There was a fascinating article published in the most recent ESPN The Magazine about a group of Nepalese women who climbed the Seven Summits (the highest peak on each of the seven continents): After the Seven Summits. Many of the women had no previous climbing experience, but after completing their goal, they founded a trekking company, began teaching English, outdoor skills and high-altitude techniques to women, and started a program that empowers survivors of sex trafficking and abuse through climbing and the outdoors. After the recent earthquakes in Nepal, they spearheaded relief efforts by collecting supplies and initiating fundraising efforts.
One of the climbers, Maya, used to dream of marrying a Sherpa who would take her to see Mount Everest. After climbing Everest on her own, Maya and the other climbers became inspirations to women throughout Nepal, not just to climb, but to finish school and aspire to independent lives and careers beyond what prospective husbands could offer. Their story is another example of the power of physical achievement to inspire people in a multitude of pursuits (as in my analysis of The Myth of Sisyphus) and provides further support for the connection between physical and non-physical virtues (see my summary of that argument).