Thu, 02/09/2012 - 18:52
When I saw the 60 minutes special: "The Ascent of Alex Honnold," I couldn’t even fathom the thought of free solo climbing. I am not sure I could ever even dream of doing the climbs that were featured even if I could use ropes. Now, I am by no means a climber but I have done in-door and well… that seems hard (but FUN) to me. I can’t even imagine hanging from my fingertips with one false move leading to a quick, painful fall resulting in my death.
This seriously takes dedication, practice and focus. When this special dove into his life, it literally is all he does. He lives out of his van and goes after climb after climb.
Now let’s stop for a second and think about what free solo climbing exactly it. Climbers use no ropes or tools of any kind, they do have a chalk bag to combat moisture and some rubber climbing shoes but that’s about it. Very few climbers ever "graduate" to this level, mostly for the obvious reason, that being a horrific death if something, anything should go wrong. Let’s clearly restate that this is not "free climbing," which involves safety gear…. It’s a person, their hands, feet and a wall… thousands of feet in the air.
Alex began climbing when he was just 11 years old, talk about a true passion. He dropped out of college to pursue his dreams of breaking records with just him and a mountainside standing in the way. I urge you to take two minutes to just watch some footage of him climbing to see the actual image to which my imagination is even scared.
This is true strength and courage, which he continually faces day after day. I can’t imagine a world if everyone had even a sliver of the courage this young man has.
Who is the most courageous athlete you know? What is the scariest skill or sport in your eyes?
This clearly stands prominent in my head as true courage and dedication. Huge props and prayers go out to Alex!
*Video and images taken from cbsnews.com