Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two Tales of "Survival, Resiliance, and Redemption"

Over the weekend I started reading a fascinating book - Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resiliance, and Redemption, written by Laura Hillenbrand, the author of Seabiscuit. 

It follows the life of Louie Zamperini who, it was said, should have been the first to break the four minute mile.  Zamperini started out his childhood in California as a juvenile delinquent, but found that he had distance running talent and eventually became an unbeatable high school miler.  Circumstances were such that, though he had virtually no training for the event he raced the 5000-meter in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  He set his goals on breaking the four-minute-mile barrier and running the 1600-meter at the 1940 Olympics, but war broke out (WWII), Louie was drafted and became an AAF bombardier stationed in the South Pacific.  Crashing into the Pacific, 47 days lost at sea on a small life raft, captured by the Japanese and tortured in a POW camp...  (that's where I am now) ...a truly incredible story of "survival, resiliance, and redemption."

Louie Zamperini:

Another story of "survival, resiliance, and redemption," this past weekend John and I saw the move, 127 Hours, the story of adventurer Aron Ralston.  In 2003, Ralston went out alone for a weekend of outdoor fun in the Utah canyons, telling no one where he was going.  A freak fall left him with his arm pinned against a canyon wall by a boulder.  The movie goes through the next 127 hours (how long Aron was pinned to the wall in the canyon) with Aron (played by James Franco), trying to get his arm out, move the boulder, chipping away at it with his cheap pocket knife... his emotions, thoughts...   until he eventually cuts his arm off below the elbow with the dull pocket knife in order to save his life.

Here is an interview with Aron Ralston:

And another:

You must read this book and you must see this movie!!

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