Parkinson's won't stop this Ironman athlete

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Matt Kintzele planned to compete in the Ironman 70.3 triathlon in Galveston, before COVID-19 put those plans on hold.

The distances may be scary for some. It includes a 1.2-mile swim followed by a 56-mile bike ride and closes with a 13.1-mile run.

That may be difficult to accomplish, but Kintzele has gone through much tougher situations. In 2014, he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease. Because of complications with the medication, his doctor recommended exercise.

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"How I approached it was I doubled the exercise I was doing," said Kintzele. "When I did that, the side effects disappeared."

Kintzele kept changing his goals, starting with half marathon to super seal to now a half Ironman.

COVID-19 and injuries along the way have delayed race day, so Kintzele ended up at the IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute to rehab a bad hamstring.

Kintzele is putting his body to the test and can be considered an inspiration for all. He feels it's important to spread the message of exercise, no matter your situation.

"I've had friends who have had issues like heart problems, cancer and other things, and exercise can have an impact on all those things," he said.

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