Erik became the first blind person to summit Mount Everest. Another short video where he recounts his experience.
“Some people like to collect antiques or baseball cards. For me, I like to collect experiences. Just soak in as much as I can.”
“When I am climbing, the scariest part is when I am reaching out. And I'm not exactly sure what I'm gonna find. I mean I'm hoping and praying and predicting I'm gonna find and what I'm looking for. I think that sometimes that fear of reaching out into the unknown paralyzes people to the point that they don't.. they decide not to reach out at all. For me, all the great things that have ever come to me have been ... have come through reaching out into that unknown.”
“When I went blind, there was a time when I thought that life was filled with a lot of loss and not a lot of gain. I actually learnt sometimes things are taken away and sometimes things are given to you. You have to appreciate the things that you have.
At some point, I let go of the things that I couldn't do and began to focus on the things that I had. Once you realize all the things that you have, your life is just completely full.”
Over the years, Erik has climbed the highest summits in all seven continents. In 2016, Erik became the first blind person to climb El Capitan in a day. He also kayaked the Grand Canyon.
Bill Irwin walked along the 2200-mile Appalachian Trail with only his dog to guide him. He was blind.
“God leads the dog. The dog leads me!”
Blind Courage is a documentary to be released in 2017.
“80% of the time, the weather is not really the way you want it to be.
20% of the time, it's too hot.
20% of the time, it's too cold.
20% of the time, it's too wet.
20% of the time, it's too dry.
So what does that leave? 20% of the time, which is one day out of five! And if I had waited for that beautiful, pristine one day out of five, it would have taken me 15 years probably to complete my journey.”
Kyle was affected by congenital amputation (loss of limbs at birth). All four of his limbs were missing, a pretty rare condition. In 2012, he climbed the Mt Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetics. He progressed on all fours. Four years later, he climbed Mt Aconcagua.
Enock was born with a condition called spina bifida which left him paralyzed waist down. In 2016, he scaled El Capitan, a 3000-ft climb in Yosemite, California, with the help of a crew. His climb was filmed. A movie is scheduled to be released in 2017.
In 1976, Christian had a motorbike accident at age 15. During the ensuing life-saving operations, he lost an arm and a leg. At age 35, he picked up cycling and never looked back. At age 55, Christian was finishing super-long distance cycling routes in European mountains. Here are some news reports:
Philippe Croizon is a quadruple amputee who swam across the English Channel in less than 14 hours. He was 42 years old. At age 26, he lost his legs and arms when he was caught in an accident at his home.