Back in fall of 2003, Aron Ralston was found wandering out of the aptly-named Maze district of the Utah Canyonlands. He had been trapped for 5 days by a boulder, which landed on his right wrist and pinned him to a canyon wall. For 5 days, he was pinned in the same place, and gradually drank his only bottle of water (then his urine) and ate his remaining food, which was only supposed to last for a single afternoon of biking and hiking.
The two hikers that stumbled upon him quickly realized that he had cut off his own arm at the elbow to escape the boulder.
I just finished listening to Aron's story on audiotape, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place", which he wrote and also read. When you listen to what this 27-year-old went through, physically and mentally, during those 5 days it just blows your mind.
You can't help but think...what would I do?
Would I have the stamina to last 5 days on 1 day's worth of food and water?
Would I have the mental capacity to not go insane from being trapped like an animal for a work week? (dying to make reference about being trapped in cubicle...but also trying hard to be serious here...)
Would I know enough about stone to know that there was no way to chip away at the chalkstone...that it would be stronger than any knife I would have?
One that note...would I even have a knife? (I don't usually hike with one. I will now.)
Would I have the unbelievable bravery (craziness?) to consider sawing my own arm off with my pocket knife to escape?
Would I bleed to death before realizing that a pocket knife would not cut through my two forearm bones?
And finally, would I have the discipline and control over pain to BREAK MY OWN ARM in TWO places, so that I could then cut through the remaining tendons and veins to break free?
And what I came up with was...NO. I wouldn't. Would you?