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I ran with the bulls and I survived

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!

Closest the bulls got to me
Closest the bulls got to me

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.

Before bulls, after bulls
Before bulls, after bulls

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Published on August 4th, 2014 in Travel + Events

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