Between A Rock and A Hard Place

There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.

— Richard David Bach, American writer

I stumbled upon this quote the other day and it reminded me of the movie 127 Hours, which we watched recently. For those who haven’t seen it, 127 Hours tells the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) who became trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone in Utah and *spoiler alert* courageously amputated his own arm in order to survive. Although the realistic amputation scene is a bit difficult to watch, the story itself is an inspiring look at the strength of the human spirit. The incident is also documented in Ralston’s autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Although I had trouble at times connecting with the character and the choices he made that led him to that rock, there is a scene towards the end of the movie where Ralston, dehydrated and delirious after a few days of trying to lift and break the boulder, says something that got me thinking:

You know, I’ve been thinking. Everything is… just comes together. It’s me. I chose this. I chose all this. This rock… this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It’s entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I’ve been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the outer surface.

It made me reflect on the cause and effect of the choices we all make in our lives, choices that at some point or another have gotten us stuck. Ralston’s experience reminded me that, although we might not all be faced with the difficult decision of amputating our own arm, we all have the strength to survive the most challenging obstacles life throws in our path and the will to persevere.

Comments are closed.