Denver Fundraising Event

If you are in the Denver area, I hope you can attend our No Barriers fundraiser next Wednesday (February 23rd) at the Denver Athletic Club. I will be teaming up with Neil Duncan to give a presentation about the many ways of taking on adversity and using it to your advantage. We will also have a preview of the movie about our Soldiers to the Summit expedition!

A Soldier Reflects

It's been about three months since we returned from Nepal and our successful ascent of Lobuche. For many of us, it has been a whirlwind of activity as we try to make the movie of our climb become a reality. Others on our team are busy with their own projects. Although we are all immersed in our lives here at home, each of us has been deeply affected by our experiences on that adventure.

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...

The Adversity Advantage – Excerpt #4

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect upon the past and to look forward to the future. It is a chance to rethink our attitudes and viewpoints. Rather than falling into predictable patterns and thinking the same old ways, we can make changes and try new approaches that will yield better results.

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!