There have been a few moments in my life when I thought I was going to die. Sometimes I shared my fears, screaming and crying out. Other times I suffered in silence and let the agony wrap me in a straight jacket as my life flashed before me.
Most recently it was on my drive home from Corning, NY Wednesday morning. I was there for work and was supposed to drive to Mansfield University that morning. But when I went down to the lobby to check out and eat breakfast at 7:30AM, I overhead two guests discussing the dismal road conditions. Remember I was up in the mountains of crazyvilles, I thought I should probably get a hard start and head to Mansfield a little early. But when I got out on the roads and saw just how bad the snow was I soon changed my course and redirected my GPS to take me home. Cut to two hours later, having driven only 45 minutes worth of the drive, and I am being detoured off 81S into Bumblefuck, PA along with every other driver trying to escape that day. A few things I discovered that day:
– The Toyota Camry truelly does suck in the snow and I might have to consider asking my company for the snow vehicle, the Subaru Outback
– I can still read a map. Having this skill got me out of the long-line of traffic that was heading the same way as me, and onto a side road that got me back on 81S while everyone else was still standing still on that other road. Yay me!
– I cry when I’m driving in stressful situations.
– I have seen way too many car wrecks in my short life.
– When I’m sick of driving I will argue with myself about risking my life to go faster, or going slow and steady and ensure my safety.
Well, I survived but not without my scares. I was almost run off the road by a giant truck who lost control and then smashed into the side of the mountain. I almost went skidding off the road in my attempt to pass a car. I had to drive 20mph so as not to go skidding off the road. 6 hours later I arrived home 3 hours late safe and sound.
Another one of my memories comes to me from the ’90’s when my parents took us on a family trip to Washington D.C. We were in (insert DC national park here) and my brother and I wandered down a path together. Told to stay together, my brother naturally went a different way when he and I differed on which path we needed to take to return to the safety of our parents. Crying, (insert age) year old me was found by a nice gentleman and returned to security where my parents’ friend found me and rescued me. Okay, so I might not remember the details very well but I remember oh so clearly the frightened feelings. I thought I was lost there forever and that I was going to get in trouble for not going with Sean.
Next one: climbing the Statue of Liberty. This is one I did and didn’t keep to myself. I announced my fears quite loudly and quite annoyingly to everyone but no one truly knew the thoughts that were flying through my mind. I was absolutely positive we were all going to be trapped in the stairwell.
Skiing. This is one I suffered in silence but have long ago decided that I can be open with this fear. I do not like to ski, snowboard, sled– basically any snow-related activity is a no-no for me. I do not like snow. I do not like being cold. And I do not like hurting myself. But the first time my Mom took me skiing I was not yet aware I had all these thoughts. I already had a dislike for cold and snow, but not for skiing. Well, I gained one. Every time I went “flying” (felt like flying to me, but in reality I was probably at a snail’s speed) down the hill on those toothpicks, I thought for sure that this was going to be it and I was going to hit a tree, or a person, or just land on my head and that would be that. I no longer ski. And I no longer apologize for it.
And now the real reason for this death-defying post. Every single time I jump on the treadmill, or the canal trail, and run I feel like I am going to die. I’m sure that this is going to be the time. My lungs are bursting. My knees are going to fly off and shatter in front of me any second. It’s going to happen this time. But it doesn’t. And every time it doesn’t I am reminded of just how much the human body can withstand. So when I feel like I’m going to die and I want to take just a little break to catch my breath, I remind myself that I’m not going to die and that a break is coming soon enough. But don’t think I’ll be getting back on the slopes anytime soon 😉
What are your fears? How do you deal with “death-defying” situations?