Woman makes magical decision after losing jobs

August 22, 2011 2:03:50 PM PDT
One of the things we've seen happen as a result of the soft economy, is people re-inventing themselves. Turning the loss of a job into a new opportunity.

It takes courage, but beyond that, an insatiable yearning to do the things you've always wanted to do.

Donna Purnell, a 49-year-old mother of three, is taking the plunge after losing several jobs during the recession.

She has reinvented herself as a daredevil escape artist, "Alexandria the Great."

"At that point after losing three jobs I was really low, my self-esteem and I really needed to find a way to bring me back," she said.

Now low means sinking to the bottom of a pool all while being bound by 20 feet of chains, six padlocks and four pairs of handcuffs weighing 55 pounds. She escapes in just over a minute.

She was inspired by Harry Houdini himself, she began practicing routines with her husband at age 17.

"Houdini actually he was amazing, he was the first to do the straight jacket escape. He would not do it underwater. He said the material was too unpredictable. Alex does it," said Donna.

It took her just 23 seconds to set herself free. The record is 35.8 showing her fans anything is possible.

Now free she hopes her story will inspire others to do the same.

"It doesn't matter your age it doesn't matter your sex if you are in a situation and you think that that's not where you want to be, just go for it. Look back and find out what you're good at and don't let anybody stop you," adds Donna.