Happiest Endings

#9

Aron Ralston’s Survival Story

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Ralston’s first public appearance after freeing himself

Ralston’s first public appearance after freeing himself

Aron Ralston is one of life’s true survivors. When faced with his own torturous, impending death, Ralston made a choice. Despite the pain, he chose to endure the unimaginable in order to survive. And because of that decision, he lived to tell his story. On a climb near Moab, Utah, in May 2003, he became trapped when a boulder dislodged, pinning his right arm. After days without food or water, he slowly hacked through his own arm with a blunt penknife in order to wrench himself free. Not only did he make it out alive, but he continues to climb mountains and break records to this day. Ultimately, survival in extreme situations like his depends on this: how fierce is your determination to live? That instinct to survive is within us all. Sometimes it just gets covered over by a layer of rust, from a lack of use, but the instinct is God given and is within us all. Are you the sort of person who, when it mattered, could scrape that rust off and just do it—do whatever has to be done to stay alive? Ralston is. Learning how to survive can end up being the greatest lesson in learning how to live. 

Grylls is the host of Man vs. Wild.

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