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Being a daredevil loses its appeal as you get older

By JACK GODBEY

When I was growing up, I was quite the daredevil. I was not scared of anything. In fact, I shudder to think at some of the things that I did as a kid that now makes me shake my head in amazement. 

Most people know that I am an avid hiker. There is nothing better than to hit the dusty trail and experience the beauty of nature first hand. 

However, I am always cautious while hiking. I don’t get too close to the edge of cliffs, I pack emergency food and supplies and I avoid swinging bridges like the plague and will walk miles to be able to avoid crossing them.

This seems funny coming from the same guy who used to do Evil Knievel jumps on his bicycle to see how far I could jump without crashing.

I recall in elementary school my friends and I used to utilize the swing sets, and the big thing was to swing so high that the chains were horizontal with the top of the swing set. And then for some unknown reason, we would then think it was a good idea to jump off in mid swing and see how far we could fly through the air before we hit the ground. 

If you were really good, you would land on your feet and never slow down. However, more times than not it ended with knocking the breath out of me as I tried to convince my friends that I was fine as I gasped for breath and picked the gravel out of my skin. This was considered fun at the time.

As I have grown older, I’ve become wiser and my actions are always cautious. I cannot trust anything that is made by man. 

For example, I can trust the sun to set in the west and rise in the east. I can trust the moon to enter its phases right on time. 

However, I cannot even trust man to make a grocery cart at Walmart that doesn’t have that one wobbly wheel that flips and flops all over the store. 

For this reason, as long as I’ve got a brain in my head, I would never in a million years ride a roller coaster. I don’t understand the fascination. I have no desire to get in a tiny open box and be twisted all around while going a hundred miles an hour. Not for me thank you. If I wanted to poop in my pants then I can do that with two feet on the ground. 

Oftentimes while on vacation, I see people ride the sky lifts to the top of a mountain. So let me get this straight. They take a park bench and attach it to a cable and they expect me to sit on it while they hoist me up the side of the mountain? 

How do I know the guy at the cable factory was on his game that day? Maybe he came in hungover that morning and forgot an important step in making the cable. No, if I ever want to kill myself I can think of more inventive ways than death by cable. 

It seems that the older I get the less I want to take chances by doing stupid things. I like to think that I’ve learned my lessons well and live my life as safely as possible. No amusement rides and no hot air balloons for me. That’s far too dangerous. 

I would like to write more but I have a plane to catch.