What was Your Bravest Moment?

Stupidity and bravery sometimes go hand in hand.

I once kicked in a door to confront an abusive man and rescue his girlfriend at a hotel I worked in. My husband was horrified, saying I could have been assaulted myself, and I’m not very big or strong. I told him that it was unlikely, because abusers of women are usually wimps when confronted by an agressive, un-afraid woman, and luckily for me, I had this guy pegged correctly as one of the wimps.

Considering I’m usually a coward, I figure this will remain my “bravest” moment.

So, fellow Dopers, what moment makes you proud when you look back on your bravery?

Heh. Random thought: Lisa Sedaris (David Sedaris’s sister) did pretty much the same thing in one of his stories.

I walked a plank bridging the top of the highest waterfall east of the Rockies.

Well, it wasn’t the widest waterfall…

Lissa, I think wht you did really takes ovaries. Bet you’d make a great friend.

I am a physical coward, but emotionally I do a high wire act.

Forgive my ignorance, but who is that?

David Sedaris is a very funny short story writer. He appears on NPR and is most famous for “The Santaland Diaries,” in which he recounts his days working as an elf in Macy’s in New York City.

It happened to me a few years ago. I posted the whole story here, if you’re interested.

About a year ago, I was waiting in line to get a taxi home after a night of drinking with a friend of mine in Amsterdam. A couple, in their 50’s I suppose, walked by about 20 meters away. They were arguing, and suddenly, the man stopped in his tracks and just slapped his wife across the face, real hard. He then took her by the shoulders, shaking her forecefully as he kept cursing at her.

I didn’t even think, I ran towards them and pulled the guy away, shoving him a couple of times whilst yelling what the fuck he thought he was doing. He was obviously drunk, a head smaller than me, but wanted to take me on anyway. I’m not a fighter and wasn’t going to start, but I swear, I was aching for him to throw the first punch. I would have fucked him up.

By that time, others came running up as well, trying to calm the man down. The woman thanked me profusely. I asked what we could do for her, maybe get her a cab home, or to a police station?

You guessed it. They “made up”, and left in a taxi together. “He gets these moods sometimes, it’ll be alright”, she said.

I wonder about her sometimes. You can only help so much, you know?

We were burning stuff in our yard. Our friend was over with his daughter. She went under my truck to retrieve a toy that was under there. Just at that moment, a flaming cardboard box blew out of the fire and got lodged under my truck WHILE SHE WAS UNDER IT! I crawled under and pulled her from the flames and then pulled the flaming cardboard out from under. She wasn’t hurt bad…just really scared.

Relating to the original poster, I work in a real estate management office, and we manage a rooming house with a bunch of crazy tenants. Sometimes they come in here and start screaming and swearing at me. I just look at them and say very softly “I don’t talk that way to you and you are not to take that way to me.” Quite a few people are amazed I don’t go off or get scared.

I once saw a pedestrian weave out into the street, fall down and have a convulsion. I ran out into the street and started directing traffic around him. This was during the morning rush hour. After about 10 cars went by, an SUV stopped in the middle of the road, turned on his emergency lights, and the driver got out and told me “Get out of the road before you get hit by a car.” I hadn’t thought about that till he warned me.

Not really ‘brave’ as I wasn’t really thinking about what I was doing, but at Thanksgiving my niece reached her arm across a candle and her sweater caught on fire. She was standing next to me so I grabbed her and smothered the flames with my body.

No sick jokes here guys :slight_smile:

You know, from my experience, and from stories that friends have told me, many times you don’t think about the danger you’re in yourself when the instinct kicks in to help someone. Maybe it’s altruism, maybe it’s nobility, or maybe it’s endorphin-caused stupidity, but your own safety receeds to the back of your mind, a distant second to the safety of the victim.

For me this ranks up there for being the bravest moment…

I got to tackle a purse snatcher once. He was walking directly towards me. About 20 feet in front of me, he grabbed the purse of a lady walking the same direction I was walking. Once he had the purse, he started running at me. He had his head turned and was looking back to see if anyone was following him.

I had him by about a foot in height and by about 50 pounds so when I nailed him, he was pretty much down for the count. I think I just knocked the wind out of him, but he was pretty much done for until the police showed up a couple minutes later (since they were within seeing range when it happened). I do kind of hope that is the only movie hero type moment though, I don’t want to make a regular practice of doing that kind of thing.

Walking on a quiet Copenhagen street one summer night in 2000, I was passively assaulted by an enormous Turk wearing a gray suit, who was coming towards me headed in the opposite direction. It was a wide street (one of those shopping streets where cars aren’t allowed), and there was pretty much no one about, and as we closed on each other he moved further and further into my trajectory. Not wanting to cause the behemoth any harm I tried to duck away, but his diagonal movement outdid mine and as we met he slammed into me, the whole left side of his body impacting with my left shoulder and collarbone.

Upon impact I quickly pivoted my upper body diagonally to the left (causing my bones to crunch in a very threatening manner), in the process letting out a high-pitched, blood-curdling warrior’s scream which promptly scared him off, at least judging by the way he stormed away. Flailing my arms menacingly I proceeded to stumble strategically against a wall. I even tried letting out a deceptive whimper to entice him into further attack, but the coward didn’t even dare turn his head to look back at me.

I walked back home in triumph, albeit with a strangely diagonal ache across my back. Such is the price you pay for glory, I guess.

I was robbed at gunpoint a couple of years ago. He kept my wallet but I made him give back my purse – which was a favorite.

(Once a persnickity high school teacher, always a persnickity high school teacher.)

I surrendered a child for adoption when I was 16 yrs old.

I was surrounded by people who all wanted to keep the child, for all the wrong reasons.

It would have been easy to be swayed.

I knew if I lived to be 1000 years old I would never be as old again as I was at 16yrs.

The second bravest thing I’ve ever done was to agree to have contact with that same child, 28yrs later.

Who knew if you’re brave the universe answers your prayers?

She is too beautiful for words, truly. She is confident, successful, centered, mature, well balanced, secure, all things I could not have given her as I did not possess them myself.
She is also kind and loving and giving and generous, well, I bet you’ve guessed - I could go on all day.


I thwarted a would-be carjacker in Reno.

My sister, her boyfriend, Joel, and I were on vacation. My sister and I were going to the Laundromat and the boys were going swimming or something. Anyway, my sister was already in the car and I was standing by the open driver’s side door saying my last good-byes when I saw this blond guy dressed only in cut-offs and sneakers heading in our general from across the parking lot. I wasn’t concerned at first because I didn’t realize he was coming straight for us.

At first, he just hit us up for money. When we refused to give him any, he wanted my car. He insisted it was his. He put one hand on the open cardoor and the other on the roof, trapping me between him and the car. I told him it was not his car, got in, and tried to pull the door shut. He slammed it back open. At that point, I did my best George McFly confronting Biff impersonation and told him to get his damn hands off my car. This time, he did. I hollered at the boys to get into the car and we sped away. Fortunately, he was gone when we got back.

I don’t know if they guy was armed; I guessed not as there didn’t appear to be anywhere to hide a weapon in his shorts. I don’t know if he was a whackjob and actually thought my car was his, or what, but I just couldn’t fathom handing the keys over to him. That would have just been silly, don’t you think? (I’ll note that my car was used and, though I bought it here in Salem, the previous owner was from Reno. Believe it, or else!)

Speaking of cars…

My best friend once left her car in neutral and forgot to put her emergency brake on when she was parked on top of a steep hill. The hill came right down onto a major road. I had turned to go into the house when I heard her scream. Looking back, I saw her car rolling down the hill. I jumped in the car and managed to get it stopped before it made it to the main road. It was probably pretty stupid, but I knew she wouldn’t be able to even try (she freaks easily) and it was a new car. Plus, I was worried it would cause a major accident.

Now that is true bravery. You have my deep admiration for the ability to be so selfless at such a young age.

I pulled an irrational, violent patient off of a pregnant nurse that he was trying to choke to death with her stethascope. He had it wrapped around her neck with his fist in her throat. She was on her knees and blacking out before I pried him off. It was awful for everyone. All the while he was choking her, he kept saying “I’m going to kill you, you bitch- and your fucking kid too”