Interview: Success Beyond Tragedy with Blind Vet Adventurer, Steve Baskis, and Founder of San Juan LEADs, Anne Ryan

As promised with all our interviews, this conversation is inspiring, expansive and real. From the San Juan mountain range of Colorado this interview covers how to build an inner success out of your life amidst tragedy.

Imagine immersing yourself amongst a grove of aspen trees inside a platform hut, listening as the weather moves in and eventually giving into the late afternoon storms. As you listen to Steve and Anne’s passions you will hear the rain falling on
the hut in the background and the footsteps (paw-steps) of rescue dog, Lucy and therapy dog ,Daisy, who are excited to be part of the interview action.

Steve Baskis was severely wounded and lost his eyesight in 2008 during military operations in Baghdad, Iraq. In addition, he endured injuries to the head, neck, arms and legs, resulting in hearing loss, loss of smell and nerve damage to his left arm.

Steve explains how this traumatic experience has forever changed his sight and vision. “I may have lost my physical ability to see, but I have a new vision, a new perspective to guide me through life and all of it’s amazing challenges.”

After war and debilitating injuries, Steve has gone on to climb 2 of the 7 tallest mountains in the world which include Mount Elbrus in Europe and Kilimanjaro in Africa. A documentary titled “High Ground”, captures Steve and 11 veterans’ amazing journey to climb a 20,000 foot Himalayan peak, Lobuche, which sits in the shadow of Mount Everest. Another documentary Steve had the opportunity to be featured in is “On Me”.  The film follows five completely blind veterans down a stretch of white water river rapids in Montana.

Steve has found a love for adventure and physical challenge and his passion is to provide opportunities for ALL to experience the healing properties of movement and nature.  He is actively pursuing half marathons, a half ironman, cycling nearly
800 miles from the capital of Canada to the capital of The United States, snow skiing down cold mountains in Colorado and white water kayaking down the Yellowstone river.

Next on his bucket list is to travel Australia and Antarctica which will complete treks on all 7 continents.
A true warrior, Steve’s motto is:
*Strength
*Resilience
*Courage

While in his presence (and beyond) I could not help but want more of these elements for myself and for those whom I serve.

Ann Ryan is the founder of San Juan Leads and LEADS Serves, where she provides customized adventure coaching and training. She is an educator, leader, a mother, adventurer and athlete. Her passion to combine the healing properties of movement, nature and leadership is fueled by her desire to help people ignite their authentic selves.

Steve and Ann’s collective passion has birthed an empowering partnership where they provide athletic adventures for disabled vets. This past Memorial Day weekend they facilitated a multi-day tandem bike ride through the mountains of Colorado for blind vets and upcoming programs provide continued opportunities for all.

To find out more about Steve and the many activities/programs/events he is connected with please to go BLINDENDEAVORS.ORG.

To find out about Anne and all that she offers, please go to SAN JUAN LEADS.

Now, which song lights up Steve and why? What about Ann? Listen to find out more.

Songs: Wherever I May Roam by Metallica
As long as the grass shall grow. By John and June Cash

Today’s Challenge: Do one thing that increases your human interaction with others. Make it real. Make it count. Make it matter – for yourself and others.