How Boxing Helped Him Cope with Parkinson's Disease

As a 20-year-old pastoral intern, Emmett Diggs liked nothing more than to be in a boxing gym, dishing out the punches and taking his share in return. He even won the Virginia Golden Gloves welterweight championship in 1961. But he was asked to give up fighting when some members of his congregation objected. Since the ministry was his true calling, it wasn't a hard decision for him, but the competitive young Diggs missed the heavy-hitting give-and-take and competition of boxing. As the years went by, Diggs channeled his competitive nature into tennis instead; he even got his United States Professional Tennis Association certification as a teaching pro when he was 62. But when, at age 75, he found he wasn't able to move as well as usual, he wondered what the problem might be.

For more inspiring stories, subscribe to Guideposts magazine.

View Comments