Well, I’m not (see title), but I am in Madrid and watching the runners in Pamplona every day on the TV news. Definitely something I can cross off of my bucket list, but it is quite an impressive spectacle. When everything is flowing, it’s fairly remarkable to see this sea of humanity running for their lives with a few tons of muscle and razor-sharp horns behind, alongside or ahead of them. I imagine it’s quite an adrenaline rush, to put it mildly. Of course, one has to wonder why anyone in their right mind would put their life in danger simply for a few thrills and not only once, but for seven straight days. If they ever proposed it to their workplace's Risk Committee, I’m reasonably sure it would be turned down.
But there is much I admire about it. We have insulated ourselves from so much natural danger, lived our lives based on comfort and safety, become vicarious armchair players of thrills and spills and perhaps our life has lost a bit of flavor. Putting yourself on the edge of safety, from fixed gear bike riding without brakes to rock climbing to running with the bulls in Pamplona, brings a certain color and luster back into our life. Of course, everytime we drive a car and set foot out into traffic, we’re perhaps at as much risk as the hunter in tiger territory, but we don’t feel it quite the same way.
Of course, my idea of danger is to set out on an improvisation in a jazz tune and not know where I’ll end up. My level of risk is teaching my second jazz course in a row in Spanish and start sentences not knowing if I can finish them with grammar and accent correct. My way of running with the bulls is to lead a bunch of three-year olds down the hall to music class. Or starting a blog with a title that felt like a good follow-up to "counting sheep" not knowing if I have anything valuable to say or can come up with an interesting way to say it. Which it’s starting to look like I don’t and I can't.
So off to plan tomorrow’s class while watching today’s bull run on TV.