I believe that we each have a story that defines us. There is an instance or an event that defines who we are as a person and describes us. This story probably defines Aron Ralston and tells us a lot about his character. These stories and actions tell us what the person's character is like, what they are like on the inside, and help us understand them better.
I have a story that has defined the way I approach life.
From the time I was ten years old, I wanted to go hiking and camping. I am sure that many young boys have similar longings, but mine seemed an impossibility. I grew up without a father, and I lived in the inner-city. There isn't much camping in the inner-city (though "hunting" might take place).
By the time I was twelve I had nearly memorized several camping books and the Boy Scout Manual. Finally, my mom let me join the Boy Scouts of America. This was the chance I had been waiting for...I was going to go camping and hiking.
Our first trip was to John Bryan State Park outside of Yellow Springs, Ohio. We were going to hike several of the trails.
At first, everything was fine. It was a great day, and we were hiking in a beautiful gorge. We were able to climb on some of the rocks, and explore some "cave" areas. I have estimated that we hiked about 10-12 miles that day.
Pretty soon, however, I was exhausted and couldn't keep up. Remember, this is my first ever hiking trip, and I was an out-of-shape twelve-year-old. I kept falling behind. My feet hurt from having the wrong kind of boots. I had blisters from where the boots had rubbed my heals and the side of my pinky toe.
Eventually, my Assistant Scoutmaster picked me up, on his back, and carried me so that I would be able to keep up. At first this seemed like a good idea, but then I realized how embarrassing it really was. Everyone looking at me...teasing.
I remember thinking, "I will never be the last person on a hike ever again. And, I will never fall behind."
That event has defined me for many years. I never fell behind on a hike again. I was usually first, or, if watching out for others who had fallen behind, at the back helping them to keep up. But I was more than likely at the front. This has carried over into a determined, driven nature that won't settle or give up. Not bad, but not good in some instances.
What story has defined you? How does is demonstrate who you are and what you are like?