New Speaker Needs Help
BILL KINDER (kinder12@AZTEC.ASU.EDU)
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 20:19:18 -0700
I am writing this letter after having just experienced a very
wonderful and inspiring presentation by a young man, Eric Weihenmayer.
The occasion was a Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet, at the Conley
Elementary School, in Chandler, Arizona. We had thought that Eric might
discuss his experiences as a Cub Scout, a Webelos Scout and later a
Boy Scout; or his success as a three-year varsity high school wrestler; or
his struggle in college obtaining his teaching credentials as a high school
English and Mathematics teacher. All of these accomplishments are
significant. But Eric has also become an amateur mountain climber,
having successfully scaled Mt. McKinley, El Capitan and Mt. Rainier over
the last four years.
Before you jump to the conclusion that young Eric's life is equal to
many young men with similar accomplishments, let me add one
additional challenge. Eric has been blind since the age of 13. Not
impaired, but blind. Eric visited our meeting with his dog Sago.
His presentation included some of the most beautiful slides taken
on some of the highest mountains in North America. From scaling deep
crevices, as the lead climber roped to his climbing companions, to
searching a vertical rock face for the next foot hold, Eric's slides are
amazing. Watching this presentation it's easy to forget that Eric can only
describe what others have told him.
His message of trust, courage and teamwork is dramatic and
encouraging. A theme might be entitled "If You Could See What I Hear".
Anyone listening, young and old alike, cannot help but be inspired by this
amazing person. Our own problems and obsticles seem insignificant
when measured by what Eric faces each day. There is not even a hint of
bitterness or self pity in his attitude.
Eric was very comfortable answering the many questions from his
young audience. Several years as a school teacher have been a learning
experience for both teacher and student.
Eric will be leaving his teaching job at the end of this school year,
and will likely move to Colorado. I have been encouraging him to
continue to polish his presentation skills, for his message is one that
If you are reading this letter and know of someone in the
motivational speaking industry, I would be most appreciative on Eric's
behalf, if you would forward it to them.
Eric can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you on behalf of a very special and gifted person.
Bill Kinder (email@example.com)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City