People Share Their Best “Woah, I’m Awesome” Moments
It’s basically impossible to go through your week without at least one moment that makes you pray that nobody was watching you. Whether you tripped over thin air, spilled coffee down your shirt, or ran for a bus that left you behind, life is littered with scenarios that make you wish the ground would swallow you up. Every now and again though, you experience a moment that lets you ride high for the rest of the week. Courtesy of Reddit, here are the times people felt like total heroes in their own lives.
1. Action hero in training
Not as cool as some other stories, but I was running through a building, down a ramp with polished cement floors, and I somehow ended up falling down on one knee.
With my high momentum, I managed to slide all the way down the very long ramp and then kick myself back up into running again. It all happened completely smoothly and it felt like an action scene.
2. Hero of the honeymoon
I once went on a snorkeling trip off the coast of Kauai. There was a newlywed couple there that I could tell weren’t confident in the water. We were out swimming and they were off by themselves, I could see that the wife was crying and the husband had a panicked look on his face.
It turned out that they didn’t realize that skin contracts in water and he lost his wedding ring off his finger. I scanned around for a while and found it 30 feet down or so. I swam down and get it and give it back to them. They were thrilled.
3. YouTube to the rescue
At the start of lockdown my dishwasher broke down and since shops were closed, I was looking at a minimum of three months of doing the dishes by hand. Screw that.
I went to YouTube, watched a bunch of videos, took the pump apart and found a piece of broken glass that was screwing it up. I put it back together and it worked perfectly! Screw you entropy and washing dishes.
4. Lost in the wild
I once got lost alone in Yellowstone, after sunset. Thankfully I’d come prepared with a headlamp, kept my cool and found my way back to my car alive. My detour added several miles to the route, and it was and still is the most I’ve hiked in a single day, probably just under 14 miles.
I could barely move when I got back to my car. I had to just sit in my car for about 20 minutes before I was able to drive. But I got the most amazing view of the Milky Way of my entire life along the way. Getting lost was totally worth it for that alone.
5. Accidental confrontation
I was at a party and apparently, some guy that I didn’t even know decided that he had a problem with me. I was sitting with friends and from across the room he yelled something to me, but with the music, I couldn’t hear what he was saying.
I said “What?” And he yelled it again. Unfortunately again, I couldn’t hear him. So I stood up and said with way more force and volume “WHAT?!” His face dropped, he shrunk back a little, said “never mind” and sat down. My friends laughed their butts off. I genuinely thought that the dude had a question, but I had inadvertently caused him to back down. My coolest moment and it was a total accident.
6. Judo barfight
Back in the day, I trained in judo for a few years. A few regional tournaments convinced me that I am a fairly mediocre martial artist. A few years ago though, ten years after I stopped competing, a big, athletic guy took a swing at me outside of a bar. He must have been around 80 pounds heavier than me.
I didn’t even think, I just threw him with a massive shoulder throw with basically zero effort. I started to lock his elbow on the ground, but realized he was mostly knocked out, so I just stood up. I left as quickly as I could, but I saw like a dozen guys with open mouths saying things like, “Did you see that?”
7. Old bike, new bike
I went to a shop to buy a new bike, on my old bike, which resulted in exactly the kind of predicament you’re imagining. I came back home riding my new bike and holding the old one with one hand. Everything was going fine until the bikes abruptly turned sideways and sent me flying over the handlebars.
Amazingly, I ducked forward, landed on my shoulder and into a continuous roll. I then sprung back to my feet and did a thumb up to appease a startled passer-by.
8. Trapped in the bathroom
Once, at a party, a friend of mine got trapped in the bathroom accidentally when the doorknob fell off. Despite being plastered, I managed to open the door and get her out with a pair of scissors.
The quote, that’s still remembered a decade later among our friends was “I can do this, I was in the girl guides”. It took maybe five minutes and I was very proud of myself.
9. Springing into action
I might have saved a life when I saw a motorcycle crash in a parking lot late at night. No one but me went to check on the guy, everyone else was just standing around and watching. The dude had a compound fracture on his leg and blood was pouring through his jeans onto the ground.
I used my belt to tourniquet the leg, and the ambulance didn’t arrive for another two minutes, so I might have prevented him bleeding out.
10. Cardboard trickshot
I chucked a piece of cardboard in the recycling bin at work from about 30 feet away. A draft caught it and took it 40 feet up and it did a double loop before slamming directly into the bin.
One old lady saw and went “wooow!” and I felt like a total champion all day. Not a very important or world-changing moment, but it definitely made me feel cool for a while.
11. Senior to the rescue
I was once a senior in high school and was walking down the hallway past where the freshman lockers were. There was a small group of freshmen standing around a locker trying to get it to open, but it was jammed. I stopped and said, “I can get that open for you. Put in the combination.” So this petite freshman girl spins the combo and I say: “step back.”
I punched the locker as hard as I could next to the lock. To my everlasting surprise, the door popped right open! So I said, “There you go” and immediately walked away before they could see how shocked I was. I’m 6’8″ and a giant dork, so I felt like a super big, cool, tough guy that day.
12. Right on the beat
Just the other day, I was in the recording studio with some of my classmates. They were starting the process of recording an original tune and were trying to figure out the tempo that would work best with the atmosphere they were going for.
One of the guys was counting out and feeling out the beat and I was sitting at the desk. I was listening to him count out the beat and move around to the rhythm and I was like, “so about 170BPM?” They said let’s try that and they tapped it out on the computer. I was spot on, the tempo was exactly 70BPM.
13. No need to call dad
When I was around 22-years-old, my car wouldn’t start after work one day. I did lots of googling sitting in my dead car and concluded that maybe it was the starter. I used the tools in my trunk to remove the starter, walked to the parts store and had them test it. It was bad.
After that it was simple: I bought a new one, installed it, and drove home. Booyah! It felt good to not have to call my dad or boyfriend to fix my car, and to have figured out what was wrong by myself.
14. The sound of love
My girlfriend took me over to meet her grandmother one day. She was a super nice lady and while we were talking she said something about how she wished her record player still worked because she just missed listening to her old albums so much. I’d always been a big audio guy so I asked if I could take a look at it for her.
I spent about five minutes working my magic and was able to make an old woman cry because she was so happy to hear the music she and her husband used to dance to again for the first time in years. That girlfriend is now my wife, and we go visit the grandmother often.
15. Volunteering to win
Back in ninth grade, we did wrestling in PE. I was already pretty good because I did judo at the time, so I knew how some basic combat and holds. In ninth grade, I was a 5ft2, 100lb female so people weren’t expecting me to beat them.
One day my teacher was asking for volunteers for a technique and no one else was volunteering so I did. He showed everyone the move and then wanted to demonstrate it in an actual match so we did that. When he was trying to do it, I flipped him on his back and won the match.
16. Taking down the bully
When I was like nine years old, I choke-slammed the neighbourhood bully, full WWE style. It was directly under a streetlight, and there were people all around to witness it because I think someone was having a party.
I ran away because I thought I would get in trouble, but the adults were actually teenagers, who I thought of as adults because I was so young. They just wanted to give me high-fives and cheer. The kid was totally fine other than being shaken up, but he bothered me way more after that.
17. An artful catch
When I was 15, I was working on my art project in the art room. I got bullied a lot in school, but the art room was usually my safe space. While in there, I asked my classmate for an eraser and they shouted back “Oi catch”.
Without even looking up from my drawing I lifted my hand and caught a projectile eraser right in my palm with four witnesses. They called me a ninja for weeks.
18. A taste of their own medicine
In high school, this girl would not stop spraying me with a Gatorade water bottle. I was just sitting in my chair trying to do my work and she kept spraying it at me for some reason. It got to the point where she was standing above me, pointing the bottle downward.
I opened my palm and hit the bottle upwards right out of her hand, and then caught the bottle midair and started spraying her with it. I got kind of carried away and emptied the entire bottle on her in front of the whole class. Everyone was in shock at how badass it looked.
19. Right back at you
When I left my old factory job and went back to school for a medical career, an annoying coworker said on my last day, “see you quitter!” and without even thinking I replied, “see you lifer!”.
The whole room of 20 people went quiet for a moment and then everyone went, “Oooooooh!!!!”. The coworker just shook his head and very quietly said, “good one”.
20. Saving the baby
10 years ago, I successfully kept my baby nephew from choking. He was in a high chair and too young to talk. He ate some oranges and started choking. I freaked out and immediately turned him upside down and hit him on the lower back, until he coughed up the stuff and started to cry.
I was so scared, but then I looked up what you’re supposed to do to a baby who is choking. Weirdly, with no training, I successfully performed the technique to help a baby to unclog his throat safely. The regular Heimlich manoeuvre is too rough for a baby’s belly, and somehow I knew better than to smoosh his stomach.
21. Coming up smelling of roses
My coolest moment was when I and my girlfriend were at Medieval Times. We were halfway through eating our turkey legs when the knight began riding past, currying favour with the crowd. He was tossing roses to girls in the crowd and he sees my group and tosses one our way. The rose is aimed just between my girlfriend and me but she freezes, unsure if she can catch it.
I somehow managed to grab it in midair between my fingers despite all the Turkey leg grease. She was very impressed at my quick reflexes and I got a lot of brownie points.
22. Trickshots at the market
Mine isn’t epic or heroic, but one time I was at a farmer’s market with a girl I was crushing on. I was carrying around about a half-full mini water bottle. As we were walking there was a free-standing trash can, no lid, no kidding about 100feet or so ahead of us.
I go “watch this” and threw that bottle with a nice curve in the air towards the can, boom. I drain it. Across the street, a man yells “oh man! I saw that nice shot!!”. Man, that felt so good.
23. Pick on someone your own size
In middle school, I stuck around after classes to play basketball with some other kids. I was just sitting on a bench taking a break when a younger kid, I think it was one of the other kid’s little brother, came up to me and tried to start a fight for no reason.
The little kid threw a punch at my face, and without missing a beat, I moved my arm from resting on the table to catch his fist inches away from my face. I don’t say a word and I just let the kid think about what just happened. It took him a moment to process and then he just walked away as if nothing happened.
24. Safely to shore
I was at the beach one afternoon, and I heard a man about my age shrieking for help. He and his young daughter had gotten a bit too deep in the water and he obviously couldn’t swim well. I jumped up, stripped off my shirt and kicked off my shoes, and dove in to help.
I got to them and really it only took a little to get them to where he could touch the beach comfortably, he was just really freaked out. I pulled them in, made sure they walked into the beach, calmly went back to my chair and put my shirt back on and resumed the beer drinking.
25. Work smarter, not harder
One time when I was in high school, I had a science teacher who was a giant man who was insanely into martial arts. He decided to give the entire class a challenge, by taking out a sharpie and said “If you can mark me on the wrist with this sharpie, I’ll let you pass the entire class. But, if you take this challenge and fail, you’re guaranteed an F on the upcoming test”.
I was pretty confident that I’d pass the test, and so was everyone else, but nobody wanted to take the risk… except me. Of course, I grab the sharpie and try to stab him in the wrist with it, and he instantly fully takes hold of me, and makes that hopeless but luckily, I had a strategy. I said, “Hahahaha I got you, see?” He let go of me asking “Where?” and then I sharpied his wrist and said, “right there.” I have never seen such a combination of proudness and rage on someone’s face.
26. Wet night to best night
I once went on a weekend camping trip that was terribly planned, with almost zero prep. It was raining, everyone was miserable, and a few of the guys were trying to light fires and pitch tents in the dark and rainy conditions. It was getting to the point where people were starting to pack up to leave.
I’m not a Boy Scout or anything, but I am pretty familiar with outdoors situations, and I was able to pretty quickly get a fire started, and help people pitch tents. I also had three flashlights in my car to give to people, so I came out looking like a bit of a pro. The real icing on the cake was that the girl I was crushing on was there, and she definitely noticed the fact I turned things around. We just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.
27. Sheer dumb luck
I was at a party and the speaker wasn’t working. I was known as the “tech guy” so everyone asked me to fix it. I had no idea what to do so my plan was to just give it a half-hearted bang and give up.
It started working immediately after I thumped it. I immediately turned around and casually walked back to my seat so nobody could see how surprised I was, and people were giving me drinks for the rest of the night.
28. Piggybacking to safety
I went for a nice bike ride with my ex-girlfriend a few years back. We were supposed to be going to the beach, and the trail that we took begins with a long descent into the bottom of a canyon. About halfway down this 1-mile long descent, my ex lost traction on a turn and slid into a rocky wall causing her to do an actual flip over her handlebars and land on the sharp rocks, slicing open her knee and elbow.
She stood up quickly, a bloody mess, and said she was okay, but she was in shock. Her knee was cut up so badly that I could see the bone shining. I immediately took off my shirt and tied it around her bloody knee and then told her to hop on my back and I carried her all the way back up this enormous hill that we were just riding down.
29. Standing up to teacher
I was standing against the wall of the gym in high school before class when the violent bully of a gym teacher stepped into my field of view 20 ft in front of me then overhand threw a basketball full force directly at my face.
I made eye contact with him just as he released the ball, and I didn’t break that eye contact, or blink, or move a muscle when the ball struck the wall an inch or two above my head. In thirty years I haven’t forgotten the look of brokenness on his face as the ball bounced past him.
30. Graduation bragging rights
My coolest moment was definitely at graduation when my principal read, “History day county champion in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Science fair county champion in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. She was also a state champ in both 2017 and 2018.”
“While managing all this, she managed a 4.75 GPA, 14 AP classes, Class president, president of the women in STEM club, president of the African American student union, secretary of the Gender and Sexualities Alliance, founder and president of the Eating Disorder awareness committee. An academic scholar of distinction, member of CSF and NHS, and was #4 on the varsity tennis team. I’m proud to present your class speaker and head valedictorian.”
31. Punching above their weight
I wrestled in high school, and by my second year I had more confidence and more wins, but I always kept a calm demeanour. During a regular meet with another school, my match was against another girl in the next weight class up. I think her brother was the team captain or something but she was bragging to her teammates how easy her match would be and they were all smiling and going along with it, camcorder in hand.
I not only beat her easily with points, but before I got a technical win, I swept under her, picked her up, and took a couple of steps to slam her down right in front of their camera guy. I felt extra badass about the win because it was one of the only times that my older brothers came to see me wrestle and some of their friends saw too.
32. King of the woods
We were camping at our family cabin and my son noticed a bear. Rather than yell, he ran past the bear and whispered into my ear “dad, there’s a bear”. I didn’t even notice the giant black bear until he came up and told me, but I immediately sprung into action.
I yelled at it and waved my arms like a total lunatic. My brother and our friend followed us into the cabin as the bear ran off like a bitch. I found out later that bear was basically tame and it deflated my ego as little. But in that moment, I was a king.
33. Recovering what’s yours
Exactly 20 years ago, I left my backpack on a ledge while I was skateboarding and a guy in a bicycle passed by and picked it up. I saw him riding away when he was like 30-40 feet down the street, so I started pushing and pushing to catch up.
He wasn’t speeding up, I guess because he didn’t think that I’d seen him, so I quickly came to his side and kicked the bike yelling at him. He fell and left the backpack in the middle of the street, as I was picking it up he stood up on the bicycle and went away without saying a single word.
34. Outsmarting the criminals
It was early Sunday morning and I went to the mini-mart for some supplies. I went to the bank machine to take out my rent money to pay the landlord, and as I was leaving the store a car pulled up to the door and four men walked inside with their guns drawn. I thought that if I ran they might grab me or shoot me, so I ran back inside and flung my handbag with my rent money under one of the grocery shelves.
When they came in they ordered everyone on the ground, and I complied. They told us to empty to our pockets, which I did. After they got the till money and left I reached in under the shelf grabbed my handbag, threw it over my shoulder, grabbed my shopping and went home.
35. Puppy love
This is a small one, but one day a mastiff tried to attack my small husky at the dog park. I didn’t know what I had done until after I had done it, but as soon as I heard the growling and yelping I had ran across the park and hugged my dog, shielding her from the mastiff. I had yelled at it loudly and apparently been scary enough that it backed off.
That mastiff had been snapping at her with his giant teeth, and probably would have sent her to the puppy hospital. I’m lucky he didn’t send ME to the hospital. I never knew I had a mama-bear instinct, but apparently, I do when my dog is in trouble, even when the threat weighs more than me and has weapons for a face.
36. Single-handedly wrecking the curve
The first class after our computer architecture midterm, I walked into class a few minutes late, and the teacher had “47” on the board circled. He was jumping up and down pointing at the 47 and yelling about how that’s our class average and how we did poorly. All I could think was “damn, I thought that was easy, I must have really screwed this up”. After about 20 minutes of the teacher ranting, a student raised his hand and said: “Well obviously there will be a curve, right?”.
The teacher responded by yelling “There cannot be a curve, because out of all my classes one got the bonus and scored over 100! So there will be no curve”. At this point, I realize “ah man that bonus was easy…”. A few minutes later he passes back our graded exams and I had a 107. I slid that test right into my backpack and started working on our next assignment as he spent the whole class going over the exam.
37. Standing up for mum
Once when I was younger, kids on the school bus were making fun of my mom, who was the school lunch lady. They didn’t know it was my mom, so they were being really obvious about it. I actually was really embarrassed by my mom being the lunch lady, but I love my mom, so I kind of powered through the embarrassment and was like “That’s my mom you’re talking about and she’s really nice.”
To my complete surprise the kids on the bus started backing me up, not because I was popular because I definitely wasn’t, but because my mum was genuinely nice to all the students. I never told my mom about it, because as much as I wanted her to know I’d stand up for her, I didn’t want her to know kids were saying mean things about her. So, standing up for my mom and not taking credit for it to spare her feelings: probably my coolest moment.
38. Making the front page
My first job as an editor was with a classical music magazine, and I was the least experienced person in a room full of old hacks. It comes to the first press day and there’s a disaster – the cover image isn’t high enough resolution to carry, and although the photographer’s name is known, he is an unknown Italian up-and-comer and we have no way of contacting him.
It’s hard to believe, but these were the early-ish days of tracking people down online, and few people on my floor knew where to start. Not only did I find the guy’s contact details through an Italian agency, but, unknown to anyone, had just spent a year living in Italy, and was able to ring the guy up, speak to him in Italian, and get him to send us a direct a high res version of his pic.
39. Anyone for an arm-wrestle?
When I was a teenager I was challenged to an arm-wrestling match at a party by a bully-ish guy who everyone thought of as the big guy. He was about one head taller and much broader than me.
Everyone thought I was doomed, myself included, but I had started to work out seriously at the gym a year prior so at least was a small glimmer of hope. It turned out that he was mostly just fat and his arm actually broke. The rest of the party was a mixture of high-fives from friends and dirty looks from his crew. Even though I felt bad for him it was kinda nice to beat him as the underdog.
40. Saving lives at the ski slope
I and my friend went on a Boy Scout trip to a small ski resort. This hill had a rope tow, a simple lift that is a rope running in a loop, you grab it and it pulls you up the hill. We were at the top, getting ready to ski down, when we heard the rope tow stop. A small girl around maybe six years old had gotten her scarf tangled in the tow, which lifted her off the ground.
When the scarf hit the emergency stop the rope tow stopped – with her dangling three feet in the air, hanging from her own scarf. My friend and I said nothing – we both hurried over, he lifted her up to relieve the pressure on her throat, while I untied the knotted scarf. Maybe 20 seconds from realization to her safely on the ground. We stayed with her for a minute until her mom caught up to her.
41. No spatial awareness
A few weeks ago, my three-year-old daughter & I were walking along the front sidewalk of a small strip mall. She’s three and has the typical amount of common sense and situational awareness. There was a lady leaving the shop we were crossing in front of and I guess she had the same amount of sense and awareness because she flung the door outwards without looking. I somehow managed to grab the back of my daughter’s sleeve & pulled her back with the door half an inch from her cute little face.
My heart was pounding, my daughter was clueless as to why I’m jerking her around, and the dumb lady just looked at us and kept walking. The whole situation probably lasted 30 seconds, and in my head I was thinking “holy cow I honestly can’t believe I got her in time” when an older man in a parked car started hyping me up, yelling about super mom and whatnot. It felt really good and for a few minutes, I truly did feel like a hero.
42. Nose boops for the buffalo
I was in Nepal walking along a pathway when I came across a couple of water buffalo about ten feet off to the side. I had to get past so I kept walking, keeping as much distance as I could. The bull decided that I was too close and mock charged me.
I kept walking, stay calm, and put my hand up instinctively and end up touching his nose. He turned around and left me alone after that. I didn’t even get much of an adrenaline rush.
43. Classroom hero
In my first year of teaching back in 2006, a kid ran into my classroom with a penknife and launched himself at another lad. Almost on autopilot, I vaulted over my desk, told the kids to get under their desks and ran at the lad with the penknife. He turned to me, considered his options, and legged it.
Everyone was safe; nobody was hurt, and I’ve never had anything like that happen in any of the schools I’ve worked in since. If anyone had asked me beforehand how I’d react in a crisis, I’d have never thought I’d have been the type to put myself at risk like that. At the moment, though, I realised that I couldn’t let my kids get hurt – and I think I understood at that point that teaching was the right choice for me, weirdly.
44. A poor choice of words
I was working on a catering job helping the kitchen prep. My good buddy and I had a station to ourselves and we were just chopping veggies and vibing to music. I asked my partner to toss me a knife, not thinking about my phrasing.
He was so in the zone that he literally threw the knife, and I reached up and caught it by the handle and went back to what I was doing. It took about 10 seconds before we realized what we just did and looked at each other like daaaamn.
45. Turning it around
I was playing pool with a stranger at a bar and losing pretty badly. I had about five or six balls left (plus the eightball), and he had two. When he turned around for a minute to talk to his girlfriend I somehow went full-on Fast Eddie and I cleared the table.
He turned around right as I sank the eightball. He almost didn’t believe me and thought I cheated, until someone else that saw it came up and was like “holy heck dude that was wild”.
46. Fainting in the produce aisle
I was at a supermarket, standing behind this elderly lady carrying a basket. Something about her demeanour drew my interest and suddenly she leaned back and slowly started falling backwards. It turned out that she had fainted. I caught her awkwardly and had to juggle the stuff i was carrying and a lady to prevent her hitting her head and laid her gently down.
I ended up staying with her and keeping her warm with my jacket until the ambulance arrived since supermarket floors are really cold. Loads of shoppers were gawking and staring. Like the other posters, nobody asked my name or cared really, which is fine, I was just glad I could help and nobody got hurt. Still felt like a hero though.
47. Playing with puppies
I was on a trail run on a popular mountain trail system in and I came across a younger woman and her dog. It was a hot day, and I could see that the dog was lying down in the shade and refusing to budge, much to the chagrin of its owner. As I got closer I could hear her pleading with the dog to get up, and I could see her giving gentle tugs on the leash, none of which was working.
I could also see that the dog was clocking me coming down the trail, so as I came upon them I slapped my knees excitedly and yelled “come on boy” in my best dog-friendly voice. The dog popped up immediately, and as I was running past them I could hear the owner thank me. For some reason the whole thing made me feel like a million bucks.
48. Saving the dogs
While walking my dogs alone, I was charged by two loose pit bulls in my neighbourhood. One of them grabbed my smaller dog at the neck and started trying to take her away. I shoved my hand into its mouth to get it to let go, pushing down its throat. It dropped my dog and latched onto my hand instead, while the other dog was jumping on me. I got knocked down hard, but I kept fighting them off.
Finally the owner came to get them back on the leash, but my hand was screwed up, so I called my husband and we go to the emergency vet with my dogs and leave them there, and then take me to the ER. I was convinced my dogs had broken bones and injuries the whole time I was in the ER. I ended up with broken bones in my hand from getting bitten and a broken tibia from falling, but the vet called us while we were in the ER and said neither of my dogs had any injuries aside from scratches.
49. Catching it early
I was in chiropractic school and we were learning about neurology and neuroanatomy at the time and my mom called me and started describing “the worst headache of her life,” as soon as she said it I knew “oh god, she has an aneurysm..”
I had to keep my cool to not scare her and insisted she went to get imaging done, and sure as heck she had a 3mm aneurysm and a couple of days later her doctor called me to thank me for catching it before it fatally ruptured.
50. Winning with a wild strategy
I kept doubling down at the casino during blackjack. My hands were showing usually 13-17, and anyone who knows anything knows you should not double down on those types of hands.
I was incredibly drunk and got away with nine wins with that type of play. I turned my $100 into $1,000! I shrugged it off every time to keep my cool but inside, felt like screaming!