Summer Thrills That Kill

We’ve all experienced the symptoms: your kids are out of school, your friends are at the beach, and you’re sitting at home trying not to lose it as little Johnny makes a sling shot from your new pair of running pants.

Fortunately for all of us, there is a cure for the summertime blues. Today that cure comes by way of a little list I’ve put together featuring a few things that are sure to keep your summer full of excitement.

Just don’t look over your shoulder

Are you tired of not fearing for your life when you walk down the street? Well get off your tookus and get ready to haul tail- we’re going running with the bulls!

That’s right, this all inclusive trip to Pamplona requires a pair of running shoes, a heavy dose of crazy pills, and perhaps or not perhaps a return ticket home, depending on how you fare.

According to a vast bank of knowledge I like to call, “The Internet”, this death-wish event has been a tradition since the early 14th century, and used to have something to do with transporting cattle via fear and footraces. So, basically it all makes great sense.

For a bonus, some bull runners also play leapfrog.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a lunatic

Are you feeling tied down by your routine and unable to take spontaneous leaps into something new? Well get ready, because you’re about to take a great leap alright- right off the empire state building.

BASE jumping is an adrenaline surging hobby created by some folks who just thought plain old “skydiving from an airplane” was for prudes. The point is to jump off buildings, antennas, bridges, and cliffs, and to not become splatter in the process.

While stats say that 59 in 60 BASE jumps don’t end in death, I like my odds of not dying a little better from the sidelines.


Live Bait

Do you like fishing? Do you like big fish… with teeth? Well, rather the reeling them in, you’re going to love diving into the deep blue and going for a swim with Jaws and his pals.

Swimming with sharks, or “shark diving,” is the ultimate adrenaline rush. Shark experts tell us that there’s only a few types of sharks that prey on humans unprovoked… and you know what that means- better get in there and swim with ‘em!  That’s right, sharks are our friends- don’t let Hollywood fool you.

Both named Jaws. Both scary to swim with, I would imagine.

Unnecessary risks

If I’m going to be honest with you, I have to tell you that I’m not the biggest adrenaline junky. I’m not calling out anyone who enjoys defying death for a laugh’s sake, but when we’re talking about seeking our thrills by taking unnecessary risks, I’m satisfied to get my dose by driving in the HOV lane without any passengers.

The Bible talks about this flirting with death, only in a different sense. It talks about people whose “god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.”

In the same vain, Jesus tells us to not fear the life we can lose in the body, but to fear losing eternal life united with Him- the very thing we were created for. For me, that’s something I want to flirt with about as much as I want to flirt with the edge of the Eiffel tower equipped with a hello kitty backpack parachute.

Although I’m not saying Jesus wants us to cower from him or live in constant trepidation that something we do might send us to Hell, I do think He wants us to see things in light of eternity and realize that our decision to follow Him or deny Him will have a forever impact. He wants us to know Him, to enjoy His goodness, and to spend eternity surrendered to him.

And there’s no reason on earth I’d want to risk that.

  • Larry Carter

    For a while, I wanted to go to Pamplona and run with the bulls.  They used to show this on TV on OLN, which became Versus and is now the NBC Sports Network.  After you see a few people gored by a bull, you tend to lose your desire to do this, despite the romantic notions Hemingway can put in your little old head about it.

    • Stephen Haggerty

      Don’t get me wrong… I have zero desire to do this! The closest I get is when my cat chases me down the stairs assuming I’m playing with her ’cause I’m in a hurry…

  • Daniel Carman

    My idea of living on the edge is to drink grape juice in an open-top cup while standing on my light beige living room carpet. You know, one drop could leave a permanent stain. Whoa! Insane, right?

    • Stephen Haggerty

      :) Grape juice?? Are you MAD?!

    • Steve

      I flirt with danger by eating prunes and trying to stay on the safe side of one too many. This game is called Russian bowellette!

      • Stephen Haggerty

        That, my friend, was hilarious. “Russian Bowelette”… What are we going to do with you??

  • Phil Stasyszen

    Another great entry…  I’m with you and am not an adrenalin junkie.  Of course I can injure myself walking down a padded hallway.  Thanks for a laugh this morning!

    • Stephen Haggerty

      Thanks a lot, Phil!
      And hey, those padded hallways aren’t as safe as they used to be…

  • Joe Lalonde

    Loved the post Stephen, even though it looks like I’m the opposite of you. I enjoy taking risks and getting the adrenaline rush. I’ve done skydiving, whitewater rafting, and more. Hoping to do some waterfall climbing this winter. 

    But I’m with you on not wanting to risk eternity in hell. But it’s not just for the sake of avoiding it. It’s because of the price Jesus paid to rescue us from it’s grasp. 

    • Stephen Haggerty

      Thanks, Joe! I like some risks… whitewater rafting sounds like a blast- but you can have the waterfall climbing :)
      Good word re: Jesus and the cost of salvation- I’m with you.

  • Arny

    i would totally sky dive but i’d have a heart attack and that’s just a little to risky for me…
    hello kitty backpack parachute?…i always saw you more of a Dora the explorer backpack.
    “backpack backpack!” sorry couldn’t resist.
    and getting to know HIS goodness is a risk i’m willing to take every single minute of every day!

    • Stephen Haggerty

      I’ve never seen Dora, but that sounds really great ;)
      I’m with you on the goodness factor- Amen to that.

  • Ken Hagerman

    So you’re sating you don’t have the Hello Kitty chute? Whew! I didn’t want to look like a copy cat.

    I’ve been known to imbibe the adrenaline from time to time. I am more partial to the measure risks with the adrenaline pay out in the end. For example, I keep library books past their due date; I drive with the gas light on; I wear my Wiggles T shirt to the biker rally; and I eat the all-you -can-eat Mexican platter followed by pick up basketball at an outdoor park with NO bathroom in sight. What can I say, I live on the edge.

    But risking a post-life without Christ? That’s nuts…;-)>

    • Stephen Haggerty

      :) Those are some crucial examples of arenaline seeking you’ve pointed out. Willfully taking on library fees- you might just have gotten a notch beyond where I’m willing to go…

  • Tyler Hess


    oh! I see what you did there. I don’t want to do those things either.

    • Stephen Haggerty

      Ha… you’re funny, Tyler. And I’m glad we agree. Being gored by a bull doesn’t actually make any life list of mine.

  • Andrew Zahn

    Indoor skydiving! I was hooked on that for a whole summer. 

    Less danger, still the awesome feeling of soaring!

    • Stephen Haggerty

      This is most brilliant, Mr. Zahn… I would love to do that! I love a rush, but I also love the idea of living to see a kid or two grow up. Sounds like you’ve solved my conundrum!

  • Rob Shepherd

    Did I fail to mention to you that we are running with the bulls as a staff this year?

    • Stephen Haggerty

      Dude… I thought you’d said “running of the bologna”- thinking it was some kind of sandwich race. TOTALLY different…

  • Loren Pinilis

    I’ve always thought the running of the bulls would be awesome to attend. That and Times Square for New Year’s Eve. One you run a lot, one you just stand there in the cold for hours on end – but yet you can say you’ve been there and done it.
    I probably will never do either, but who knows – maybe one day they’ll be some internet horror story about my bloody goring.

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