My name is Brad and I’m addicted to adrenaline.
For some people it’s drugs. For others, it’s alcohol. For others, their addiction is food or even love (particularly if they’re the subject of Robert Palmer’s 1986 hit song).
Me? I’m addicted to adrenaline. And I make no apologies about it.
You see TV shows about people like me – riding motorcycles off jumps, skydiving or trekking across the desert. I’m one of them . . . albeit a little older and not quite as crazy or telegenic.
But I’m still dangerous.
Take the other day: I pulled out of the parking lot at work before I fully attached my seatbelt. It wasn’t intentional, but when I thought about it, it made sense.
I love danger. And that 10-second span was a thrill!
It started when I was young. I remember when I was 12, I was on the playground with a bunch of Raiders fans and I professed my love for the San Francisco 49ers. I survived, barely. But it was a rush.
Decades later, I’m still walking on the wild side.
Just the other day, I tore the tag off a mattress at our house. I feared that Mrs. Brad would get hysterical, worried that the FBI would break down our door and take me to the hoosegow, so I reminded her that the government shutdown likely included the Mattress and Pillow Administration. But the danger of ripping off a tag gave me that familiar risk-taking rush of energy.
It happens all the time – and it affects all areas of my life.
Early this summer, I ate lunch, then went swimming in 20 minutes. I couldn’t help myself. Risk is fun.
It came out again a few weeks later, when Mrs. Brad and I attended the Solano County Fair, a great place for thrill-seekers.
And you guessed right: I dived right in with the most dangerous choice: A turkey leg.
Who knows where it came from and how well it was cooked? That was part of the reason it tasted to so good to me – the risk.
I suspect that was one of the things that attracted Mrs. Brad to me. It seems like a lot of women like the devil-may-care guy who lives on the edge. When I was 20 years old and would occasionally look directly at the sun or eat an uncooked hot dog, it probably sent off waves of testosterone.
These days, I suspect my risk-taking makes Mrs. Brad nervous – such as when I push our Prius to 67 mph or 68 mph while driving on Interstate 80.
But even for adrenaline junkies like me, there are limits – and you have to know them.
I reached mine on a recent Thursday night. I came home from work and decided it was time for a rush. I couldn’t help myself!
I told Mrs. Brad that the NFL Network had a game that night and I wanted to watch that, rather than “Project Runway.”
Who would do that but an adrenaline junkie?
Of course, I quickly realized that I crossed the line between dangerous and fatal, so I backed off.
So we watched “Project Runway,” but I secretly made fun of Heidi Klum’s accent.
Because I love danger and I’m a throwback to a time when men were men.
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.