Watching this movie has been one of the most grotesque, magnificent things I can ever witness. Obviously most of you know this story... The one about the man who had to cut his arm off when an 800 pound boulder fell on his right arm, trapping it against a rock 100 feet below ground, in a crack where no one would soon find him.
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!
As I was watching the movie, I was curious about how accurate it was in relation to the real deal. Turns out, it was as accurate as you could get. (Minus the skillful cinematography.)
I read several articles and interviews about Aron Ralston, the man himself, whose personality is quite energetic and animated. He went through this experience with probably as much humor as anyone could, given the circumstances.
He tried, for days, to chip the boulder away by using a toolkit knife. He tried using his rock climbing ropes as a pulley system to lift the rock, but to no avail.
In an interview I found online, he talks about how he argued with himself about the idea of cutting his own arm off.
"You know you have to cut it off, Aron."
"I don't want to cut my arm off!"
"Dude, you're gonna have to cut your arm off."
But he soon realized that the knife he brought along can barely cut through his own body hair. Then, as he felt an odd sensation as the bone bent a really weird way between the rocks, the idea came to him that he could use the boulder to break the bones in his arm.. Once the "POP" of the breaks echoed in the deep canyon, it was not as much of a feeling of horror for him as it was a feeling of euphoria. His thoughts ran a long the track that his arm became an 'it'.
Not his arm.
It needs to go.
It's useless now.
It's going to kill you.
It took him about an hour to hack at the remaining flesh binding the arm together.
He Was Free.
He Was Free.
The faces of his family and loved ones are what ultimately drove him to do what he did, rather than commit suicide or slowly bow down to death. Although many emotions circuited through him, there was never any hint of self-pity. Only the step-by-step problems that arose and their possible solutions. He had to find his strength, through the memories of his loved ones, to do what he needed to do...
Once he completed this task, he knew it would take him quite a while to find medical help and was well on his way to bleeding to death. On his way out of the Canyon, 3 Dutch tourists showed up, helped him (as you see in the movie), and soon a helicopter whisked him away to safety.
One of the most fascinating parts of the story, for me, is the aftermath. Looking back on what happened in Bluejohn Canyon no doubt changed his physical life. But the events that transpired from a fun canyon hike also changed his PERCEPTION.
His outlook that COULD HAVE easily been:
'I did this all on my own and God doesn't exist because if he did, he would've helped me out, that f-er.'
Instead, his belief is that:
"For me it was to go through this and realize, well, God IS love, and love is what kept me alive and that love is what got me out of there."
So, not only was this story itself quite astounding, but to leave it in that light is absolutely incredible to me.