Friday, May 13, 2011

Touching the Void

I was inspired last week when I was re-watching the movie Touching the Void.  This is a true story, it is both gripping and inspiring.  (It started as a book by Joe Simpson--Touching the Void:  The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival)  The first time I watched it, it helped me make a difficult decision, and it certainly makes whatever I'm dealing with seem a little less devastating.

Here is the storyline from
In the mid-80's two young climbers attempted to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru; a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved. With an extra man looking after base camp, Simon and Joe set off to scale the mount in one long push over several days. The peak is reached, however on the descent Joe falls and breaks his leg. Despite what it means, the two continue with Simon letting Joe out on a rope for 300 meters, then descending to join him and so on. However when Joe goes out over an overhang with no way of climbing back up, Simon makes the decision to cut the rope. Joe falls into a crevice and Simon, assuming him dead, continues back down. Joe however survives the fall and was lucky to hit a ledge in the crevice. This is the story of how he got back down.Written by bob the moo  

The quote that inspired me so much from the movie came from Joe after he's found himself stuck in a crevice after his climbing partner cut the rope, leaving Joe to drop approximately 150 feet onto a ledge.  After assessing his situation, calculating his options and deciding the best choice, Joe says, "You gotta make decisions. You gotta keep making decisions, even if they're wrong decisions, you know. If you don't make decisions, you're stuffed."  Joe's decision, after realizing he had no way of climbing out of the crevice, was to try descending further into the crevice.  He had no way of knowing how deep the crevice was, if his rope was long enough to take him anywhere, or if there was a way out.  The story is incredible--I highly recommend the movie!  

The reason I love that quote so much is because it is such a good reminder of how we need to keep moving even when we're not sure what the best decision is.  By not making decisions, we are essentially choosing to stay in the same place until we die-- whether that death is physical or emotional depends on the situation.  Though it may be a difficult decision, and unpleasant to think about the consequences, we must use our resources, our knowledge, and some courage to make a decision, see what happens, and continue from there.  I have definitely learned through experience that even when you realize you didn't make the best decision, you can usually figure out a way to fix it.  Sometimes it takes work, sometimes it takes time, but we learn from that experience and we move on--hopefully with more wisdom!  

Do you have any ideas to share on how to make a hard decision?  Please share them in the comments below!And watch Touching the Void when you need a little inspiration, or at least some comfort that you're not stuck in a deep crevice on an unmapped mountain in Peru with a broken leg, no food or water, and no one to rescue you!  

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