Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind person to climb all Seven Summits, says to not let distractions, fears, and doubts sabotage you and shows there’s only one way to discover what you’re made of.
Erik Weihenmayer (born September 23, 1968) is the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001. He also climbed Mount Ararat and completed the Seven Summits in September 2002. He is the author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye can See, his autobiography.
After becoming blind, Weihenmayer rejected canes and learning Braille. He wanted to prove that he could continue just as he did beforehand. He tried ball games, but eventually gave in to his disability, so he learned to wrestle. In high school he won the National Junior Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Iowa. He started using a guide dog afterward. Then he attended Boston College and graduated as an English major. He became a middle-school teacher and wrestling coach.
With Sabriye Tenberken he climbed with teenagers from the school for the blind. A documentary film based on the project, Blindsight, was released in 2006. Another documentary, Fellowship of the Andes, was produced by Dutch filmmaker Bernd Out, and gives the account of Weihenmayer accompanying a team of blind and visually impaired students on a mountain trek across the Andes in June 2006. In 2011, he competed on ABC’s Expedition Impossible.