Alex Honnald
Introducing Alex Honna ld, our Impossible Rock Climber! From the tender age of 5, he was already scaling walls in a local climbing gym. And by the time he hit his teenage years, he was competing on the national and international stage. But get this—not once did he consider himself a "natural" at climbing. He just loved it, plain and simple.

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Have you ever wondered what it takes to defy gravity and climb to the top of the world’s most daunting rock faces? Rock climbing is a passion for many but most never even imagine doing what our hero of the day has managed to achieve. 

Introducing Alex Honnold, our Impossible Rock Climber!

Imagine this: A young kid, growing up in Sacramento, California, Alex was just like you and me—a regular kid with an insatiable love for the sport. 

From the tender age of 5, he was already scaling walls in a local climbing gym. And by the time he hit his teenage years, he was competing on the national and international stage. But get this—not once did he consider himself a “natural” at climbing. He just loved it, plain and simple.

Fast forward to his college years at UC Berkeley, where most of us are buried under textbooks and lectures. Not Alex. He was out there, chasing his climbing dreams, skipping classes to boulder at Indian Rock. And when he wasn’t doing that, he was living out of his mom’s old minivan, travelling across California in search of the perfect climb.

At some point, Alex got bored with ropes and harnesses and started free soloing. Free soloing is climbing without any ropes, harnesses, or protective equipment. It’s just you, the rock, and gravity. One slip, one miscalculated move, and it could all be over.

By 2008, Alex was done with all the usual climbs and he set his sights on Yosemite’s Half Dome, a 2000-foot flat wall which can intimidate anyone. It had killed many climbers with ropes and harnesses and here was Alex going for it free solo. And he did it with nothing but chalk on his hands and a heart full of determination. No ropes, no safety nets—just pure, unadulterated courage.

Alex shot to fame with this climb and was the talk of the town in the climbing community. However, Alex was not done yet. He prepared years for his biggest impossible leap, something no one had done before. 

In 2017, he reached the foothill of El Capitan. A towering 3000-foot monolith in Yosemite National Park. While El Capitan had been conquered countless times before, it had consumed the lives of 30 climbers creating fear and panic in every climber’s mind. So free soloing was out of the question for everyone, well, except for Alex.

And to the world’s amazement, Alex dies the impossible — to free solo El Capitan’s Freerider route, with nothing but his bare hands and a chalk bag, he conquered one of the most iconic walls in the world in under four hours, a feat that had climbers and non-climbers alike holding their breath.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How is that even possible? How does someone have the courage to take on such a monumental challenge? Well, that’s what makes Alex Honnold truly exceptional. It’s not just about physical strength or technical skill; it’s about mental fortitude, unwavering focus, and a deep respect for the mountains.

So, the next time you find yourself facing an obstacle that seems insurmountable, just remember Alex Honnold and anyone from the list of people we have featured in this Impossible Newsletter. Building the Impossible mindset is not easy but once you build it, you’ll find the courage to take that first step towards your summit.

What can we learn from Alex’s Impossible Journey?

Of course, there are many, but I want to pull out three unique ones for you.

1. Explore Your Curiosity to Find Your Passion:

Alex Honnold’s story underscores the importance of exploring our curiosity to discover our true passions in life. From a young age, Honnold was drawn to climbing, spending hours at the gym and participating in competitions. Despite not being an instant prodigy, his curiosity and love for climbing led him to find his passion in free soloing and achieving greatness. This teaches us to find time for curiosity and exploration which could lead us to new possibilities including finding our passion.

2. Follow Your Own Impossible Journey:

Honnold’s journey is a testament to the power of following your own path, even when the future is unclear and uncertain. Despite societal norms and expectations, he chose to pursue a career in climbing, living out of his van and dedicating himself fully to his passion. It is the journey which brought him in touch with people and ideas which enabled him to get to where he is right now. Accepting and appreciating our own journeys will lead us to uncover new opportunities which are invisible right now.

3. Invest In your Craft and to do the Impossible:

It took several years of practice and dedication for Alex to think of doing the impossible – climbing Half Dome and El Capitan free solo. While we all need to believe in ourselves to achieve the impossible in our lives, we also need to build the skills needed to pull it off. Initially, you don’t need much as you are just setting goals which are beyond your reach but if you are consistent in this path, you will soon reach a place where no one has reached.

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