Ed Weihenmayer is the President of our Governing Board at the Chapel where I pastor. Through him I have met his son, Erik, who was the first blind man to summit Mt.Everest. Erik has launched this week his new book NO BARRIERS: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon.
Bob Woodruff of ABC News in his Foreword writes that Erik “kept setting goals for himself, moving ever forward, because in his words, he ‘would rather be punched and knocked flat than to be doomed to a life of quiet acquiescence.’”
If you are looking for inspiration for yourself or a loved one who feels that they are of no account, a victim of circumstances beyond their control, and tend to blame others or their addiction or disease, this book will challenge you and them.
Apart from his own story of overcoming his disability Erik cofounded the nonprofit No Barriers in 2004. “His goal was to help those who have suffered from mental and physical injuries understand that although there exist plenty of barriers in our lives, there is also a map, a way to navigate these barriers and even obliterate them.”
In 2017 No Barriers will provide transformative experiences for nearly 5,000 diverse youth, more than 3,000 individuals as its Summits and events, and almost 300 warriors with disabilities. It is changing lives and giving people a reason for living.
The Pledge of No Barriers is: “I pledge to view my life as a relentless quest to become my very best self, To always view the barriers in my life as opportunities to learn, To find ways to build teams, serve those in need, and do good in the world, To push the boundaries of what is possible, And prove that what’s within me is stronger than what’s in my way.”
We need more Erik Weihenmayers in this world. What a story!