Reported by ABC News Correspondent John Schriffen:
As an athlete, weekend warrior, or just a health enthusiast, we’ve all been there. That point in a workout when your breathing becomes heavy, body feels weak, and that voice inside is screaming for you to stop. But there’s something that keeps you going. In my case, slumped over a spinning bike, it was a message written on my arm that gave me a jolt of energy every time I looked down. It said #TeamRobin.
This weekend a group of us here at ABC News traded in our work clothes for workout gear to participate in a charity cancer spin class at SoulCycle in New York City. Many in the packed room of about 80 people had their own reasons for being there. For us, it was all about supporting our good friend Robin Roberts.
By now many of you know that Robin has been diagnosed with MDS, a rare blood disorder, and has had a bone marrow transplant. But what you may not know is what she means to the ABC family. As a new correspondent I remember my first day on the set of “Good Morning America.” I was nervous, still finding my way through the winding hallways, and it was Robin who pulled me aside to personally congratulate me on joining the team. Her infectious smile and positive energy had an immediate calming effect. It’s that genuine personal connection she forges with everyone she meets that made it so easy for Bianna Golodryga, Juju Chang, Bob Murphy, Sunny Hostin, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, producer Meredith Frost and the rest of our team to say yes, we will ride for Robin.
If you’ve never been to SoulCycle before (it was my first time), picture a warm, inviting space like a juice bar, where you feel healthy just walking in. My sister Danielle and I were greeted with spin shoes, water, towels, and a locker. Everything we needed to focus on a good workout. After changing the team gathered and our co-leader Barbara Fedida, with marker in hand, wrote those inspirational words #TeamRobin on all of our arms. Now we were ready to ride.
With the up-tempo music blasting and a little sweat going in the first 15 minutes we were all feeling pretty good. But that was just the warmup. All of a sudden our amazing instructor Nick Oram pulled his shirt off and yelled, “Here we go, around the world!”
“Around the what?” I thought to myself.
While pedaling we stood up, then down, went side to side, coordinating our legs, bodies and arms just to stay on the bike. As if that wasn’t hard enough, 20 minutes later we picked up weights for some bicep curls, shoulder presses, and, yes, more ab work.
It certainly helped being flanked by my co-workers, almost like the flying V from the movie “The Mighty Ducks.” Ginger Zee to my left, my sister and John Muller to my right. In front, co-leader Sam Champion, Barbara, and David Muir, who looked like he could ride for hours. But we still had 10 more minutes left in the class and I was spent.
That’s when I took another look down at my right arm.
Just the encouragement I needed to finish without giving up.
After 45 minutes, my shirt completely drenched, it was over. We did it! The entire room broke into applause, thanking our instructor and each other for reaching our goal.
The $10k was raised for the Look Good Feel Better Program of the American Cancer Society and the Personal Care Products Council Foundation. Personally it was a humbling experience to push my body to new limits and to be a part of such a great cause. I would gladly do it all over again to support out emotional leader, Robin Roberts.