I am someone who loves, values and respects the gift of life. I become deeply angered and saddened by people who treat life as a disposable entity and those who waste their lives under-living in ruts and boredom. As cliche as it sounds, “life IS a gift,” and so I have tried to design my own life so that I can live with no regrets — living each day to the fullest.
Sounds nice and tidy and as cheesy as something from an outdated Successories print, I know. And yet, the question, “To what degree do you value your own life?” was asked of me through a whole new lens the other night as we watched the movie 127 Hours, which portrays the true story of Aron Ralston.
Wow. What a story it is! In 2003 while canyoneering in Utah, Aron found himself in a position that challenged his will to live. While climbing, a boulder became dislodged. He fell with the huge rock, and it crushed his right forearm and left him pinned against a canyon wall — indefinitely. Since no one knew he was there, no one would be searching for him. He spent five days rationing his water and food, taking videos of himself and replaying his entire life in his mind.
Finally, when his water had run out, his will to live surfaced to a whole new amazing level and he chose to amputate his own arm with a dull knife in order to free himself. Now, Aron is an author, speaker and dad who tells his inspiring story.
Let me just say that I knew the outcome of the movie before watching it, so I knew that scene would be coming and STILL had no clue how I would react to the reality of Aron’s experience. That scene rattled me to the core. (Kudos to James Franco on the mad acting skills!)
We watched the movie right before bed and it left me tossing and turning the whole night, thinking about if my “will to live” would be strong enough to amputate my own arm. I asked Jason this before we went to sleep and he said, “It amazing how strong your will to live is when faced with the alternative.” Cancer patients are a good example of this, going through countless hours of treatments and horrible side effects, surgeries, and pain.
How do you prepare yourself for this sort of crossroads? Is it even possible?
After much reflection, my simple answer is this…
Live your life to the fullest RIGHT NOW. Honor your gift of life with TRULY living while you have the chance.
“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”
– George Eliot
You can start today. Don’t wait until your circumstances change. There will always be excuses. I try to find the balance between adventure and responsibility — pushing myself to experience life while still managing the details wisely. It’s a daily challenge, but one worth the fight.
Have you seen 127 Hours? If so, what did you take away from the experience? If you want a shock and awe dose of motivation to get off your butt and get moving towards the concept of TRULY living, rent it and put yourself in Aron’s shoes. We have so much to learn from one another’s life stories.
Allow Aron’s experience to light a fire underneath you that will elevate your living to a whole new level.