How does anyone sustain interest in a single thing for years at a time?
I recently watched “Free Solo,” the National Geographic documentary about Alex
Honnold’s world-record-setting climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
In spite of the knowledge that he succeeds and doesn’t get permanently injured
or die, watching it was very emotional for me. I can’t readily describe the mix
of feelings I had while watching his solo ascent. Some combination of awe, fear,
The awe and the fear are obvious enough; it was an incredible physical feat with
the possibility of certain death, my hands were sweating the entire time just
The confusion comes up when I think about the discipline and devotion to the act
that made it possible. What does that feel like? It’s completely foreign to me.