Hello there, it’s me, Mattie Claire, who now is currently homeless (just kidding, definitely living in Dallas for a couple weeks before we go) until my home turns out to be my bike for 6 weeks, alongside 10 other incredible women. I am floored at what the past semester has been. I’m not sure where to start with sharing an update about what’s going on. Pedal the Pacific was something I never imagined doing, to then being apart of, and now we are entering into the midst of it as I look at my calendar and realize… TODAY two of my teammates and I drive the SAG van up to Seattle. What a dream.
I take a deep breath in.
There is a memory that comes to my mind as I share about where life has been with PTP. I confess that sometimes I feel distant because it is quite easy for me to feel the actual weight of what we are riding for. It causes me to take a step back and feel it, to remember it, to understand how truly big this thing is. I am grateful for that because with this ride comes a cost. That cost is hearing the unheard and I never want to let that go. I felt this weight on my first attempt at 60 miles in one ride. I remembered the pain in my legs as well as the pain in my heart as I recalled stories of survivors. There were times on my ride where I had to walk up huge hills in the Ozarks as I was trying to get from Fayetteville to Bentonville, feeling ashamed that I couldn’t do it. I felt I like was cheapening the process of what I was doing if I couldn’t do it all by myself on my bike. I have realized, quite vulnerably, that sometimes I feel like I am not capable to do this: to cycle 1700 miles, to truly help in a way that would bring these girls freedom, etc.. I think of the hills that I can’t ride up, or the necessity for more time to train as the date to start get’s closer and closer. The words “I can’t” have popped up so frequently in this five foot three body until after that ride. I ended up riding 50 miles, getting lost next to a highway (haha classic), calling a friend to pick me up because my phone was on 2%, and asking for help.
This was never supposed to be about me or us on the bike. This is about those stories, those people that will be able to find sustained healing at The Refuge. I got lost in the fear and the inadequacy, and didn’t hold on to the truth that we are doing this and that what we are doing it for has no room for shame or fear, it only gives light to courage and freedom. I can’t do this on my own. Carrying this on my own isn’t possible. I saw this as I gave a presentation about Pedal the Pacific at my gracious mother’s office. 30 people gathered around in a room to learn, to see with their own eyes, and to hear with their own ears about the radical, transformative thing we are doing this summer. I have seen generosity in a way I haven’t seen before. Someone came forward saying that they wanted to pay for our gas as we drive the SAG van up there. Another kind women said that she wanted to pay for my food for the summer. Others have decided to what they can do to partner with The Refuge themselves. I am blown away.
I take a deep breath in.
This beautiful journey is just beginning and all I can muster up to say is “thank you.” For those that have given so much: time, energy, resources, love… it is teaching me about the beauty of faithfulness, and I know it is reaching other’s on my team as we fight the fear of failing or inadequacy. Your support does that, it makes a way for freedom on levels yet to be seen.
As always, I need you. We need you. They need you. NOW LET’S RIDE.