This is Alex Honnold standing on Thank God Ledge, Yosemite National Park in California. The photo* says it all!
On June 3 Alex was the first person ever to climb free-solo the 3,000 foot vertical (just under a vertical kilometer) cliff of El Capitan in Yosemite. “Free-soloing” is climbing with no safety equipment.
In our eyes, Alex takes a great risk. In his own eyes, due to his passion for preparation and ability to remain calm in tough moments climbing, he turns his ‘fear’ into calm.
This is a valuable lesson in leadership. When all is about to fail in your world – do you embrace that moment and learn of new options to move forward? or do you lose grip and slip into the abyss?
Alex is not a madman. In fact, he wonders what all the fuss is about. For him driving a car is more dangerous.
“Alone on the Wall” is a fascinating read – check it out.
In Alex’s own words: “With free-soloing, obviously I know that I’m in danger, but feeling fearful while I’m up there is not helping me in any way”
* Photo courtesy of Jimmy Chin