ue I'm More Than Just a Mom...I Think: Why do I do This to Myself?u

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Why do I do This to Myself?

I'm afraid of heights. Petrified, actually. I get sweaty, I have trouble breathing, the works. Yet, for some reason, I love roller coasters and thrill rides. Why is this, I wonder? I don't enjoy being scared, I really don't. There are times that I've come close to tears at the beginning of some rides. One in particular is the Drop Zone at Kings Dominion.

For those who don't know thrill rides, I'll explain this one to you. It's pretty simple - you get dropped 300+ feet. This ride scares the crap out of me. Yet, I love it. It's ironic. I figured out the secret of how not to be scared yesterday when I went on it again, but I'll get to that later. I LOVE the free-fall feeling. It's exhilirating, exciting, and amazing. Getting to that point is not. I sit down and strap myself into the harness. The harness makes me feel very secure. I know, in my heart of hearts and my brain of brains, that nothing bad is going to happen. These rides are constantly checked and rechecked for safety. The only people who have died on free-fall rides are ones who wiggled their way out of the harness. Not me, I'm staying put. My legs dangle from the seat and I swing them back and forth. While we're sitting on the ground, I'm fine. We start to go up. Now, obviously since the seats are attached to the tower in the back, I can't tell when we've reached the top. This bothers me a lot. I'm fine for the first 50 feet or so, then I start to remember that this thing is going to go WAY up. I have to close my eyes. If I look, my heart will explode. My husband on the other hand, loves the view. That's my secret - I have to keep my eyes closed and have Dave tell me when we're at the top (so I can brace for the fall).

Luckily, they don't hold you at the top too long before letting you fall. The fall is incredible. Once we were at the bottom, I wanted to do it all over again. The first time I rode this thing, I almost cried at the top. I was so scared - I hated it. But once we fell, I was in love. Strange how that happens.

I love rollercoasters, too. But the lift hills make me wanna pee myself. Millenium Force is the perfect example. This coaster is at Cedar Point in Ohio and, up until this year when Cedar Point opened up another new coaster, was the highest coaster in the country with a 310 foot initial drop. I honestly wanted to get off of this half way up the lift hill. I was petrified and I closed my eyes when we got to the top. I opened them when I thought we were at the bottom and we were only half way down! The rest of the ride was incredible. However, I haven't been able to conquer my fear of that lift hill again. We were back at Cedar Point about 2 years later and I couldn't bring myself to ride it again. I couldn't get past the fear of the lift hill. Pathetic, I know, because Dave happily rode it a couple more times.

Not me. I don't know if I'll ever get up the courage to ride it again. Just call me a wimp :)


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