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National Bestseller and Honorable Mention Award Winner in the Outdoor Literature category of the 2017 National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) — “A beautiful book about family and finding a way to achieve more than you ever thought possible.” —Brad Meltzer, NYT bestselling author Erik Weihenmayer is the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Descending carefully, he and his team picked their way across deep crevasses and through the deadly Khumbu Icefall; when the mountain was finally behind him, Erik knew he was going to live. His expedition leader slapped him on the back and said something that would affect the course of Erik’s life: “Don’t make Everest the greatest thing you ever do.” No Barriers is Erik’s response to that challenge. It is the moving story of his journey since descending Mount Everest: from leading expeditions around the world with blind Tibetan teenagers to helping injured soldiers climb their way home from war, from adopting a son from Nepal to facing the most terrifying reach of his life: to solo kayak the thunderous whitewater of the Grand Canyon. Along the course of Erik’s journey, he meets other trailblazers—adventurers, scientists, artists, and activists—who, despite trauma, hardship, and loss, have broken through barriers of their own. These pioneers show Erik surprising ways forward that surpass logic and defy traditional thinking. Like the rapids of the Grand Canyon, created by inexorable forces far beneath the surface, No Barriers is a dive into the heart and mind at the core of the turbulent human experience. It is an exploration of the light that burns in all of us, the obstacles that threaten to extinguish that light, and the treacherous ascent towards growth and rebirth.
No Barriers is about my journey since coming down from Mt. Everest in 2001, and the path to where I am today. It is the story of my own life, the personal and professional struggles in the pursuit of growth, learning, and family, as well as a dream to kayak one of the world’s great rivers as a blind athlete. It is also about the many people I’ve encountered along the way who possess what I call a “No Barriers” mindset, who live a No Barriers life. It highlights these pioneers who give those around them the courage to do great things. People who have risked failure, transcended their personal barriers, and shown others a way forward: scientists and innovators, artists and musicians, climbers and adventurers, activists and soldiers. No Barriers is a way of living, and it exists in all of us, like a deep internal light. But sometimes through trauma, loss, isolation, and disillusionment, people get shoved into a dark place, and that light is almost extinguished. Making hard choices is what feeds that light, and becomes the energy we need to propel us forward. This book is about making the hard choices to fuel that flickering light, so that we can ignite with purpose and become our very best selves.
2018 Colorado Book Awards finalist in the Creative Nonfiction and National Bestseller and Honorable Mention Award Winner in the Outdoor Literature category of the 2017 National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) — “A beautiful book about family and finding a way to achieve more than you ever thought possible.” —Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author Erik Weihenmayer is the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Descending carefully, he and his team picked their way across deep crevasses and through the deadly Khumbu Icefall; when the mountain was finally behind him, Erik knew he was going to live. His expedition leader slapped him on the back and said something that would affect the course of Erik’s life: “Don’t make Everest the greatest thing you ever do.” No Barriers is Erik’s response to that challenge. It is the moving story of his journey since descending Mount Everest: from leading expeditions around the world with blind Tibetan teenagers to helping injured soldiers climb their way home from war, from adopting a son from Nepal to facing the most terrifying reach of his life: to solo kayak the thunderous whitewater of the Grand Canyon. Along the course of Erik’s journey, he meets other trailblazers—adventurers, scientists, artists, and activists—who, despite trauma, hardship, and loss, have broken through barriers of their own. These pioneers show Erik surprising ways forward that surpass logic and defy traditional thinking. Like the rapids of the Grand Canyon, created by inexorable forces far beneath the surface, No Barriers is a dive into the heart and mind at the core of the turbulent human experience. It is an exploration of the light that burns in all of us, the obstacles that threaten to extinguish that light, and the treacherous ascent towards growth and rebirth.
The incredible bestselling book from the author of No Barriers and The Adversity Advantage Erik Weihenmayer was born with retinoscheses, a degenerative eye disorder that would leave him blind by the age of thirteen. But Erik was determined to rise above this devastating disability and lead a fulfilling and exciting life. In this poignant and inspiring memoir, he shares his struggle to push past the limits imposed on him by his visual impairment-and by a seeing world. He speaks movingly of the role his family played in his battle to break through the barriers of blindness: the mother who prayed for the miracle that would restore her son's sight and the father who encouraged him to strive for that distant mountaintop. And he tells the story of his dream to climb the world's Seven Summits, and how he is turning that dream into astonishing reality (something fewer than a hundred mountaineers have done). From the snow-capped summit of McKinley to the towering peaks of Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro to the ultimate challenge, Mount Everest, this is a story about daring to dream in the face of impossible odds. It is about finding the courage to reach for that ultimate summit, and transforming your life into something truly miraculous. "An inspiration to other blind people and plenty of us folks who can see just fine."—Jon Krakauer, New York Times bestselling author of Into Thin Air From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the world’s foremost blind athlete and a Harvard Business School lecturer comes an inspiring, seven-step program for converting both mundane and dramatic struggles into the kind of fuel that spur personal and professional greatness. Adversity is one of the most potent forces in life. It shapes your character, clarifies your priorities, and defines your path. It can also fuel your greatness. Each of us faces a rich assortment of adversities every day, ranging from minor hassles to major setbacks and challenges, even tragedies. Nobody knows this better than blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer and adversity expert Dr. Paul Stolz. In this exciting new edition of The Adversity Advantage, this dream-team joined forces to offer incredible experiences and practical science to teach you how to turn life challenges into a powerful advantage. Weihenmayer, who is the only blind person to climb Mount Everest and the Seven Summits, shares his struggles on high mountains to turn adversity on its head and do the impossible. Coauthor Stoltz has spent decades decoding the human relationship with adversity and is the creator of the globally acclaimed Adversity Quotient. Fully revised and updated, this new edition of The Adversity Advantage offers lessons from real-life adventure, seemingly insurmountable challenges, and extensive research to help you achieve greatness. This unique book provides an exciting and insightful framework for surpassing obstacles and reaching higher goals. Its seven proven principles will help you harness the adversity in your life and turn it into agility, innovation, energy, and happiness: · Take it on! · Summon your strength · Engage your core · Pioneer possibilities · Pack light, pack right · Suffer well · Deliver greatness, every day Let The Adversity Advantage inspire you to overcome obstacles, no matter how daunting!
Lonnie Bedwell (U.S. Navy, retired) shares his incredible and inspiring true story of becoming the first blind person to navigate a kayak through 226 miles of dangerous whitewater river flowing through the Grand Canyon. Bedwell embarked on this brave and historic undertaking to raise public awareness of the plight of disabled veterans, and to show these veterans, many of whom suffer from clinical depression, what they could achieve by taking advantage of adaptive sports programs like those offered by volunteer vets organization Team River Runner. "Lonnie has been helping inspire a lot of his fellow veterans with his exploits and, whenever someone asks him if it makes him feel good to help them, his reply is always the same: Those veterans did (me) and all of us a favor by fighting for us and (I'm) just paying them back." -Richard Seppala, The R.O.I. Guy Bedwell's story includes insightful comments and recollections from his family, other veterans, and the men who helped him prepare and complete his remarkable journey. Bedwell's amazing accomplishment is a testament to the limitless scope of the human spirit and our ability to overcome life's most daunting obstacles. "You can learn a lot from Lonnie. I did. I learned so much from him that by the end of our time together in the Grand Canyon, I realized that the trip was really as much about Lonnie guiding me as it was about me guiding Lonnie." Alex Nielson, Lead River Guide
From the acclaimed author of Conquistador comes this thrilling account of one of history’s greatest adventures of discovery. With cinematic immediacy and meticulous attention to historical detail, here is the true story of a legendary sixteenth-century explorer and his death-defying navigation of the Amazon—river of darkness, pathway to gold. In 1541, the brutal conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro and his well-born lieutenant Francisco Orellana set off from Quito in search of La Canela, South America’s rumored Land of Cinnamon, and the fabled El Dorado, “the golden man.” Driving an enormous retinue of mercenaries, enslaved natives, horses, hunting dogs, and other animals across the Andes, they watched their proud expedition begin to disintegrate even before they descended into the nightmarish jungle, following the course of a powerful river. Soon hopelessly lost in the swampy labyrinth, their numbers diminishing daily through disease, starvation, and Indian attacks, Pizarro and Orellana made a fateful decision to separate. While Pizarro eventually returned home barefoot and in rags, Orellana and fifty-seven men, in a few fragile craft, continued downriver into the unknown reaches of the mighty Amazon, serenaded by native war drums and the eerie cries of exotic predators. Theirs would be the greater glory. Interweaving eyewitness accounts of the quest with newly uncovered details, Buddy Levy reconstructs the seminal journey that has electrified adventurers ever since, as Orellana became the first European to navigate and explore the entire length of the world’s largest river. Levy gives a long-overdue account of the native populations—some peaceful and welcoming, offering sustenance and life-saving guidance, others ferociously hostile, subjecting the invaders to gauntlets of unremitting attack and intimations of terrifying rituals. And here is the Amazon itself, a powerful presence whose every twist and turn held the promise of new wonders both natural and man-made, as well as the ever-present risk of death—a river that would hold Orellana in its irresistible embrace to the end of his life. Overflowing with violence and beauty, nobility and tragedy, River of Darkness is both riveting history and a breathtaking adventure that will sweep readers along on an epic voyage unlike any other. From the Hardcover edition.

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