Sunday, October 01, 2006
Paul works for a large company and one of the advantages of being that big is the ability to rent out a whole theme park for a day. This is really cool. Six Flags was rented out for the day for use of the employees. We took G and rode ALL the rides. Well not all of them, only the ones she was allowed to and wasn't intimidated by. Like the carousel, the little train and her favorite the swings.
One thing about six flags is that they have lots of thrill rides and roller coasters. It's been a really long time since I've ridden any thing like that. Well, for some crazy reason this ride pictured above was calling my name. Take a look at it, you get strapped in and taken up really high and flung all over the place and flipped upside down several times. OK for those of you who don't know I have motion sickness issues. I can't ride a boat or a plane or even the metro without experiencing nausea and disorientation.
I also have developed a fear of heights. I don't think it's going to be problem but I climb up on something and vertigo immediately kicks in. Like the time I went on the the high ropes course at a company outing. The ropes course wasn't even on our agenda but a few of us thought it would be fun to try it so they let us go up. I climbed up about 40 feet in the air, got to the top and Froze. Literally I could not move up, not down, not sideways. The guide had to come up and carry me down. I know, just a LITTLE embarrassing. Just this summer I climbed up on a lifeguard stand at the beach for a picture with Ms. G. This was only 10 feet or so off the ground and when I got up there, again the reaction unexpected, my heart started racing and I got all shaky. Cute picture though. I tell you all this to give you an idea of why I should not ride the coaster pictured above.
Well I also have a theory about fear. Quite simply, it breeds. Give into to fear and then it's acceptable not do certain things, as time goes on more things are added to the list and if you're not careful leaving your own home or other familiar daily surroundings will leave you in a panic. So every once in a while I feel the need to push it a bit. I started getting this feeling inside that I should ride this coaster, and that if I didn't and left the park I would think I had missed out on something and let fear win one.
Since the park is rented out for the day there are no lines anywhere, you can walk up and get right on the ride. Doesn't give you much time to change your mind. So I give Paul my purse and head over to the entrance. I find my spot just as they close the gates so I get to see it in action close up before getting on. Two teenage boys come up to get on and decide not to ride it while I am waiting. What am I crazy, they aren't going to ride it! Anyway it pulls up and I get on. OK now the heart rate is increasing and I wonder, is it too late to get off? What if I have a heart attack? You know I 'm not that young anymore. No fear isn't going to win, I strap in. Wow, as an aside I can feel the adrenaline a bit just as I write this, or maybe it's just my tea kicking in.
Anyway, it's too late they are starting the ride. First they crank you up the highest hill very slowly backwards so you're just hanging there 100 feet of so in the air off your strap. This is really high. Then it stops and you know they are going to let gravity and speed kick in to take you down the hill. You can here other riders letting expletives go in anticipation for the drop. A little a click and BAM you are flying down the hill, the wind is completely knocked out me, I can't breathe, ok automatic breathing is NOT working switch over to manual and concentrate on breathing in deep. Good the air is coming back in. Close the eyes, that would be good. Get control. Ok I get control, I can breathe again so I open my eyes just in time to be flipped upside down up around the outside of the first loop, whoa this is crazy! Its fast, before you know it you are up the hill on the other side stopped. Good news, you made it. Bad news, we are going through the whole sequence again backwards! I hear the click and we go. This time I didn't get the wind knocked out but the loops are even scarier backwards, sixty seconds and we are back at the top on the side we started out on. OK breathe. They slowly take you back down. This is good I need this time to regroup, try to get the heart rate under control. So we pull up to a stop and I try to get my hands to work and undo the straps. I get out and standing up is a challenge, we are all disoriented trying to find our way to exit.
I get off and feel my brains are scrambled and my body is shaking. I find Paul and Gigi. Wow that was crazy, it takes about 15 minutes for me to recover. Was I glad I did it, yes. I feel like this time fear did not win. The adrenaline rush was good, it's not good to be too comfortable and too in control of everything you do, all the time. Would I do it again yesterday, no once is was enough. :)