Chris Brown Sr. was a young child when he was diagnosed with spinocerebellar degeneration – an incurable disease that causes muscle control failure and hinders balance.
At 26, the condition became noticeable and Brown started walking with a cane, then eventually crutches. Three years later, he began using a wheelchair.
Brown, unfortunately, does not go to the doctor’s office due to lacking insurance and he does not know much about the disease either. He said the only helpful suggestions he has read are to keep stress levels down and work out. He followed the latter advice to a tee and has worked out two-and-a-half hours, six days per week for nearly 20 years.
He now works out at Gold’s Gym, located at 201 Southgate Shopping Center, combating the degenerative muscle disease by building muscle.
What muscles does he work out? Every last one of them – triceps, biceps, chest and legs. While it may be difficult to arise from the wheelchair, Brown has no problem cranking out push-ups or bench press reps.
Asked to describe the condition, Brown said the pain is most notable when he is stressed. Having lived with the disease for so long, however, makes symptoms hard to describe and he said “you shake, you hurt” but “I’ve lived with it for so long I really don’t think about it.”
“It’s normal to me,” he said.
Although he may have to use the wheelchair, Brown said he is not handicapped. Having spinocerebellar degeneration, he said “you just have to go about doing things differently.”
Brown’s workout regime calls for nearly 800 hours of physical exercise annually. While that may seem like a lot of time in the gym to most, he said it is simply “part of life.” Although a day comes about every now and then when Brown does not want to go to Gold’s Gym, he said the solution is in his mindset.
“It’s just like anything, you make it part of your day-to-day routine,” he said. “You sit around complaining about something, it ain’t gonna fix it. It’s still gonna be there even if you complain about it so why complain about it? You have your days where you want to complain, but then you just go on.”