Friday, June 26, 2009

Is Anything Possible?

I recently watched a documentary about a group that climbed Mount Everest. Incredibly 90% of the people who ever attempt to reach the peak of Everest fail and many have lost their lives. One of the people featured in the story is Erik Weihenmayer, a former middle school teacher and wrestling coach.

He’s written a book about his experience called 'Touch the Top of the World'. Here is an excerpt from his book:

“I had dreamed about Everest since I had begun climbing, and it was almost beyond my imagination just being here, experiencing this legendary mountain for myself. For half my life, I had been acquiring thousands of skills and special techniques that would keep me safe in the mountains. Our Everest planning had taken two years, the physical training, a year. I had run the foothills of the Rockies a hundred times, had sprained my ankles a dozen. I had shivered through endless blizzards near the tops of mountains around the world. For two months, we had been shuttling loads up and down the mountain, while pushing through tremendous doubt and fear. So by mid May, as time dwindled away, I found myself at Base Camp, awestruck and disappointed as I thought about all we had been through to get to this point. Mike O. and I sat in our tent engaged in long conversations about what constitutes success. You could do everything right, make few blatant mistakes, and still fall short. I worked hard not to buy into the idea that standing on top meant tremendous success while falling a few feet short meant utter failure. This savage unpredictability was the very element I loved and hated about mountains, and made this pursuit an adventure, not just a sport. But even though I could rationalize falling short, it was no less painful.”

Eric proceeds to climb Everest with his team and has subsequently climbed the seven summits (the highest mountains on each of the seven continents). A feat that fewer than 100 mountaineers have ever accomplished!

What makes his story so compelling and seemingly unimaginable is that Eric lost his vision at the age of 13.

Obviously he has never let his blindness interfere with his passion for living an exhilarating and fulfilling life. Clearly, Erik's accomplishments show that one does not need to be able to see to have extraordinary vision.

So if a blind man can climb Everest is anything possible? What dream have you had that you considered impossible? You may want to think again about what is possible and what is not…

“Twenty years ago, when I went blind, it was tough to even find the bathroom. Now that I've climbed Mount Everest, well, I guess I've come a long way.-Erik Weihenmayer

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About Bill Starr
Bill Starr is an avid 'life lister' and a founding partner and CEO of My Life List™ (, an award winning goal achievement website that uses a proven methodology and the power of social networking to help people achieve their goals and inspire others.

This weeks blog has been sponsored by my friends at Coastal Contacts where you get great contacts!

1 comment:

Nicole Rousselle said...

Fantastic & inspirational story on not only overcoming adversity; going beyond the possible with unrelenting faith. Thank you for sharing this story Bill.

Nicole Rousselle