Charles Rigoulot, 1930. (Photo by Wikimedia Commons).

A person’s true character is tested during times of adversities and hardships. While many believed that courage and strength matter most, it is actually the ability to stay calm and collected and the will to act that separate the boys from the men. To help you appreciate this concept, here are facts about Charles Rigoulot and several mighty men in history:

Charles Rigoulot and his great escape

Olympic gold medalist Charles Jean Rigoulot was a French weightlifter, professional wrestler, race car driver, and actor. He holds over 10 world records in weightlifting and had once been held as the “strongest man in the world”. During World War II, he was imprisoned for hitting a Nazi officer, but he was able to escape from prison by bending the iron bars of his jail cell. He allegedly escaped together with other prisoners.

Dr. Leonid Rogozov who surgically removed his own appendix

During an expedition to the Antarctic, 27-year-old Russian surgeon Leonid Rogozov felt a strong sharp pain on the lower right-hand side of his abdomen. Based on the location of the pain and other symptoms he felt, the surgeon knew right away that he was suffering from acute appendicitis. Since there was no way to get medical help considering their remote location and since he was the only doctor in the place, he had no choice but to operate on himself. He chose a couple of men to assist but he did the work himself, resting every couple of minutes to recover from weakness and dizziness. He was back on regular duty after recovering for just two weeks.

Dr. Barry Marshall who drank H. pylori bacteria to prove his theory

In 1981, Dr. Barry Marshall and pathologist J. Robin Warren discovered spiral bacteria (later named Helicobacter pylori) in many patients with stomach ulcers and gastritis, which led him to conclude that antibiotics can be an effective treatment for ulcers. Unfortunately, the scientific community was firm that ulcers were caused by stress or diet and not by bacteria since they cannot survive in the acidic stomach environment. To test his theory, Dr. Marshall drank a concoction made from cultured bacteria and he immediately came down with gastritis which he treated with antibiotics. He and Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery.