Blog posts in News

No Barriers Summit Honorary Committee

Wow, I am super excited! We have a powerhouse team backing the No Barriers Summit including our senior US Senator and the state Governor. It's no small feat to get major hitters like these backing an event, which speaks volumes about the significance of our Summit. Don't forget to mark you calendars and join us in Winter Park, CO from June 30 to July 3rd! Press Release:

Conquering The Climb

In case you missed the premier this morning, here is the show. Great stuff! This 1/2 hour special about our Soldiers To The Summit expedition aired on The Pentagon Channel. Much of the footage came from Michael Brown and the folks at Serac Adventures who are now busily at work editing the full-length movie. You can learn more about the film on the newly launched web site. We are actively working on raising funds for the film and a nationwide tour that will feature many of the soldiers.

Quad Amputee Kayaking

I often speak about using adversity as a fuel to create greatness. There are many examples of this that I describe in my book, The Adversity Advantage, but I'd like to share yet one more. My friend and kayak instructor, Chris Wiegand, recently started teaching a new student how to kayak. Why is that remarkable? Well five years ago, Mark Mathers was a healthy college student and martial arts instructor--very fit, very active. One day, he woke up with a sore throat and feeling a little nauseous.

I am honored

It came as a pleasant surprise recently that the Connecticut Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame named a wrestling scholarship in my honor. The annual $500 award will go to a senior at any high school in the state who has wrestled for at least three years and demonstrated the ability to overcome exceptional adversity. According to the announcement:

Rolling with the Interior Secretary

Right before Christmas, I was kayaking with my friend and kayak coach Chris Wiegand in Confluence Park in front of the REI in Denver. This is the park Chris helped design, along with the Golden kayak park. It was a chilly December day and Chris had guided me successfully down the course twice with only one wave hitting me broadside and forcing me to do my first real (non-practice) eskimo roll. I rode a couple wave trains upsidedown and facing upstream and when I popped back up, some other paddlers along with us started applauding, along with some river-side spectators.

Meeting Uri

It's always an exciting moment when any of us meets their new dog for the first time. For a blind person, their new guide dog is a special gift who not only gives us love but also freedom. My new dog, Uri, is a two-year-old purebred German shepherd from a Bavarian bloodline. He was provided to me by Fidelco, a fantastic organization in Connecticut that specializes in raising and training guide dogs.

Caption Contest!

My buds Jeff and Ike had a little fun with me last week and a friend took this picture. We posted it on Facebook and asked people to write a caption. 18 responses so far and some pretty good ones. Enjoy! Ruby Roof — Heading in a new direction for 2011...

Support Matt—vote now, vote often!

Mike Moniz, CEO of Circadence, was a major sponsor of our Soldiers to the Summit Expedition. His son, Matt, is a nominee for National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. This summer, at age 12, with his dad, Matt climbed to the highest peak in all 50 states, including formidable and dangerous Denali (20,320') -- in just 43 days. Matt is also well on his way to climbing the Seven Summits, with Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua already added to his Denali feat. Please vote for Matt.

Seasons Greetings!

As the end of the year approaches, I look back on a 2010 that was exhausting, but exciting and fulfilling too. I had many highlights but the absolute apex was my Soldiers to the Summit Expedition in October. I was recently combing through and found two letters, one from the mother of our soldier teammate, Mat Nyman, and the second from Brian Smith, who leads 3DATS, one of our sponsors. It's a satisfying feeling to know this climb made a difference in both of their lives.

BrainPort wins major grant

For a couple of years now, I have been testing an exciting technology called BrainPort, which helps blind people "see" via a camera and a device that translates images into sensations on the tongue. It's pretty amazing stuff!