I was watching a TV show the other night call “I shouldn’t be alive.” It was fascinating.
It was about a woman who was recollecting on an experience that she had survived when she was 25 years old. This woman had taken a holiday to America and wanted to see the Grand Canyon, but had taken a wrong turn and ended up stranded in the wildest part of the Canyon and off the tourist trails. This woman ended up being stranded for 20 days. She had no water; no food; no change of clothes, and only a dog for a companion. Her only means of survival was to find a small water source that dripped off the rocks and pools of dirty insect infested water, along with her determination and mental strength not to die and live another day to find a way out.
This woman did in fact survive as a group of Native America locals found her, after this women’s family had reported her missing, and her last known whereabouts was the Canyon in which they were able to follow a trail of footprints - of which led off the beaten track, and finally to this woman's location.
This really got me thinking. Today we take our lifestyles for granted. We have at least three meals a day plus snacks. We have enough water to sustain us, but instead we chose to drink fizzy drinks that are loaded with sugar. We have an abundance of clean fresh water to bathe in, and to wash our clothes, as well as to wash our cars etc…yet we take it all for granted. It's funny when you hear many young girls of today saying that they would die if they didn’t have their make-up, and/or favourite hair products. This is funny, considering that we don’t actually need any of these material items in order to survive. We do need water and food, but we don’t need the material items that have enriched our lives to the point where we have become lazy.
The human sprite is extraordinary. Yes we are creatures of habit, and we do become comfortable within our everyday routines, and with the material products that make our lives easier. But when our lives are threatened, when we are stranded outside of our comfort zones with little of no means of survival; it is fascinating the lengths that the human sprite will go to survive. We have an inbuilt survival mechanism within our brains that is suppressed on any given day, yet only comes about when we have only this mechanism in order to survive.
Humans can survive in all areas of the globe. We have adapted and evolved to withstand immense heat and extreme cold. Our bodies work hard to either cool or warm up our bodies, depending on our environment. We can push our bodies to the extent that it is at braking point, and then push it a bit more. We keep putting limits on ourselves to say that we can only go so far; however when we are pushed to the point where we have no choice but to go beyond our means, we are astonished that the human body can withstand even more hardship than first thought.
The lady I spoke about in the beginning, went for 20 days without food. Her body had used up all its fat resources and water reserves within the first 5-6 days; which meant that for the remaining 14-15 days, her body was actually eating itself. All scientific evidence stated that she should have died. She drank dirty water. She was mentally and physically exhausted. She was suffering from dehydration and hypothermia during the nights, and then heat exhaustion during the days. Her body was pushed to its limits, but she survived.
Human beings are remarkable creatures, who can push the boundaries of what was thought possible to new extremes.
Humans can survive in almost any climate condition, and it is remarkable that we can adapt so quickly too.
Right now we need our electronics; make-up; clothes, and other material items that appear to enrich our lives right now; but when pushed to the limit - we realise that we don’t actually need these things. They are just luxuries.
When caught in a stressful or unfamiliar situation, don’t panic. Don’t think this is it. Think positively and think about what you have to live for. You can survive outside your means. You just have to keep focused and believe.
It is extraordinary what we human are capable of in the most adverse situations. Your plane could crash, and you could find yourself in the middle of nowhere for days and weeks without food and drink, and somehow you'll find a way to survive.
No different to if a child was trapped underneath a car: a mother would suddenly ounce the strength to lift the car up to rescue her child/. In normal circumstances we could not do this.
It's true, we only use around 10% of our brain capacities.