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  • Writer's pictureReuben Berger

Free Solo Climbing ~ Lessons for Life

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

It's not surprising that I would be drawn to remarkable climbers who would climb some of the most difficult mountains without ropes or back up. Little was I aware for most of my life that I was practically 'free soloing' through life in the sense that I mostly felt as though I was alone on a mountain knowing I wanted to go up but so often truly feeling stuck, not knowing which way to go.

Yesterday, I watched this entire film called 'The Alpinist' about a truly remarkable Canadian man named Marc-Andre Leclerc. At one point in this documentary, they focus in on where our society seems to go very badly wrong ~ transitioning children from those free and happy days in Kindergarten to the rigidness, strictness and isolation that begins in Grade One. In Marc-Andre's words..."Kindergarten was awesome, like that first year, you know you build things out of blocks and do art and that kind of stuff. When it started into actual first grade and we had to sit at our desks, it turned into hell for me."

His mom said, "If you're never given free reign to have your little adventures as a kid, you never really learn who you are, you don't learn what your strengths and weaknesses are and you never learn that you're capable."

At 23 years old, Marc~Andre was one of the boldest Alpinists of his generation.

His girlfriend shared, "Marc is interested in intense experiences in living to the fullest; Drugs can provide some version of that but it's not genuine and he recognized that climbing is the real experience. He wants to improve upon what has been done before and to make his contribution to the history of Alpinism (the discipline of climbing big technical mountains)."

Near the end of the movie, the narrator said, "I believe what Marc did with his time on earth was beautiful ~ he followed the course of his own dreams."

His mom said, "A lot of us live our lives thinking of the things we'd like to do or the adventures we'd like to have but we hold back. I think that is what really stands out about Marc-Andre's journey ~ it's about what is it that you would do if you were able to overcome the things you see as limitations or the things you're afraid of. What would you do?"

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