Alex Honnold, A Soul Freed in ‘Free Solo,’ The New York Times, October 25, 2018

He’s a perfectionist who understands that the achievement of one supreme thing depends on the mastery of a thousand small things. Much of the perfectionism seems to come from his mother, Dierdre Wolownick, a retired French professor for whom, as Honnold puts it, “good enough, isn’t.”

But it’s his mother who also best understands why her son constantly puts his life at risk — and why she doesn’t quarrel with the choice. “When he’s free soloing is when he feels the most alive, the most everything,” she says. “How can you even think about taking that away from somebody?”