"I had learned that to do something difficult take incredible effort, and to do the impossible takes just a little more." —Roberto Canessa
I had such a struggle finding just one quote to write about from Roberto. This young, simple athlete crash landed with his rugby team high in the Andes mountains and not only survived for 74 days, but hiked for ten days at an altitude of 16,404 feet to find help that led to the rescue of all fourteen teammates. While on the mountain the 74 days Roberto and his compadres faced avalanches, life threatening injuries from the plane crash, below freezing temperatures and ethical choices no individual should ever have to make for survival.
I chose to share this specific quote because Roberto is discussing the extreme measures he had to face in order to survive and the lessons that came of it. See, Roberto spent a lifetime training as a rugby player and believed himself not just strong, but in his youthful ego he felt he was unstoppable.
Before crashing in the Andes he fought through life with ease but then he suddenly discovered he was human and weak in the face of starvation, bitter cold and what seemed to be a hopeless situation. After surviving as long as they could but seeing the food source they had access to was running out, Roberto had to decide if he could take on the impossible task of climbing the mountain to rescue. What he discovered is that climbing over the Andes mountain only took a small effort more than staying at the crash site and slowly dying.
This quote is a great reminder that we all face difficult things and we put forth an incredible effort to overcome them. This means that when we feel the impossible has come… it is just time to put in a little more effort than before. Nothing is impossible, not even the Andes mountains can stand in the way if we put the effort in. Just a little more, that’s all it takes.
Sarah Deats is a Behavioral Health Technician at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer.