Using Adversity to Advantage
The title of this blog is the motto of nobarriersusa.org co-founded by Erik Weihenmeyer, the only blind person who has climbed Mt. Everest. He went blind at the age of 13 but that didn’t stop him from facing life head on and becoming an amazing adventurer and motivational speaker.
After Erik’s Mt. Everest ascent, Braille Without Borders, a school for the blind in Tibet, invited him to teach its students mountaineering and rock climbing. His many climbs gave the teenagers the courage to excel in a culture which affords few opportunities for the blind. Erik and six Everest team members went to Tibet in May 2004 to train the students, then in October led them on a climb to the Rombuk Glacier on the north side of Mt. Everest. Once seen as pariahs, the teenagers ultimately stood together at 21,500-feet., higher than any team of blind people in history.
Erik has become an accomplished mountain climber, paraglider, and skier, who has never let his blindness interfere with his passion for an exhilarating and fulfilling life.
In 2005 Weihenmayer co-founded No Barriers USA (http://nobarriersusa.org/), which helps those with special challenges to live active and purposeful lives. The organization’s motto is “What’s Within You Is Stronger Than What’s In Your Way!” Injured soldiers are a major focus of No Barriers USA.
Today, while still adventuring, he is a prominent worldwide speaker, focusing on the topic of using adversity to advantage and living a “No Barriers Life.