I don't know how many of you are subscribed to Brooks Kubik's Dinosaur Training newsletter, but it frequently illustrates stories he witnessed, heard of, or experienced himself on "being ready".
It means being ready for any challenge that an extreme situation in life can throw at us.
A recent one told the story of when his younger brother saved his wife, just married, on their honeymoon in Switzerland.
While his brother was looking inside a store window, she crossed a road that had double lanes in both directions. She didn't have any knowledge that the roads were this way though.
The surface of the road was frozen hard, and a large truck was approaching on the second lane of the first one-way road.
And she couldn't get up. The truck was approaching fast.
His brother saw this happen out of the corner of his eye, ran over the ice, grabbed his bride in his arms, and both tumbled out of the way inches before the truck hit her.
She asked where that came from.
He said "good training".
Personally, I love these stories.
These situations make it all worth it.
Recently, I was remembered by 2 busdrivers from the city I went to high school in, of such a story, albeit not as heroic, from my good old young days.
I had just turned 18, and was head over heels in love for some time with this girl I met a few months before.(good times..)
Anyway, I was about to enter my first year of college, and she was finishing her last year of high school, so we arranged it so that I would pick her up from school one day, and we would go do something fun afterwards.
This was by bus, of course. Driver's licenses start from only 18 years of age, plus I didn't care for a car at that time.
I was waiting at the bus station, where all the other kids from the local high schools were waiting. I had my large bag with books to read, and music, and of course food, and a giant umbrella in case of rain.
There was only one bus for me to take to go get her, and I couldn't miss it. I didn't want to screw this one up.
It halted at the stop. Or so I thought.
I had to wait another minute for bus 36.
So I said ok, I can crank up another "Because the night" by Patti Smith meanwhile ...(being atypical)
I hear a load steam noise. I look up and see the tail of a bus with 36 in the back leave 5 meters in front of my eyes.
The driver didn't see me waving with all the commotion the kids were making. The bus started speeding up.
There was only one thing a dumb 18-year old in love with an umbrella and sneakers could do.
I began running.
After the bus I went. I chased it through the station. The hundreds of kids waiting there all went "see that guy!" "what's he doing??"
They went cheering after me.
Everything I ever had was running inside me, with that big colored umbrella in one hand and my bag with food in the other.
The bus continued speeding up, and I was losing it fast.
It was now maybe 100 meters in front of me.
Then, at the traffic lights, it slowed down.
I ran and ran, and maybe 10 meters before I got there, it left off again.
It was on the way to a higher speed road.
It slowed down at another bus stop. I ran across the crosspoint with the traffic lights. Several cars had to stop with screeching brakes.
I ran and ran and ran and right before my hands could reach him he left off again.
There was only one crosspoint left before he got on the fast road. After that, there was no way in hell I could ever gain up on him.
I thought, this is all that is in my way.
I have to gain up on him.
I don't know how I did it, but I chased this bus a kilometer or 2 from the bus station, I ran so hard my sneakers tore open at the sides, the mixed nuts from my bag flew out of it, and my heart almost exploded in my throat.
The bus had to slow down for a traffic nut that came from a side street. I gave it all, and could reach the back of the bus with my left arm with the bag, and I banged on it as hard and as often as I could, while running.
Kids from inside saw it and I motioned them to call the driver.
He stopped the bus and let me in, and excused himself.
I made it to the girl and we had a great day and night.
The 2 drivers I saw this week recognised me and asked me if I was that kid who gained up on a bus a number of years ago.
This might not be the greatest heroic act, or the most mature, but I love this story, and I felt great that after years it still is remembered.
I'm sure many of you have had great moments of "being ready". Firefights or situations in which you had to save someone, defend yourself or your loved ones, or being a dumb 18-year old, please share them !