When you ask someone what they do for fun, what are some of the typical answers you receive? If someone were to ask me that very question, I’d say that I enjoy reading books, watching movies, kicking back with some wine, and maybe even taking a nice little quiet vacation to a secluded beach or cabin somewhere. I’ve been known to explore the odd quaint town and even hike (ever so slowly). Some other acceptable answers may be camping, fishing, arts and crafts, or gaming, I mean the list of “what do you do for fun?” is literally endless.
However, one concept I have a hard time getting behind are the folks who put themselves in immediate danger for a little bit of excitement. Yeah, yeah, I get the whole haunted house genre, but I’m talking about real life “you can die” danger and not just the “might pee your pants if that teenaged zombie comes near me” danger. All for a kick.
Sure, virtually anything we do can be considered dangerous in some way, I mean, just watch the news. Even benign hobbies have their risks. You could end up getting mugged or shanked just from wearing the wrong sports jersey to the wrong game. A friend of mine saw this happen firsthand leaving an Eagles game in Philadelphia a few years ago when an elderly man in a Cowboys jersey got stabbed on the subway after the game.
While, yes, danger can be found anywhere, I’m referring to those danger-seeking adrenaline junkies who base jump from skyscrapers, walk along a barely-there ledge on the side of a cliff, surf shark-infested waters, or bungee jump over jagged rocks. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the whole adrenaline rush and everything, but still, you have to draw the line somewhere, right? I saw a TikTok video the other day where a person jumped off a boat and into a group of sharks he and friends had just been feeding. What about those people who run and flip from rooftop to rooftop? “Parkour!” in the words of Michael Scott from The Office. If the whole situation goes south, it can mean certain death, permanent maiming, or dismemberment. Okay, yeah, I get that THAT is part of the excitement, but seriously? It begs the simple question… what the hell?
Just recently, I watched a documentary on people who go “caving” as well, which is exploring the darkest, tightest caves they can find. I don’t know about all of that, but I do know that I’ve seen at least three horror movies that have me strongly convinced that journeying down into these deep, dark, unexplored places is a genuinely bad idea, not to mention anxiety-inducing. I’m already claustrophobic as it is so the last thing I want to do is wedge myself between two slabs of stone a hundred feet down in some pitch-black cavern where mutant wall-hugging monsters may or may not live.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “I kind of like some of those dangerous hobbies,” and if so, more power to you and safe travels! Perhaps younger me may have been a bit more adventurous when it comes down to risking my safety for a little bit of excitement, and let’s be honest, the world belongs to the younger generation. I’m reminded of this every time bands like Mötley Crüe, Nirvana, or Red Hot Chili Peppers come up on the classic rock playlist. Just know that some of you have some of us shaking our heads as we watch your antics and wonder what in the hell you were thinking getting into that predicament.
Hobby safely, my friends. And if you need me, I’ll be on the couch with a book, some wine, and a show queued up on Netflix.