September 7, 2014 Today, I'm launching on a long awaited adventure, to solo kayak the Grand Canyon, 21 days, 277 miles from Lee's Ferry to Pierce Ferry. Joining me is Navy veteran Lonnie Bedwell, an accomplished kayaker, who like me is also blind. Together, the two of us hope to make a powerful and authentic statement about living a No Barriers Life and the belief that this is possible for each of us. Follow our journey at KayakingBlind.org Nature Valley is sponsoring the expedition and created a teaser, check it out:
Kayaking Blind Grand Canyon Teaser from Erik Weihenmayer on Vimeo. The Mission
The expedition is hosted by No Barriers USA, a nonprofit organization I co-founded that empowers people with the message, "What's within you is stronger than what's in your way." With solid rock walls carved a mile deep by the mighty Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is one of the great natural wonders on Earth with a fearsome reputation as one of the most daunting whitewater venues in the world. Lonnie and I have spent the last several years training and developing innovative systems for kayaking rapids with the help of high-tech radios and verbal commands from experienced guides. Even with many past successes, kayaking hands-down is the hardest and scariest thing I've ever done. However, this project isn't just about the adrenaline; it's about everyone's journey to live a No Barriers Life, to use our internal tool kit to harness our challenges and live the best versions of ourselves. Lonnie and I are using the platform of this adventure for an even more ambitious stretch goal: to encourage one-million people to pledge to live a No Barriers Life.
Pledging doesn't mean signing up for a big physical activity, but it should be something that makes you reach, stretch, and even risk a little bit. For one of our injured veterans, it might mean pledging to climb a flight of stairs for the first time after being hurt. For you, it may be pledging to lose weight, stop smoking, run a marathon, or volunteer at your local nonprofit an hour a week for the next year. When you accomplish your goal, hold your No Barriers banner proudly, snap a photo at your "summit" and make this the first step in joining our powerful community of pioneers who continually motivate each other to climb higher. You can join us in taking the pledge and follow our expedition at: