Matt Thomson

How Do You Prepare For Fire and Ice?
Tuesday, July 30
I’ve never done anything like this before. There are so many aspects of this that I’ve never done before. So how do you prepare for something that you’ve never done, and has so many variables? You just do it, because it matters so much.

When my best friend from college, who has been battling multiple myeloma for a decade, called and asked me to join him on the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma Fire and Ice Trek across Iceland, I jumped at the chance. Well, maybe crawled at the chance. The opportunity to spend this time with my friend, the opportunity to raise funds for his care and research for finding a cure for his awful disease, was something I didn’t want to pass up. Going this far from home, away from my family and business, to a place I’ve only heard of but knew nothing about, was daunting.

Here we are, just weeks from heading out on this trek, and the question sitting heavy on my mind is, “Am I ready?” How do I know if I’m prepared for something like this? Physically, I know I’m ready. I am an avid trail runner in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Knowing I can run 15 miles at 8500’ altitude assures me that I can handle the trek. But there are so many differences.

Look at the name of this trek. Fire and Ice. Where does that come from? We will be crossing lava fields in Iceland (fire), and camping sandwiched between two glaciers (ice). Temperatures will be in the 50’s or 60’s, maybe 70’s. It’ll be raining, unless it’s hailing, except when it’s sunny. How do you stay dry, warm, cool, and comfortable in all of those situations?

Fortunately, we have help. The guides that the MMRF are providing with us have prepared us well. I have my Solomon boots, my Osprey pack, my LuLu layers and my NorthFace and Patagonia jackets. My extensive packing list has check marks next to every item. I think I’m ready.

Now, to prepare mentally. I’m not a camper, I like my luxuries and conveniences. I know my body is ready. I know my backpack is ready. Fortunately, the WHY behind this trip is so much bigger than the WHAT. Shoes, socks, jackets, hats...none of the “whats” that I’m bringing really matter when held up to the purpose of why I’m going. I’m spending invaluable time with my best friend of 24 years. I’m helping him raise funds and awareness that will serve him and serve future multiple myeloma patients.

So how do you prepare for Fire and Ice? You do the best you can with the amazing guidance the MMRF provides, you gain perspective, and you get on the plane!
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