We all have them:spiders, snakes, flying, darkness, failure, public speaking, loud noises, heights. Sometimes these little 'prohibiters' cause us to miss out on certain life experiences. For me, heights happens to be an absolutely terrifying fear of mine. I literally can not stand on the edge of anything higher than 5 feet, without having some heavy breathing, and a couple of skipped heart beats.
Well this past weekend, Mr. P and me decided to go to Six Flags. For those of you who don't know what a Six Flags is, it's a like a carnival but 100x bigger. Bigger rides, lots more 'carnival' games, longer lines, more expensive, roller coasters, and a massive pool . Basically it's a theme park.
I have not been to Six Flags in over a decade and anytime I have ever been, I would get on selected rides. What some of you may call 'the kiddie rides' - hey! I did say I was petrified of rides, didn't I?! I was perfectly content watching all my friends get on rides together while I waited for them to get off. I was happy enjoying time spent with my friends OFF the rides. Yes, very rarely would I get on a major roller coaster, and the rare times that I did is because a certain person wouldn't have a partner. I would ride that whole thing with my eyes closed.
However, since I knew that in this visit only me and Mr. P would be going, I would have to go on every single ride. I had to mentally prepare myself for this. Mind you I was going with the ultimate thrill seeker, not a good combo.
We started off with rides that I had already been, no surprises and still rode those with my eyes closed. But then, the ultimate, biggest ride in the entire park, The Superman - Ride of Steel.
Info on The Superman.
Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 8.5 Extreme height, acceleration, and speed
Highest point (feet): 200
Max. speed (mph): 75
We had gone to the park on a Sunday mid-day, so there were partically no lines. Great! I can't back out now. Of course, we have to ride the back of every ride because apparently it's a little more bumpy. Mr. P gets in, then I get in. For once I hoped that the "seat belt" wouldn't buckle, no luck, it seemed perfectly safe and bucketed just fine, crap!
The announcer is talking about something, but I can't seem to make anything out because all I'm thinking is please don't cry, please don't cry and Mr. P saying "this ride is scary" over and over and over like a broken record. I want to get off soooooo bad, but I know that I can't. I mean I can, but I can't. Now the cars start moving, now I really can't get off. Oh crap! Oh crap!
Hearing the click of the cars going up was not settling at all. I really don't want to do this anymore. I'm looking for an exit, really believing that somehow I can get off....I can't get off. Being afraid of heights and being 200 ft up in the air, yea I was feeling quite...not lovely. However, the view couldn't be anymore glorious. Yet, that could not settle my nerves.
I can see that we are approaching the downhill part. I can hear some of the cars starting their decline, along with the screams. I close my eyes, take a deep breath.
My mind is quite and blank, for once.
Now I feel the wind smacking my face, open my eyes... oh God why did I open my eyes!!!!
We're so high and we're going down so fast. I feel my heart in my chest. I think I might throw up. No, no, no, no! Now, a sharp turn. More ups and downs. Another sharp turn. More curves.
Somewhere in between all of this, I actually start to laugh. I don't know if it was out of fear or because I honestly started to enjoy the ride. It was exhilarating;having my heart beat so fast, being scare and fasciated all at the same time. Next thing you know, it's all done. Sudden stop and watching the next set of cars set off to their minute of thrill. I looked at Mr. P and smile. I made it, all of me.
After that I was able to ride every single roller coaster in that place, with some bit of hesitation and excitement. But able to make it through all of them, laughing like a mad women through it all. I walked away with some extreme naseous, but I made it. I conquered a fear.
I'm still afraid of heights...and roller coasters, but at least now I won't let it overpower me so much that it prevents me from enjoying some of what life has to offer.