parkinson’s) I must force myself to speak loudly, just to be audible. In other words, I had to generate momentum by forcing air out of my lungs to increase the volume of my voice to speak at a normal level.

For those with Parkinson’s, maintaining their momentum when their medication is “off” can be difficult, if not impossible. But stay positive and patient with yourself during these times. Eventually, your meds will “kick in” and you will be able to move again. And when that time comes, and you get your momentum going, make the most of the opportunity and try to do something positive.

Although the physics example didn’t work for me, the idea of keeping your momentum, makes sense. I think a sports analogy is more appropriate. As in team and individual sports, momentum is a powerful force. Teams and athletes try to get and maintain the momentum. Momentum is a game changer; it can be the difference between winning and losing. You too, must strive to get and keep your momentum.


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