A couple of months ago, I was sitting across from two of my best gal pals over drinks at a local establishment. Miss Dixie Longate was in town slinging plastic crap, for all my food storage needs, in her one-woman, female empowerment show, Dixie’s Tupperware Party. Ms. Adele Uddo, body model extraordinaire, was in town for a personal visit and for the pure viewing pleasure of her parts perfectly packaged in the maxi dress of many colors.
(And on this, I have to say to all those males (and some females) at the check-in desk of the boutique hotel managed by the Doubletree, repeatedly offering Adele hot, moist, decadent chocolate cookies is not the euphemism in which she responds. And as I finally had to admonish, “Does she fucking LOOK like she eats cookies?”)
Fine, I digress. As Adele, Dixie, and I were enjoying our drinks, Dixie’s for some reason served in a 16 oz. tumbler with drip-less straw seal in toucan teal, the conversation turned from unfortunate incarcerations and the last time we woke up behind a dumpster, to what makes our hearts beat faster, our palms sweat, our breathing increase, and our blood vessels constrict. Now, I know what you are thinking, but I said our conversation had turned away from the last time we woke up from behind a dumpster.
What we were talking about, is adrenaline. Passion is one thing, but what gets that neurotransmitter pumping, and those endorphins going, is many times totally separate from (as Dixie calls it) the “no-no” place. As our conversation continued, the three of us discovered that our adrenaline producing stimuli are as different as we are individually. So, the three of us being bloggers of sorts, decided to collaborate on what makes the three of us high on life. (Click here for an Adele fix, and click here for what gets Dixie’s motor running.) My part of the conversation goes something like this:
For me, there has to be a certain amount of danger involved in my natural, but nonetheless chemically induced euphoria, and the one central element has to be speed, and copious amounts of it. Ever since I was secretly taught to drive a muscled-up, Plymouth Barracuda convertible on the desolate back-country highways of rural Georgia, the speed limit has been the bane of my vehicular existence. Given the gift of gab and the bullshit ability of one raised Southern Baptist, I have fortunately talked my way out of traffic violation fines synonymous to the GDP of many third world countries. This is not to say that I haven’t spent many a good Saturday in traffic school.
Was it the wind in my hair, the wind rush in my ears, or the blurred outlines of a passing world that sparked my fire for power-induced speed? Who knows, my family would say that I was a daredevil on my big wheel from the time I could walk, but it was when I experienced real speed, the kind measured in scores of miles per hour, that I felt the most alive, and still do.
As I explained to my two friends, I grew up driving small, very fast cars, but soon I began to plateau; I needed another more powerful fix. So, I graduated to a Kawasaki Ninja before I graduated from college. On a straight of way, that red crotch rocket would do a 100+ in the blink of an eye. As I write this, I feel my pulse beginning to race with the memory of leaning into a blind curve or the sudden, heart-in-throat appearance of a deer (or the odd moonshiner) crossing the country hills road in front of me.
By this time and another drink later, I had my friend Adele exercising her cognitive parts, thinking that I must be MAD and wondering where I could possible go from there. Dixie was still lingering over “crotch rocket”, and was yet to catch up. Obviously, the next logical step was getting my pilot’s license. Now, I love flying, but engaging the autopilot and letting the bird fly itself is a lot like driving your car, cruise control set at 65 mph, down a freeway in Kansas. Though I will say, that with all the inane airline rules and the flight attendants monitoring toilet times now, autopilot and smooth air is probably the only way to get into the mile high club anymore.
The best part of being a pilot, for me, is practicing all the things that could go wrong. As a speed-driven adrenaline junky, nothing can be more exhilarating than practicing stalls. Point the airplane straight up into an unrestricted climb until the engine(s)s stalls. What goes up, must come down, right? And by down, I mean nose down, straight at the ground. “Weeeeee!” That GEICO pig, Maxwell, has nothing on me when it comes to bringing it home.
I’m writing this, so you can see that my penchant for speed has left me, for the most part, no worse for wear. There are a few bodily scars, but with each physical flaw comes at least one great story, right? Perhaps we can sit around the table at this virtual corner bar, and you can tell me in the comments section about what fuels your adrenaline. I would love to hear it. For now, though, there is snow at 10,000 ft. I have to run tune and wax those sticks I strap to my feet and point them downhill…in the middle of the trees. God speed.