Praying from a hotel room in Uganda in the Fall of 2010, Blake Shubert sought an answer to how he could live out a deeper purpose. While awaiting a sign, an overwhelming and urgent desire came over him to lead a special cause to honor America's military. Blake felt the presence of nearby Mt. Kilimanjaro and instantly knew the location of his future calling. As if in a dream, Blake was able to cultivate a vision to climb the African mountain to raise awareness for America's wounded heroes and empower them to realize their infinite strength despite experiencing potential debilitating injuries (mental and physical).
From Uganda, Blake e-mailed Dan Adams, his hometown friend and football teammate, to share his vision. He chose Dan due to a shared life philosophy which often focused upon ways to serve and empower others to seek their highest potential despite potential adversities. After the initial conversation, Blake felt a connection with Dan and knew that his tenacious work-ethic, appetite for risk, and his willingness to tackle any challenge would help bring the Kilimanjaro dream to reality.
Shortly after committing to the vision, Blake and Dan found themselves discussing sources of inspiration which led them to Kyle Maynard after seeing a preview on ESPN for "A Fighting Chance". Incredibly, in April 2011, Blake and Dan had the opportunity to meet Kyle, effectively putting the wheels in motion to build the Mission Kilimanjaro dream. Shortly after the initial meeting, Dan took a leap of faith, leaving corporate america, moving from Boston to Atlanta, and embarking upon a special journey with Kyle to confront all obstacles on the path to Uhuru Peak (the summit of Mt.Kilimanjaro).
In July 2011, Dan and Kyle attended the 2011 No Barriers Summit in Winter Park, Colorado, meeting No Barriers Chairman, Erik Weihenmayer, and taking the first steps towards finding adaptive solutions to allow Kyle to climb without assistance. Lacking adaptive equipment for their first climb, Kyle and Dan made a trip to a local convenience store, purchasing towels and tape to be able to participate in a hike the following day.
Despite the stare of confused onlookers, Kyle and Dan stuck to their simple plan envisioned the night before, effectively climbing to 12,000 ft alongside Erik Weihenmayer and Jordan Romero. This experience built the foundation for the climb in January and provided the necessary confidence to continue pushing forward.
Following the climb in Colorado, Kyle and Dan succeeded in building efficient adaptive equipment through months of trial and error, meeting a collection of special individuals that will serve as the Mission Kilimanjaro team.
Through the belief in a vision and an inability to give into limitation, Mission Kilimanjaro was born. Are you ready to join our team in reaching for your highest potential? What's in your way?