It's time for another installment of Feel Good Friday, the feature that brings you motivational and inspirational stories to brighten your day!
This week I bring you the amazing story of Erik Weihenmayer who climbed Mount Everest!
|At the summit of Mount Everest. So cool! (no pun intended)|
Erik Weihenmayer is one of the most well known athletes in the world with a passion for mountain climbing, paragliding, ice climbing, skydiving, biking, marathon and skiing. Therefore it was only fitting that he would challenge himself to climb Mount Everest!
On May 25th, 2001 Erik reached the summit of Mt Everest, and he and his group of 11 Americans and 8 Sherpa set a variety of world records such as the largest group to climb Mount Everest. Now that feat in itself is amazing, is it not?!
Well guess what, there's more! This climb was actually only a small part of Erik's larger goal: to climb the highest summits on each continent!
7 years later, on August 20th, 2008, Erik completed his goal when he stood on top of Carstenz Pyramid, the tallest peak in Austral-Asia. I know climbing one of the tallest mountains in the world is a lot of work, but climbing 7 is absolutely AMAZING! Because of this Erik became one of less than 100 mountaineers who have ever been able to accomplish this.
...oh, and did I mention he's been blind since he was 13?
His accomplishments alone as an athlete are amazing, but to do all this when you can't even see the dangers that lie before you is truly mind blowing! I can't even walk around my house without walking into stuff, so to have climbed the 7 summits while blind... wow. Just WOW.
And if his story of accomplishment isn't enough to leave you in awe, then what he did afterward with his fame and mountaineering experience might just do the trick.
In between climbing Mt Everest and the Carstenz Pyramid, Erik traveled to Tibet to teach blind children mountaineering and rock climbing. His past experiences climbing as a blind person really motivated the teenagers who come from a culture where the blind are seen as pariahs.
6 months, a a ton of hard work later the teenagers and Erik all climbed the Rombuk Glacier to a height of 21,500 feet (higher than any team of blind people in history). This major accomplishment gave the teenagers the confidence that they lacked before, proving that they could accomplish anything they wanted, regardless of blindness or not.
I think if there's one thing we can take away from this story, it is that we can't let things that are out of our control get in the way of what we want to accomplish. So hopefully this upcoming week you will be able to conquer any problems life throws at you, no matter how big or small.