It hit me like a train wreck. Everyone in here is batshit insane. Every each person here is fucked in the head.
We were about to run with the bulls. A crowd some two or three hundred strong - waiting for the announcer to start the countdown; the cowboys to corral twenty-eight 2,000 pound beasts towards us at speeds up to 35 miles per hour.
What the fuck was I thinking? Running with the bulls? This is pointless, stupid, and completely insane.
No time to think, countdown's started. I'd been looking forward to this for weeks. Let's go!
It wasn't so much a run, as it was nearly peeing your pants in excitement while you wait for the bulls to get close, running a few steps terrified that somebody is going to cock up and push you the wrong way, the bulls whooshing past you like a steamroller, and waiting for the next batch to come.
Don't think I ever made it more than a hundred meters down the track in either of the two runs I did.
But it was the most exhilarating minute and a half of my life. On the track, it felt like a life-time. Within that minute and a half I made friends, I made enemies, stories came and went.
I even saved a life. Maybe. A guy kneed me in the thigh, bounced off me into the middle of the track. I looked around. Nobody was helping the poor sod. Bulls were coming. I pulled him back towards the fence just as a mob of people descended upon us and nearly fell all over.
On video the event unfolds in less than ten seconds. Slowed down. In person it felt like an epic tale.
Adrenaline is a wonderful drug. It really is.
Out there you can see everything. Every spec of dust. Every hair on a bull. Every stupid thing anybody does. Everything stands out. Everything.
Infinite clarity. Infinite speed of thought. Heaven.
And then it stopped. Over. We played chicken with death and we came out victorious.
You could see it in the crowd. Shouts. High fives. Hugs. People screaming at the top of their lungs. Anything just to blow off steam, to announce to the world "I survived and I have never been happier!"
The kind of happiness you can only get from pointless pursuits. Happiness for happiness' sake.
Continue reading about I ran with the bulls and I survived
Semantically similar articles hand-picked by GPT-4
- 17. Maj
- My first longboarding event
- GoKarting is better than both sex _and_ bacon
- The carnival the carnival
- Today I nearly died ... four times
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️