I haven't read the book and dont know if I will. The movie might have been enough. Haven't spoken with the man its all based on either, so I have no reference to the film's accuracy. And as for Aron, the real person...?
We all have opinions, and, whether we mean to or not, we all pass judgment. What little information I have of Aron Ralston is from the news I heard at the time that featured bits and pieces of his story. And I remember wondering...why didn't he tell someone where he was going (thats so basic, I learned that in girl scouts - see, judgement!), was this bound to happen because he was cocky, and why didnt he just call his mom back for pete's sake?
I often cant explain in words my passion to be outside; climbing, hiking, skiing, biking, paddling, running. A few of those activities I love above the others, but any one will due when it comes down to it, as long as I can get out there. Groves of whispering aspen, forests of evergreens, mountains, salt water, wide stretching valleys....let me out to see and feel! Out there is where I feel alive and most like me.
But as a single person, I struggle to find consistent partners willing to get up at 4am to hike some snowy something-or-other, who desire to do these activities with passion of their own and want to push themselves to the level I do (not to say I'm any sort of wonder woman - I am not - I struggle equally finding partners who's level of pursuit I can step UP to meet). So, I often gone alone.
Though he pushed limits much farther than I ever will, am I any different from Aron? We are all similar in having a love of adventure, in wanting to accomplish something in our lives, in wanting to experience more of this world - in being unwilling to compromise opportunities even if it means doing them alone.
There has been a lot of chatter about the gruesome parts of this film. The best PR agency probably couldnt pay for publicity as intriguing as people passing out. But those scenes weren't the hardest for me. The hardest were the last ~10 minutes when he made his way out of the canyon. There was such hope, such human-ness. At that moment, my heart began to ache for his parents, for his sister and coworker and friends, for the people who wanted him back. And for him too, that he nearly didn't have the opportunity to see those people again.
Those last minutes were hard because, self-preservingly, I love my life and want to keep living it. But also, so many people I care about are out there too. And already, there have been too many who haven't made it home. Whatever you think of Aron, judgments aside, if nothing else, his story reminds me, that we should take better care. I, as someone who goes out alone, should take better care so that we make it home. Because we need to call our moms back and we have too much to accomplish tomorrow.