Episode #84- Erik Weihenmayer – Blind Adventurer | Speaker | Author | Teacher
On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. In 2008 he completed the Seven Summits in Papua New Guinea. This accomplishment closed the circuit on a 13-year journey that had begun with his 1995 ascent of Denali. He is joined by a select company of only 150 mountaineers to have accomplished the feat.
As a blind adventurer who has climbed Mt. Everest and kayaked the Grand Canyon, Erik understands better than most that barriers are real, not merely perceived, and that obstacles encountered can either stop us in our tracks, or we can figure out a way to harness them and propel ourselves to new places that we would never get to in any other way. Erik calls this “alchemy,” the process of turning lead into gold. “With an alchemist,” he says, ” you can throw them in the midst of a fierce competitive environment, strip away their resources, throw roadblocks in front of them, and they’ll still find a way to win – not despite adversity, but because of it.”
To advance this idea, Erik co-founded not merely an organization, but rather a movement called No Barriers. The mission is to help people with challenges, all of us to some extent, to turn into the storm of life, face barriers head on, embrace a pioneering and innovative spirit and team up with great people to live rich in meaning and purpose. The motto is “What’s Within You Is Stronger Than What’s In Your Way.” To this aim, Erik continues to challenge himself to live a No Barriers Life and in September 2014 he kayaked the entire 277-miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.