For today’s daily dose of inspiration, I want to tell you about the latest adventure of my friend, and Fletcher grad, Charles Scott, F94. I’ve written about Charlie before — there’s often an international flavor to his adventures — though he’s hardly the traditional Fletcher graduate.
This month’s adventure was to guide a blind athlete to ascend the Inca Trail nonstop, to the historic site of Machu Picchu. Charlie, his friend Dan, who lost his sight as an adult, and two other friend/athletes have joined together to form Team See Possibilities. They took on their latest challenge only after a successful rim-to-rim-to-rim Grand Canyon run about a year ago (garnering plenty of press attention). Here’s how the team members introduced themselves and their plan before their latest run:
Shortly after arriving in Peru, Charlie sent a note to friends saying:
This high elevation mountain trek to Machu Picchu normally takes four days and climbs over three mountain passes that reach as high as 14,000 feet. We’ll try to complete it in one day. In our planning meeting yesterday, the Peruvian guide who has completed the trek 215 times told us, “What you are planning to do is not impossible, but the local authorities think it’s crazy for anyone to try, let alone with a blind person.”
We’re working with UNICEF to encourage children with disabilities to participate in sports. During our visit, we will meet with blind students at a school in Lima, Peru. Dan, who decided to become an endurance athlete after going blind in his 30s, offers a reminder that each one of us can overcome even the greatest of obstacles. I hope, as the students hear Dan’s story, they will be inspired to come up with and dive fearlessly into their own adventures and, like Dan, see blindness as an inconvenience to be overcome rather than a disability that prevents them from living life to the fullest.
So far, Charlie and the team have shared only limited information on the results of the run. I assume there will be more news soon via Twitter and the team website. But we know they achieved their amazing goal!
I confess — I often tell Charlie (jokingly?) that he’s crazy, but sometimes another person’s crazy ideas become genuinely inspiring, and I hope you have enjoyed reading about the extraordinary efforts of Dan, Charlie, Brad, and Alison. If their next plan evolves on schedule, I look forward to writing in about a year about a successful run for Team See Possibilities on the Great Wall of China.
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