To be between a rock and a hard place is to be trapped between two alternatives that are equally bad. It refers to a situation when, for example, you are suspended precariously from a rock;trying to get back up and letting go are both tough options.
1. When the tsunami hit the beach resort and flooded the premises, the guests were caught between a rock and a hard place.
2. The lift failed to operate and the staircase was filled with smoke, so the tenants were trapped between a rock and a hard place.
3. If the swimmer refused to give the dope test, he would face allegations of being a drug user and if he agreed the traces of the banned substance would surely show up – he was nicely caught between a rock and a hard place.