"I was running away from being comfortable."
It took Tommy Breen three years to learn how to swallow a sword.
In the decade since, he has had few injuries, none serious.
It's mostly just uncomfortable, he said. A feeling made slightly worse when the sword sinks a little too deep — like the time an audience member accidentally pushed rather than pulled the blade out.
Still, it's hard not to cringe at the sight of a man sliding a solid blade of steel down his throat. But that's exactly the reaction Breen looks for.
Breen is manager of the World of Wonders Sideshow, a traveling carnival attraction performing at the Florida State Fair through Feb. 18. The Gibsonton-based act has performed across the country for more than 60 years. Now, it's one of the last of its kind.
Read more at the Tampa Bay Times.