From blind teenager to the top of Everest, bottom of the Grand Canyon and cover of Time
Today I bring you Erik Weihenmayer (pron: WINE-mayor). As an eye disease began to rob Erik of his vision by the age of 13, he resisted the idea that blindness would sweep him to the sidelines of life. He established himself as a formidable wrestler in high school, representing his home state of Connecticut in the National Junior Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Iowa.
Shortly after going blind, he received a newsletter in Braille about a group taking blind kids rock climbing. It wasn’t long before he was hooked. These early seeds of adventure eventually led him to hundreds of ascents around the world, including the Seven Summits- the highest peaks on each continent including the most formidable of them all— Mount Everest.
As a blind adventurer who has climbed Mt. Everest and more recently 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.
As a speaker, he’s shared the stage with George Bush, Al Gore, Colin Powell, General Norman Schwarzkopf and Stephen Covey. He’s won an ESPY and has been on the cover of Time Magazine and featured on Oprah, 20/20 and many, many other media outlets.
But first…. If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode– as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode– at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.