Aron Lee Ralston was born on October 27th, 1975, in Ohio, but the mountains of Colorado attracted his family to move when he was just a kid, and Aron began tackling the mountains when he was only 11 years old. He went to University and got a degree in engineering. After graduating, Aron moved to Aspen, Colorado and pursued a life of rock climbing.
On Saturday, April 26th, 2003, without telling anyone his plans, Aron packed his hiking boots, a hydration system, his backpack, climbing equipment, and, notably, a pocket-sized utility tool, put his mountain bike in the back of his truck and drove almost five hours to a remote part of Utah.
Aron went hiking alone near Robbers Roost while exploring the canyons alone in Utah; he fell through a narrow slot canyon. During the fall, a boulder came loose and pinned his arm against the canyon wall preventing him from being able to move.
Aron then made several futile attempts to chip away at the boulder with his utility knife – but it was already reasonably blunt, and this just made it worse. That first night, as darkness descended on the Utah Canyonlands, Aron realized just how alone he was.
Aron was able to survive the incident with some food and a bottle of water which kept him alive in the desert-heat-canyon for the next five and a half days (127 hours). He struggled to get free to no success, but he was able to use some tools he had brought with him to get loose, but the way Aron escaped was too gruesome – he began amputating his arm. That was an incredible tale of survival.
Aron managed to amputate his arm to set himself free. Covered in blood, he began marching out of the canyon until he was found by a family that went out hiking. The family called the emergency services that saved Aron.
Hollywood later bought Aron’s story and made a fantastic film about Aron’s accident, and they called it “127 Hours” after how long he spent trapped. Aron had actually filmed himself with his own video camera as he was trapped, so the filmmakers were able to witness the real live footage.
Since the accident, Aron had been back to Bluejohn Canyon with friends. He has kept climbing and became the first person to climb all 59 of Colorado’s mountain peaks on his own.
Today, Aron is a millionaire with the estimated net worth of $4 million.
Think about this; most people in Aron’s shoes would have given up. Most people would have let go of their life, but Aron was courageous and willing to fight for his life.
As you woke up this morning, regardless of whatever you’re facing right now, your only hope is to remain determined, to be committed to victory or freedom at all cost.
William Faulkner once wrote, “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
You cannot achieve your dream except you’re able to focus on what it means to achieve it. You have to stop seeing the present pains and woes. You have to focus on the future and be willing to fight hard until you get there.
The author of The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, said, “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”
As you woke up this morning, be determined to face your goals with courage. Be willing to attempt the unknown, to dare the difficult and to try what most people won’t.
And for someone who would say, “But I’ve tried all I could and have lost all my strength”, here is what Napoléon Bonaparte said, “Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.”
The genuinely courageous people are those who go on, despite having no strength to go on.