Aron Ralston, the adventure-seeking man behind the movie “127 Hours,” will be speaking at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at 7:30 p.m. April 15 and is hosted by Speaking of South Florida.
During this appearance, Ralston will share his life story that was once tragic, but is now a legend.
In 2003, Ralston, an American outdoorsman, went through an experience that most people would consider a horrific catastrophe, but not him. Instead, he altered the life threatening experience into a possibility of hope and preservation.
As he hiked the sloping seven miles of the Utah Canyon alone, an accident occurred as an 800-pound chockstone boulder extricated from its point and compressed Ralston’s arm, which left him trapped and abandoned 65 feet between the canyons.
Stuck for 127 hours with scarce water, tools and a camera, Ralston was challenged between life and death. Memories of family, friends and love ones empowered his choice of life. The 27-year-old mountaineer had no choice but to amputate his right arm by using his pocketknife.
Today, this courageous survivor is now 39 with two kids and a customized prosthetic arm. He specifically designed it with advance tools so that he can continue hiking.
He still has the same goals and passions but has altered his perspective on life since the tragic event.
“Perspective is key,” Ralston said. “No matter what, we all have to make life choices from our actions that we are accountable for, but no matter what choice we make, one cannot dwell on it and blame their self or the universe. Once we can move past that mentality, we can love and preserve. Everyone is capable of preservation. Everything is always about our choice. For every action there is a lesson behind it.”
Taking the positive side to every question and answer, he mentioned, “Life is so valuable. Every moment is beautiful, and precious; divine interaction is how I perceive the universe now.”
So why has Ralston decided to continue pursuing his passion of hiking?
“In the beginning it was personally a challenge, but then I realized that I am the same person and having one arm won’t change who I am,” Ralston said. “I then realized that there is more possibility, and that I could do even more than I could before as I have more resources, bountiful opportunities and countless interviews awaiting ahead of me, so I can achieve and accelerate even more when hiking. There are also people who have it worse than my situation. It could always be worse.”
Ralston’s life goals keep exceeding as he climbed Colorado’s 59th fourteeners solo in winter and continues to ski 8000-meter peeks, raft and spend time outdoors with his two kids. He has a new goal of climbing most of the mountains in China.
“My favorite and most memorable place to hike is the Grand Canyon as it’s not so much on the extreme, but it’s beautiful for anyone to enjoy,” Ralston said.
Not only has Ralston perceived the world entirely different, but he also wrote a New York Times’ bestselling book, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” where he goes into depth about when he was tragically stuck between the canyons.
His book eventually made it onto film in the major motion picture, “127 Hours.”
Actor James Franco, who was nominated at the 68th annual Golden Globes for best actor in a motion picture drama, played the role of Ralston.
“James Franco and I would meet weekly for months for him to get into my mindset [to play] this role,” Ralston said. “He is a brilliant man and such a great guy. He isn’t really an outdoorsy guy in real life, but got to portray Aron Ralston’s character real well for the love of hiking and avid adventurers. It just shows you that he is a wonderful actor.”
Tickets can be purchased at speakingofsouthflorida.com. Call 481-4849 for more details.