January 24, 2023 | Scott Mazza

Big And Small Triumphs

Sometimes, we just can’t catch a break. Bad luck—or just plain bad events—seems to follow us around, and we start to think we’ll never get a win. But these stories prove otherwise. Redditors shared their best comebacks, so get ready for a heartwarming ride.

1. Nice Guys Finish First

I’m in a wheelchair. I have been stood up the last four times when going out on a date. I've had everything happen to me, from not answering the phone when I'm down the road from her house, calling me during the drive over and making up excuses and then never calling again, to actually a girl looking at my legs with a stare and saying "I don't think I can do this”.

Just when I thought that it was almost hopeless, finally, it happened...This time, the girl did not stand me up. We spent eight hours tonight and had the best date of our lives, and she even said so. It finally happened. It finally happened. Score one for nice guys!

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2. Destiny Calls

Some years ago I was flying to Miami, through NY from across the Atlantic, to start my one-year backpacking trip from the US to Colombia. I had worked for two years, saving money for this trip while living at my parents.

I had all my money in cash, with my plane ticket, passport, and driver's license in a plastic envelope. I promptly put the envelope in the compartment in the seat in front of me and fell asleep during the flight. I leave the plane, my uncle picks me up from the airport, and drives me to his house.

Two days later, I make a horrific realization. I realize I don't have the envelope with me and I panic. I figure out that I must've left it in the plane, so I immediately call the airport and the airline. I get to the point where a lady is talking to me from the same seat I sat in and says that there is nothing to be found.

Naturally I'm devastated. I spent one of the worst days of my life. Then stars align in the most bizarre way. I get a call from a friend of mine who tells me he's in NY and has been looking for my phone number for three days!

He tells me that during the flight he started feeling nauseated and goes to grab the paper bag to relieve himself, when he finds $6,500 in cash and my passport and driver’s license. He can't believe his eyes.

He then proceeded to wire the money and FedEx the documents, basically saving my life. The year I spent backpacking was one of the best experiences I've had and wouldn't trade it for anything. This happened nine years ago, and I call my friend every April 23rd to thank him and destiny for saving my butt.

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3. Drinks On Me

I actually won a free dinner at a local three-star restaurant recently—however, though the food was free, the alcoholic drinks weren’t. I knew a guy who was down on his luck so I asked him if he wanted to have the dinner with me. He accepted graciously as he was living off of ramen noodles and living with a friend.

We had a great meal and I had a few lagers during the meal, yet he had water. The meal was coming to an end and I asked him if he wanted something to drink besides water. He told me that he could not afford it as he knew that drinks like that were not included in our meal. But I had just the plan.

I "went to the bathroom" and asked the waiter to give him a margarita and tell my friend that it was on the house. When I got back, my friend looks at me and just smiled as half of his margarita was gone.

We stayed at that restaurant for another hour talking about the good times of our friendship while drinking, on my tab. He is one of my best friends today and is doing much better in life now.

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4. A Little Slice Of Heaven

After a virus as a kid, my body was borked to the point where, when this story takes place, I can’t walk very well at all and I'm weak as a kitten. I can walk a little, even though I look ridiculous whilst doing it. I do need a wheelchair to get around, but I don't own one at the moment.

There are reasons for this, but I won’t go into them now. So long story short, I'm housebound a lot, can't do many fun activities that people usually like sharing, and I'm a pain to hang out with. I tend to need propping up if walking longer than just down my garden path, I can be embarrassing because of how I look when I walk, how out of breath I get because of the stiffness and pain etc.

I didn't think I'd find anyone to put up with any of this. My experiences just confirmed this suspicion. I've had massive blows to my confidence. I had one incredibly painful heartbreak. I've had people being cruel.

I stopped trusting people. I thought that I had pretty much no luck left when it came to dating. That my situation was just too far gone. But then everything changed. I got brave on OkCupid. I don't know where I got that courage from after everything, but I saw a guy and I messaged him.

I was very honest on my profile about my disability, and that caused me to not get many replies or messages at all. Plus, if we're honest, I'm not a hottie—at least not enough for people to overlook the other stuff.  I really liked the sound of this guy, really did.

But I had liked the sound of guys before, people I had lots in common with, and never got replies. I definitely wouldn't get a reply from this guy…He replied. And he kept replying.. Then we kept chatting. Then we met up in my home town.

I remember the first time seeing him face to face. I knew he was quite good-looking from his pictures…but they did not do him justice. My legs would have turned to jelly, if they weren't pretty much jelly already.

My first thought was 'Welp, I'm screwed. Let’s be honest, a guy that good-looking doesn't need to bother with a slightly unattractive disabled girl no matter how great we get on”. The words “Welp, I'm screwed” were literally in my head as I looked at his face, as he said hello.

I was smiling at myself. He probably thought I was just being happy, smiling politely. I was actually smiling morbidly at myself in an “Oh god, this is so ridiculous, what am I doing, why did I agree to this, when is he going to start running” way. I was proven so wrong.

After that first meet, he kept bothering with me. Then one time, he bothered to kiss me. I've gotten on brilliantly well with guys before, but it's mostly ended up with them referring to me as “bro”—not a kiss. I was so nervous. Oh God, I had forgotten how to kiss…but that's okay. He just kept doing it.

I'm still sitting here, not really understanding how I got so lucky. I still worry that he won’t put up with me being disabled for long, but he doesn't seem to have a problem with it for now. He offers to take me places, tells me he'll make sure I get around okay.

I feel like I'm somehow tricking him, sometimes. He looks at me and treats me like I'm just another human being, another worthwhile human being. It's been a while since that happened. He looks at me in a way that I didn't really look at myself.

I must be tricking him into doing that. It's confusing to me. Is he just going to snap out of it one day? Or perhaps someone is tricking me. This is all a big joke. Then I remember the time we were sitting in my room, watching a film, and he had his arm around me, my head on his chest.

I remember how he was stroking my back with his fingers. I remember him tracing a love heart on my bare skin. I remember smiling, and cuddling up closer to him as he kissed the top of my head. And remembering that makes me think things will be okay, at least for a while.

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5. The Knuckleheads Get A Win

Me and a friend of mine decided to just say “screw it all, let’s go to Ohio for the weekend". Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but me and him were in the Navy stationed in Great Lakes, IL, and where we were going in Ohio was out of the range we were permitted to go.

We leave Friday afternoon and have to be back at 9 am Sunday. We get back on Friday night and part ways for the night. He had some friends from Michigan to hang out with, I had family and my girlfriend to hang out with.

Fun things ensue here as we make the time well worth it. Saturday night rolls around and we figure that we had better leave at precisely a certain time to get back with 30 minutes to spare. Of course, the return trip wasn’t that easy. On the way back we had setbacks, and we hit a traffic jam at 5 am.

A semi somehow hits an overpass and concrete explodes overhead of us and we narrowly get out of the way. Through all of that, we figure out we will get back with 5 minutes to get to the duty section roll call. Thirty minutes out, of all the people to drive past in Chicago, of all the time we spent on the road, we drive past the Lead Petty Officer of our barracks in his ballin' sports car.

He looks right at us and kinda quirkily turns his head, like he wasn't sure if he really just saw us but with enough glare to hint that we were screwed. There was only one thing to do. We floor it in order to get away from him on the highway and get back to base.

We park the car and run our butts to the barracks as fast as we can. We have six minutes. We walk into roll call like champs right as they say our names (we were one after the other) and are feeling SWEET at this point.

But then the lead petty officer walks in and says "Where the heck have you been?” We just about soiled our pants when of all people the Chief of the barracks, who just happens to be walking past, peeks in and says "What do you mean?" But there was a twist.

After a brief explanation from the Lead Petty Officer, our Chief says "No, that couldn't have been them, about 6 am I heard those two idiots by the vending machine (which happened to be located just outside his office). The things these guys say are really just too dumb to even think they could do otherwise, ha”.

As it turns out, two guys who didn't like us a whole lot (and by that I mean we had scuffled with them before) were ACTUALLY MOCKING us and imitating us at the vending machines at that time. They must have had godly impressions as well because it got us off the hook. We kept our mouths shut the whole time and never questioned a word of it.

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6. The Power Lives In You

Half a decade or so ago, I was in the throes of a devastating depression. My provincial government had declared me to be unemployable because of the severity of my illness. They paid for me to see professionals for help, and put me on social assistance so I could pay rent.

After weeks and months of therapy and going back and forth between my therapist, psychiatrist, and family doctor, I finally had a meeting with my social case worker. She asked me how my treatment was going, and then said some things that the others did not.

She told me things like, "You don't belong here. You're intelligent, charismatic, and dedicated”. Then she asked me the question that changed my life. "If money and illness were not an issue, what would you be doing with your life?"

I timidly told her that I had, before my depression, wanted to go to a Buddhist Abbey on the other side of the country and try Buddhist monasticism for a year. She asked me what it would take to get me there and I told her the cost of living and transportation.

Then she made me a very real offer: "If you can save to cover the cost of living, I will buy you a ticket to get out there. We'll make your dream come true”. Then, something inside of me clicked. Without saying so directly, she told me that she believed in my dreams, she validated my aspirations and wanted to help me to get there.

A total stranger whose only job was to make sure I was complying with the government's rules about being in the social assistance program...it struck me in a way that nothing else had before.

Very quickly over the next several days and weeks, my depression mostly lifted. It lifted enough for me to be able to find and hold down a job. During this time I met my biological father for the first time and, to this day, we have a very good relationship.

I never did go to that Abbey; the cost of living was out of my league (even though it was, at the time, only about $6,000), and I'm now living a very good life with my boyfriend of over a year. But I'll never forget the way that woman saw something in me that made her believe in me, and how that caused me to start believing in myself again.

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7. How Sweet

I was working at a Longhorn Steakhouse as a hostess, and one day this family came in with a severely handicapped (physically and mentally) daughter. They were paying with coupons, and while bussing the table next to them I heard them saying that they wanted dessert, but couldn’t afford it.

I walked up and awkwardly asked if I could buy them one because their daughter reminded me of my uncle, and I missed him. It gets even more tear-jerking. They seemed delighted and told me that the reason they wanted dessert was that it was their daughter’s birthday, and introduced me to Crystal.

I bought their dessert and said goodbye after a pretty long conversation. Crystal came in about three months later and still remembered me as the girl with the cake and almost got my name (Kara instead of Sarah), which is pretty rare. It’s one of my happiest achievements.

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8. Shedding Your Skin

I struggled with obesity my whole life. I had always been overweight, but once I hit 18 I ballooned up past the 300 mark. I had to buy size 48 pants for a job I had. I would say at my biggest I was pushing the 340-350.

I honestly couldn’t tell you because I would only weigh myself every so often. I managed to get down to about 310 after switching from working in retail to a restaurant, but I still was around 310-315ish. Then I finally had an epiphany. I decided enough was enough.

I was going through a rough time in my life with a bad breakup and decided to use my negativity towards something positive. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t sit around and drink myself stupid feeling sorry for myself, so I started exercising.

I then had an idea to train for a full marathon. My best friend had run one, so it was pretty much like “If he can do it, why can't I?" So, slowly but surely I changed my ways. I stopped eating so much and started working out like a madman.

Fast forward nine months and I am down to less than 200 pounds. Fast forward another three months and I ran my first ever race, finishing in at 3:47, which for a newbie is pretty impressive. Now I am a runner who trains 6 times a week, runs as a pacer for major running events in the area, and will hope to beat my PR of 3:22 this fall.

It took me so long and so many failed attempts at losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle, and when I finally made it work it felt so good.

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9. Life Is A Highway

When I was younger, about 14, I was in a car accident with a group of friends. The car rolled, and there were four of us in the car. My friend and I made it out with scrapes and bruises, but the other two suffered severe injuries, and one, unfortunately, passed a few days later.

I suffered extreme PTSD and would not go anywhere near a car for the next year. To leave the hospital, I walked half of the way because I was so terrified of vehicles. I also had survivor's guilt, and nothing I did seem to help it.

How can you go on living for someone and make up for both of the lives, yours and the other person's? But, one day about a year later, my mom called and told me that she was stranded in a bad neighborhood and her car had stalled.

She asked if I could come and pick her up. At first I asked her to call my dad, but he was busy at work, away from his phone. So, I got into the car and just drove. It sounds so simple, but the entire time I was going about 30 mph under the speed limit.

I was sweating, about to hyperventilate, and it was excruciating. Eventually, I got my mom and we made it home safely. By the way, no one knew the severity of my PTSD. They all just assumed it had passed in the year following the accident.

I sat in the car and sobbed into the steering wheel, because I finally realized that I could drive again, and it was really cathartic. Driving was something that I had really enjoyed. I know it sounds so minute and insignificant, but overcoming PTSD is one of the most challenging things in the world, and I hope I never have to experience it again.

I just recently drove from Tennessee to New Mexico for a summer trip. You see so much of the country from driving.

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10. It Takes All Kinds

My mom lost her favorite watch on the beach when we were on vacation in Mexico. Three or four days later, we are sitting around the hotel pool and she mentions something about being bummed about the lost watch.

The family sitting next to us happens to overhear. "You lost a watch? We just found one on the beach earlier today!" They bring it down from their room. Lo and behold, it's the same watch!

It still worked, too, despite the finish being all scratched up from tumbling around in the sand and salt water. This was probably 7 or 8 years ago. The dad of the family had a pretty sweet cheeseburger tattoo on his shoulder that I still remember. Claimed his grandfather invented the cheeseburger.

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11. Gold Star

Got hooked on some bad habits. Failed a lot of exams and got thrown out of school for causing an accident involving a lot of sodium in the chemistry lab...That led to me being thrown out of my home. So I moved in with my grandparents, kicked the habits, and pretty much started from scratch.

Two years later, I'm waiting to hear back on the grades from my last exams knowing that I haven't failed a single one (a few low grades but no fails). I've also achieved 10 points toward an Open University degree and I've been offered several university places.

I'm not the person I was two years ago. I've also recently come off medication for anxiety and panic attacks. I'm pretty chuffed with myself.

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12. Lightning Does Strike Twice

A few years ago, my brother was skiing through the woods with about two feet of fresh snow. At one point, he falls and his phone fell out of his pocket. Unfortunately for him, he didn't notice it and continued on his way.

He took the same trail on the next run and somehow got separated from his friends on the way down the mountain. So he stopped and reached for his phone to call his friend. After realizing he didn't have his phone, he starts to get pretty angry.

Then he hears a ringtone that sounds exactly like his. He started searching through the snow trying to find the source of the ringtone. Sure enough, it was his phone he heard and it was his friend calling to see where he was.

My brother lost his phone in two feet of snow in the middle of the woods and just happened to stop in the exact same place where he lost it, at the exact same time someone was calling his phone. Seems pretty miraculous to me.

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13. Soulmates Find Each Other

I was born with a relatively minor birth defect that resulted in my left eye becoming blind and deformed, so I have a glass eye. It's amazingly well made, and very hard to tell when you meet me. It's obvious that something's wrong, but most people just assume that my working eye is lazy.

When it's out, though, I suddenly turn into Two-Face: left side of the face is droopy, eyelid's mostly closed, and there's this tiny discolored misshapen mess staring out at you from that spot where normal folks keep their left eyeball.

Every so often, the bad eye gets infected and I need to keep the prosthetic out for a few days. I can wear a patch, but they're uncomfortable and attract pirate jokes, so I tend to go all hermity when the glass eye isn't in. Normally I'm pretty confident and outgoing, but I turn into an absolute recluse.

I met a girl at a party about five years ago. She ends up dating one of my good friends. We become close. After about a year, they split up. We stay close. We decide we can never date, because that would "be weird”.

One night, she calls me and says she's going to a bar a block from my place. I respectfully decline, because it's a patch day. She won't take no for an answer. I agree to meet her for a drink and grumble my way down the street. I had no idea what I was in for. 

One mopey drink turns into many. She gets me to smile. She gets me to dance. She ignores the guys saying "yarrrrrrr" every five minutes. She walks home with me. Neither of us remembers who kissed whom. I do know that she was one of the first women I was actively interested in to get me to take the patch off.

She agreed it was creepy. She didn't try to kill me with fire. That was almost five years ago. A lot's changed. We moved in together, she moved to Nevada for a job, I moved to California, she quit her job and left Nevada, she moved to California, we moved back in together.

We're engaged now. I still usually wear the patch when she's around. Usually.

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14. From Hobby To Business

On a whim recently, I ended up buying the stuff needed to make soy candles. It's been six months, and I've sold 1,000 of them. They're sold in three stores already—one of them being on State Street in Madison, WI; State street is an extremely popular place for shopping and dining.

I'm hoping I can grow this into my full-time profession. I think this is the proudest I've ever been of myself.

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15. Not Like The Other Girl

Alright, story time. I'd just finally dumped a horrible, on-again, off-again manipulative girlfriend. I went away to this weird hippy camp thing for a week over new year’s. A few of my friends were there, and it was promising to be an excellent week of relaxation.

My second day there, I start to check out this beautiful young blonde. Total ten, absolutely gorgeous, literally made me fall out of my seat when I first saw her. Later on that day, she comes up and introduces herself. For the next week or so, I don't think we spent more than an hour apart from each other.

I'd gone from almost two years of stress, drama, self-loathing, and depression to a week with the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. Getting her number at the end of the camp was like waking up after a storm to find the garden of Eden outside.

It really did turn my life around. Also, I had a sweet hammock set up like right outside my tent.

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16. It’s My Lucky Day

When the fifth Harry Potter was released, I was on a vacation to DC. Not wanting to miss the release, I went to the midnight release at a bookstore I found. It was packed, and everyone was all dressed up.

When you got in they gave you a ticket, and three people got a free copy of the book. Well guess what. #555 was the last number they called, and I got to skip a huge line and got the book for free, in a bookstore in DC I will never go to again. I was amazed.

Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire FactsFlickr, Maciej Lewandowski

17. Worth It

I'm an extremely stingy person when it comes to panhandling and similar acts, so maybe once every five years or such I'll hand change to someone asking for money on the side of the road. On this particular Monday, I had received an unexpected $5 tip from a customer at work.

She handed it to me as a thank you for something or other and since she didn't toss it in the tip jar, I was allowed to keep it. At this point in my life I was living hand to mouth, and that money could buy enough bread and cheese for a week’s worth of meals. That $5 was a big deal.

I usually headed to the Food Lion right around the corner from my house, but as I wanted to get as much food at once for as little as possible, I planned to hit up Walmart a bit farther down the road.

I was sitting in the left-hand turn lane about four cars back, waiting for the light to change, when I noticed a homeless man directly next to me. I recognized him as the guy who often slept next to the vending machines outside the Food Lion.

Suddenly, I wanted to give him that $5. I didn't really need it. I hadn’t been expecting it. Someone gave it to me, I could give it away. So I handed over my fiver and the guy begins to ramble. I was expecting a "Thank you and GOD BLESS"…but it was not to be.

The man proceeded to tell me to be careful. He stated that it looked like it was going to rain and that we all knew how Florida and tourist drivers were. They never thought about how the little bit of sand often on the roads and medians would only help you to slide once the rain started and the oil slicked up.

I had better be careful. I was nodding and trying to ease away before the car behind me started honking because the light had changed to green. The car that had been in front of me was already through the light.

I thanked the man for his warning, pulled up, and turned onto the next road just as a Florida shower started. Not two blocks down the street, a person turning into the median slid into oncoming traffic and T-boned the car that had been sitting in front of me at the light.

If I had not been held back and talked to the homeless man about this exact type of situation, I would have hit both of those cars and compounded the wreck. Best $5 I ever spent.

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18. Long Lost Friend

My grandfather lost his college class ring while swimming in the ocean off of Baja Mexico. It took a long while for destiny to come knocking. Three years later, he gets a phone call from a man who had found it with a metal detector.

The man had called the Alumni Association and searched the records for people who had the initials RHP, which were engraved on the inside of the ring.

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19. Do The Math

I've always been dreadful at math. I failed high school algebra, and I dropped algebra twice in college because I fell too far behind. After coming back to school after a two-year absence, I finally passed algebra. Not only did I pass, but I got 100% on my final exam.

Now I can actually say that I enjoy math.

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20. Stronger Than Yesterday

I finally got the guts to break up with my boyfriend of almost three years. I’ve been dating him since the end of my freshman year. I feel awful because he loves me and wants the best…I just don't love him anymore.

Now the toughest part is not giving in to the occasional loneliness that sets in.

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21. Time Heals

I had Bell's Palsy about three and a half years ago on the left side of my face. I couldn't close my left eye or open my mouth fully for five months (yes, you can sneeze with an eye open). Until it finally happened. I was working out at my university's gym late at night one day, and I remember out of the blue my left eye shut.

I then remember looking at a reflection of myself in a mirror just closing and opening my eye for 10 minutes to make sure it wasn't some kind of fluke. It was pretty much the best feeling in the world.

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22. The Summer I Got Hot

Back in seventh grade, I was kind of a loser. Like, big time. Always eating lunch alone, never having a class partner, etc. That summer, I went to this camp/program. It was only 3 weeks long, but during that time span, I became very good friends with my dorm mates.

They influenced my sense of humor, social skills, my outlook on life, and gave me a massive confidence boost. Fast forward to the start of school, I shed my wings and started anew. I was outgoing, I made people laugh, and made a lot of friends (female ones, too!)

That year, I stood a little taller, I spoke a little louder, and by golly, I was just a better overall human being.

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23. When Life Throws You A Curve Ball

Not me, but my baseball coach used to be a pitcher in the big leagues, but he got in a car accident and broke his neck. They said he would never walk again, but here he is today, COMPLETELY recovered, but no major league teams trust him to be as good as he was.

So now he just coaches his son's little league team. But he is still just as good as he was in the MLB.

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24. Not Just A Number

I was pregnant at 17, delivered at 18, and my parents kicked me out for a bit then took me back in. The baby's father was never around. I was on welfare for two years while going to Medical Assisting school.

I then graduated, started working in the medical field, worked my way up to medical billing, and then left it all after six years to open my own medical billing service. I went from welfare to successful businesswoman with a daughter who's now in college on my dime, because I have dimes to give her now. I beat the statistics.

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25. Fail, Fail Again

I used to be a piece of garbage, scum of the earth loser. I was a huge jerk. I disrespected everyone. Even my own parents. Why they didn't kick me out I don't know, but now I am sure glad they didn't.

I am 100% sure I would have ended up behind bars. Anyway, I found a small college and applied. I got into a Computer Networking program and studied my butt off. I stopped hanging out with my old friends and started sitting in front of my computer, listening to soft music and learning about everything.

Fast forward to today. I am now a level-1 tech at a small business making a decent salary for someone my age (21). I am very intelligent, and I stopped being a jerk to everyone, and whenever I show up to a party everyone loves me for how nice I am.

I did a complete turnaround with my life. Cheers to everyone who changed their life for the better. It's not about how hard you fall, it’s about how high you bounce back up.

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26. This Is A Test

Last year I went through a really hard time at university, basically struggled with the work, let it get on top of me and it was stressing me out trying to get it done in time. When the assignments hit I didn't get a lot of sleep for most of the term, but I’ll never forget the feeling when I handed in the last essay after an all-nighter, and the following week when I walked out of the last exam.

Bearing in mind that I genuinely thought at one point I was going to fail, to be able to get all the work done and get some fairly decent results at the end of it was such an awesome feeling!

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27. Don’t Ever Stop Trying

I broke my back this summer and was left paralyzed from the hips down. I was in the hospital for 12 days, and then they moved me to a rehab facility in my hometown. When I got to the rehab, I was barely able to slide down a sliding board into my chair.

I was still in so much pain that I could only be in the chair for a couple hours at a time. I feel like they moved me out of the hospital too quickly. I had a 6-hour back surgery for God’s sake. I couldn't even sit up properly on my own. But somehow, it got more terrible. The nurses at the rehab made me want to roll my chair into oncoming traffic. They were rough, rude, and rushed.

Ughh...I had it out with more than one of them because I was tired of being treated like an inmate instead of a patient. It wasn't long before I started doing everything on my own. I was in so much pain, but if I didn't do it myself, it wouldn't have gotten done.

Once the swelling in my back went down and I was able to stay in my chair for most of the day, I spent as little time in the rehab as possible. There was a park across the street I would go to park my wheelchair in, just to escape.

When it was time for physio, I showed a lot of improvements. I was always pushing myself to the limit on the mat. Trying to balance on my hands and knees, different stretching positions, rolling from my back to my stomach, along with all the exercises they were getting me to do.

My physios were pretty impressed with how hard I was trying to succeed. About a month in, I was in the shower and leaned forward to grab something. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I saw a flicker in my left upper/inner thigh, and tried again to move it. I imagined pulling my knees to my chest.

The muscle was very weak, but it was moving on command! I was pretty proud of this and shed a few tears. It's amazing how such small things mean so much. The remainder of my time at the rehab was spent focusing on upper body strength, safe transfers to and from cars, uneven transfers, all that jazz.

My leg just continued to get stronger and stronger. I can now tighten my left thigh abductor and hold it. Even after showing my physios the improvements, they didn't give me much hope. I have partially gained back my bowels and bladder.

I know when I have to go to the bathroom, but once I feel like I have to go I have a very small time frame before I can't hold it in. I have been just timing when I went last to help prevent this from happening. Once I'm on the toilet I can push out most of the urine, but I have been doing an ICP to see how much is left after voiding.

So hopefully I will get all that back soon! I left the rehab center last week, so now I am without any physio. For some reason, my therapist wouldn't even recommend me for outpatient physio.

Maybe I should give you some idea of how my legs are feeling. In the beginning, it felt like there was an electric current going through them all the time. I couldn't feel anything though. Over time, my level of sensation increased drastically.

I now have about 75% feeling in my legs now. I can feel massage, pressure, and most light touches. Some areas are much more sensitive than others, but it's pretty random on both legs. When I visualize moving a muscle, I can feel small waves of pressure and pulses going through my legs.

It's hard to explain, but I'm trying. And the spasm, don’t even get me started. When I have a spasm, I can feel that individual muscle tightening, and I can feel the pressure released right before the spasm stops. Since I have my hip flexors, I can control my spasms as well.

I'm sure there is more, but I've already written way more than I planned on. My legs are waking up! I can feel it! I can feel improvements every day.

Big And Small TriumphsPexels

28. Someone Guessed The Theme Correctly

I was at Burger King one day in high school, and they had one of those giant jars filled with jelly beans on the counter and a sign that said "Guess the closest number of jelly beans and win a prize!"

Being the idiot that I was, I wrote down "420 beans" and dropped it in the box. They called me two weeks later saying I had won. My prize? A kite.

Hilarious comebackPexels

29. A Miraculous Turnaround

I think sometimes healthcare workers forget that while they are at their job, and can hang their lab coat up at the end of the day, this is your life. I was listed for a double lung transplant after 26 years of battling cystic fibrosis, a genetic lung disease that gets progressively worse.

I had to fight every step of the way to get listed, get treated properly, and be taken care of. I waited for 11 months with no calls, not even a dry one. My mom, doctors, and I were scared I was going to perish before I got lungs. So we did something really crazy.

My mom and I packed up her small Honda and drove two thousand miles on a split-second decision (decided on a Monday, left that Wednesday) to a transplant clinic on the East Coast that has a better record of transplant success and a general waiting time period of four weeks from the time you are listed to the time you receive your new lungs.

I stopped taking narcotics, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety pills due to their protocol, started working out every day (which started out slowly, but eventually progressed) and over the course of six months went from being told to go into hospice care to being too well for transplant!

This was a bit over a year and a half ago, and while I still have lots of health problems and still spend a few months a year in the hospital, I am a completely new person and functioning like I never expected.

I will need a lung transplant in the next few years, and it doesn't cure me, just extends my life for longer, we hope. I have a wonderful boyfriend who has supported me through all of this and a family who is helpful and supportive.

I did what I didn't even know was possible, let alone my doctors back home. You can do it—it may happen slower than you’d like, but don't give up. Don't stop. I am thankful every day for the breathing my lungs do, even if it is only 30% of what a healthy person's can.

Big And Small TriumphsPexels

30. I’m Still Standing

I was hit by a car while cycling in May 2008. C5-C6 and L4-L5 were herniated and pinched off the nerves. My legs felt like they were on fire and the fire was being put out with a gasoline-soaked whip made out of live electrical wire.

Yes, my bladder shut off (most embarrassing moment of my life). Luckily, 36 hours later I could walk, with a walker. I was so slow that an 80-year-old woman carrying a chair asked me to get out of her way.

Today...When I have to pee, it is now. The tank fills with no warning. Spasms? Not as many as before, but when they come, the agony. Leg strength? I get tired walking up two flights of stairs (I used to bike 30km per day). Physio didn't do much.

You've got to wait for the swelling around the nerves to diminish. Physio didn't help with that. Chiropractic? Was a big help and I thought they were a bunch of quacks before this. My employer? Laid me off 6 months later.

Coincidence? They laid off another person that had a back injury that spring. Sense of touch? I used to have ticklish feet, not anymore. But here’s the good news. I played softball this summer. Not a lot but I don't measure playing time by the inning anymore.

I can stand on my tip toes on one foot if I'm not tired. Took 4 years to do it. I played golf this summer and wasn't any worse than I ever was. I didn't pay (pain-wise) after, the best part. Cycling is now a pastime.

I bought a Coker Monster Cruiser and enjoy the ride. Don't be impatient with whatever you’re trying to achieve. I have a BIG problem with anger management from all of this. I only admitted this, this past weekend. So, I guess counseling is coming.

I met a lot of cancer patients during my hospital stay, many have passed. I'm still here.

Big And Small TriumphsShutterstock

31. Life’s A Beach

A bit over four years ago, I won the Founder's Award for my company. It came with a week-long trip for two to Hawaii, and I took the plunge and invited this girl I'd been flirting with some. We'll be married three years in August.


32. Doing It For Themselves

I've just started making a living as a performing singer/songwriter. I’m not rolling in the dough like they are in the top 40, but I eat well and support my wife and myself just fine. I'm pretty proud of it. It's not easy being an entrepreneur, much less one based in the arts.

Big And Small TriumphsPexels

33. I Scream, You Scream

When I was a kid, ice cream cones always had summer promotions, one being a prize cone under the lid, for every 1 in 6 cones. One year, I bought a raspberry cone because there was none of the chocolate left.

Guess what? I won another cone. But that's not all. I went to the store; out of chocolate again, collected my free raspberry ice cream, and ate it. I should mention here that I really disliked raspberry, even in ice cream. But I won again.

I was pretty stunned, you know, but of course, these things happen, and it just so happened to me. As a superstitious kid though, I thought I had unlocked the secret to life. I collected my free cone off a free cone the next day (raspberry, by choice), won again.

By then, my whole school had heard about it and I was Lady Luck to all. A following came around to see me in miraculous action the next time. I don't know why, maybe I had just had enough of those raspberry cones, but I chose a chocolate cone and walked out of the store, where my people were waiting.

I didn't win, but it was the finest chocolate ice cream I'd ever eaten.

Common Courtesy fly out factsShutterstock

34. It’s All Gonna Be OK

Once, my dad was sick and in the hospital because his Crohn's disease was acting up, and I went to some BINGO at my local synagogue to distract me from the pain. The universe sent me a tiny message that day. I ended up winning a giant gift basket filled with chocolates, and my dad got much better quickly.

Big And Small TriumphsShutterstock

35. The Good Samaritan

My friend and I were studying abroad in New Zealand. We went out for a night, and after a lot of drinking, he realized that he had lost his passport. We spent the next hour retracing our steps, but couldn't find it anywhere.

The next day, he called the US embassy and found out that he was going to have to fly up to Auckland, fill out a bunch of forms in person at the embassy, and then put in a rush order for a new passport.

It was going to take about 3 days and cost him over a thousand dollars to do all of it. He was in the process of booking his flight and hotel up there and checked his Facebook while waiting for the airline's page to load.

There was a message on there from somebody who had found his passport in the gutter and managed to track him down on Facebook. He was literally two seconds away from spending some major money. Got the passport back, bought the guy a couple drinks, and everything was all good!

Safe Road FactsUnsplash

36. Right Place, Right Time

A friend of mine lost his wallet. He had no idea where it went. Weeks later in a shopping center carpark, an elderly woman picked up the wallet and handed it over to a passerby who could probably decipher the name on the driver’s license better than she could. The woman handed the wallet...to his sister. What are the odds?

Big And Small TriumphsShutterstock

37. A Cushion Cut And Dry Situation

About 5-6 years ago, my mom and I were at Walmart going back to our car when mom noticed something shiny on the ground. It was a 1.5-carat diamond that my amazingly honest mother took to the authorities…where someone had literally just reported it missing. It was some sort of family heirloom.

Big And Small TriumphsShutterstock

38. One Of Us

This fall I was on a date, walking in the park with my date and dog. As we headed back, I realized my keys were missing. I stayed calm, and my date and I easily walked two miles using our iPhones as flashlights, weaving through pedestrians, a drum circle, and a bunch of folks juggling/poi spinning/hooping.

Desperate to get my keys back, I posted on Craigslist, but heard nothing. As a last-ditch effort, I posted to my city's subreddit, and a Redditor found and returned my keys. He was one of the drum circle jugglers; I am also a juggler. Best day ever, and reward paid.

Unsolved Mysteries FactsShutterstock

39. Fancy Seeing You Here

I met a girl at a bar. She had a fake ID and for whatever reason showed it to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was my best friend's sister's ID. Her sister had never lived where we were, and I asked the girl where she got the ID.

She said got it from a bar near the border (we lived in central Texas). I texted my friend and she told her sister, who confirmed going to the bar and losing her ID there. Even better: That night the girl was nice enough to give my friend’s sister her ID back!

Big And Small TriumphsPexels

40. A Needle In A Haystack

I usually drive to campus since I live in the boonies and there are no bus stops around. One morning, for the first time all year, I parked at a friend’s apartment and rode the bus to campus. I stayed on campus for about four hours before I went to catch the bus back to my car.

While waiting for the bus, I noticed a note that read something like: "Hi, I found your phone. It is in the building right next to this bus stop. Hope you find it”. I thought nothing of it and proceeded to hop on the bus. I quickly realized I took the wrong bus and had to wait 30 minutes until I could get back to campus.

Lo and behold, halfway through the bus route, my friend (whose apartment I parked at) ran on the bus, frantically looking for his phone. He was surprised to see me and I told him about the note and explained it might be his.

Evidently, he had been following every bus with his car so he could ask each bus driver if they had seen it. It was his phone, of course, and we went back to the building and then he drove me to my car.

Pretty random considering 1) it was the first bus I had been on all year, 2) I took the wrong bus, and 3) there's 25,000+ people at my university.

Big And Small TriumphsPexels

41. Mind Over Matter

I got hit by a car at 80km/hr as a pedestrian. I went through the windshield of the car, and then underneath the rear of it for 80 meters. I had a serve brain injury, my left hand was as the doctor described “mashed potatoes”, and one of my legs was 360 degrees behind me.

I was also in a coma for two weeks. This happened three days before Christmas. It was a long road to recovery, but today, as I stand, I am happy. I ski, ride my pedal bike everywhere, and thoroughly enjoy my life. Hang in there, things will get better, as long as you keep your mind positive. It's mind over matter.

Adult Temper TantrumsUnsplash

42. Never Too Early

I crushed my 2nd and 3rd lumbar 15 years ago snowboarding. To keep this sweet and simple, I got on my feet as quickly as possible. It would take me upwards of half an hour to walk to the bathroom 1mm at a time, with a cane.

The cane became an important part of my rehab as I would use it like a pair of nun chucks, stretching the back and aligning muscles. It took nine months before I was even remotely “normal,” but to this day I have had zero problems with my back and I believe it had a lot to do with the fact I kept my back in motion with range.

Big And Small TriumphsShutterstock

43. Putting In The Hours

Getting a pass equivalent in a maths qualification was a victory for me. Naturally, for me, maths has always been my weakest subject. After failing it in school, I ended up retaking it again the next year after. The news broke my heart. Again I failed.

However, I took up a college course in the December of last year to help me to retake it again in school. Every Thursday I went to study for two hours until suddenly I was told there was an exam at the end of it—this was unknown to me when I applied.

Anyway, I did the test, and I failed. So by now, I was just feeling pretty bogged down and I really wanted to turn my back on mats or good. But, we had the chance to do it again the week after. So there I was answering the questions, hands shaking and all.

I completed the test and nervously waited for my results. I managed to get over 60% and it was officially a pass. When she told me I just leaped into the air. I haven't felt that good in a long time. It is most significant to me because this was all I needed to progress onto university in two years and study History.

It just felt good that I actually passed my maths, and did something. And plus, there was a 100% pass rate out of my class. One of the best days of my life thus far. I'm still awaiting the results of the test I did in my school for the third time. However, it would not matter now.

Big And Small TriumphsShutterstock

44. Moving On Up

Before college, my girlfriend of three years dumped me. I failed college. Came back home. Woke up one morning and just decided to unscrew my screwed-up mind. Two years later, I have an awesome job and started school again. I just need a semester (or two) to obtain my Associate's Degree.

Double livesShutterstock

45. Nerds In Love

I was told constantly growing up, "Ohhh but you have such a pretty face!!!" which is code for "but you're ugly because you're fat”. I genuinely prepared for a life of spinsterhood by the time I was 21.

Over in Germany, a young boy was told growing up that he was ugly. Which was weird considering how handsome he actually is, objectively speaking. Moving to the USA was no easy feat for him, but moving over here with a brain as smart as his—the "typical girl" just was not into him.

He mentally beat himself up over it and eventually prepared for a life of being single as well. After years of both of us trying to find someone, we both had been let down so many times...both of us had almost all but given up on ever finding that one special person.

The two of us honestly believed we didn't deserve happiness and love, or that we’d ever find it. We both were on OkCupid, however. One day he messages me to say what a beautiful smile I have. I message back, then get his number, and we set up a date for that Sunday.

The date is the best date that either of us had been on—and we went back to his place for making out. After four consecutive days of dates and spending time together, we’re boyfriend and girlfriend.

Flash forward to four years, two months later to July 31st, 2011—Harry Potter's birthday, and our wedding date—the geekiest wedding us two could possibly imagine (light saber battle, Frodo stealing the rings, nyan cat cake, etc.) and the beginning of our nerdily-ever-after.

And at the end of this month, we'll be celebrating our one-year anniversary.

Big And Small TriumphsPexels

46. Young Love

I'm 16 and this was about a month and a half ago. I'm a nerd at school and it doesn't help that my school is all boys. The only contact I have with girls is at sports clubs and walking to/from school.

I had previously asked three or four girls out with no success, although I don't consider myself ugly. I know I'm not a 10 by any means but I don't think the fact that I'm not exactly cool and I'm skinny as heck help either. Most of my friends have at some point kissed a girl and I was starting to wonder when I would ever get the chance.

I certainly didn't want to start my new school (starting in September) as a lip virgin. But equally, I didn't want to kiss any old girl just for the sake of being able to say I kissed someone. Now to the day it happened...I was with my brothers and my dad at a hotel for a charity weekend event thing.

In the morning I went to breakfast and saw this girl I knew from previous weekends and we decided to go round the activities together. So we go round and mess about for a while until we got bored, and then we went back to my hotel room.

We watched TV for a bit then she asked if I was ticklish. I am. She started tickling me so I tickled her back. We did this for about 10 minutes until I turned over on the bed and she was right in front of me. We looked into each other’s eyes and it felt like an eternity.

Then instinctively, I leaned in and kissed her gently, and then she started kissing me full-on. I pulled back for a second and she just smiled at me and then kissed me again, leading me in the merry dance. We did that for about 30 minutes, the whole time I was thinking "Am I dreaming? Is this real? I’m actually kissing a girl!"

After being rudely interrupted by my brother we left and walked around the hotel just finding places to kiss where no one could see.

Big And Small TriumphsPexels

47. A Key Story

This was in Lake Louise, Canada. I'm sure you've all seen the pictures. When it freezes over in the winter, thousands of people walk across it creating millions of footprints across its two-mile length.

At the end is a waterfall that freezes over, and my dad, brother and I climbed to the top and slid down. We walked back to the Chateau and then to our car...and that’s when the panic hit. The car keys are gone. After laughing at what we thought was a joke, it turned into a frenzy. We had rented the car from Calgary—many hours’ drive away.

My dad is now super angry and frustrated, using the Chateau’s phone to call for a personal carrier to drive to Banff and drop off a set of keys for us and drive back. It is going to cost a FORTUNE.

Since my brother and I were younger, we were annoying, so my dad gave us a couple bucks to find a vending machine or something. Anyways, he's breaking down on the phone about the bill and my brother and I are sitting on some benches kicking our feet and thinking about how awful this is going to be, and how bad we felt for our dad.

Then, something miraculous happens. I watch a random guy in this busy hotel walk across the huge front foyer to a desk at the side, and for absolutely no reason I decide I'm going to walk behind this guy and listen to what he's talking about (because I was so bored). Turns out he happened to find a set of keys in a random footprint in the middle of the lake.

I SCREAMED with joy and frantically told him and the front desk lady to wait there and that I was going to get my dad. My dad hung up mid-sentence on whoever he was phoning and ran to the guy I had overheard and they were our keys. But I mean...the MILLIONS of footprints. The chances!

Big And Small TriumphsShutterstock

48. Every Dog Gets Its Day

At age 14 or so, I wandered into a pet store with my brother, who owned a dog. When we arrived, they were about to start a dog food-eating contest. Since we hadn't brought his dog (it was a contest initially meant for dogs anyways) he thought it would be funny to enter me.

The manager thought it was funny and that I could never win. But I had the advantage of strategy and hands and won by nearly 15 seconds in the contest of eating a single bowl of wet dog food (chili flavor). I will never again be as excited as I was that day.

Big And Small TriumphsShutterstock

49. The Long Haul

I've had a crush on my best friend since I was about 15, and I’m 22 now. We went through high school very flirtatiously, normal kid stuff. Then after a bit of a blow-up due to my crush we stopped talking to each other for quite a while.

Fast forward about four years later. I add him on Facebook, we start talking again, back to old times. It’s not long before the two of us are inseparable. Can't help but still have a giant gooey emphatic crush on him.

We each go through a series of awful significant others and then for the last month or so, find each other abandoning all prospective mates and spending quite a bit more time with each other. Still terrified to make my feelings known, I finally let on. But then came the twist.

But of course he knows. It’s so obvious. He doesn't want to move forward because his parents don't approve. I'll cut to the chase. We're together now. He says we're bound by the red thread of destiny. He says I'm perfect and tells me he loves me daily. I couldn't be happier with someone. Only took me seven years!

Big And Small TriumphsPexels

50. Drive Angry

My first time mountain biking was a disaster. I went with a really pretty girl to “beginner mountain bike group”. I thought I did pretty good, but I was scared the whole time. That wasn’t the worst part. The pretty girl was an absolute natural.

She did everything MUCH faster and easier than me. Even so, I was so proud of myself. The following week I wrote the leader of the beginner's group an e-mail asking if they were riding this week. She said they were, but they were doing a faster ride on more technical trails.

I wasn't invited to come. I found out later that day the pretty girl was invited while I got uninvited. I got so angry. I took my bike to the trail system by myself and I took off. I hammered the heck out of those trails. Then something magical happened. All my fear was replaced with anger. I learned that I am a MUCH better angry rider than I am a cautious scared rider.

It won't be long until I am a better mountain biker than the group leader who uninvited me. I've already surpassed the pretty girl and all her natural talent. I'm hitting the trails almost every day and when I do, I lay the hammer down. I'm not yet a technical expert, but I've got a very strong engine from road riding.

Extreme Sports FactsPixnio


Sources: Reddit, ,

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