I was sitting in Yosemite all by myself, looking up at El Cap.” I’m like, ‘Hunh. I think that’s what I need to do.’ And the thought came across my mind: ‘It doesn’t look really that bad.’

Getting to know Steve and his wife Elizabeth has been a true joy. Any time I feel a little achy or my back is bothering me, I try to remember this talk. I was introduced to Steve by my friend Torrie Dunlap, the Executive Director of Kids Included Together. Once I saw clips from Steve’s movie, I knew that Steve would be an inspiring addition to our event.

About twenty years ago, I volunteered for a season as ski buddy for the Rehab Institute of Chicago’s Adaptive Sports program. Besides getting the chance to see people ski again after an accident, or to ski for the first time, what I loved about it was the practical approach everyone had. “Your hand doesn’t grip? Okay, we’ll tape the pole to your hand.” It was unemotional, unsentimental, and all about getting people out there, whatever their abilities. As one of my friends said, “We’re all just a banana peel away from being disabled.”

So when Steve decided to climb El Cap, it was the same process. How much pull can he get with his working arm? How many feet is the climb? Do the math, figure out it will take five days, train like hell. (It took six.) Steve told me, “It was the most wonderful-horrible thing I have ever done.”

I still can’t watch this talk without crying. For more on Steve’s work, check out The Wampler Foundation.

Today’s post is part of our mission to help you rebuild your health through food and lifestyle choices. Look for posts on Mondays featuring gluten-free, sugar-free recipes made with healthy plant-based ingredients, Wednesday essays, and Friday giveaways (when available).