Thinking back, I can remember two near tragic moments when my own life was in peril.
One was when I was in my twenties, driving home from the airport in an icy storm. All of a sudden realized that I had absolutely no control over the car. I calmly asked all of my friends in the car to make sure they had their seat belts on, then held my breath until I could feel the wheels grip the pavement again some long moments later. Thankfully, the car in front of us maintained a constant speed. If it hadn't, we would have crashed right into it.
The other time was during my first experience kayaking in the Snake River. No one told me that I needed to keep paddling when I hit the rapids, even though they were fairly mild. I lifted my paddle, thinking I'd ride them out, and immediately tipped over. The water rushed past me so fast, I couldn't understand why I wasn't being ripped out of the boat. I tried to get upright. It proved impossible, but I did manage to get my face out of the water for a breath of air. Thankfully, I finally remembered to pull off the skirt, and as soon as I did that I immediately slipped right out.
My family, including my poor mom who still shudders at the memory, were all in a raft ahead of me, watching and worried. It's an enduring family story that I apparently will never, ever live down. But I'll be okay.
Just before the fateful moment. Oh, and it was really cold that Labor Day weekend.