....where you thought you were going to die, or be seriously injured? Or at least had that aweful feeling of blinding fear, that something is happening to you right now. Its quite hard to explain unless you have felt it, because its one of those feelings that can only be true. Where you feel your pulse increase so much that your heart goes fuzzy.
I have once, although I've had that 'impending sickness' feeling a bit, where something terrible is about to happen to you and you can't stop it.
One of my experiences was whilst skiing in france this year, I hear so many people saying stuff like 'it changed my views on .. whatever', or if they'd been stuck in the outback for four days without water, they'd be scared of it for life, but it wasn't like that.
Well, we were skiing on our 6th Day (advanced group) and were in possibly the best off-piste skiing you'll ever see, untouched 6-inch powder, for miles. We soon got carried away and ended up over a overhang, which was probably about 25ft high, followed by about 30ft of 70degree slope. Most of the group decided to go back up and walk around this huge rock (that was probably about 100ft high, 400ft wide and 500ft long), whilst 4 of us who were the better of the group decided to go down. We were told by the instructor that we'd have to take a tiny ledge of snow that took a diagonal (steep) path down to the bottom, it basically meant carving at a 45 degree angle to a rockface all the way down, because the ledge was pure jagged rock all the way down, and you couldn't perform any sort of drop off.
To get down, all 4 of us had to turn to face the other way, because of the space we'd got ourselves in, we could not do this by skiing. The three others turned first, sitting down and pulling their ski's over, and getting up before continuing down. I was the last to do it, As I pulled my final ski over (I was about 2m from the ledge), I began to slip. I began to panic, and desperately tried to dig my ski's in. Luckily, I stopped less than 50cm from the edge, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and shouted down to the others jokingly 'lets go down on our arses!!!'.
As I began to get onto my feet (which is no simple task when you are on a 35degree slope of soft snow), I slipped again, this time though, I couldn't stop. I had no idea what was below me, because I hadn't been close to the edge before and was only told that it was not skiable. The 3 others saw me begin to slide off the edge, and just before sliding off I remember one of them shouting 'don't go down there, there are rocks!'. Its quite hard to explain, but this was a moment where it changes from being just a normal bit of fun in a difficult situation, but no biggy, to becoming a serious problem and leading to potential death.
Meanwhile, I was starting to gain speed, I was so frightened at this point that I can't really explain it, my ski's hit something and got stuck, and I was thrown over myself and landed on my head, before barrel rolling again and again and again. Each roll while I was airborne, I thought that I'd just land and hit the rocks, feeling shooting pain going through my back, it was just uncomprehendable the feeling. If you ever watch a program where the person who has the camera falls, and rolls down a mountain in the snow, and all you see is just flashes of the actual snow as the lens hits it, thats EXACTLY how it is.
I finally came to rest in some soft snow. The first thing I heard when I lifted my head up was 'Oh my god he is ok!!', coincidentally from the same person who had shouted to me about the rocks (obviously not realizing the trouble I was in). When I looked back up, I could see two huge rock faces, which were the most jagged type of rocks you could ever imagine (think about coral, but rock, and horizontal instead of vertical), with a small vertical passage in the middle with rocks just underneath some thin snow. at the top of that were 2 ski's in parallel, facing across the rock face and jammed between the rockfaces. What I must have done is when my ski's got jammed, I cartwheeled head over heals and kept rolling head first down the small pathway.
All I suffered was a few large cuts to my back, where I'd been sliding along on my back over the rocks.
What surprised me the most was a)How I didn't hit anything, I wasn't shocked, but I couldn't believe just how lucky I was, the chances of not hitting the rocks was almost impossible and b)How I was not scared, frightened or mentally impacted at all after I got up, I just climbed up, got my ski's and climbed down backwards, picked up my sunglasses and skiied off to where the other 3 had rejoined the piste.
I don't even want to think about how close I could have come to killing myself, or what sort of injuries I could have got from falling off the rocks, they were so raw and jagged. *shudder*.
What experiences have you had, where you have suffered so much fear, and you honestly thought 'this is it'. Its a moment you can't really relate to unless you've been in that sort of situation, and nobody will probably ever know how I felt when it happened.