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Wednesday Wisdom: Choosing to See and Do

April 12, 2023

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Sports

Shawn Cheshire – Blind Athlete

What would you do if you woke up today not able to read this Wednesday Wisdom due to recent vision loss? What would you do if over the past year your hearing declined so much you couldn’t hear spring birds chirping? How about if you were diagnosed with a life-altering disease, what would you do?

Across the globe in Nepal, an ordinary woman, who was once an US Army Veteran who lost her sight in an ambulance accident, turned blind woman adventurer is preparing to climb Mount Everest as the first blind woman. Notching her ambition up a level after becoming a 13x Paracycling National Champion and setting 3x World Records in single biking and hiking, the past decade.

Grand Canyon 2022 – By Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

I had the privilege of meeting Shawn Cheshire, a Syracuse native, when I interviewed women in sports who weren’t top athletes but ascending athletes in their field. Shawn was from Syracuse and was introduced to me by another woman. Sometimes you are lucky to meet someone amazing if you just ask. Ever since talking to Shawn, I have followed her adventures crossing the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim–to-rim, cycling across the USA, and cycling from Canada to Mexico and now observing her attempt to climb Everest. She accomplishes these extraordinary feats with a team of fellow athletes.

I remember Shawn telling me that sport was what gave her purpose after losing her eyesight in her 30s. She was depressed, as you can imagine, raising two daughters in the Syracuse area, and trying to carve a future for herself. Opening up the door to sports is what saved her and propelled her even further to achieve what she has achieved, and will achieve when she summits Everest, because I know she will. Her motto is simply “Choosing to See” – what a profound thought.

Shawn Cheshire – Nepal 2023

So, today’s Wednesday Wisdom isn’t based on business inspiration but rather ordinary-turned-extraordinary instances when you, like Shawn, can turn a major heartbreaking loss into an awe-inspiring positive one. Our life is always rooted in our attitudes. We can choose to give-up and stay stuck, or we can make a small, and yet powerful, decision one day at a time to start moving forward. No, it isn’t easy to begin or begin again, but consider the pros and cons of stopping vs. starting. 

As you contemplate your next steps, I hope you keep Shawn in mind as she climbs and summits Mount Everest, with her mighty team of supporters with her, and choose to see, just like she is. Look at Shawn’s Instagram handle at as she journeys and track her progress if you want. Please send her strength and tenacity to achieve her “highest” goal to date….and be motivated to start yours.

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