Parkinson’s program being evicted at the end of July

“All I’m really going to miss is the memories, I’m just looking for a new place to make them with my clients” said Physical Difference Owner/Personal Trainer Jim Hall.
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A 25-year-old business in the Stateline is being evicted on short notice to make room for a new Beef-A-Roo restaurant.

Physical-Difference on N. Alpine Rd, along with the city’s first boxing program for Parkinson’s patients, must vacate soon so Beef-A-Roo can move into the building. Owner and long-time resident and Trainer Jim Hall said Randy Ballard and the Highcrest Management team told him they would make something work, but Hall received an email last night from them to pack up and get out by July 31, no exceptions.

Initially, Highcrest offered to lease a different space within Highcrest because the tenant failed to pay rent for months or a vacant space that could be modified. He even offered a lease for the gym to review, but Highcrest quickly rescinded those offers weeks after they gave Hall the lease and the drawings. Then out of the blue, he was informed no more offers would come his way and the only solution was to leave promptly with nowhere to go.

Hall is sad to go because the gym is located in a great neighborhood and it’s in a central place for his clients, who he started breaking the news to this morning.

“I would do anything to stay here at Highcrest,” said Hall. “When I came here from California, people said ‘personally training in Rockford...yeah we’ll see how that goes.’”

Hall has been in the business for 40 years, 25 of which have been spent in Rockford.

“When I got here I thought it was the circle of life and everything turning back around for the last seven years. This was where I really thought I would retire to someday. but I’m not ready yet,” said Hall.

The Stateline gym has provided the program for the last four years to those who suffer from Parkinson’s to help fight the incurable disease. The program honors his mother who passed away five years ago due to Multiple Sclerosis. Hall said the program helps his clients with Parkinson’s fight back their symptoms because even taking a week or two off will make their symptoms much worse.

“Parkinson’s, by its very nature, steals from us what we take for granted: stepping, swallowing, breathing, speaking. All of these things we don’t think about. If we don’t focus on them it steals it. Taking time off is the worst thing that could happen to them,” said Hall.

Now, Hall asks the community to help find a commercial location space not only for a personal training gym, but it also has to be a safe space. Hall said he needs to be able to be there and keep an eye on them for their safety and for their best results. He’s said it’s difficult to get people to show him commercial spaces because realtors have been busy with residential sales.

“The vast majority of my clients, both personal training clients and Parkinson’s boxers do most of their personal training with me. I’m going to do everything I can to keep this business going,” said Hall. “The last thing I want to do is move too far away to be able to help anybody.”

J.B., one of his clients, had it really hard during the pandemic. He went from having a slightly forward leaning posture to needing a neck brace to get around and it’s even really hard for him to look up. Hall said J.B. is short but he continues to find a way to reach the higher numbers he has duct-taped higher up on the punching bag.

There’s currently no backup plan for Hall, but he’s in the process of filling out commercial applications online.

“I want to thank Rockford. It has been a terrific experience these last 25 years and I’m looking forward to maybe another 25,” said Hall. “If you see someone with Parkinson’s, admire them because they are fighting a fight that they can only slow down they can not win.”

Jim Hall can be reached directly on this matter by email ( or by phone at 815-243-6824.

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