Summary of The Push

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8 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


If you rock climb, you’ve probably heard of champion Tommy Caldwell, but you don’t have to be a climber to appreciate his thoughtful memoir. Though the sport is central to his narrative, he uses rock climbing as a vehicle to explore perseverance, passion, physical challenges and, in his case, perhaps the slight madness that excellence demands. He touches on love; belonging; family; romance; the media fallout after militants in Kyrgyzstan held him hostage; technology’s influence on fame and sports; what it meant to his climbing to lose one of his fingers in an accident; and how he finally attained a daunting life goal: free climbing the Dawn Wall of Yosemite’s El Capitan mountain. getAbstract recommends his saga to readers who take pleasure in accounts of skill and dedication and who appreciate an example of how to become a champion through practice, hard work and perseverance.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • What styles and rules shape modern rock climbing;
  • What a big-wall climber’s experiences demonstrate about tenacity; and
  • How Tommy Caldwell overcame injury, trauma and heartache to climb the Dawn Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan.

About the Author

A professional rock climber who continues to break climbing records, Tommy Caldwell lives in Estes Park, Colorado, with his wife Becca and their two children.



Physical Endurance

Tommy Caldwell was born seven weeks early on August 11, 1978, the product of a complicated pregnancy. He weighed in at 4.5 pounds. Doctors feared he wouldn’t survive, but he thrived under his mother’s loving support and his father’s encouragement.

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