Monday, February 16, 2015

A Spin-a-thon, a school talk, and Yomiuri Shimbun

It's been a stimulating week. On Sunday, February 8, I rode a spin bicycle for 4 hours straight. This is the third year in a row that I've joined the Team Zoey spin-a-thon to support research to find a cure for the rare and fatal "rapid aging" disease Progeria. Children with Progeria typically die of a heart attack or stroke in their early teens. I learned about this disease after a friend's niece was diagnosed. She is 5 years old and her name is Zoey (see pic).

The research done so far has extended the life expectancy of kids with Progeria by a year and a half, from 13 to 14 1/2. You can make a donation here:

On Wednesday February 11, my friend Alison Berna and I gave two presentations to Kindergarten through 4th grade students at the United Nations International School in New York City. We told them about our experience last October guiding Dan Berlin, the first blind athlete to run across the Grand Canyon and back nonstop. Dan became a marathoner and ultra athlete *after* going blind in his 30's. 

Alison and I put on blindfolds and asked some students to guide us across the stage and around obstacles. But instead of cooperating, we intentionally went in the wrong direction, making our guides struggle to keep us on track. Afterward, we told the students to think of their teachers and parents as guides who can help them learn. Not listening to your guides only keeps you from getting where you need to go. We also encouraged the students to emulate Dan's resilience by coming up with their own adventures and looking for ways to improve the world.

Finally, over the weekend, the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, which has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the world, published an interview with my son Sho and me about our 67-day cycling trip across the country. Cool! Here's the article:

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