Recently I was biking in a fundraising event, and I noticed a strong young girl all geared up and clipped in. Having two teenage daughters who were sound asleep this Saturday morning, I wondered why would this young lady choose to be up this early. Being curious, I moved up beside Abby in the pace line and learned that she was only 14 years old and was training for a biking journey she was about to embark on this summer. Abby was new to biking and had come to ride that day with her trainer, Sean Mclaughlin from Human Zoom in Ardmore.
While exploring things to do this summer Abigail Andrews, finishing up 9th grade at the Baldwin School, came across the American Challenge while thumbing through some brochures. At first her parents thought she was crazy. Abby dedicated months of training for this ride that includes 10 other teens from grades 9 through 12, beginning on June 21st in Savannah, Georgia and will conclude August 2nd in Santa Monica, California. She will ride over 3,000 miles and manage to do this with no cell phone in her hand, no text messages, no Facebook access and NO IPOD! Knowing my own teenage daughters don’t even go to the bathroom without their cell phones, I will assume there will be a few days of social media withdrawal! Her own parents will have no contact with her, and will rely on updates from Overlands Adventures, the company that organizes the event and many other excursions.
Instead of just riding and taking in the breathtaking scenery, with the encouragement of her grandfather and friends, Abby will raise money for a charity, Greener Partners.
From Abby’s Blog, here is an excerpt explaining about Greener Partners and their mission.
Greener Partners (www.greenerpartners.org) operates two community organic farms in the Philadelphia suburbs as resources for food and education. The Farm Hubs serve to educate people about the food they eat, and exactly how it gets to their plates. Greener Partners has two programs that I find especially important. With its Seed to Snack program, Greener Partners brings the farm into the classroom (with a focus on inter-city and low-income communities) and gives elementary students hands-on experience preparing and tasting fresh, healthy food that they can then easily and affordably make at home. The other program is the Community Supported Shares (CSS) program that provides low-income families with farm-fresh produce harvested each week for a drastically reduced rate. Most of these families live in neighborhoods that don’t have a grocery store and there is little or no access to fresh, healthy food.
Hoping to raise money to help support local gardens, she toured the local 120 acre organic farm Longview in Norristown, Pennsylvania. You can go to http://greenerpartners.tumblr.com to read Abby’s blog, “ABBY”S REAL RIDE FOR REAL FOOD”and see how you too can help with this cause and learn more of the wonderful things Greener Partners, a non-profit organization, does for local schools, educating people about the benefits of eating healthy. Abby is passionate about teaching kids the importance of showing kids how to make healthy food choices and loves the seed to snack program from Greener Partners. Today’s adolescent obesity rate is growing at an alarming rate in the United States, 1 out of 3 children is considered obese or overweight. Kids spend way to much time in front of the computers, TV and playing video games. Summer was a time when kids woke up and played outside whether at home, camp or on vacation. I remember my summers growing up in Northeast Philly. I left the house in the am sometimes to play, sometimes to bike and sometimes to WALK somewhere like a movie, park or friends house. When the street lights went on I knew I better get my self home. Abby is hoping to raise awareness to this growing epidemic of childhood obesity by showing kids her age that there is far better things to do then play video games.
I would love to say I will be checking in by e-mail or cell phone with Abby during this journey, but that won’t be happening. On an average day Abby will bike anywhere from 75- 115 miles. Starting in the south, she will travel along the Mississippi river, skirt the Appalachian mountains and ride across the Great Plains. She’ll see the Grand Canyon, the Arizona Desert, and finally will conclude in California’s San Gabriel Mountains. She will end her voyage along the crashing waves of the West Coast. I will catch up with Abby when she get’s back, but in the meantime her parent’s will provide updates on her blog. I can’t wait to hear all about this amazing trip, and wish I had the opportunity as a teenager to have done something as awesome as this! I told my 16 year old daughter Morgan all about it and she actually wants to hear more when Abby returns. Hey, maybe I can break her away from Facebook too! Good luck to our gal Abby!
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hope Nagy’s love of fitness is evident on both a professional and personal level.
Coupled with her nearly 15 years of experience as a fitness professional is Hope’s
dedication to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. A Certified Personal Trainer and group
fitness instructor, Hope devotes herself to helping clients change their habits, change their bodies and change their lives. She discovered her love for fitness while in college at West Chester University, when she became the mascot for a professional football team. After college Hope went on to be a radio broadcaster at various stations in Philadelphia and New Jersey, but she hung up her headphones and microphone when she became a mom.