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Tommy Caldwell on TEDx Talks: What Are You Up Against?

Tommy Caldwell is one of the world’s leading climbers and he recently appeared on TEDx.

Tommy’s talk raises an interesting question: why do some people experience post-traumatic growth?

He credits his father who understood the idea of raising kids with grit long before it became a parenting buzzword, “Believing you must prepare your child for the path, not the path for your child.”

Tommy Caldwell on the Grand Ol' Opry 5.14b  Photo Corey Rich
Tommy Caldwell on the Grand Ol’ Opry 5.14b Photo Corey Rich @coryrichproductions

Caldwell began climbing not long after he learned to walk. When his father, a larger-than-life bodybuilder and mountain guide, introduced him to the world of adventure, he handed him an eternal flame.

As a teenager, talent and passion led Caldwell to the top of the competition climbing and sport climbing circuits. Soon after, as his appetite for adventure grew, he became obsessed with the incredibly demanding genre of big-wall free climbing.

But in his early twenties, Caldwell was held hostage by militants in a harrowing ordeal in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, and then, upon returning home, he lost his index finger in a home remodeling accident. Caldwell emerged with a renewed grit and ability to suffer, further cultivating his legendary determination.