Along the Lines with Aron Ralston 

Aron Ralston, the 20

Aron Ralston, the 2003 GQ Man of the Year, is the author of Between a Rock and a Hard Place, a memoir of his near-death experience during a hike in a Utah canyon. A boulder fell loose and trapped his hand for six days, until Ralston amputated it.
He will be the keynote speaker at the Lutheran Child & Family Services' Give Hope A Home benefit dinner on Oct. 11 at the Forum Conference Center in Fishers. Entertainment begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. For ticket prices and reservations, contact Candice Geyer at 317-293-5590. Q: You've gotten so much praise for your courage. A: I think of it in terms of being less about courage and more about taking action. Coming through that fifth night into the sixth morning, this voice shouted out to me. It told me how to use the boulder to break the bones in my arm. That epiphany gave me the message that there was a way to go about getting free. To say that I was being courageous implies that there was some reluctance but there was none of that reluctance. The fact I was there for six days was a result of my not being able to figure out how to get myself free. Q: Were you surprised that your book got such rave reviews for its literary quality? A: I was proud of it. Mostly, I just wanted to give proper service to the power of the miracle that happened, that I'm still here. I put myself into the effort and it was a hard year of work to get the book done. Q: Talk about some of the response you've gotten from readers. A: That's an amazing part of it all, hearing from people on how this story influenced them. That's what still motivates me and gives me a sense of obligation to keep sharing the story, for the work it can do for other people in their lives. That's sometimes a tremendous challenge in my life. As much as it feels good to hear from folks how it helped them, and to know my life has created ripples, in a lot of ways I'd rather still be spending time with my friends outdoors. Q: You were part of a media circus for a while, but one good result was that you got to hang out with Phish. A: That was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me, for my friends and I to get to hang out with Trey. We talked for hours about how life is more than about living for ourselves; it's about living for other people. It was awesome.

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