The Number One Tip which may Save Your Life. #IWSG

Posted: February 4, 2016 in Insecure Writer's Support Group, Personal Safety, Self-defense, Truth
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Wednesday, time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. (My apologies on being a day or so late).

What am I feeling insecure about this month? To put it frankly, my personal safety was put at risk recently, therefore, I’ve been feeling afraid in real time.

I learnt one simple tip though, about 20 years ago, watching an Oprah Winfrey show. This one thing has saved me from a dangerous situation, and has potentially saved my life. Twice. The second event happened to me only recently, less than a month ago. So I thought, for this post, I want to talk about this and spread this vital message.


The Number One Safety Tip: Listen to your gut instinct, and Act on it. Listen and act. Three words which may save your life.

When I was in my early 30’s, I lived in a flat on the beach. A trail ran from my door down the garden, down a trail, under the Pohutakawas onto the sand. I swam every day, at the same time, for a whole year.

About halfway through that year, strolling down for my swim, I had a “funny feeling”. But I ignored it.


One day, about six months later, we got off work early and I went down to the beach a little earlier than usual. I was swimming, and happened to catch a glimpse of someone sprinting along the beach. He looked like a cat cantering along a hot tin roof. I turned around fully and the man had disappeared. Poof! Like the rabbit down a hole, he was gone.

When I got out of the water, as I neared the path, I began to feel weird: my pulse raced, my steps slowed, and my heart ticked faster. I decided to creep into the bushes and take a look further along the track. I clambered up and peered through the branches. Then I became aware I wasn’t alone. There was someone behind me.

I spun around. The man who had been sprinting down the beach was lying sprawled on his side in the grass, from where he could overlook the track without being seen. That was when I discovered that all those stories are true. When you’re in real danger, the adrenalin that takes off within makes you temporarily superhuman.


Like a cat preparing to jump, I coiled way down and sprang up with great force, unlike anything I’d ever possessed, leaping clear over the top of these bushes, landing crouched on the sand below. Without a pause in my stride, like Wonder Woman, or a cartoon figure, I zoomed down the beach, to safety.

The message I had taken away from that Oprah show was this: your gut instinct is your primary self defence mechanism.

Now, life had given me in a lesson in how just how important it was. It could literally be a matter of life and death. I had put myself in harm’s way because I’d been ignoring what my gut was trying to tell me.


The second time I was in a situation where I experienced a gut instinct of danger, was three weeks ago.

I jog every day. One day, I got up earlier than usual, around 7 a.m. I jogged down a dead-end street, wearing headphones.

I noticed a car acting strangely, because it swerved and drove the wrong way around the curved end of the street. The car stopped on the other side of the road where I was heading, with the engine going. I saw the dented sides of the car and the blacked-out windows. My gut said, DANGER!

I turned and ran back the way I had come, quickly taking the plugs out of my ears. If he followed, I decided, I’d turn up a driveway.

The car started moving in the wrong direction, approaching directly behind me on the wrong side of the road! I sped up the next driveway. The car stopped at the letterbox, engine idling. By this time, my heart was thumping, my ears were ringing with sirens and cold sweat trickled down my spine.

I quickly came to a high locked garden gate, two closed garage doors and under a short awning, a front door. I knocked, and knocked. No answer. I was trapped.


Stuck there on their doorstep with my back facing the door, I listened to the engine idling, with only a meter or so between myself and the car. For five agonising minutes, I waited before the car rumbled up the road. I crept out of the driveway an inch at a time until I could see the coast was clear. Then I sprinted for home like I’d never run before.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the people in the blacked-out car wished me ill. And, if I hadn’t heard that vital message on Oprah all those years ago, I might not have reacted the way I did and taken immediate evasive action.

Listen and Act. Three words that may save your life, or save you from even worse.

What about you? Have you ever had a terrifying experience? I’d love to hear from you!


Keep on creating…

Yvette K. Carol


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Time is a great healer, unless you’ve got a rash, in which case you’re better off with ointment. ~ Holly (Red Dwarf)




  1. Wow the beach one was even creepier. It really does pay to switch up times so you don’t become too predictable. I feel like that with the dog walks. I’ve been chased once and so grateful apartments in Paris lock behind you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes. The beach incident creeped me out totally. That was the very last day I ever went swimming there, and I moved shortly afterward!
      I think anyone who walks or runs in public is well advised on this point: switch up times and also routes whenever possible. You were chased once? Eek. I could write a dozen posts on minor incidents that have happened to me over the years.
      I used to like to get up before dawn and go for a walk while the rest of the world was sleeping. One time, I heard a car coming along and just as the headlights swept up the road I was on, I actually leapt bodily down a steep bank and lay there until the car had passed. Only then, did I scramble out and run for home. “Something” told me to hide!
      Nowadays, I like to run in daylight. But even then, you have to “switch it up” as you say!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. emaginette says:

    I’m glad you’re safe. Listening to my gut feelings has saved me as well. It’s also offered guidance if and when I listen. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 2 people

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Anna. Me, too!
      Good on you for listening to your instincts. You’ve got a point there, with the “if and when” because sometimes we can choose to ignore the messages we’re getting. I think it was also Oprah who said life gives you a pebble first, then a brick, before the whole wall comes down. Warnings from our gut can often work the same way!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m also really glad you’re safe! I had one run-in that was definitely scary. I was walking home from high school and some guy in a truck pulled up next to me and asked if I needed a ride. I said no thanks, sped up and cut through people’s yards on side streets (I don’t usually trespass). I saw him circle around a few more times (I may have hid in a bush, too, but I can’t remember too clearly since it was almost 40 years ago) before leaving. I probably should have called the police then, but I was 13 then and pretty scared.

    Liked by 2 people

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Tee! I got little chills all up my arms and legs when I read your story. I’m not sure I could count a single friend who hasn’t had an incident of some sort. One of my oldest girlfriends had a near-attack when she visited India for the first time. Their young guide took her up into a tower, ostensibly to see the ruins, only to turn around and jump on her. She was young and strong and fought him off. Scary, huh?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. yvettecarol says:

    So am I. All this makes me very mindful of the victims who didn’t escape. Terrible things happen to good people in the world. It’s just so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    I’m so glad you’re okay, Yvette. This is an excellent post with an important message we need to remember. Scary stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks for saying that, Lynnie. I nearly second-guessed it, thinking I’m sure everyone has watched Oprah and a gazillion people have seen the same show. But when the incident happened with the car a few weeks ago, I thought of this message afresh, and thought, no, I’ve got to share it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. BunKaryudo says:

    I was sorry to hear about your scary experiences, but glad that both times you managed to get away without anything awful happening. It can certainly pay to be aware of your surroundings, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, a few. But the one that haunts me to this day has to do with a young man I met in a local community theatre group. We worked together to produce plays and I gave this man a ride home after every rehearsal. He helped me close up the theatre late each night. I always had a strange, gut feeling about him and one day he asked if I’d give him a reference to work with children in a group home. I thought about it and told him I couldn’t because I didn’t think it was the right job for him. Less than a year later, he was arrested for the murder of a young neighborhood boy many years before.I spent so much time with this person and I didn’t see the truth that was staring me in the face.I’ve never looked at anyone with naivety ever again and I always listen to my gut feeling about people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Omigosh, Clare, I’ve got chills all over, reading your message! What a huge lesson in life. None bigger. To think, if you hadn’t heeded that gut instinct to say no, that this guy might have successfully groomed you into giving him a way into working with (and preying on) young children. It sends a real shiver down my spine. What a lesson. Thank you so much for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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