Every so often, a movie comes out that will inspire you push yourself a little further. It happens to everyone — get a cramp in the leg or an upset stomach and suddenly less strenuous activities seem that much more attractive. That is, until you remember the efforts of the people in the movies listed below. Their stories of survival and defying the odds give inspiration to shut down that whiny little voice in the back of your head.
Adding to the cliche that truth is stranger than fiction, some of the things these folks went through seem completely unbelievable. If anything, these stories are a reminder of how far we can push ourselves physically. Enjoy, and let us know of any others we may have missed in the comments!
Touching the Void
The account of two English climbers and how one left the other to save himself, only for the one left behind to make it out alive 3 days and 5 miles later at base camp. To hear what he went through to make it back will make you sit up straight. It’s an amazing story of decision making, friendship, and moving forward.
The true story of Aron Ralston, a canyon explorer who literally got stuck between a rock and a hard place. A boulder jammed his arm, forcing him to take desperate measures to escape starving to death. This critically acclaimed movie uses real footage from the event to show you the raw emotion of what it feels like to be on the edge of losing hope, but never giving up, doing whatever it takes to get out alive.
The true tale of a rugby team that did what they had to do to survive. If you don’t know already what it is that they had to do, just remember that this is a true story. If you do know what I’m talking about, have you seen the movie? Although this movie made people talk, very few have actually seen it. See for yourself what some people will do to stay… ALIVE (sorry, had to).
Bethany Hamilton was on the course to be one of the world’s top women surfers. A freak shark attack changed those plans, leaving her without an arm. This story tears at the heartstrings as you see what happens when you don’t give up. I won’t ruin the ending for you but I’ll just say that it’s a happy one.
Into Thin Air
Into Thin Air was a made for TV movie so it can be difficult to locate. It was adapted from a fantastic book that has a much higher circulation so you might have better luck sourcing the book. It’s the first-person account of a Mount Everest expedition gone wrong, leaving 8 dead and many others stranded. The story is not without controversy as it highlights the rivalry between two different guiding companies, each who tell their own unique stories about how the event took place.
There’s definitely more out there. If you watch these and still have a whiny feeling when the going gets tough, then maybe outdoor activities aren’t for you. If however, these stories motivate you to push a little bit further, then hopefully you’ve taken more than just an entertaining movie with you.
What are your favorite survival movies?