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ATE Online, 2007
Erik Weihenmayer


Climbed many mountains including Mount Everest. He is blind and has even been a wrestling coach. Has even shared the speaking platform with George Bush. When he was a 5th grade teacher the kids would say "I get the teacher 'I get the guy with the dog.'"

Being a blind climber it's like being a Jamaican bobsledder. He went to the tallest peak in Antarctica.

Vision is very much a reflection of our values. The hardest part of a vision is to live within the framework of vision we've created in our life. How do your goals get you closer to that vision. How do your goals achieve or make your vision happen? How do you take the goals and wrap it around the vision and make it happen? He believes the vision is like a compass that guides through good and bad weather.

He went blind just before 13 years old and right before 9th grade, a week before freshman year. It was like a storm descending and he was afraid of being swept behind. He was seeing himself through a rearview mirror and being lost. So, he became tired of building internal walls. Got a letter in the mail about blind kids rock climbing. So, he went and learned to rock climbing. He said it was like a rebirth. It was beautiful and scary.

We all have fears. Those fears can conspire against us and can stop us from reaching. Pioneers often reach out for things unseen but sensed. He doesn't see himself as crazy climber. He is motivated by being a problem solver and by a sense of what is possible. We should be motivated by a sense of discovery (to unveal). "I create a roadmap, then I build a good team, then build systems and strategies that build me up that make me productive."

As a pioneer, we may have some disasters. We will have adversity as we come across challenges. He showed slides of several "alchamests" who climbs - a friend who is paralized from the waist down. Another had amputated legs and had built prosthetic legs that he built to help him. "Not bad for 3 gimps" is what Erik said.

They had a challenge right before the Everest trip. One of the members fell and hurt themselves. It only strengthened their team and more prepared them for the summit of Mt. Everest. He knew it wouldn't take a big pile of money or technology, but it would take people to help him make it to the summit.

Link people (using analogy of people roped together when climbing) to your vision. Some people in life won't trust your vision.

19 out of 21 people reached the top - a record. Helen Keller said "The greatest things in the world can't be seen or touched, but felt in the heart." A summit is that moment when we can transform the very face of the earth!

See film here.