Posted May 7, 2019
Reagan crossing the finish line at the North Dallas Kid’s Triathlon 2015
“Succeed, adapt, and go for it.” Sounds like a piece of wisdom you’d get from someone much older and wiser than yourself, not from one of our youngest regular riders.
That quote comes from Reagan, an 11-year-old who, with his mom Stephanie Fokas, is a regular in the 6:30am Dallas classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays before he heads off to school. While most of us struggle to drag our feet out of bed and onto a bike that early in the morning, Reagan approaches class with a fire all his own.
It all started in 2012 when Reagan was 4 years old. He was having multiple seizures a day. When medication proved unsuccessful as a treatment, he underwent brain surgery, and woke up with no movement in his right arm or leg and would have to re-learn how to use them. (For more about his remarkable recovery, click here.)
Yes, this is the same kid crossing the finish line in the photo above four years ago!
The doctors thought he would only be able to regain skills and recover in the first year post-surgery, and that very little progress could be made after that. Reagan has been proving them wrong every day.
ZYN22 first met Reagan in the summer of 2018 with a little help from his mom, a seasoned ZYNtennial herself. After seeing his mom glowing with more confidence after each class, and wanting a ZYNtennial shirt of his own, Reagan was motivated to get to class consistently. He was on his way down a whole new avenue for growth with a team of instructors and riders by his side.
After his first class with Spencer, Reagan kept coming back. Now, he takes 2-3 classes a week, so we asked him, “What keeps you coming back?”
He answered immediately. “The teachers know me really well and they like when I come to class. Even the people at the front desk know who I am, know my shoe size, and make me feel included.”
Reagan and West after a ZYN class.
It is this connection that keeps him motivated in the Dome, too.
He went on to explain that his favorite part of class is when being reminded to ride for the people surrounding him. It encourages him to push a little harder on the bike, and to know others are doing the same for him.
The extra push of energy has meant a HUGE change for the Fokas Family.
After a fast-paced jog, when the music is shaking the whole building and people are ‘wooing’, Reagan will sometimes experience a tingling sensation in his arm for 10-15 seconds. He was never expected to regain feeling, proving doctors wrong again.
We don’t know exactly what is at play for a physical victory like this, but it does prove that anything is possible for Reagan.
The changes don’t stop there. His friends, family, and therapists are all shocked by the progress he has made. His muscles have grown and his coordination has gotten notably better. He put it best with, “My muscles are stronger, I have more stamina, and I can run really fast.” Even girls his age have started to notice. Reportedly saying things like, “Wow Reagan, you’re really looking strong today.”
We got to hear a little about the whole journey from Stephanie, too. Apart from all the positive physical change she has seen in her family and her son’s life, she appreciates ZYN22 for everything else it has to offer. “ZYN22 is a community where Reagan can work on strength and coordination, and has also made friends with his instructors and fellow riders. No matter what you’re working through, recovering from an injury or a mental roadblock, there are only good things to come from stepping out of your comfort zone and saddling up in the Dome.”
Spencer, Ryan (Reagan’s twin brother), Reagan and West after a rooftop ride at the W hotel in Dallas.
It’s easy to hear this message ring true in Reagan. He left us with a nugget of advice for anyone else who is considering taking the plunge into their first class. He said, “If you really enjoy class, go on with it. You’ll be at 100 classes soon. We’ve seen people hit 400 classes and that’s motivation.”
Reagan, thank you for motivating all of us at ZYN22—Instructors, Z Squad, Managers, and our whole trYbe. We are inspired by your hard work, perseverance, and humble attitude.
Want to ride with Reagan? We’ve got you. We are hosting a class on May 30th to raise money and awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas. Booking info coming soon! (Follow us on Instagram to get the update!)
We aren’t just riding for Reagan. We are riding with him. He will be in the front row showing us how it’s done.
This class will have a film crew coming to get footage of Reagan for a documentary about his amazing recovery. No need to be camera shy…. he’s the star of the show, but smile big in case you get caught in the background.
Let’s all, “succeed, adapt, and go for it” together.