The most critical situation of their lives involved nearly ten weeks half-a-mile below the surface of the earth, not knowing if they'd ever make it out alive.
Sixty-nine days underground.
Never knowing whether you will see the sun or the faces of your loved ones ever again. And grimly knowing that the odds of being rescued are almost nil.
Yesterday, the whole world watched spellbound, hearts in their mouths and tears in their eyes as 33 miners in Copiapo, Chile, emerged miraculously safe as heroes from the treacherous Mina San Jose copper-gold mine that held them captive post a cave-in August 5.
Emotion surged as those gathered around the rescue site cheered on the workers, sang their national anthem and waved flags with cries of 'Viva Chile!' President Sebastian Pinera himself received each miner as they literally stepped out from the bowels of the earth and anxiety-ridden relatives fell weeping with joyous relief into their arms.
To overcome. It is the sweetest victory one can taste, because it involves suffering, struggle and an incredible spirit.
Life's many trials try to knock us down, but the lion-hearted don't give up without a fight.
Are you one of those who has fought back? One of those who cast off the dark cloud of circumstance with indomitable will and a Herculean effort?
Tell us your story of triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. How have you tackled the most difficult situation you have ever been in?
Write in to us at email@example.com (subject line: 'Beating the odds') along with a photograph, if possible, and we'll publish the best entries right here.
Image: Trapped miner Esteban Rojas kneels to pray after reaching the surface on October 13, 2010. He was the 18th to be rescued from the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile.
Photograph: Ho New/Reuters