A few days ago, the 2018 Pedal the Pacific team met for the very first time. 11 girls. 11 hearts. 11 different "why's" for this summer.
I have spent less than 48 hours with these people, but I can tell you that they are awesome and they are the right people for this big job.
Here are my first impressions of my teammates:
Harli-- you're able to laugh at yourself. That seems like a silly thing to point out but not taking life so seriously is one of the best qualities in my opinion. I love how funny you are and honest you are.
Lizzie-- full of energy. sees the best in people. a glass half full kinda gal.
Emma-- fearless is the word that comes to mind when I think of Emma. So not afraid to try new things. I don't think anything scares her.
Gabi-- the sweetest gal ever ever ever. Her smile lights up a room.
Isabel-- great with words. She was great at starting the conversation about our team goal and leads with the whole team in mind.
Kelly-- so knowledgable!!! Kelly is passionate about ending human trafficking and that is obvious in how much time she has put into learning about what she can do to be a voice.
Lexie-- so joyful. She's a morale booster. Conversation with Lexie is natural and that is a skill that everyone does not have :)
Madi-- I promise this is the last time I will talk about your age but dang. Cannot believe you're in high school??? Wise beyond your years.
Mattie Claire-- passionate. I envy your creativity and ability to see the beauty in anything. Whether it's something physical she can photograph (which she's the bomb at) or an idea or season of life.
Savannah-- so freaking kind. She's an intent listener. I loved hearing her little comments this weekend because they were hilarious.
This weekend we got to not only learn about each other, but learn more about The Refuge for DMST and how big this thing really is. We were all blown away by the stories and statistics we heard. I felt like my heart was overflowing one moment and breaking the next.
This ride is so much bigger than 11 girls figuring out how to switch gears on bikes (that are so amazing and beautiful and wow) and raise a little bit of money. We decide what we want this ride to be and this weekend, we decided we wanted it to be BIG. A quarter of a million dollars big. We believe people are worth fighting for. We believe truth, not lies, should be the loudest voice. We believe we can make a difference.
I can't wait to add to my list of people that I meet through this ride. I can't wait to hear the stories of healing that will come out of The Refuge Ranch. I can't wait to knock the socks off our goal of $250,000.
PTP 2018-- See ya in Seattle!!!
-Audrey Fleenor: Fayetteville, AR