A New York Times Bestseller
A dramatic, inspiring memoir by legendary rock climber Tommy Caldwell, the first person to free climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite’s El Capitan
“The rarest of adventure reads: it thrills with colorful details of courage and perseverance but it enriches readers with an absolutely captivating glimpse into how a simple yet unwavering resolve can turn adversity into reward.” —The Denver Post
A finalist for the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
On January 14, 2015, Tommy Caldwell, along with his partner, Kevin Jorgeson, summited what is widely regarded as the hardest climb in history—Yosemite’s nearly vertical 3,000-foot Dawn Wall, after nineteen days on the route. Caldwell’s odds-defying feat—the subject of the documentary film The Dawn Wall to be released nationwide in September—was the culmination of an entire lifetime of pushing himself to his limits as an athlete.
This engrossing memoir chronicles the journey of a boy with a fanatical mountain-guide father who was determined to instill toughness in his son to a teen whose obsessive nature drove him to the top of the sport-climbing circuit. Caldwell’s affinity for adventure then led him to the vertigo-inducing and little understood world of big wall free climbing. But his evolution as a climber was not without challenges; in his early twenties, he was held hostage by militants in a harrowing ordeal in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Soon after, he lost his left index finger in an accident. Later his wife, and main climbing partner, left him. Caldwell emerged from these hardships with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. He set his sights on free climbing El Capitan’s biggest, steepest, blankest face—the Dawn Wall. This epic assault took more than seven years, during which time Caldwell redefined the sport, found love again, and became a father.
The Push is an arresting story of focus, drive, motivation, endurance, and transformation, a book that will appeal to anyone seeking to overcome fear and doubt, cultivate perseverance, turn failure into growth, and find connection with family and with the natural world.
Great details, very inspiring
A Beautiful Story of Adventure on the Rock and in the Soul
Some people are great at one thing. Others, Like Tommy Caldwell, excel at numerous things. I’ve seen Dawn Wall (the documentary film detailing Tommy’s pursuit on El Capitan) numerous times. While I am much more of a visual person and I appreciate that film, The Push goes into so much more detail about what Tommy did to create this success. In the film he seems quiet and hopelessly introverted. In his memoir, he seems like an ambitious man driven to succeed.
I love this story which includes so many of his personal thoughts, doubts and motivations. He illustrates with great vulnerability his psyche during this period and it is beautiful. He is a professional climber and expressing self-doubt and overly ambitious goals might seem dangerous to his revenue stream. As a perennial student of success, I appreciate his unvarnished honesty and open heart.
Anyone who loves the outdoors and needs a success mentor should read this book. Often!