What Would James Franco Do?

So I admit it. I gagged. Despite years of practice, turns out I still have a gage reflex. In fact, it wasn’t even at the part I thought I would gage at. Nope, not at all. Not at the very end of it all, but right in the middle, totally unexpected. The whole thing wasn’t even THAT Long. In fact, I pretty much sat through the whole thing rather comfortably.

I’m talking about Danny Bolye’s latest movie “127 Hours” staring James Franco. While Mr. Franco isn’t hard to look at, the scene portraying Aron Ralston self-amputating his own arm was. And I genuinely gagged at the scene where Aron drank his own pee. True story of a true story.

But despite the details, I was struck by the concept of the movie. As an outdoor enthusiast, it provoked a tonne of questions (I’m Canadian, therefore I’m referencing metric tonnes). Would I be able to do what he did? What would I do in that situation? Was Ralston brave or a hero? Or was he a fool for going out into the wilderness without anybody knowing?

I really reflected on the entire story. It helped me realize that even though I am a rock climber, and to the average person a high-risk taker, I am a total pansy! I check knots repeatedly, I hate falling, I wear my helmet as often as I remember, and I hate it when Upton walks around the anchors without being tied into anything 3+ pitches up (heart you Robbie).

But its hard for me to see the point of taking unnecessary risks, especially outdoors. Why do it? Am I less of a climber if check my gear? Am I less of a climber if I tell my friends where I am going? I sure as hell don’t think so. There are still thousands of places and crags that I want to climb, and I’m going to need all of me to do it. Granted, I see the allure of venturing out alone, but to not tell family or friends is risk I’m not willing to take. Plus, the geek in me wants my next dream/big purchase after the GoPro Helmet Cam is the SPOT Messenger.

Thinking about the amputation, I don’t know if I should even say what I think I’d do because that is a situation I can’t related to. Sort of like getting pregnant and childbirth. Don’t want nor need to deal with, and something physically I don’t ever want to experience. But I’d like to think I’d fight to survive no matter what the challenge is, no matter the scenario.

And when you think about it, us ‘mos are used to fighting. It sounds a little lame, but its true. We fight prejudice and stereotypes everyday. With our family, at work, etc. So if you ask me, being a ‘mo at any day and age makes climbing rocks look really easy. Well, 5.12s are hard, but you get what I’m saying.

That’s a lot, and its pretty heavy, but feel free to disagree. But I think what I’m really just trying to say is that rock climbing and “hard places” are kinda easy, its life I find really tough.


American Alpine Institute Climbing Blog – Film Review: 127 Hours

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