Barbara McCarrick

Lacing Up Your Boots
Monday, June 25
The thrill of being chosen to be a part of the MM4MM team that would be trekking in Iceland has not worn off since I learned that I would be participating in a training hike with the team. It would be a great opportunity to meet the group, check out my equipment (no, those boots aren’t still waterproof!) and gauge my current level of fitness; how exciting to go to North Carolina, a state I have never visited. 

Due to delays in my departure, I was the last one to the airport. I was so worried about delaying the group, I sped through the airport. Later, I learned that I had missed the free cupcakes being given out in honor of the Royal Wedding. Sorry, my group was more important. Watching the wedding at the hotel the morning before leaving on the hike is a memory I will cherish. Not just because of the American bride, but because of the group of people I was sharing it with.

This group bonded immediately. At dinner on Friday, we introduced ourselves. Anyone with a disease and who has been to support groups is familiar with the routine: I’m Barbara, I was diagnosed with… This was different. Although we all either had multiple myeloma or were somehow associated with the disease, we were just a group with a single cause. Friends who want to beat cancer.

The Shortoff Trail was amazing. Although it looked nothing like the pictures I had seen online, the hills and valleys shrouded in mist were beautiful. The recent abundant rain made for a solitary hike; we encountered few people. We hiked through light rain, fog, and eventually, sunshine. This has really motivated me for Iceland. It also motivated me to buy new boots! Last week, I filled my backpack and hiked the ridge behind my house. I Can’t wait to put more miles on the boots. Every time I lace up my boots and running shoes, fasten the straps of heels, or slide into a pair of clogs for work, I think how grateful I am to be healthy enough to do it. I don’t take a single day for granted. That is why this event is so important. Everyone should have the opportunity to lace up their boots.
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