You wake up, go to work, and go to sleep. Most days, you don’t think about a rocket possibly hitting your home or running into a pack of coyotes. However, life is a roller coaster, and you might find yourself in a situation that will change your life. These brave people faced horrendous situations but managed to overcome.
42. Chains Of Misery
I was working in an office one night when someone attempted to break in. I had shut and locked the door and put a desk in front of it. Being that I was on the 3rd floor, going out the window wasn’t an option, and I couldn’t have fit anyways. They bashed the door repeatedly, first breaking the lock (although thankfully not realizing it). I called 911 and was told to be patient (this was December with a blizzard happening).
They then managed to break the bottom hinge and a minute later the upper hinge. At this point, the door is held shut by the desk and my body. Thankfully there was a wall across from the door that I could brace my foot against. They got the door opened about 2 inches for a second and I managed to get it to shut and the desk readjusted.
At this point, I was tired of being told by the 911 operator to be patient and just started crying. Shortly thereafter the police showed up. The whole thing was only 15 minutes, but probably the scariest 15 minutes of my life. I later found out that the guy had a heavy chain and had every intention of beating me with it if he got in.
41. Battling The Wildlife
when I was young (around 16) I went hunting with my dad and we went out pretty deep into the woods and very abruptly he said he heard something and told me to stay put, so I did. he was gone about four hours before I realized that he was not coming back so I tried heading back to our camp but I was really lost.
I figured that I would have to find somewhere to sleep and I could look for camp in the morning so I ended up making a fire (I had some protein bars and a flint and steel). And I set up a little hut out of branches and I quickly realized the fire was a mistake but I woke up about a half-hour to a coyote sniffing at me and group of them behind me and like the dumb 16-year-old I was I tried to fight them. Luckily I woke up in the hospital the next day.
40. Crash Into Me
My friend is in the British army and he was deployed to Jordan for several months for training and acclimatization prior to a tour in Afghanistan. Whilst there, he and another soldier were tasked with escorting a female contractor to the airport. Whilst en route in an army landrover, a car began matching their speed and swaying towards them signaling to pull over. Obviously, that wasn’t an option as kidnappings for ransom were not unheard of and they had been briefed on arrival in the country.
Soon enough the car pulled in front of them and began braking. My friend and his mate were only armed with sidearms which they made ready in case his next step went wrong. He sped up and went into the back of their car, but it continued in front of them and he eventually rammed it again completely wrecking the back of the car causing its back wheels to lock up and ditch at the side of the road. His mate had been on the radio the entire time reporting the incident but no-one was ever caught as far as he was aware. He said he was beside himself the entire time.
39. A Crash Landing
I was extremely, extremely lucky. In summer 2009 Israel (where I live) was being rocketed, particularly the northern Israel where I live. We had a sheltered room in our house we were supposed to go to whenever the alarm went off, but usually, we ignored it as it happened multiple times a day sometimes.
One particular day the alarm went off, my younger brother (was 5 at the time) was in the living room watching Dragon Ball Z. I had a really bad feeling, just felt in my gut we had to go to the shelter. I told my brother to leave the TV and come to the shelter and he refused, as he wanted to keep watching. I had to drag him off the couch after my begging didn’t help. Not 10 minutes after, a rocket landed in the living room.
Sounds absurd, I know. We moved after that. I’ll never forget how weird that gut feeling was.
38. Life Is A Drag
I was 17, leaving my air cadet squadron (UK). I was on a pedal bike, at around 10 o’clock at night, pitch black. I was turning right, and as I made my way out into the road, a car came from the right, no headlights on, and knocked me off the bike. I landed slap bang in the middle of the road, disorientated and confused. I slowly come around and crawl out of the road. My leg was broken, and I had to physically drag myself by my forearms, terrified of another car coming and running over me. I made it, with another car coming about two seconds later.
Terrifying but made it and lived to tell the tale.
37. Case Of Mistaken Identity
Group of 10 guys mistook me for someone they were sent to scare. I was driving back from dropping my girlfriend home (about 5 minutes’ drive). They blocked my car off and pulled machetes and knives out. I floored it into their cars and injured one. They chased me for a while and we ended up in a car accident.
Cops arrested everyone. They said they weren’t going to charge them because they were under suspicion for bigger crimes. Those 10 guys harassed me and my family for a few months. They confronted my brother with the same weapons (as we look like twins).
I went through agoraphobia for a couple of years and now just your run of the mill PTSD. It ended well though. I went to university to try and curb my agoraphobia and found a career I’m really passionate about.
36. Chase You Down
Driving down a two-lane highway. 1 am in a rural area. I’ve borrowed a friend’s Ford focus which has the spare tire on. My boss/traveling companion this night decides to slam the horn at some stranger standing still at a stop sign.
The stranger makes his left. I’m upset with the boss. In the rearview I see the stranger reverse his truck back onto the main road. It seems he wants a word.
A 10-mile chase ensues with a top speed of 110 on a two-lane road, with a spare tire, in the middle of nowhere. Going around a curve, I hit the lights on the car and turned off onto a hidden drive and waited. Waited for about 15 minutes silently. Eventually turned the lights on and discovered that I was two feet from nose-diving into a ditch.
I was high on adrenaline for the next two days. And my friend never loaned me his car again.
35. Fall From Grace
When I was 19 years old I had been out for too long and fell from one of my dormitory common room’s windows. It was a 45-foot drop, four stories up from the concrete awning over the porch. I fell out backward, head first and plummeted to what appeared to be my inevitable death.
In such moments we hear of time slowing down…it did feel like that. My primal mind took control and found an instantaneous solution to my mortal problem. The solution presented itself so quickly it felt as if there was no problem at all.
I reached out my hand and grabbed hold of a ledge as I fell. This reduced my velocity and swung me back around so that I landed on the gravel-covered awning feet first. The impact was violent. I shattered my left calcaneus (heel) and suffered an open compound fracture of my right tib/fib (lower leg bones).
That was May 15, 2001. Four months later, after 9/11, the news sources were elaborating on the tragedy. They were specifically speaking about the survival rates of people falling out of buildings. They were saying only 15% of people that fall from a three-story window would survive. That’s survival including paralyzing injuries.
I never did find out survival rates for four-story drops without a paralyzing injury. I just know I’m extremely fortunate to be alive and in the shape I’m in, leading the life I have. I try my best to keep that memory clear in my mind so that I will move forward without fear or regret, filled with gratitude and love.
34. Kermit Wouldn’t Be Happy
I was working with mentally disabled people who were also violent. While I was driving one guy home, he snapped and tried to kill me because I wouldn’t buy him an iced tea. He ended up beating me, and I had to have surgery to put my shoulder back together. What ensued was a worker’s comp nightmare, and one of the darkest years of my life, lost in the misery of PTSD.
33. Hold On For Dear Life
I don’t know if it was fighting for my life, but in 06′ a tornado hit where I work. I was out in the yard and by the time we saw, it was too late to get anywhere. I grabbed on to a post that was cemented into the ground and just held on until I heard people screaming at me to get inside. It had passed right over myself and one other guy. Crazy.
32. Jogging Into Disaster
I was grabbed by a stranger while out jogging. He grabbed me in a chokehold and carried/dragged me into some bushes. I am very small and knew I couldn’t fight him. I decided I’d fight to the death if it looked like he was going to kill me. As we were scrabbling in foliage, I said, “Please don’t do this. I have two kids.” Not sure why I added the kid part. Fortunately, as he was starting to get ready, he got cold feet or something and ran away.
I had some scratches and a sore neck, but that’s it. I flagged down a cyclist, who helped me contact the police. Never found the guy.
31. Quit Clowning Around
I got a throat infection (croup) when I was 6. Usually, it’s mild, severe in less than 1% of the people, but it nearly killed me.
I just came home from school on a normal day and I suddenly started having trouble breathing and coughing. A few moments later the GP comes in and tells my mom to call 911. They say a croup isn’t serious, so the GP grabs the phone and starts yelling at them to get the ambulance.
The first thing I do in the ambulance is throw up. Then it’s a crazy ride to the hospital where they put me in an induced coma.
I woke up 6 days later. To this day I don’t know if what I remember is dreams from the coma or just memories of me being on the medications. Probably mostly the latter, as I have memories of clowns and my brother always tells me I was cursing the clowns nonstop.
30. Let Him Go, Fido!
When I was about 9, I was at my friend’s house and he’d gotten a new dog, don’t remember what breed. Now, keep in mind that not only was I nine, but I was, am, and always have been a super small skinny kid.
I don’t know what got into this dog but basically, to keep it short, the thing attacks me. I don’t know if it planned on finishing me or what but I’ll never know and I don’t hope to get to know. It was going hard at my arms and torso, tearing my shirt to shreds (my friend gave me a new one to replace it).
It only lasted a minute with me fighting hard as I could and screaming my friend’s name. I think he finally realized I was in serious trouble because he sprinted over and straight-up pried the dog’s jaws open and help then and there. It was kind of ballsy, to be honest, thanks bro.
29. Take You For A Ride
Here in the UK, we have a theme park. When I was a kid and did those summer group things (a group where you would go and do activities while your parents worked in the day) we used to visit every year. I had been so many times to that theme park by that point and I had practically grown up around those rides, slowly gaining more confidence to go on bigger and scarier ones.
The year before that I had really loved a ride called Pandemonium or something like that. Basically it was 2 giant arms either side and you were sat in a seat with your legs hanging over.
This one particular time I was not strapped in properly. I think the bar/shoulder guard thing didn’t click in properly. So there I was, like 11-year-old me clinging onto dear life as the ride crept higher and higher. The only thing that kept me in was the sheer G-force. I was absolutely terrified. I’m a bit wary of theme parks now.
28. Stuck In A Moment
Was on a rafting trip through rapids where it’s a regular occurrence for rafts to flip. Anyways, our raft flips which is no biggie but my foot gets caught in a rope while I go over the side. Now usually, I’d just push my feet down and kick myself back up to the surface, but because my foot is stuck to the raft — I’m pretty much stuck upside down underwater. Luckily I was able to snag the rope loop with the toe of my other foot and pull it off, but if the loop had been tighter or any number of other things, I likely would have drowned.
27. Choke On This
One time in 8th grade I was enjoying this burrito. I took a bite (a pretty large one) and looked up at some seagulls that were flying overhead. To avoid getting pooped on, I started to walk under an awning when I realized that I couldn’t swallow my food. Being the shy 8th grader that I was I didn’t want to be embarrassed by everyone seeing me slowly die, so I walked toward the soccer field. I got out there and realized I was in some deep trouble cause I was literally choking and couldn’t breathe. My eyes started to water and I felt as if I was being squeezed. I started to lose my vision and my eyesight went dark and then out of nowhere I had the urge to throw up so I did and the food dislodged. I fell over and started gasping for air.
26. Leap Of Faith
Ever see an eight-year-old jump a six-foot wooden fence? I had a cousin that chased me with a machete because I did not let him go on the playground first. Literally had to climb a big privacy fence and use the neighbor kid’s zipline that his dad installed from the top of his personal play-castle thing (they were wealthy) to a big tree in their yard. I look back, and I see one hand go over the fence, and then the hand holding the machete. So I have to run more until the neighbor lady came out and saw us. For some reason, my child mind thought a little wooden backscratcher was going to fend him off — when she opened the door to let me in. Fortunately, I had the instinct to run instead.
25. Approach The Bench
Sister wakes me up in the middle of the night and tells me there’s a monster outside her window. I tell her it was just a bad dream and she insists that I look. A man with matted hair and dirty clothes was tearing apart my mother’s bench and angrily saying something to himself. I had her lock herself in the bathroom while I called the cops.
I took five rounds and loaded them into the rifle. He tried to open the sliding glass door to the living room, so I went through the garage and entered the backyard where I could get the jump on him. He had a big chunk of the bench in his hand and was trying to get in. I put my sights on his chest and asked him to leave. He said something like rude then he saw I was aiming a weapon at him.
He asked me to calm down and there was no reason to have a weapon out. I told him that there was no reason for him to be breaking my property and that he had no business trying to get into my house. I told him that I didn’t want to hurt him but if he took a step towards me I would punch a hole straight through his gut.
He dropped the piece of the bench and I herded him out of my backyard. I called the police and let them know what direction he was headed and they picked him up a few blocks away. They took way too long getting here.
24. Hit The Road, Jack
I was crushed under a car for 8 hours in the night while changing oil went wrong. I had to find a way to loosen the jack and then jack it up using only one arm and being crushed under the car. I ended up jacking it up just enough to where I wasn’t getting crushed after 2-3 hours. The rest was me laying there, shouting for help.
I ended up with some acute renal failure, heart contusions, and 3rd-degree burns. I’m better now thanks to the folks at the hospital.
23. Crawling For Help
5 weeks ago I started seeing blood when I relieved myself which wasn’t good. I ended up going to an emergency care facility since it was pretty late at night and found out I had a kidney stone. Sucks, but not a big deal except I only have one kidney. So I go into the doctor the next day and he schedules a surgery to remove the stone and implant a stent. I have the surgery and life sucks because having a stent in does not feel good. After a week I go in again to the doctor and he pulls out the stent and sends me on my way telling me to drink a lot of liquid that day.
So I get home and start downing some water while I study for my test. About 3 hours later I go to take a shower and something does not feel right. It was like being static but all over my back and lower abdomen, and it kept getting worse. It turns out the tube between my kidney and bladder had collapsed. I then crawled out of the shower and laid on my bathroom floor.
People often ask on a scale of 1 to 10 how your pain is and I can truly say I know what a 10 feels like. I just sprawled out on my bathroom floor kind of wondering what was going on and then realized I needed to call someone, but my phone was in my room so I had to crawl my way to my bedroom naked and call a friend to rush me to the hospital to have emergency surgery. 0/10 would not recommend. 3 more weeks later and I’m fine and am currently procrastinating for finals. It has been a surreal semester.
22. A Little Too Close For Comfort
Not really a fight per se- but one time I was free climbing in the US (southwest part) and as I went to anchor in a crack on top of a little outcrop, I looked up and saw a thick band of diamonds.
There was a rattlesnake all cozy-d up about 6cm from my hand. It was about 1:00 pm so he was hidin’ from the birds, but still gave me a bit of a shock. Noped the out of there as quickly as possible and had to completely re-plan my line.
21. Going Hog Wild
My cousin and I were hog hunting in Georgia. We had been laying on a little ridge in between a peanut field and a swamp. It was just after the sun had set and we had a little handheld thermal camera so we could see the outlines of the hogs. They had walked way across a cotton field to our left and into the peanut field, about 500 yards across.
We didn’t really realize it at the time but the swamp behind us was the closest place of safety for the hogs. There were about 2 large boar, several sow and tons of little piglets all rutting around about 80 yards ahead of us. My cousin and I at least both had weapons.
The second we started shooting at them they ran right at us, all 15 something of them. My cousin killed one of the boar right off the bat, but we still had 1 more really angry one running at and the sows weren’t so happy either. We pretty much emptied every single round we had before they were about 15 yards away and since we didn’t expect them to run at us we left our pistols in the truck.
At this point we had no ammunition, two sows had run to our side, but the hog (200+ pounds) was barreling at us, tusks and all. You do not want to get gored up by one of these guys. My cousin, no joke, grabs the barrel of his rifle with both of his hands and hits it square in the front of both of his legs and he faceplants in front of me. I immediately jumped around behind him and pulled his hind legs out from under him so he couldn’t get back up.
He hit that hog so hard his rifle broke too, and if he didn’t at least one of us would have probably gone to the hospital that night.
20. Don’t Ride At Night
I was about 4 years old when I decided to sneak out of the house and ride my tricycle up the road. I ended up riding to the main road with a massive roundabout so I thought it would be a good idea to ride around in circles on the roundabout. I must have been riding really close to the edge cause I ended up on the road and a lady driving past almost squished me.
She was terrified and crying cause she almost killed me(which was my fault, I’m lucky she was quick enough to react to the situation). She asked me where I lived and in a jolly happy voice I said “I live down the road miss follow me” and I rode my tricycle home while she walked beside me.
I literally didn’t even flinch or react to the situation and it took me a while to realize that I could have died, I wasn’t afraid of anything back then which lead me to believe I could do anything. You can imagine the number of heart attacks my parents had when I was younger, I was an embarrassment.
19. Mama Said Knock You Out
I brought my fists to a gunfight and won.
I was searching vehicles and people in Iraq and was confronted with an automatic weapon. As he was shouldering the weapon I grabbed the end of the barrel and kept it locked on the ground. I’m extremely dominant with my right hand and that’s the one with the barrel so with my left I throw a huge haymaker not expecting much force, but holy smokes. It connected beautifully/gruesomely and I felt his jaw crack. He fell to the ground, I quickly made the weapon safe (kicked out the magazine and ejected the chambered round) and tossed it to a fellow soldier.
I should have put zip cuffs on the guy and arrested him, but in my fury and anger (and youth) I stomped his face with my boot. His face buckled. What was left was a gurgling mess of blood and bone and bubbles. They med-evacuated him and my chain of command never told me if he lived or if he died. My LT tried to take my rank, but my sergeant major saved me on that one.
One side of me is like, “well who cares about that guy he tried to shoot you.” And the other side says I took it way too far. I don’t lose much sleep over it anymore but it does mess me up once in a while.
18. Stick ‘Em Up
Attempted attack by 6 or 7 guys in the subway in New York. They surrounded me on the train and one of them took my Walkman (yeah, this was a long time ago). I experienced full adrenaline, ‘fight or flight’ mode and it was so intense. Heart rate went through the roof, got instantly really mentally alert, and senses got weird, kind of sharper focus but hazier peripheral and background noises.
I scuffled and brawled with a few of them but they scattered, lucky not to get caught with a clean punch and no weapons got involved. I caught up with the one who had my Walkman and took it back from him just as the train pulled into the station before my stop.
I booked it. I realize now this wasn’t really a close to death experience but at the moment I was thinking I could be killed or severely beaten. They chased me a little out of the subway but then stopped. Even 10 minutes later when I reached my family, telling them what happened was really hard. Voice breaking up, holding back tears, shaking. Never experienced anything like that again and have no idea how the body can go from zero to 90mph like that almost instantly.
17. Waves Of Fear
I was 12 at Adventure Island, a water park in FL, and they have a simulated beach with waves. I knew how to swim and figured I didn’t need a life jacket.
I was okay at first and the waves cycled off so I swam out further. Then the waves came back on and feeling tired I tried to swim back. I just couldn’t make any progress to shore and I started struggling. I thrashed around in vain for ages. I kept slipping under the waves. F
inally, I felt someone grab me under a shoulder and a life jacket literally landed in on my head. More people and more arms got me strapped in and safe. I got to shore after dozens of “Thank you” and “I’m ok.”
I bolted to the picnic area near Wahoo Run and waited for my Mom to find me. I knew how upset she’d be that I ran off but I was just so happy to see her. I know it doesn’t sound like much but that’s my story. Reading some of the stuff here I feel lucky to be so boring.
16. Making A Mad Dash
While I was a Peace Corps volunteer living in Ethiopia, I found myself in a dangerous situation one evening. A man in my small, rural town developed “feelings” towards me and attempted to take advantage of me after I had had a few one night.
We were all hanging out and had planned to stay the night at a local tourist eco-resort and long story short, the man let himself into my hut (think fancy hut, something out of Travel and Leisure magazine). He wouldn’t leave so I casually mentioned I needed to use the restroom and once I made it to the front door, I hauled myself to the main gates.
The man was quickly behind me and yelling at the security guard not to let me pass. In my state, I realized the only way through would be to climb the 15-foot tall metal gate, which I did, and promptly fell off of the top on the way down.
I proceeded to run the 2km to my house compound, dodging all of the known wildlife (hyenas and aggressive monkeys). I woke up the next morning to several injuries but overall I was in one piece.
15. A Lopsided Victory
I drove on a gravel road that a party was going on at. A group of guys wouldn’t move, so I honked. They started throwing cans and rocks at my car, giving me the finger and shouting. I continued driving and they chased my car. I don’t know why I got out when I parked, but I did and fought all six of them (who I later identified as a team of MMA fighters in Sacramento. No wonder they were looking for a fight.)
I hit a couple once or twice but they won. After getting beaten from all angles, held down to have my right temple kicked like a football, strangled to the point of passing out and spit on multiple times, someone who lived nearby showed up with a weapon and fired it twice in the air. The guy who strangled me, then attacked the man with the weapon knowing he wouldn’t shoot. Nobody died, but the police showed up. The party ended before they did, and I was asked to speak with an officer. He was cool, so everything was looking good but my face.
14. Fight Like A Brave
Someone tried to abduct me.
I was about 23, military wife, and as a good wifey, was bringing my hubby lunch after I finished some shopping for our new house. And I wasn’t wearing anything under my dress.
I finished shopping, had a weird feeling about the creepy dudes behind me, watched them leave as I feigned waiting for a ride for 15 minutes, then I went through a drive-through in the next town over. I went on base, parked the car, got out of the car and turned immediately to face a man who was on me like fur on kittens. “I saw you at (store I left) buying (vaccuum I bought) without drawers on, and I knew I had to have you,” he said, while out of the corner of my eye I saw his car, back seat open, parked perpendicular to mine, blocking any sort of exit. “You don’t HAVE to have NOTHING!” was all I could muster, as I started biting, kicking, scratching anything that came from behind me into my field of vision. I don’t know what kind of madness took over, but I attempted some martial arts throw, leaning all of my weight into throwing him over me. I couldn’t do it, but I managed to pick him up and bring his weight back down with his right arm over my right shoulder- broke his arm clean through the skin- it popped out, and he ran before I even saw blood.
They caught him a couple days later, when he sought medical care for the arm at a civilian hospital in the next state over. Efficient fellows, the Shore Patrol.
13. Wasn’t Fishing For Trouble
I was out fishing by myself one day out in the middle of nowhere and decided to hike even further back to fish a stretch of river. At one point the small trail I was on went up a hill while following the river. When I was about 60 feet above the river I stepped to the edge to look down at the river. Apparently, there was an undercut right where I stepped out.
I broke through the remaining dirt and started to fall. I lucked out because I fell right between two roots of a tree that was further back away from the edge. The roots caught in my armpits. My feet were dangling about 50 feet above the rocks below. I took a little while to climb back out because I had to shimmy my way back far enough to get a foothold that didn’t give way.
I was eventually able to get out and hike down to the river and get right below where I had fallen (I lost a hat and a tackle box from my fishing vest when I fell through and wanted to recover what I could). When I looked up I could see the hole I had made. There were only the two roots. I literally fell through the only spot I could have survived.
12. Pumped Up Kicks
Living in the Yukon (Canada) I was hiking alone in the bush and approached by a coyote looking to get a bite out of me, had to scream at it and kick it in the face while I slowly backed away from it for about a half kilometer, luckily he didn’t have any buddies to get me from my backside
11. Food On The Brain
Skiing away from an avalanche once. I was still a peewee skier skiing with my family at a pretty decent ski resort. It was not very busy thankfully and no one got hurt but I was the closest one and if I kept doing the pizza shape to control my speed I would’ve surely been covered in some powder, I went full-on French-fries shape and sped up until it stopped. Anyway, I never felt a bigger rush in my life than when I went full French fry shape skiing away from a mini avalanche.
10. Saturday Night Fever
I had cat scratch fever and scarlet fever at the same time when I was 7. Was 2.5hrs away from home with a relative. I had to wait that long while my mom drove over to the hospital to sign consent for me to receive an injection that would take my temp down. I was packed in ice the entire time, my fever was 106F when I arrived and climbing.
9. Swimming To Safety
When I was 12, I had about a 25-foot sailboat capsize while I was at summer camp, and I got stuck underneath it because my life jacket was pushing me up. I had to take off my life jacket and swim out from underneath, which was a remarkably hard thing to do while freaking out. Thankfully, I was uninjured. One of the counselors broke some ribs, however.
8. Self Defence
Two different times, men attacked me with weapons.
New Orleans, 7 years ago. I’m leaving work when I hear footsteps behind me. I turn around just as a man is swinging a crowbar at me, I caught it with my hands, he knocked me to the ground. I thought that was it, I was about to die. The fight is mostly a blur. I was screaming and no one came to help. I got away and ran into the street and jumped in front of a truck.
November 2015. A guy walks up behind me and slams me face-first into an ATM. This time, I have martial arts training. In a daze, I turn around and kick him as hard as I can. They showed the video at the trial. He had a boxcutter knife. I escaped. He’s in prison.
7. Almost A Slave
I’m pretty sure I almost got kidnapped into the trade when I was fifteen.
It was my birthday and I was in Mexico. My grandmother was sick in the hotel so I went out looking for some adventure. Found an attractive guy who spoke perfect English to try and buy some stuff off of. He was probably mid-twenties but definitely flirting with me. Being an unattractive child who got little to no male attention this flustered me greatly and clouded my judgment. I really wanted to go party but you had to be sixteen or with someone of age.
He tells me no problem he will go with me. We go in the direction of the club but we pass it (we were walking). He says there is a better club down the road. We meander until we get to a small dingy bar. I remember sitting there and realizing I was the only female in there. My legs were jittering because I was getting scared and I remember he kept asking me if I was okay and if I was nervous. I kept reassuring him I was fine but realizing that I was in trouble.
They are all chattering in Spanish I barely understand any of it. I later became fluent but this was when I had only studied it for a year so I was lost.
He tells me to come outside. There’s a car and about six men around. I still remember what they look like. One had a mustache and was skinny, another larger with a shaved head. When I see the car I immediately realize that something really terrible was about to happen. I can’t really describe how I knew, but there was a heaviness around the group of men. I dunno. It was a sudden shift from before when he was joking and flirting with me. They were all staring at me too.
I stop walking and start to slowly backpedal away from all the dudes. The original guy tells me there’s been a change of plans, we are going to a party in Mexico City. I lie and tell him my dad has a super strict curfew and is waiting at the hotel for me so I can’t go anywhere (my dad wasn’t anywhere near me but I thought that would somehow be more intimidating than “my grandma with food poisoning may notice my absence”) and sort of imply he will start looking for me if I’m not back.
They tell me no worries it will be quick they will get me home in time. He reaches out to grab me but I’ve been moving away from him so he doesn’t reach me. Tells me it’s fine it will be fun.
I finally blurt out that I’m not getting in that freaking car and start backing up noticeably and trying to figure out where I am.
The dude asks for a hug because “we’re friends” and steps towards me. I’m like “nah bro we ain’t friends” and turn around and run faster than I have before or since. I’m completely lost in a labyrinth of some residential neighborhood. Run into a kid I’m pretty sure is on something and ask for directions. Realize I have no idea what left or right is in Spanish so his directions are useless. I run and run and run until I stumble upon the center of town and start sobbing with relief.
I didn’t connect the possibility of being sold into the trade until years later. I thought I was just about to get assaulted (which is also a possibility). Later I found out that Mexico City was over two hours away and I had told them I needed to be home within half an hour. So something sketchy as was going to happen to me.
6. The Struggle Is Real
My wife and I were on our first anniversary trip and got caught in a riptide. It got scary, but for some reason we couldn’t stop laughing at the situation while we were struggling to swim back. Must have been our way of coping with the stress, but I literally had to swim at her and push her one good shove at a time until we got out of the current. Very close to tiring out and drowning.
5. Don’t Follow Me
Driving home from work on a rural highway at 11:30 pm. Twenty miles from home, a car roars up and starts to tailgate me. I slowed down to let them pass, and they pulled into the next lane and drove alongside my car for way too long. When they finally passed me, they slammed on their brakes right in front of me.
I’m scared now, so I whip around them and try to outrun them. It works until I hit the last little town before home, and they catch up. I lived in a little cottage on the edge of town, and my parents lived in a cul de sac on the other end of town. I decided that I was definitely not going home to an empty house. I sped through town, and at the last moment took off on a Y corner going about 70 in a 25. The car missed the turn. When I double backed to go home, I watched the car turn down a quiet street to follow me down the highway (that I had fortunately just gotten off).
I parked behind the house that night.
4. Down In The Mud
I was traveling with some friends to a place that hosts many caves around it. We went to one specific cave that was forbidden, as one of our friends was a guide of the caves.
Two hours in, the guide says there’s a cool mud slope people like to slide in, and so I did. At the end of the slide, there was a stalagmite (maybe a stalactite… a pointy rock), and I couldn’t dodge. It tore my knee, exposing my bone and such.
I managed to exit the cave, in deep pain and got the knee fixed. A week later I discovered a HUGE infection in my knee. The slide mud was actually bat poo, and I was infected by an unknown bacteria from it. I spent 15 days in a coma, and when my parents decided to amputate my leg, I suddenly recovered in such a manner it wasn’t needed. I was close to death twice: inside the cave and with an infection.
3. Never Underestimate The Power Of The Ocean
I was new to body-boarding or boogie-boarding, but I hate that term, and I was out at a place called Torrey Pines near San Diego with a cheap body-board and even cheaper leash. I didn’t realize how strong an incoming tide could be and after a huge wave pummeled me, my leash snapped and the wave took my board to the beach.
The waves were beating me pretty good and I was huffing and puffing just to stay afloat. It took everything I had to swim just to water where I could touch bottom. After finally making it to the beach, I collected my board and went home. I’m pretty sure that I was very near-drowning that day.
On the flip side, 26 years later, I’m still surfing!
2. Too Far Out Of Reach
In the summer a big group of friends and I decided to go swim at a lake to hang out for the day, for some reason they decided to swim to a fallen tree that seemed pretty close, (I wear glasses and I’m nearsighted, so I couldn’t tell how far it was from the shore.)
I didn’t stretch or anything before jumping into the water, and I’m not a physically active person either, so I gave into peer pressure, I just tried to swim all the way to the fallen tree, but once I’ve gotten about 1/3 of the way there, all my friends noticed it was too far and swam back, I realized after that they swam back, and I was going full power to the fallen tree that was about 75 meters away, I was exhausted, sprained my leg and had no breath, then I started to drown.
I’m 5 foot 8 and the water is just over 6 feet deep, so the only way I could get air is from bouncing off from the ground with one leg, taking a breath each time and going back under. I was screaming “Help, I’m drowning” but my friends didn’t take me seriously for the first minute as they thought I was joking, after that luckily one of them came to me as they noticed I was drowning, and another brought an inflatable tube. I got pulled to shore and I laid on dirt and sticks contemplating how I could’ve died there and everything would’ve been over. I have never swum ever since then because of that experience, and I think I’m afraid of deep water.
1. Halfway Done For
I was traveling in Israel at the Dead Sea a few years back. Me and my girlfriend camped there for the night. At about midnight we were we decided to go in for a dip. Those of you who don’t know the beaches all around the Dead Sea consist of this weird texture like mud and there are crazy mud sinkholes. Anyway, we walk toward the water and suddenly we both walked into a soft patch of mud and literally were both waist-deep in the mud. It was the most terrifying thing ever. I started panicking and fighting it but it only made it worse. Luckily she calmed me down and somehow we were able to crawl out of that hole. I lost my flip flops in the process and had to go to sleep in a tent with mud all over the place. Craziness.