5 Superhero Traits All Moms Have
The superpowers you didn't know you had -- until you had a child
Adrenaline fuels more than bravado. It's part of the "fight or flight" response to stress. It raises the heart rate, releases glucose for energy, and increases oxygen flow to the muscles, making them work harder. Net result: a burst of superhuman strength. Ever hear stories of people fighting off sharks or lifting cars and heavy machinery off other people? They're not urban legends.
Laura Patyk was sitting with relatives on the deck of her Indian Trail, NC, home, watching her six kids swim with her husband, Paul, in their in-ground pool. She had just removed the water wings of her youngest, 3-year-old Priscilla, and changed her into play clothes. One minute the preschooler was walking carefully around the outside of the pool within everyone's view, and the next, Patyk glanced over and screamed, "She's in!"
"I don't remember getting from A to B. It was a blur," Patyk says. But everyone else saw her leap from her chair on the deck, run barefoot down six steps, dash across the lawn, and dive into the pool, fully clothed, to rescue her daughter -- all in about ten seconds, even before Paul made it over from the opposite end of the pool a few feet away.
Such feats are known as "hysterical strength." These stress responses aren't recognized by medical science because they're almost impossible to study. But they sure are handy in a crisis.