Facing the Fear

I only agreed to go on the roller coaster with her, so that she wouldn’t have to ride it by herself.

But, it wasn’t until I was in the middle of the long serpentine line, awaiting the thrill that was to come, that I began to recall the last time I was on another such ride . . .

It must have been over 10 years ago.  The hubs and I were dating and visiting another similar theme park.  Many years before our children were born, we were there to enjoy the park as young adults do . . . by going on as many fast and exhilarating rides as possible.  One of those rides would be my last roller coaster for many years.

The ride itself was not overly frightening in any way.  Just your standard roller coaster.  It started in an enclosed space, quickly turned a corner and shot up a long dark tunnel, only emerging into the sunlight as it reached the crest of that climb, on the verge of dropping down into open air.  That was what was supposed to happen, anyway.  But on this fateful day, something went wrong.  As the ride took off and quickly turned the corner, shooting upwards towards the light at the end of the tunnel, that was when the fun ended.  And so did the forward momentum.  Because just as we were about to reach the top of that hill, the ride reversed and shot back down into the tunnel.  Backwards.

It was one of the most horrifying moments of my life.  I was positive that at any second we would be crashing into the car behind us as we fell backwards and they began their ascent forward.  That didn’t happen, thankfully.  Instead, we stopped at the bottom of the incline and sat there.  In the dark.  While they worked on the ride to try to fix it.

This might have been the most terrifying moment of my life, now that I think about it.  Even though the car plummeting backwards was very scary, this was worse.  Because I had time to worry.  And to contemplate what would happen if they started the ride again and it wasn’t fixed.  The mind is a cruel and creative creature.  I wanted off of that ride.  But we were strapped in and hanging from the track, so they wouldn’t allow it.  So I sat, and waited, and worried.

I didn’t die that day.  Luckily, the bright light I went towards at the end of that tunnel didn’t signify my end.

But here I was, many years later.  Remembering that fateful day that scarred me for so many years.  And standing in line to temp fate once again.  And then I saw this:

Picture 9234

Good Mental Condition?  Well, since I was willingly standing in line to go on this ride, after the last attempt at roller coaster riding almost killed me, “Good Mental Condition” might be up for debate.  However, we had twisted and turned around this line for over forty-five minutes now, so there was no going back.  I was going on this ride, G Forces be damned.

When the fateful time was at hand, I sat in my seat and the bars came down and made a very satisfying click, holding my body firmly down in the seat.  As I sat there, anticipating the first movement of the ride, with my heart palpitating at a surely unhealthy level, wondering why I ever allowed myself to get in this place again, I had one very distinct thought.

I am too old for this shit.

skyrush
Click on picture to see video POV of coaster

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challenge115

Hooking up with Yeah Write again this week!

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77 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PigLove
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 08:59:50

    Shaking piggy head my friend. There is *no* way this little oinker could even think about riding that monster. It’s all I can do to ride in mom’s Smart car when she’s zooming around town! XOXO – Bacon

    Reply

  2. thoughtsappear
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 09:39:59

    So when a coaster breaks midride, once they fix it, do you finish the ride? Or do they let you get off?

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:01:38

      I don’t know what the policy is for that kind of thing, but in my case they would NOT let us off. We had to just sit there waiting for it to be fixed, and then finish the ride! It was horrible.

      Reply

  3. She's a Maineiac
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 09:45:06

    This is why I never ride coasters and never will.

    Reply

  4. hiddinsight
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 09:48:45

    Aww come on, Misty…you’re not too old for anything. Well, maybe Justin Beiber, but that’s it. You had fun didn’t you?

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:03:42

      There is no appropriate age for the Beibs. None at all.

      Once I got past the “why on earth am I doing this?” stage, and right before the “oh my pounding head” stage, there might have been a tiny moment in the middle there that was something like fun. But it was brief and fleeting.

      Reply

  5. donofalltrades
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 10:00:37

    You know what’s funny? I used to ride all the rides and then I got nauseous on what Six Flags used to call the Chevy Show. It was basically a movie theater showing of POV rides on coasters and planes, etc. It made me want to vomit for some reason.

    My wife won’t ride the looping or jerky coasters anymore so I made my 9 year old go on them with me and she hated it. I need a coaster mate, but my 4 year old appears to not have the required height in his future until he’s 19 at the rate of growth he’s on right now.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:04:47

      Yeah, my kids have absolutely no desire to go on any of those thrill rides. None. I went on this with my au pair. She’s 25. I should have known better.

      Reply

  6. Nelson - One Old Sage
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 10:09:55

    Fantastic! I loved the last line and can’t remember how many times I’ve said it. But did I learn? Noooo! 🙂

    Reply

  7. JM Randolph
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 10:11:48

    I am too old for that shit too. Roller coasters just hurt me now. I had the pleasure of introducing the kids to all my old favorites and they love them, but I have a max of 2 per season if I still want to be able to move my neck. Good for you for getting on one again.

    Reply

  8. Nagzilla
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 11:03:18

    You’re way braver than I am. I was on a ferris wheel that broke once, and I just now started going on those again. If I was on a roller coaster that broke, that would be the end of it.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:25:57

      We were stuck on a ferris wheel one time, but only because the guy kept it going round and round and wouldn’t let us off . . . with a huge lightning storm approaching. I blogged about it last summer maybe? Yeah, that was not fun.

      Reply

  9. about100percent
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 11:38:37

    Ho boy. We are scheduled to go there at least once this summer. My brain feels like it’s been shaken enough already.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:27:41

      I will tell you this, and I did not know this until I pulled up the info online to do this post . . . that is the worst coaster there in terms of speed and height and thrill factor. You should be fine if you stick to the other ones, probably. Maybe the one built in 1940? That one looked super tame in comparision. This one was called SkyRush. Make a mental note. 🙂

      Reply

  10. renée a. schuls-jacobson
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 11:57:19

    Hahahahaha! I used to love roller coasters. Something happened to me once Tech was born. I can’t do them anymore. I did one in Disney, but it was pretty wimpy. We really are too old for that shit. And you know what? It’s okay. 🙂 Great piece! I’m so glad you’re digging Yeah Write! As soon as I finish my obligations with sponsored posts, I’ll be back again.

    Reply

  11. Valerie
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 13:10:49

    I am SOOOOO proud of you! What an adventure! I love roller coasters but am terrified of heights. So I always freak out on the up up up parts. Then I scream my head off for the rest of the ride to the point where the other people start looking at me like I might be insane.

    Jokes on them… I AM INSANE!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

    Reply

  12. jesterqueen (@jesterqueen)
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 16:49:18

    Oh wow! I’ve never known anybody who was on a ride that broke down before. I’m glad you lived to be crazy and foolish again.

    Reply

  13. mamarific
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 17:30:41

    The words “Aggressive Thrill Ride” would have been enough to send me running for the hills. I was on a roller coaster with my daughter a couple of years ago, and it stopped halfway up the initial big hill climb. We sat there for what felt like eternity. Everything turned out fine, but never again. Love your last line!!!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:32:04

      Yeah, that whole breaking in the middle and then having to keep going thing is ridiculous! And yeah, I had no idea how intense it would be until I rode it. And read about it later. Thanks so much! 🙂

      Reply

  14. zoe
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:12:40

    my brothers were the guys they used to call when they needed test riders during the repairs…sickos…

    Reply

  15. dorothyadele
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:29:48

    I give you credit. You couldn’t pay me enough to go on that ride.

    Reply

  16. mairzeebp
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 18:59:51

    LOVE the last line. Roller coasters scare the crap out of me because all I can think about is what can go wrong. I would have freaked out waiting for them to fix it panicked that they wouldn’t and the next time we moved would tempt fate too much for it to be ok. I am the world’s biggest chicken so take that worry with a grain of salt. Congrats on facing the beast again and walking away!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:35:34

      Thanks! I was flipping out, indeed, but nobody heard or responded to my pleas. Honestly, it probably would have been impossible to let us off there as we were hanging over nothingness, but they could have at least backed it up to go back to the start, which was right behind us! And yeah, I survived again. I’m probably good for now. 😉

      Reply

  17. ateachablemom
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 20:33:41

    Am definitely too old for that shit! And no where near good mental condition! You’re a better woman than I!! Fun post!

    Reply

  18. Daile
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 20:55:57

    I will only ride roller coasters and amusement park rides that are permanent fixtures and regularly maintained. In Queensland (Australia) a 7 year old by was thrown off a ride that was set up for a local show (fair) and ended up in critical condition in hospital (he is ok now) it freaks me out when they come to town and set up in a day or 2!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:08:10

      I always think those things are suspect as well. And really, if someone gets hurt, they can just pull up stakes and run out of town! I always stare really hard at all the joists on those things before I go on. Not that I would be able to tell if there was something wrong, but it makes me feel better before I get on the big giant ferris wheel at least!

      Reply

  19. Christi
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 21:12:46

    I had a similar experience recently on a waterslide that my kids tricked me into riding!

    Reply

  20. joannerambling
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 21:20:51

    There is no bloody way you would get me on such a ride…………….lol

    Reply

  21. Kiki
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 21:36:57

    My husband and I recently got to go to Disney and Universal. I hadn’t been on a ride in 10 years, though I used to love them. I was actually really scared, but once I got back on, it was amazing and I had a blast! I loved this piece–brought so many memories back.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:10:23

      I was surprised at how fearful I actually was as I was sitting there waiting for the ride to go. I was thinking, “You’re 38 years old! You shouldn’t be frightened of a silly amusement park ride!” But nonetheless, my heart was in my throat. It was almost funny, while also being completely terrifying!

      Reply

  22. Karen
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 23:46:55

    You’re super brave. There is no way I would get on another roller coaster after that break down experience. Hell no!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:11:10

      The weird thing was that it was so long ago, I had almost forgotten, until I was waiting in line. And at that point, I felt I had to go. Oh well, I survived it at least! 🙂

      Reply

  23. TriGirl
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 00:34:29

    And cue a panic attack. You couldn’t pay me. Not ever. You’re brave.

    Reply

  24. Ken
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 02:37:40

    You have more fortitude than I do! I can’t do roller coasters at all. Not without vomit happening, anyways. Plus, if I’m going to be intentionally sick for 3 days, there better be some booze involved. 🙂

    Reply

  25. From Novels to Board Books
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 07:05:29

    I will never get on a roller coaster again without thinking of this story. I loved the line, “The mind is a cruel and creative creature.” So true, so true… Well done.

    Reply

  26. erin graves
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 07:31:32

    I’m impressed you braved another coaster after getting stuck. I think an event like that would leave me permanently grounded.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:13:55

      It was many years ago. Probably closer to 15 now that I think of it. I guess I put it past me. Not that it didn’t come roaring back as I was sitting on that thing waiting for it to go!

      Reply

  27. Christina
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 08:53:15

    oh man. I used to love roller coasters and stuff but now? they make me ill- just thinking about them. I can’t do it anymore. i’m too old for it. and yet, I have a 3.5 year old who I know is gonna wanna go on them and she’s our only child. I think i’ll have to have a friend of hers tag along when the time comes b/c mama just aint up for that shiz no more.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:15:00

      See, I guess this is where I’m lucky . . . my kids have zero interest in these scary rides! I mean, that might change when they’re older, but hopefully by then they’ll be big enough to go by themselves. Or, they can take their dad! 🙂

      Reply

  28. andrea-maybe it's just me
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 10:45:17

    I miss being able to ride rollercoasters without feeling like I might break (let alone considering that the ride itself might break). Thanks for the video! Great work again this week!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:15:46

      Thanks. And I will tell you that the video is much slower and tamer than the actual ride. Or maybe it just seems that way when you’re experiencing it. Thanks for the vote! 🙂

      Reply

  29. The Byronic Man
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 11:00:27

    Roller coasters and their ilk are my most irrational fear. I hate them and cannot make myself go on them. My wife loves them and I remember standing there staring at the ride and telling myself “it’d make her happy and you know you’ll be fine, nothing’s going to happen, so just go. Suck it up.” But I couldn’t make myself move.

    To me, they’re all like this sketch from Mr. Show:

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:16:59

      Ha! I love me some Mr. Show. What a great skit. Under water for 2 minutes? Hee.

      Well, at least your wife can be the designated coaster rider when your little girl gets old enough to go with her. She just has to wait a few years for that! 🙂

      Reply

  30. iasoupmama
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 13:25:16

    I once got stuck at the top of a 3-story tall ferris wheel for an hour with my little brother (who swung the bucket back and forth despite my screams for him to sit still). And I have refused to ride them ever since…

    And the last roller coaster I rode gave me such a bad vertigo attack that I sat down on the curb at Universal Studios theme park and took a nap during a parade.

    Yeah, no more coasters for me…

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:18:05

      Maybe it’s the heights? I would be afraid of heights if I got stuck that high with an evil little brother as well! And yes, I had a killer headache when I got off. Hence the too old part. I am just not cut out for those things anymore.

      Reply

  31. nataliedeyoung
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 15:57:05

    Any time I go on a roller coaster, that’s exactly how I feel – too old.

    Reply

  32. joeinvegas
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 18:55:25

    Evidently you survived (to write this).

    Reply

  33. PinotNinja
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 22:38:10

    Dear God that is completely and utterly terrifying! I would have had an utter and complete breakdown on the broken coaster, started hysterically crying, and demanded that I be removed immediately while shouting words like liability, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress (when very stressed I can suddenly remember every concept from law school — how’s that for some f’d up PTSD).

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:21:13

      I think that speaks volumes as to your law school experience. 😉

      I’m trying to remember if I was even IN law school yet. It really was a LONG time ago. I probably was in it. And I was freaking out, but more of the crying and demanding to get out . . . to a dark empty tunnel. Yeah, nobody was listening or responding to my pleas. And then my hubs (then bf) must have settled me down. He has a calming effect. He’s so damn laid back and reasonable it’s infuriating! Anyway, they didn’t let us off, and we survived, so I guess it’s moot.

      Reply

  34. totsymae1011
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 06:42:42

    Yes, you are too old and so am I. While I enjoyed those rides as a youngun, I know when it time to retire.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:21:48

      I should have realized the same. I think I’m good now for at least another 15 years, and by then I’ll probably need a walker, so it will be out! 😉

      Reply

  35. pegoleg
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 09:50:05

    I’m the one standing on the sidelines of all the thrill rides, watching and waving at her braver friends and sympathy-vomiting up corn dogs, cotton candy, etc.

    Reply

  36. Joseph Cereola
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 10:35:13

    I’m over roller coasters; I never really liked them. And what are those square things on the sign warning riders that items may fall out of their pockets? Condoms? What kind of amusement park was it.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 12:22:47

      I’m pretty sure those are wallets, not condoms. I think the better question is, why did your mind immediately go to condoms as items in your pocket? 😉

      Reply

  37. Jane at Cognitive Behave Yourself
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 17:26:31

    Great post! Every time i’ve ever ridden a rollercoaster I’ve imagined something like that happening. And yet bizarrely ride them anyway. Must have been terrifying. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  38. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 13:24:43

    I’ve found I can’t go on roller coasters that aren’t of the highest quality, and even then, I’m a height where my head just bounces around between the restraint and beats up my ears. I’ve gotten too old for it, too.

    Reply

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