I admit it: Most of my life I was a fraidy-cat, a panicked pickle, a serving of yellow-belly sashimi.
Not any more, for some reason. Something happened in early middle age: I stopped running and turned around to face my fears and went, “Boo, yourselves!” and they vanished, as specters of all kinds are wont to do when confronted.
Fear isn’t always unpleasant. There are entire recreational industries devoted to people tempting danger for the adrenaline rush. There are even professions that thrive on the natural high that comes from flirting with disaster: the armed forces, the stock exchange, Somali piracy.