Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold and David Roberts
This is a memoir of sorts by a rock climber most famous for his free solo ascents(free soloing = rock climbing without a rope). The reason I picked up this book is because I’ve been doing some climbing myself and while the type of climbing I’ve done– mostly bouldering, mostly indoors– is very different from what Honnold does, it’s still very interesting to read about the perspective and experiences of someone who performs at such a high level.
Especially interesting was his perspective on risk versus consequences. Climbing a big wall without a rope has obviously very grave consequences if he falls, but he figures that most of the time the risk of his actually falling is pretty low.
The Push by Tommy Caldwell
Another rock climbing book. A big theme in this book is getting over adversity and pushing past perceived limits. Caldwell has had quite an interesting life and there are bits of biographical details in the book alongside his rock climbing exploits. The biographical bits are actually quite interesting and they tie in with what fed his sense of purpose while doing some of his climbs.
Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
This one is not about rock-climbing! Instead, it’s by a former Navy SEAL turned endurance athlete– Goggins has participated in several ultra-marathons. This is somewhat thematically similar to “The Push” in that it is also about pushing past your perceived limits, although unlike “The Push”, this one is a bit prescriptive and borders on the “self-help” genre at times.
Still, I think the core message of the book– that you should constantly be pushing past your comfort zone– is a valuable message.
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