Some of the best moments in life happen when you're not actively seeking them.
The time in middle school when I unexpectedly won the approval of my team mates was an example of my happy accident.
Let me preface this to say I am not blessed with athletic capabilities whatsoever – specifically with sports – and I was always the last to be picked on teams.
It never bruised my ego as it was something I have come to expect early in my childhood that mostly consisted of practicing the flute and drawing manga.
I dreaded P.E. during school. It was not fun and I didn't want to inconvenience anyone who had to engage with me.
Anyway, we were playing softball, and – like Cinderella – I had a tendency of always running away from the ball, mostly out of fear that I would be smashed like a pumpkin.
There I was on the outfield when the opposing team member at bat smashed that ball in my direction like he had some sort of vendetta against me for having chest hair as a prepubescent and he didn't.
I swear I almost saw a trailing flare from that ball aiming for my face like a comet. I froze and instinctively raised my gloved hand in an attempt to shield my precious mug.
Before I knew it, I heard cheers erupting from my team mates in response to the ball that was firmly lodged in my grip, thereby declaring the batter was out.
I didn't earn that victory intentionally. But I sure as heck will own that moment, even if my delicate hand was throbbing inside that mitt.
Wondering about other people's fortuitous twists of fate, Redditor NotGeorgeBush72 asked the askReddit community:
"First bartending shift ever, picked up a bottle of fairly expensive liquor (Patron Añejo). Slipped from my hand, held out my foot to slow the fall of the bottle to lessen the spread of shattered glass, and the bottle ended up resting on my outstretched foot completely unharmed."
"The one customer that was there (slow opening shift) saw the whole thing and freaked out, thinking I've been bartending for decades. I've never felt prouder of my reflexes."
The Close Call
"I stopped a lady at a crosswalk because her underwear was hanging out of the back of her skirt (look like a mistake in the bathroom maybe). She stepped back off the crosswalk in about 2 seconds later a vehicle making a left turn at high speed smashed into parked cars right next to where she would have been standing."
A Clean Save
"Waitressing in college I was carrying a huge tray of dirty dishes from the dining room to the kitchen down a little hallway. I slipped on some water, went down hard on my butt but managed to keep the tray perfectly level and didn't spill a thing. Not a major achievement but kept me from having to clean for the next half hour."
Extreme Sports Maneuver
"One time I was driving a kids bike in small circles so I went a bit too tight on my circle, ended up horizontal with my bike, ending up with JUST the side of the pedal touching the ground, did a full 360 turn, then popped back up like it was some 1000/1000 difficulty BMX move or somesh#t."
"Like.. is that even a move for BMX tricks?? Not sure but I did it, completely on accident but still."
"Accidentally corrected a skid when I lost control of my car on an icy road. I hit my brakes too hard and noticed my car started to drift to the left. Instinctivly, I let off the gas and turned my steering wheel left, into the drift, and my car went back to driving in a straight line."
Too Cool For School
"High school. Walked by 2 kids in the hallway. Kid 1 playfully threw water bottle at Kid 2's back just as we passed each other. The bottle bounced off and I caught it with my hand without looking or even turning my head, and I just had a blank nonchalant expression as I did that. I handed it back to them with a poker face, but I was actually losing my mind and felt like f'king Spiderman lol."
Fate Or Coincidence?
"Bought someone a Coke without looking at it and it had their name on it."
"I got angry, so I crumpled up a receipt and threw it at the wall. It bounced off and landed in a vase on the counter. I stopped in my tracks and thought 'well I can't be mad after witnessing that.'"
The Oblivious Hero
"I had headphones in walking downtown a busy street, a kid almost hit me with his bike coming down the driveway so I stopped it by the handle bars. The mom came running down the driveway and I was thinking 'Oh great, a Karen.' After taking my headphones out she thanked me in a panic for stopping her son from flying into the street as a car passed by. Never noticed it drive by."
"When I was about 14/15 I was rushing down the stairs and tripped about 7 or 8 steps from the bottom, going into complete freefall for a moment. To avoid an extremely painful tumble, I instinctively reached out with my arm and happened to grab the newel post (the end bit of the banister) with my hand at the same time that one of my feet only just managed to make brief contact with a step. The momentum then swung my entire body around the newel post, my foot lost contact with the step again, then when I finally came to a stop I had landed firmly on both feet and didn't have a single scratch on me. One of the scariest moments of my life."
"It's either that or the time I gave my brother in law ball-in-a-cup for Christmas (based on a long-running joke we had, I honestly pick good presents). After trying it out for a good while and having no luck, he got frustrated and jokingly said it was broken. To make him feel better, I grabbed it off the floor and said it took practice and that nobody ever succeeds at getting the ball in the cup right away. To prove my point, I had a go myself and nailed it on my first try. Neither of us really knew what to say."
"I was taking a tour of one of the U.S government buildings, I believe the Capital but I'm not sure, during a school trip. During the tour, the guide showed us a chandelier and asked if anyone knew how much it was worth. Flippantly, I answered something like 4.7 million like I already knew the answer. Turns out, it was the correct answer: the tour guide said 'sounds like someone's been doing his research.' None of my friends believed me when I told them that I hadn't already known the answer. I believed me though."
Tripping The Light Fantastic
"My dad accidentally had the best acid trip of his life at a Grateful Dead concert. I'm old, my dad is old, this happened way back. At age 18, my dad had to wear a body cast due to surgery for his scoliosis. His buddies heard of a Grateful Dead concert a couple towns over in California, and they invited him along. My dad was laid flat in the back of an old Studebaker station wagon for the ride. When they arrived, my dad's buddies asked him to hide their hits of paper acid in his body cast so they could be discrete, since all of them had been arrested for possession prior. My dad obliged and all was going well for a bit. Once the Grateful Dead started playing, my dad was dancing around, best he could, and began to sweat. Cue the paper acid being absorbed into his system and suddenly he's tripping balls at a once in a lifetime concert."
"Christmas Party at a friend's new apt. She'd made the place lovely, after her return from Italy. She's set up her 1st adult Christmas tree. After dinner it's time for pumpkin pie and hot drinks, I'm getting my tea. From across the room I see someone accidentally brushed past the tree and it begins to wobble and spin heading for a fall with all of her hand blown Italian ornaments on it. Somehow I cross the room unspin the tree, set it back in its proper place (with all of its ornaments intact) and never spilled any tea."
The Miracle Shot
"We were playing a game of dodgeball, and since there were too much people on the benches, the coach decided to add a rule: anyone who can throw the ball directly into the basketball-goal (spelling?) can immediately deliver everyone."
"I had one of the balls in hand when he said that, and the moment he signaled the game to continue, I threw the ball randomly (because I have the worst aim ever) and it somehow went straight into it! I never managed to pull it off a second time, but boy was I proud for the entirety of that day!"
Fire In The Hole
"Target shooting at a friends house. He wasn't having much luck with his new rifle so of course I was giving him sh*t big time. He got a bit frustrated, handed the rifle to me and said 'If you can talk all that shit, here you do better than I did' He told me to shoot the bowling pin that hangs by twine on the left. I sarcastically replied "I'll shoot that b*tch down by taking out the string" I put it up to my shoulder, aimed for the center of the bowling pin and pulled the trigger. By some freak chance I hit the twine and the bowling pin dropped. I was celebrating because I honestly had not aimed at the twine. He was a bit salty until I told him that I have no f'kin idea how I hit that string because I wasn't even aiming for it LOL"
All In A Day's Work
"I was a lifeguard on the ocean. I was having a pretty shi* day, and on top of it my lunch was postponed an hour."
"I headed up the beach to the nearest hotel to eat. As I was leaving the restaurant I heard a crowd of people screaming near the pool. As I came down the stairs towards, I saw a young child floating face down in the water. I immediately pulled the kid out and gave rescue breathing until the EMT could arrive."
"The next day the parents walked down to my stand to thank me. They were originally told by their doctors they couldn't have children, but a few years later were blessed with this young boy..their only child. The mother told me I was their guardian angel that day."
"I'm not a very religious person, but this story still gives me goose bumps knowing that I was the right person in the right place at the right time for that boy. I started off angry about my lunch time change, but this was the outcome. :)"