We have insatiable wanderlust and we love a good inspirational story, so when we heard about Erik Weihenmayer, a blind adventurer who travels the world doing extreme expeditions (like climbing the seven highest summits in the world), we were amazed. Here’s a guy, who despite not being able to visually experience the world, is living to the very fullest. Someone like Erik puts everything in perspective. He proves that, yes, you can really do anything you set your mind to. As most of you know, we’re big advocates of the “no barriers” mantra and Erik has truly taken it to another level. He not only inspires us all to follow our dreams, but to practice gratitude in the process.
Erik’s next incredible journey, appropriately titled the “No Barriers Grand Canyon Expedition,” is taking on the rapids in the Grand Canyon Colorado River. Erik has teamed up with Nature Valley to be the first blind person to attempt a 21 day, 277 mile journey through some of the most fierce whitewater rapids. He’ll be joined by Navy veteran and fellow blind adventurer and expert kayaker, Lonnie Bedwell. He’ll also be supported by an experienced team of paddlers.
So how will these two brave, blind men take on the Grand Canyon’s turbulent waters? Both Lonnie and Erik have trained heavily for the expedition. They’ve spent the last several years developing their skillset based on verbal cues from river guides as well as high-tech radios -and surely plenty of intuition and determination. Their journey began near the Arizona-Utah border on September 7 and the team expects to complete the expedition some time around September 28 at Pearce Ferry (the boundary between Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon). You can follow their entire adventure on Nature Valley’s Tumblr blog.
Style Fox has teamed up with Nature Valley to help spread the word about Erik’s story and to inspire others to lead a “no barriers” lifestyle. Check out Erik’s organization, No Barriers USA, an empowering cause that encourages people to tackle adversity and succeed regardless of challenges. The motto: “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” Yep, we love that.
You can learn more about No Barriers USA and take the pledge to live without barriers here.