[bksvol-discuss] Re: OT: Blind man not resting after Everest

  • From: "siss52" <siss52@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 06:16:10 -0600

Thanks for sharing Cindy.  One of my friends and her hubby saw Erik at a
book signing in Texas and got an autographed print copy of his book.  I
wanted to read it but at the time NLS said it was in process.  Now I will
have to go to bookshare.org and see if we have it.

Sue S.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cindy" <popularplace@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <bookshare-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 3:26 AM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] OT: Blind man not resting after Everest

Someone sent this article to me, knowing both that I'm
interested in mountain-climbing (reading about it, not
doing it) and that I'm working with bookshare. I found
it interesting and thought I'd share it.


> > > > Deseretnews.com, Utah
> > > > Sunday, January 30, 2005
> > > >
> > > > Blind man not resting after Everest
> > > >
> > > > By Lee Benson, Deseret Morning News
> > > >
> > > >        Among the myriad events taking place at
this weekend's annual Outdoor Retailer Show is a
breakfast gathering today sponsored by W.L. Gore &
Associates featuring an Embrace-the-Outdoors speech by
Erik Weihenmayer, the first and, so far, only blind
person to stand atop Mount Everest.
   Of the 6 billion people currently living  on
the planet, Weihenmayer arguably has the best vision
of anyone when it comes to seeing the
tremendous upside of the great outdoors.
     It was not quite four years ago - May 25,
 2001, to be exact - when, at age 32, he summited the
world's tallest mountain and delivered a blow to the
solar plexus of pessimism from which it is
 yet to recover.
      If the blind can climb Everest, what can't
 they do? And while we're asking questions, what might
be possible for those of us who can see?
    I managed to snag a short interview with Erik, who
makes his home in Golden, Colo., before he went into
deep preparation mode for today's
speech - by spending all day yesterday skiing at
       "You have a guide skier in front and usually
another in back," he said in explaining the process
that allows a sightless skier to attack the
slopes. "It's very exciting, especially when you hit
some uneven snow conditions. I love it."
      For a man who did something most people
 mountaineers especially - felt was physically
impossible, Weihenmayer has anything but the air of a
superhero about him; or, for that matter, a
riverboat gambler.
  His descriptions of his accomplishments
(he has also climbed the tallest mountain in every
hemisphere) are so pragmatic, so down-to-earth,
 that he makes the improbable seem probable -
 like an aeronautic engineer explaining how a
20,000-pound jet airplane gets airborne.
     "What I've learned from the outdoors," he
 says, "is how to empower  myself and reach out into
uncertainty; how to take calculated risks, how to
create good teams of people around me, people
 who believe in me, people I can put my life in their
hands, and they can put their life in my hands."
    Do that, and climbing Mount Everest becomes
 a process, not a phenomenon.
      "A lot of people said a blind person had no
 business being on a mountain like Everest," he says.
"But I had more climbing knowledge and
experience than probably 99 percent of the
people there."
       No matter what the goal, Erik stresses the
 importance of being realistic about it.
   "There's a sense of realism that you have
to have," he says. "I started climbing at 16. I
figured out all the systems. I worked at it. I found
out what I had to do to be as physically fit as I
could be. It takes a lot of discipline and preparation
(to climb
 Everest). I'd spent half my life preparing for it. I
want to motivate people to step out of their comfort
zone, but I want them to be realistic too. I want
 to share the message that we can do things in our
lives that are totally unexpected - but we need to
know what's involved in getting there."
  He adds that every goal doesn't have to be
 as lofty as the first blind man to touch the top of
the world.
   "To me," he says, "the outdoors are really
about every man. They're about heavy people, short
people, skinny people, blind people . . .
 everybody getting out there and enjoying the outdoors
and figuring out ways of succeeding within that tough
environment under
your own set of circumstances."
    I'm sure he'd have said more. But he had
 a ski lift to catch.

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