Own the Hills

“You’re letting the hills own you. You have to own the hills.” 

Our friend and host in Mendocino, Jesse, told us this as we were complaining about the hills we were climbing in week 4. Our whole team has admitted that this trip has been harder than expected. The hills are tall and they seem to never end. We had a rough couple of weeks with a lot of elevation and some of us were concerned we may not make it. Considering that an average training ride for me had about 1,000 ft of elevation gain, days with over 3,000 ft of climbing really humbled me. 

Since Mendocino, I have been thinking about what Jesse said. Sometimes it’s a silent pep talk to myself while I’m climbing another hill and other times it has been thinking about the “hills” I’ve climbed in other areas of my life. We now know that hills won’t kill us, but the mental hump is the hardest part. 

We are owning these hills and we’re not letting them tell us we’re weak and incapable. 


The girls at The Refuge will have mountains to climb. Mountains that other people chose to put in front of them. These hills don’t own them. They don’t define them. They will try to tell these girls that they are insignificant and weak, but those are lies. 

It’s an honor to have conversations with people on this ride and advocate for girls who don’t have many in their corner. It’s an honor to get a taste of doing something hard over and over again with a faint end in sight for these girls at The Refuge. 

I’m excited to say that we’ve conquered the worst of the elevation!! I can’t believe we are a week away from the end of this ride. I feel blessed to be a part of this team and forever part of the fight against human trafficking.

See ya in San Diego!!!!
- Audrey