Earlier this year we launched our “No Barriers Podcast.”  We highlight people who have experienced barriers in their lives and used these roadblocks as catalysts for positive change. From visible barriers such as a physical disability to invisible trauma, PTS, cultural or political obstacles, we learn how some people have navigated around these experiences and thrive.

Our goal is to unearth nuggets of wisdom from that difficult process of growth and discovery. By doing so we hope to offer our listeners guidance and a roadmap to ultimately live what we call A No Barriers Life.

the no barriers podcast logo

I host, alongside my longtime adventure buddy, Jeff Evans, who I have climbed with for 25 years, including reaching the summit of Mt. Everest together.  Our third host is Dave Shurna, a co-founder of No Barriers and Executive Director. Over the years all three of us have witnessed folks who have challenged conventions and shattered people’s perceptions, and we wanted to bring their stories to the world.  

As exciting as the first few months of the show have been, I can surely say that 2019 is ramping up to be better. Make sure you tune in by subscribing on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Highlights from our first few months of episodes:

Mark Wellman: It was only appropriate that we started with Mark since he was one of the original co-founders of the No Barriers movement. After a devastating climbing accident left Mark a paraplegic in his early 20s, he went on to achieve a whole host of athletic achievements, including being the first paraplegic to ascend El Capitan in Yosemite and light the torch at the Paralympic Games.  

a photo of mark wellman in his wheelchair in front of his rock climbing wall
Mark Wellman in front on his climbing wall.

Gretchen Evans: A former Command Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army, Gretchen was always a driven leader, but when a rocket blast took her hearing she was suddenly lost and without purpose. She has since come to terms with being deaf and continues to lead and serve others with her work with No Barriers Warriors. She is now an author with the publication of her first book: Leading from the Front.

a photo of gretchen evans holding up an american flag with the folks from arrow electronics
Gretchen Evans with the folks from ARROW.

Ethan (Esubalew) Johnston: As a very young boy, Ethan was kidnapped and blinded by his captors in Ethiopia to serve as a beggar on the streets. Thankfully, he was discovered, brought to America and eventually adopted. Ethan is independent, resilient and has a wonderful sense of humor.  He currently lives in Colorado, plays beep baseball, is employed full time and stays active in his local Ethiopian community.

a photo of ethan johnston smiling at the summit in tahoe
Ethan at the 2017 No Barriers Summit in Tahoe. Credit: Sam Davis

2019 brings a whole new slate of barrier breakers to the show . . .  you’ll hear from: Army Veteran, Maj. Diggs Brown, who helped build one of the first girls’ schools in Afghanistan and continues to serve Veterans in his local Colorado community, Luis Benitez, a renowned mountaineer who now serves as the State Director for the Outdoor Recreation Industry office for Colorado.  

We sat with inspiring everyday people like Angie Shireman, now a small business owner who has overcome multiple life-threatening diagnoses and continues to exude positivity and hope, and Sean Swarner, an incredible athlete who became the first cancer survivor to reach the Summit of Mt. Everest and many more.

a photo of sean swarner and hosts with flag
Sean Swarner with the flag he brings with him on adventures that has names of hundreds of folks who are battling cancer.
a photo of jeff evans and luis benitez during a podcast recording
Interviewing Luis Benitez at LaunchPad Studio.
a photo of the hosts of no barriers podcast with guest angie shireman smiling in front of launchpad studio sign
Hanging out with Angie Shireman at Launchpad Studios.

Available on iTunes, Stitcher, Tune In, and Google Play and NoBarriersPodcast.com. Listen and share and if you like what you hear we would love a 5-star review. 

Our next podcast airs Monday, January 7th, and features Major Diggs Brown. New episodes drop every two weeks on Monday mornings. Make sure to subscribe to stay updated.

Finally, if you have ideas for guests please email them to our Producer, Pauline at pauline@touchthetop.com.