Bill Hillmann had one job at Pamplona, and it’s a job that in theory he should’ve nailed. The Chicago resident, 32, was seriously injured this morning at Spain’s weeklong “running of the bulls” after he tripped and was gored in the right thigh by one of the enormous black beasts, reports Reuters. Which wouldn’t be that unusual, since hundreds of people are injured at the festival every year—except for the fact that Hillmann co-wrote the 2014 e-book How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. It offers tips on everything from the best footwear to which parts of the course are better for beginners, notes the Chicago Tribune.
Hillmann, who remains in serious condition at a Spanish hospital after his encounter with the 1,300-pound bull, reveals to the Tribune that he was inspired to start participating in the annual event three years ago after reading Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. He also said that doctors told him the bull’s horn had been just 1 centimeter away from piercing his femoral artery, which would have almost certainly resulted in death. Despite his close call, Hillmann tells the Tribune he’ll run again, crediting the dangerous dash with helping him get sober and finish his latest novel. And he’s not holding it against the bull, either: “I don’t hold a grudge," he says. The Spanish fighting bull is "the most wonderful animal in the world, and I’m proud to have been gored by one.”