Last night, my amazing boyfriend, Francis and I went to a $2.00 local movie theater created as a memorial fund for a young man named David Minor. The theater has been a rolling success in honoring Minor while playing movies recently released on DVD and those by request paired with serving up local food and beer.
We got to the theater as the film 127 Hours was beginning. The film is based on the autobiographical book by Aron Ralston entitled Between a Rock and a Hard Place. The story takes you to the heart of his experience mountaineering in the great Canyons of Utah on a solo excursion. He leaps and climbs in confidence with an air of invincibility when a boulder loosens sending him to the bottom of a dark crater in the earth trapped by his mangled arm. Miles away from civilization, with little food and only a Nalgene bottle half full of water he realizes that he had not informed anyone of his trip and that the idea of a chance for rescue wouldn’t hold the measly milliliters of water he had to survive on. After days of loosing sanity, with the very last of his human energy in full fueled adrenaline, he breaks and amputates half of his own arm with a dull knife and sets himself free.
Above is a photo of the true Aron Ralston as he continued to mountaineer.
His story reminded me greatly of the book Life of Pie in that the description of the state of survival can only be a sum of words strung together in attempt to convey the radical feelings only fathomable to those who have experienced them. The ability of a human to endure such conditions of extreme famished solitude in dyer situations and not “loose it” fascinates me.
“The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar.” – Yann Martel (Life of Pie)
In acts of survival people have proven to push the limits of what was once inconceivable.
I think back in my life when I was in situations where my survival instincts came out to play and I am thankful that they have remained sharp. I believe that there are many survival skills to keep polished in the repertoire. I am an outdoor recreation/activity enthusiast and the film made me ask myself if I am the kind of person who will cut off my arm with a dull knife to continue on in this life.
This reminds me that day to day I need to continue to strengthen – mentally and physically because you never know when your rock, your anchor will loosen.