Amber’s Weblog

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127 Hours

I finally just had the chance to see 127 Hours, the film portraying Aron Ralston’s climb in Blue John Canyon in southern Utah during which he had to saw off his own arm.

As someone who loves being in the outdoors, loves hiking, and extreme sports in general (except climbing…that whole heights thing), I have read many commentaries on Ralston’s experience and his career since then. Many people think he shouldn’t be so famous, because his actions were, basically, not safe. He didn’t follow the basic rules of the outdoors: he didn’t tell anyone where he was going, he didn’t tell them when to expect him back, and he didn’t really prepare for every possibility (in other words, his pack was half-assed packed).

I don’t think anyone, Ralston included, wouldn’t agree he was dumb. He knew he should have told someone where he was going and when he would be back. But in his story, is that really the point?

Well, yeah, partly. Because after hearing a story like that, everyone of us will be more conscious about the rules and about our gear. But the part of the story that makes it worth telling is that Ralston obviously has some strength that many of us might not have. He had the strength to survive, no matter what. Could I cut my arm off? I really don’t know; and I think you can’t know until you find yourself in that situation.

So to those who can’t find the good in anybody who does something stupid, let’s shut up. Learn from his experience, and find a way to thrive from the strength he obviously found in that canyon. You never know when a little extra good in the world, such as letting someone’s strength outweigh their faults, might bolster a little extra good in your own heart.

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