Adversity & No Barriers USA
|Associate Director, Amy Rauworth|
While attending the 2011 Paralympic Leadership Conference, I had the pleasure of listening to Erik Weihenmayer. Needless to say, he not only made me laugh, but made a lasting impression on me. All attendees were given his book, The Adversity Advantage: Turning Everyday Struggles into Everyday Greatness, which he co-authored with Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D. Now, it may have been the fact that my flight was delayed and then cancelled, but I actually had time to devour this book before my return to Chicago. As a mom of two young girls, I am sure many of you can relate; I don't often get time to read for pleasure. When my head hits the pillow, even if I have good intentions and a good plot, sleep seems to win out.
Eric Weihenmayer is a pioneer and a person who is blind. He is a person who has climbed the highest summits of all seven continents, including Mt. Everest. In his own words that he uses to describe others, he is a modern day alchemist. At age 13, Erik became blind. In his speech and his book, he recalls one of the last things that he saw on TV, which was his hero, Terry Fox, who despite having lost a leg to cancer, ran across Canada to raise money for cancer research. As Erik suggests so often in his presentations and books, I too encourage you to not be failure adverse, but instead to face life's challenges head on and be your own version of a pioneer! Below, I have listed a few of my favorite YouTube videos of Erik for you to watch.
Must see YouTube videos of Erik:
Erik Speaking On Adversity
Farther Than The Eye Can See
Erik Crossing A Crevasse On A Ladder
NEI Interview with Erik Weihenmayer: Using An Assistive Technology Called BrainPort
Erik's website: http://www.touchthetop.com
In 1999, Erik joined Mark Wellman (the first paraplegic to climb the 3000-foot face of El Capitan), and Hugh Herr (a double-leg-amputee and scientist at Harvard's prestigious prosthetics Laboratory) to climb an 800-foot rock tower in Moab, Utah. As a result of their successful climb together, the three formed No Barriers, a non-profit organization with a goal of promoting innovative ideas, approaches, and assistive technologies which helps people with disabilities push through their own personal barriers to live full and active lives.
No Barriers Mission:
No Barriers is a powerful community of modern day pioneers who use the experience of nature to promote innovation, education and assistive technologies that create transformative life experiences and inspire people with challenges to live full and active lives.
No Barriers Festival 2007 at Squaw Valley USA
One of the greatest adversities I have faced in my life to date is the loss of my Mother to lung cancer. In her memory and for all of you who are challenged everyday by the desire to quit smoking, please be inspired to quit today!
Smoke Free (free step-by-step quit guide, talk to an expert function, free resources)
Tobacco Free Quit Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Quit Now
American Association on Health and Disability (smoking Cessation Programs for People with Disabilities)
For comments and feedback, please feel free to contact Amy Rauworth at firstname.lastname@example.org