Riding Roller Coasters

I’m not a thrill seeking kind of girl. I can be fearful and cautious…that’s why I like to hang out with people who are not like me, who kind of push me to do things I wouldn’t do by myself…I’m a joiner.  I don’t love roller coasters; I don’t hate them either. It’s more like a toleration. I ride them to say I’ve done it and am relieved when the ride has come to an end. My son Jonah is the same way I am; I think he really likes talking about riding, but it’s not necessarily an enjoyable thing…yet.  

We just got back from Branson, MO, where we went to Silver Dollar City.  Several of us rode the first roller coaster and had no idea that the ride started by shooting you to 65 mph in 2 seconds…I rode with my brother-in-law Josh, and he just laughed while I screamed in complete terror. On roller coasters, I generally keep my eyes closed and scream the entire time. It’s the anticipation that’s the killer for me. It’s the lurch, lurch, lurching up to the top that makes me fearful…it’s the standing in line waiting, replaying news stories of how people have died while riding roller coasters.

I rode the roller coasters several times with my sister-in-law Lori, who is by nature a thrill seeker.  We experimented with riding in the back and also in the front, and she encouraged me to keep my eyes open. I came to the conclusion that keeping my eyes open was far better because I could see what was coming up. And I found that I really like riding in the front car…once again the anticipation for me is where the fear starts, so riding in the back and seeing all the cars ahead of me go over the hill first is worse than being the first car to go. 

I came to realize that the more I rode these roller coasters, the more I liked them. My fear began to diminish with each ride. And by the end, I was keeping my eyes open for the entire ride and not screaming at all. You know those pictures they take when you’re on the roller coaster, well, I don’t look like I’m enjoying myself yet…I look more like I’m gritting my teeth waiting for it to be done, but I want to be one of those people who are laughing…and really having fun, not just grinning and bearing it. Even Grandma rode a roller coaster, but that was enough for her; she said she was glad she did it.

…am I really enjoying the ride or am I just waiting for my ride to end without really ever fully being in the moment…am I allowing my fears to hem me in and standing in line fearfully waiting in anticipation of the future…

I want to keep my eyes open and laugh…laugh my head off…


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