EP (25) Erik Weihenmayer: A blind man's journey to kayak the Grand Canyon and create a movement inspired by no barriers


Erik Weihenmayer isn't your average professional adventurer.

He's blind.

But that reality hasn't stopped him from accomplishing some of the most amazing things in his forty plus years - things most people only dream of doing.

He was born with a condition called juvenile retinoschisis, which caused him to lose his sight by the time he entered high school. And although the darkness prevented him from ever seeing the beauty this world has to offer, he didn't let the darkness take over. 

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One of his last memories before losing his sight, was watching Canadian hero, Terry Fox, run his marathon of hope on TV. It was his courage that gave Erik hope to push past his own barriers and go after what he desired.

After catching the climbing bug as a teen, Erik continued to push both physical and emotional limits in his life. He became the captain of his high school wrestling team; went solo skydiving, solo paragliding, and skiing; and also gained his teaching degree.

Although he loved teaching, his love for climbing grew stronger with each experience. With the support of his wife, he left the teaching profession to become a full time, professional adventurer. And the rest, as they say, is history.

From being featured on the cover of Time Magazine at the age of 33, to being named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic, it's safe to say Erik is one of the most accomplished adventurers around. 

He's scaled all the seven highest peaks in the world - including Everest and most recently completed a solo trip down the Grand Canyon, that took him six years to prepare for. 

But the message he's trying to spread and the organization he's most proud of, is the one he co-founded, known as No Barriers movement. It's the idea that there really aren't any barriers in life, except for the ones we allow ourselves to be blocked by. Whether that be physical, emotional or mental, it's all about finding ways to recognize the 'right' barrier and find ways to push through them.

Erik and his team are hoping that this idea of No Barriers spreads, so they can empower more people to shatter barriers, find their inner purpose and contribute their best to the world.


  • How did you cope with going blind at such a young age?
  • How did you gain your confidence back and adapt to a new reality?
  • Why do you think you've never stopped pushing the limits?
  • When did you first try rock climbing, and what was that feeling like?
  • Why do you think you fell in love with climbing? What was it about climbing that you got addicted to?
  • Can you describe what it was like to climb Mt. Everest?
  • What was the most challenging part of Everest?
  • One of your friends said something that stuck with you when you got down from Everest - how did that change your life?
  • Do you think you are ever satisfied or are you constantly looking for the next big thing?
  • What made you want to switch to kayaking and tackle the Grand Canyon?
  • How did you start No Barriers and what is that movement?
  • And so much more...


  • How Erik maintains a positive mindset
  • What the No Barriers movement means to him and why it's so close to his heart
  • Why it's important to suffer and really feel the pain
  • Why he's not a fan of the word "feat"
  • Some people in his life that inspire him and why
  • Whether or not he would kayak the Grand Canyon again
  • The double meaning of 'building a great rope team' around you
  • What four letter word inspires Erik to keep pushing forward
  • Why it's important to take in the everyday moments, as well as the big ones
  • And lots more


CONNECT WITH No barriers




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