Travels from Massachusetts, USA
Wendy Booker's speaking fee falls within range: $5,000 to $10,000
In many ways an “accidental athlete,” Wendy Booker’s story of overcoming disability to achieve beyond most of our dreams is an inspirational tale of achievement, adventure, travel and empowerment. In 1998 Wendy was diagnosed with relaxing remitting multiple sclerosis. After the initial shock, she decided to turn her casual running hobby into a serious endeavor and has completed ten marathons to date.
Next diverting her incredible determination into mountain climbing, Wendy became the first person with MS to summit Mount McKinley in Alaska. She then set out to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains in the world. Within just five years she had set another record for a person with MS by climbing six of them; after two attempts on Mount Everest she decided she was happy with 6.5 summits!
However, Wendy still got to stand on the top of the world, by reaching the North Pole with a team of sled dogs, naturally following this up by skiing to the South Pole. Her latest ambition is to take on the Iditarod, a dog sled race over 1150 miles of some of Alaska’s coldest and most formidable terrain.
In June of 1998, Wendy Booker was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed ten marathons.
Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Taking on one of the toughest mountains in the world twice, Wendy became the first person with MS to stand atop Denali (Mt. McKinley, Alaska) in 2004. That feeling of accomplishment propelled her next aspiration: to climb the Seven Summits. Just five years later, Wendy had reached the top of six mountains on her list – the first person with MS to do so. After two attempts on Mt. Everest, Wendy accepted contentment in climbing 6 ½ of the Seven Summits and leveraging her experiences to empower others facing obstacles to never give up and continue to scale new heights.
Determined to find a new way to stand on top of the world, Wendy reached the North Pole with her team of intrepid sled dogs on April 23, 2011. On January 14, 2012 she successfully skied to the South Pole, soon to be followed by an epic expedition across Greenland. Having fallen in love with mushing during her polar adventures, Wendy’s new dream is to run the Iditarod! Whatever ‘mountain’ she is pursuing, the mission will be to educate, motivate and encourage anyone facing a challenge to push through and climb on – the view from the top is breathtaking.
Wendy Booker’s energy seems endless – climbing, skiing, mushing, marathons, and MS haven’t been able to tame her passion for adventure.
Wendy was the first person with MS to conquer six of the Seven Summits. After transitioning her goal of standing on top of the world away from Mt. Everest, she became the first person with MS to reach the North Pole in April of 2011. The South Pole quickly followed in January, 2012. On a quest for the Polar Trilogy, Wendy will set out to ski across Greenland in 2013.
Having tackled two of the most iconic
challenges in sport: the Seven Summits
and the Polar Trilogy, Wendy thought,
“What next?” And the answer came as
she revisited the most touching moments
from recent expeditions. Her most beloved teammates were the four legged kind. And what better dog sled event to undertake than
the toughest race on earth – the Iditarod! Wendy
will start training this fall to run the Iditarod in 2014.
This inspiring story of overcoming obstacles, living your dreams
and triumph in the face of adversity will resonate with any audience. Wendy Booker is an ‘accidental athlete’ whose journey of self-discovery, serendipity and stubbornness will leave listeners laughing, crying and seeking their own mountains!
Wendy Booker explains how being diagnosed with MS has made her take on the incredible challenges she has not only attempted but overcome. She says, “I have come to define my life by the three S's, self-discovery, serendipity and a whole lot of stubbornness. Those three S's have shown me that my life with MS is far broader than I originally expected, and the journey is not mine alone to take."
Talking of her climb of Mount McKinley (the first person with MS to succeed in this feat) she says, “Mount McKinley has come to represent more than just a climb for me. Mount McKinley came to be a metaphor for how I view my life with MS. We can't always do what we want when we want. Conditions often mandate that we take a little longer, try a little harder and dig a little deeper."
Explaining the relevance of her own life to her audience, she says, “I'm not here to talk you into running a marathon or climbing a mountain, but I am here to tell you to find your own mountain."
Wendy Booker takes her extraordinary experiences as a person who refuses to be held back by multiple sclerosis, and turns them into some of the most inspiring keynotes by any speaker. She also recognizes that she would never have reached the heights she has reached without help from a close-knit team. She describes how to bring a winning team together for achieving such astonishing feats as skiing to the South Pole.
Having had to give up on her dream of climbing Everest, after conquering the second through to the seventh highest peaks in the world, Wendy decided she would stand on top of the world by traveling to the North Pole by dogsled. She shows her audiences how there is always a way of achieving a dream, even if it’s not quite the way you envisaged at the start.
I Get By With a Little Help from my Friends
We can’t do it alone. Every great undertaking in life - whether for career, family, or personal achievement - requires teamwork. Wendy Booker will teach your team to value the power of teamwork and leverage connections to accomplish goals. Leadership, healthy collaboration in spite of differences, seeking out expertise through degrees of separation and maintaining a positive attitude are all pillars of this powerful presentation.
The Three S′s
Wendy Booker’s story is about overcoming obstacles, whatever they may be, through a journey of self-discovery, serendipity and stubbornness. Join her in examining the impact that three little S’s have had on her life. Self-discovery: know thyself, find ingenious ways to leverage strengths and the bravery to acknowledge and overcome your challenges. Serendipity: open yourself up to opportunity, destiny, and the random strangers you meet along the way. Stubbornness: sometimes you have to power through or adjust how you measure success to thrive in trying times.
The Other Side of Everest
It’s easy to get stuck in the past – or to allow one monumental goal to eclipse everything else and define your life. How do you move beyond glory days or unattained goals? How can you avoid conceding defeat by uncovering a new approach to a mission? Learn how Wendy Booker faced down the other side of Everest after two unsuccessful attempts by shifting her focus from altitude alone, and finding a new way to reach the top of the world: the North Pole. Discover that beautiful moment beyond a disappointment when you embrace a new day and a new mission.
“We are so grateful for your words of inspiration and motivating energy at the National Conference… You really helped our Silpada girls discover that a hero truly does live in each of us.”
Bonnie Kelly & Teresa Walsh
Silpada Designs, Co-Founders
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