Celebrating Everest! Now What’s Your Everest?Today marks one of my favorite achievements we in the blindness community celebrate. On April 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmeier, a blind mountain climber, reched the summit of Mount Everest. The feat is a huge goal for many who get into hiking and mountain climbing and a dream for many of us who don’t.
Weihenmeier instantly gained even more publicity than his adventures and determination had already garnered. He was teaching at the time in a public school in Arizona. He’d climbed several of the world’s tallest peaks including Mount Denali (then Mount McKinley). So with the sponsorship of the National Federation of the Blind giving him the financial boost, he and his team composed of people having various disabilities met their goal.
Today’s post for us who follow his blog and subscribe to his No Barriers outlook on life reflects on his summiting the world’s tallest peak. You see, he wants us all to reach our goals. He seeks a world that will not set us aside because supposed inclusion or diversity budgets are met by sponsoring only one, another, person who is blind.
You can read Erik’s post here. So, let’s celebrate his accomplishments that put the boldly in being boldly blind!
Of course, not every one of us will reach the world’s tallest peak. What we have are various goals. Some deal with employment. Others have to do with reaching a proficiency in our favorite hobby. Mine is chess. I have always wanted to reach the goal of being an expert, a rating of 2000 or higher. While I’m only halfway there and perhaps living on a prayer, I want to prepare and practice for each match, each tournament like I’m determined to achieve that goal someday.
Do you want to reach some distinguished status and have the backing/ Maybe, your motivation will impel you and your family to budget the finances, devote those hours to honing in on your goals. Perhaps, that could even be planning to move out of your parents’ home, getting an advanced academic degreee, or being a proficient guide dog handler.
One look at Erik Weihenmeir’s accomplishments in the world of mountain climbing can give us a blueprint of sorts as to how we can reach our Everest. Our goals take planning, consideration, setting aside time, resources, and other matters to prioritize our aims. Maybe, that means connecting with people involved in our hobby of choice, a chosen work goal, or at the college where we want to attend. People can help us the path to take, tap that hiker’s stick on thinner ice or dirt overpass so we don’t slip or tuble into an unseen cravass in our journey.
In any case, having goals, setting out plans will help us keep motivated as we encourage each other who are blind and bring awareness of our dignity and capabilities to those who aren’t.