IF THE EARLY pandemic fired up anything within us, it was a feeling of We just need to survive this. But then, after white-knuckling through those first few months, some of us started to change . . . for the better. Psychologists call this RESILIENCE, and one 2020 study defines the characteristic as “a protective factor.” The eight men in this collection of stories all suffered soul-crushing events—a roadside explosion, a hit-and-run, deadly avalanches. Despite how different their experiences were, the mental, physical, emotional, and even spiritual growth that came from almost dying imbued them with A NEWFOUND SENSE OF LIVING. They’re proof that resilience is real and can be developed, like a muscle, regardless of who you are.