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Courage, Resolve, and Strength

Tommy is a role model of the creative fight because of who he is and how he approaches his craft. Most climbers excel in one type of climbing. Tommy is world-class in multiple ways: bouldering, sport climbing, and mountaineering—all demand different skills. As Andrew Bisharat wrote in a National Geographic article, “To understand the breadth of Caldwell’s athleticism, picture an Olympic runner who is as talented in the marathon as he is in the hundred-meter dash.”

Those who join the creative fight know that creativity feeds off hardship just like climbers who are constantly in search of more difficult routes. Difficulty clarifies the creative fight. Tommy put it this way: “Through hardship in my own life, I learned that it is what changes us the most. It puts us in an intensely meditative state where we figure out what we really want.” Tommy has been through a lot, including being kidnapped at gunpoint and held hostage by rebels in Kyrgyzstan over a decade ago, but the hardship is what gives him his edge. In his own words, “It motivates me to go for things that I have always dreamed of.” Guys like Tommy embody the ideal that the more difficult the challenge the better the reward.

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