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watching my girls spin for the Progeria Research Foundation

Last weekend, I watched my 9 year old daughters enter the Team Zoey Spin-A-Thon in Mountain Lakes, NJ to raise money for Progeria, also known as “rapid aging disease.” As we drove there, I secretly wondered if their feet would even reach the pedals. I wondered if they were too young for this type of rigorous exercise. I wondered when is a child too young to take on such a challenge and test their own will and strength?

During the first hour, my fourth graders, Maddie and Sydney, quietly observed me spin next to my sister Karen and my friend Charles. Karen, Charles and I were scheduled to spin for the entire four hour day. I could feel Sydney watching me, silently overcoming her nerves, and I could see Maddie, suddenly emboldened by her newly discovered ability to join a group of middle school students, high school students and adults. In no time, the two of them jumped on their bikes, their feet just made those pedals, and they spun their hearts out, smiling, dancing and singing to the beats.

When their 30 min time slot was up, they asked if they could do another. I complied. And then another. I again said yes. But then another? Ok. Another? Really girls? Please one more Mom? I’m worried about you. Please one more? Ok I guess if you are drinking enough water and feel up for it….

In the end, they rocked it for a couple of hours! They revealed to me what my friend Charles always says in his inspirational speaking– that kids can do a whole lot more than most adults think.

They also showed me that most of their inspiration was coming from their ability to make a difference.

Together, the two of them raised over $1000 for the Progeria Research Foundation. They clearly felt the responsibility of the money they raised and wanted to do as much as they could for Zoey, and other children with Progeria.

Their successes that day were, I think, based in a few things. It was a blend of confidence in themselves (no matter how young they are), resilience (which allowed them to keep going), strength (which got them on the spin bikes in the first place) and passion for the cause (knowing every dollar raised goes to research that can potentially extend the lives of children living with Progeria).

I continue to sit in awe of my kids – despite the sometimes heartaches in raising pre-teen girls – I genuinely cherish their ability to try something new, do something hard, keep going if that is what they want (despite what’s going on around them), and to make a real difference.

For more information on Progeria or to donate to this important cause, go to:

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