Indianapolis Colts second-year offensive guard Hugh Thornton shares details with Phillip B. Wilson about a Hawaiian adventure enjoyed during the offseason, then divulged what’s the ultimate activity on his bucket list.
Phil B: I’ve been to Hawaii twice. What did you do?
Hugh: I was in Maui from March 20th to March 28th. We’ve always gone on vacation. I took my family. We went over there for eight days. I got to do a lot of cool things. I went and saw the whales migrating back to Alaska. And then I ended up going on a helicopter over the entire North shore, then flew a little South and flew over Hana. We had previously drove the ‘Road to Hana.’ It was our second time there, second year in a row, it’s kind of become a family thing. It was incredible, being 10,000 to 11,000 feet up, when you climb that crater, and then you see the waterfalls. When I was there, luckily it was the first day that the water was flowing. It had been kind of a drought. The water was falling 10,000 feet. It was incredible. Incredible stuff.
Phil B: You afraid of heights?
Hugh: Absolutely not. One day before I die, I’m going to skydive. I’m going to go get one of those Cargo parachutes, you know, the ones they use to drop stuff in the military. I’m going to jump out of a plane with one of those. Because I’m a big guy, I need a little more support.
Phil B: So on your list of cool things to do, where does the helicopter ride rate? Is that right up there, seeing down inside a volcano?
Hugh: That was about a five. I live an alternative lifestyle.
Phil B: Five? On a scale of 10?
Hugh: Five. On a scale of 10, that was about a medium.
Phil B: So what rates higher, because like just being in Hawaii rates a three or a four, right?
Hugh: Things I want to do, things I’m going to do …
Phil B: Let’s start with things you’ve done.
Hugh: I’ve gone scuba diving. I love scuba diving. The whole family is certified, so that’s kind of a family thing. I’ve been diving with Nurse sharks.
Phil B: Nurse?
Hugh: Nurse sharks.
Phil B: What are you doing that for?
Hugh: Because they’re not there for you. If you’re comfortable, it’s one of those things. People probably say, ‘Why do you drive on the Autobahn?’ Well, because I’m used to it. It’s dangerous and it’s a risk, but it’s a thrill. Same thing with diving. I’ve grown up doing it. It’s not like I’m a thrill seeker. It’s not out of the ordinary for me. There’s nothing like scuba diving.
Phil B: So what else do you want to do?
Hugh: I plan on going to South Africa and cage diving with some Great Whites. That’s my bucket list No. 1.
Phil B: What? Those are known to attack.
Hugh: You’re in a cage.
Phil B: Huh?
Hugh: You’re in a cage.
Phil B: Yeah, but didn’t you see Jaws?
Hugh: That’s fictional.
Phil B: Didn’t you see what that shark did to Richard Dreyfuss in that cage?
Hugh: See what the media has done to you?
Phil B: That’s one of my favorite movies of all time. The next time I watch it, I’m going to think of you in a big cage.
Hugh: (Laughs.) That’s No. 1 on my list.
Phil B: That would be a rush, wouldn’t it?
Hugh: Absolutely. The next time you talk to me, I’ll probably have done some cooler things. You kind of caught me off guard right now. You put me on the spot.
Phil B: You’ll get a kick out that, huh?
Hugh: It’s going to be exciting. I’m going to film the whole thing on a GoPro (camera).
Phil B: You maybe talk to the Colts now to get permission written into your contract?
Hugh: We’ll talk about that.
Phil B: They probably wouldn’t understand this.
Hugh: You’ve got to do what’s best for the organization. If they said, ‘No,’ then I probably wouldn’t do it, you know? (Winks with right eye.) You know? (Winks again.)
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.