Birthday: October 27, 1975
Age: 44 Years, 44 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Aron Lee Ralston
Born in: Marion, Ohio, United States
Famous as: Outdoorsman, Motivational Speaker
Height: 1.85 m
Spouse/Ex-: Jessica Trusty (m. 2009–2012)
father: Larry Ralston
mother: Donna Ralston
children: Leo Ralston
U.S. State: Ohio
education: Carnegie Mellon University (B.A.)
Aron Ralston is an American outdoorsman, motivational speaker and mechanical engineer. He is known as the survivor of a very unfortunate incident that occurred in the year 2003 while he was hiking through the Blue John Canyon in Colorado. The accident left his right hand lodged under a massive dislodged rock for 5 days. Aron was hiking alone and hadn’t informed anyone about his hike and hence, nobody knew where to look for him. He remained stuck under the rock for five consecutive days, surviving on the water he had brought along for hiking. On the fifth day, his food and water ran out and he just lied there waiting for his unavoidable death. But an epiphany he had, had him using a blunt pocketknife in order to cut off his arm, which took about one hour,after which he set himself free. He had bled too much, when luckily a holidaying family spotted him and got him to a hospital, saving his life. Aron then shared the experiences in his autobiographical book titled ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’, which was the inspiration for the Danny Boyle directed film, ‘127 Hours’.
Childhood & Early Life
Aron Lee Ralston was born on 27th October 1975 in Ohio, USA in a middle class American household. His family moved to Colorado when Aron was 12 years old and this move laid the foundation for his love for hiking around the canyons. He followed his father’s footsteps,who also happened to be an outdoorsman.
He did his high schooling in Colorado and began his higher studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and majored in Mechanical Engineering. Apart from engineering, he had a flair for learning new languages and music, and during his college days, he got well-versed in playing piano and speaking French.
He was an athletic enthusiast and all the while during his school and college days, he spent more time in sports than instudies. He was an ardent nature lover and loved climbing mountains more than anything else, which in his own words ‘provided him with eternal peace of mind’.
Once he was out of the University, he started working as a full-time engineer, but never quite liked his job. He wanted to be a professional mountain climber but never quite had the guts to quit his job. But in 2002, he had a decisive change of heart and he immediately resigned to pursue a career in mountain climbing.
Colorado was popular for mountain climbing and people from all over the country came there to conquer the ‘fourteeners’, a mountain range which consists of 59 peaks. He planned on conquering them all, and he did eventually in 2005, two years after the accident.
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Aron’s life changed on 26th April 2003, upon facing the event that threatened to take his life, and almost took it. He was hiking through the Blue John Canyon and he accidentally dislodged a massive boulder he was climbing down from. The huge rock, after smashing his left hand with a solid impact, caught his right hand in between itself and the canyon wall.
Aron had decided to go on the adventure alone and hadn’t informed anybody about it. So, when he was unable to free his right hand, he felt he would be stuck forever in there. He tried hard to get his hand out but to no avail, and screaming for help was of no use either.Moreover, he didn’t want to exhaust himself as shouting for help would take a lot of energy, which was essential for surviving the unfortunate ordeal for longer period of time.
As for his thirst and hunger, he just had 350 ml of water with him, along with two burrito energy bars. He slowly consumed them to make them last for long and meanwhile, kept shouting for help during the evenings, as evenings enhanced the possibility of someone being around.Unfortunately, he wasn’t heard as it was a deserted area and there was no one around, apart from him.
He kept trying getting his hand out as the days passed. After a couple of days, he knew it was impossible for him to set himself free from an 800 pound rock and that there was no point in shouting for further help either. He decided to amputate his right hand in order to freehimself, but he dropped the plan as he realized that he didn’t have enough equipment to go ahead with self-amputation.
He had a blunt pocketknife with him, which although could easily cut through the flesh, wasn’t sharp enough to cut through the bone. Sometime passed and his water and food supply ended, upon which he started drinking his own urine. And in anticipation of death, he carved his name, date of birth and a presumed date of death on the stone.
He slept that night, knowingthat he wouldn’t wake up the next morning. But he woke up miraculously with a strange idea that he could use the torque and his radius along with the ulna bone to separate his arm from his body. With the help of his very limited toolkit, he finally succeeded and walked out of the canyon, bleeding profusely.
Fortunately,aholidaying family saw him and gave him food and water, and then took him to a hospital. The doctors noted that he had lost about 25 percent of his blood and that he could have died at any moment.
After the accident, Aron got a prosthetic limb and continued mountain climbing, mentioning the accident as a ‘turning point in his life’.
When Aron’s story came out to the general public, he was immediately hailed as a hero and a symbol of ‘the extreme of human spirit’.
In July 2003, Aron appeared on the ‘Late Night Show’ with David Letterman and more number of people got to hear his tale, which was nothing less than miraculous for them.
The accident turned Aron into a celebrity and he started appearing on several talk shows, and also lent his voice for an episode in the animation series, ‘The Simpsons’. He also started his career as a motivational speaker and started speaking in events, nationally and internationally.
Ralston went on writing his autobiography titled ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’, whichinstantly became a national bestseller.
British director Danny Boyle came across his story and got inspired to turn it into a film. The film, starring James Franco in the leading role, released in 2010 and received standing ovations at the very few film festivals that it was screened in.
Although the film was a huge commercial and critical success, it was also highly controversial. The final amputation scene was filmed with that much intensity that it caused some of the audience to faint. Hence, some of the countries directed the makers to either shorten or take the scene out of the film.
Following fame, Aron Ralston became a celebrity and made the best out of this fame to inspire more people across the globe. And his decision to continue with mountain climbing met with universal appreciation. In 2005, he became the first person in the world to conquer the famous ‘fourteeners’ mountain range in Colorado.
Aron met Jessica Trusty in late 2000s and the couple got married in August 2009.They were blessed with a son in 2010. The marriage didn’t last long and the couple split soon after the birth of their son.
In 2013, Aron started dating Vita Shannon and in December that year, the couple was charged for domestic violence in their house. The charges were liftedafter the couple made peace with each other.