Why I Ride

Because People are Worth It

If you knew me you would know that I love to sing, dance, and laugh. If you really knew me you would know that I value loyalty, deeply. If I call you my friend, you are my friend for life. If I love something, I will love it forever. If I care about something, I will treasure it as long as I can. If I see something wrong, I will fight until all is made right.

I grew up in Houston, TX, I played soccer all my life. It was my everything. Weekdays were practice and weekends were for games. When I was 10, I wanted to go to the Olympics, and by 13 I knew that wasn’t going to happen so I dreamed of playing soccer at the collegiate level. Soccer was my everything, until it wasn’t. Within a year and a half, I tore both of my Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACL) and was forced to put an end to my teenage dreams. Tearing my ACLs felt like the worst thing that ever happened to me, but it changed my life for the better. At this time in my life, I became involved in my local church. It was there that I learned the meaning of love. That is- true love, lays down its life for another. Love is what compels me to fight for the oppressed individual. Love is what drives my life.

Everything that I do, I hope to do in love. The story of how I ended up on a bike ride with 10 random incredible women from around the US, starts and ends with love.  

In my sophomore year of college, I shared a bedroom with 2 other girls. We got a triple bunkbed and named our room The Bunker. It was crazy, fun, and everything I wanted in my college experience. Little did I know that the people I slept under (literally) would teach me how to be an advocate with my bike. At the time, one of my roommates was training for an Ironman to raise funds and awareness for the anti-sex trafficking movement. I remember when she announced that she was training for the hardest race known to man, I couldn’t help but wonder why. Almost every morning that I woke up she would have already ridden her bike, ran, or swam for hours. She was willing to lay her physical body down, to fight for this cause. It was the embodiment of bold advocacy. It was the epitome of loving people.  

A cause worth fighting for. These words stuck with me…5 words on a little sticker that she used during her fundraising. People are worth it. They are always worth our fight. I can’t go back to not knowing about this fight. Once you know about the realities of sex trafficking there is only one way to respond: to fight. I ride because I can’t sit still while sex trafficking exists around the world. I ride because sex trafficking takes advantage of vulnerable populations. I ride because it is a cause worth fighting for. I ride because people are worthy of love.  

August 7, 2022
by 
Rachel Johnson

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