Last month I went to an amazing talk at Lighthouse For the Blind and Visually Impaired. These talks are called “Lighthouse Listening’s” and they showcase a different speaker to their community, many of whom are blind or visually impaired. When walking into the Lighthouse headquarters I was given a blindfold before taking my seat. Why? Because I not here to see someone speak, I was there to listen. Small change, big impact.
I sat listening to Erik Weihenmayer, an impressive athlete who has summited Everest, completed the Seven Summits, climbed El Capitan, solo kayaked down the Grand Canyon, and accomplished many more impressive elite adventures. Obviously he is an accomplished athlete, less obvious to me when I was wearing a blindfold, he is blind. You can learn more about him by reading his books that include Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See, The Adversity Advantage, Turning Everyday Struggles into Everyday Greatness, No Barriers, and many more. Or, “google” him, he’s fascinating.
More than listening to him talk about his adventures, what really stuck with me was his answer to a seemingly obvious question during the Q and A after his talk. A listener from the audience asked, “what limits you the most?” (Cue my head to say “the fact that he can’t see the rocks, the cliffs, the turns, the rapids, etc”…WRONG) “Fear”, Erik replied. He went on to rattle off the many times that he didn’t try something simply out of fear and how universal that concept is. He said that regardless of someone’s ability, disability, impairments, age, knowledge, or experience, everyone has limited themselves at some point due to fear, usually the fear of failing.
That night I thought at length about how many of us have things that we have no control of try to limit us. Why do we let something we do have control of, like FEAR, limit us as well?
How can we change our fear or our fear of failing? Educate ourselves, ask for help, find guidance, practice, breathe, overcome it, find others who have been through it, accept that perseverance after failure only makes us stronger, FACE IT. Easier said than done, I know.
Please contact us with any fears that are limiting you. Lets see if together we can find a way to overcome fear and continue adventuring.
Photos and video of Alvaro and I overcoming fears and climbing to the top of the rock wall at the No Barriers Summit in Tahoe, CA
Stay tuned for more stories from our NoLi athletes as they face fears and push through limits.