In today’s episode we are talking with Matt Miller. Matt is a former Brophy College Prep 3-sport athlete. In 2002, when he was 22, Matt suffered a horrific fall down the Pico de Orizaba Mountain in Mexico. Eighteen years later, the thing that nearly killed him has brought him back to life.
HIKING UP THE MOUNTAIN
After Matt graduated from Santa Clara University, his dad asked if he wanted to go on a mountain climbing expedition together. They went to Pico de Orizaba, which is a volcano right outside of Mexico City. Just before they started the climb, their guide said to Matt, “If the mountain talks to you, listen.” Matt remembers that what he said didn’t mean much to him at first, but now he knows what he meant. They reached the glacier portion of the mountain around 2am, and started to hike, but Matt’s dad began to experience altitude sickness so they stayed behind.
As a result of the altitude sickness, Matt’s dad slipped and fell down the mountain. Matt tried to use his ice pick to catch him, but it ended up bouncing back, knocking him unconscious. Matt fell one mile down the mountain. Their group found them and they called for a helicopter to come. Unfortunately, the helicopter couldn’t reach them. They had to stay the night on the glacier, which was freezing. They told Matt to say goodbye to his dad, and that they probably wouldn’t survive through the night.
THE RECOVERY PROCESS
Luckily, they made it through the night and were rescued. However, Matt suffered from severe frostbite. Almost all of his fingers and toes had to be amputated, his nose was completely ripped off, and his right ear was barely attached. After 2 years of surgeries and recovery, Matt emerged as the fighter that he was, but it was hard. He says that, “It’s not easy when you’re attached to an identity and then you look in the mirror and you don’t see yourself anymore.”
Sick of sitting in hospital rooms all the time, Matt took up running. Running was a new way to feel like his old self again, and allowed him to be alone with his thoughts.
Matt uses his experiences to help others live their best lives through the Klarity Lifestyle Company. He is now a motivational speaker and has presented to dozens of organizations for over 15 years. He has used his knowledge that he gained from a life altering accident, to share how hardship that can lead to hope and opportunities. Klarity also offers a coaching program for coaching is a tailored coaching program entrepreneurs and executives.
This experience that Matt and his dad went through only brought them closer together. Their family’s mindset was to always get back up and keep going and that’s exactly what they did. Every hero always has an unbelievable story behind them. You can learn more about Matt and his story at the Klarity Lifestyle Company.