Do we know our own strength?

Last night’s Dateline NBC was one for the books. Tom Brokaw interviewed Aron Ralston. He is a mountain-climber who became trapped by a boulder in Utah, for more than five days in 2003 before amputating his arm with a dull knife.
There is a film out now (Oscar nominated) titled 127 Hours that tells the story of this brave man, played by James Franco.
Kevin and I saw the film and, like most audience members, asked ourselves “would I be able to do that?”
I enjoyed the movie and am rooting for James Franco on Oscar night, but must say, the interview I watched last night left an indelible mark in my psyche. It got me thinking of bravery and how far any human being – with the will to survive – will and can go.
Having just recovered from a pretty hard gallbladder removal surgery, I can’t say I am a stranger to pain. But I don’t think anything can prepare you for the type of physical pain Aron Ralston endured.

Not only did Aron break his bones and cut off his arm to free himself of the boulder, he then had to hike for MILES until he was finally rescued.

The whole time I was watching this interview last night, I kept thinking about human strength and will.
I don’t know if you’ve seen 127 Hours (or caught Dateline NBC last night) but I will ask you to take a moment and answer the question: 
Have you ever surprised yourself with a strength you never thought you had?
Here is a video clip of the movie.

5 thoughts on “Do we know our own strength?

  1. I think I am constantly surprising myself with strength I never thought I had. Mainly when I look back I shrug and say to myself "well that wasn't so bad!" But, I also know how I am when facing these challenging situations. I fret and fret and tell myself over and over I'll never get though it. I also am always tempted to curl myself into a tight little ball and pray for the situation to just go away. But they never do go away. And we always end up having to face them alone.Why is it that hardest things we go through life we have to face alone?I couldn't picture myself hacking away at my arm. And again, he was alone…Good post Christine!my cyber house rules


  2. I agree about facing the hardest parts of life alone.. must be our lessons, eh? I know! I couldn't imagine having to face that choice of slicing my arm off. I think I would try, but not sure if I could slice the nerve the way he did. Talk about PAIN.


  3. Do any of us really know what we'd do in dire circumstances?Yes, I have surprised myself with a strength I was unaware of, but I can't speak to what I would do if put in an extreme position where I had to do for myself.


  4. Hmm… sitting here in a 'foreign' city and suffering from TBI and having actual PUT my life on the line, I am thinking that I would have been able to summon the courage to do what Mr. Ralston was able to do…I think you should seek out the Sports Illustrated article that introduced me to Aron Ralston… great read.


  5. Haven't seen this yet, and I really want to. It looks really intense and because I know there's a "happy ending" I know I'll enjoy it. I've heard it's really inspiring. I guess I have been emotionally strong my whole life, especially during the numerous "phases" of my life, and so I am proud of myself for being the proverbial survivor. Yes indeed. 🙂


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