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What Are You Capable Of When Faced With Certain Death?

Could you cut off one of your own limbs if faced with your ultimate demise? Aron Ralston found he could and wrote about it in a book called Between A Rock And A Hard Place.

In 2003, Aron Ralston cut his own arm off to escape being trapped in a remote Utah slot canyon. In 2004, Ralston wrote a book about his ordeal and his life as an adrenaline addicted, risk taking adventurer. In 2010, a movie called 127 Hours was released, loosely based on the book.

127 Hours: Between A Rock And A Hard Place is a non-stop thrill ride and not for the faint of heart. Ralston begins his adventure innocently enough into the slot canyon that would imprison him for over five days. It was to be just a fun hike in between much larger adventures. Because of that, he was ill-supplied and ill-prepared for what would happen.

Ralston became trapped in a narrow slot canyon when he accidently loosened up a boulder that had been stuck between the walls of the canyon. The boulder fell and pinned his right arm against the side of the canyon wall.

Because he had gone against all common-sense backcountry rules and not informed anyone of his plans, Ralston is trapped in a seldom visited section of canyon, unable to move. He watches as his arm dies and his short supply of water and food runs out. Of course, there’s the agony that is constantly with him. With his video camera, he documents the ordeal and makes arrangements for friends and family to follow when they find his lifeless body.

The paperback version of the book runs 412 pages long and not only features the horrifying story of being helplessly trapped, much like a mouse in a mousetrap, but includes many anecdotes of his life as a climber and adventurer that lead up to this moment.

In 2003, when the accident occurred, the backcountry adventure community pushed much negativity on Aron for a lifetime of dangerous risk-taking and breaking the code by not leaving behind an agenda and route with someone in case of emergency. In the book, he seems to come to terms with the fact that he has lived carelessly and was indeed wrong for how he often went about taunting Mother Nature. In the end, he was for the most part given redemption as most realized that what had happened was a fluke of incredible odds and could have happened to anyone, careful or not.

Ralston continues to climb mountains with his prosthetic arm and makes a great living as a public speaker. The movie, released near the end of 2010, features James Franco as Aron Ralston. For the most part, the movie is accurate. However, Hollywood has its way with certain scenes to make the film more appealing to the mass audience.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place is exciting and hard to put down. It is quite inspirational as Aron describes what the human spirit can achieve when faced with extreme adversity. Theoretically, given the nature of his entrapment, his lack of water and nourishment, and the harsh elements, Ralston should not have survived half the time that he did in that canyon. Aron Ralston gives hope to us all.

 

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Comments (2)

Death is like a shadow, always walking behind and in most time catch anyone unprepared. Ralston is such a courageous man with high-adventure and became an achiever after facing death. Great real-life-story of hope! An inspirational read, thanks.

I've got to get the book. Voted and appreciated.

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