Heights, No Thanks…Roller Coasters, Oh Yeah!!!

I want to be a daredevil…to try new things. For instance, I’d like to try flying through the air on a zip line. I’d like to be able to look over the balcony on the 20th floor of a hotel, or to climb a firetower. Hey, I’d even be happy climbing bleachers without feeling like I’m going to fall. My fear of heights is crippling. Don’t know where it came from, but it is something I’ve battled all my life.

HOWEVER, I love riding roller coasters. One summer day my two youngest daughters and I made a trip to Kings Island. We didn’t watch the shows, instead we went from ride to ride. The Beast, then one of the biggest coasters in the park, was one I couldn’t wait to ride. I loved the anticipation of climbing the first huge hill, knowing it would plummet us down in a heart-stopping speed. I wasn’t disappointed. While most people scream, I laugh. Fun, fun, fun.

We rode Invertigo…at that time you had to climb stairs to get to the platform. Uh-oh. Hardest part of the ride. But, once I’d started climbing, with my girls in front and other eager riders behind, I had no choice but to face my fear and keep on climbing. Soon we were zapped along the tracks and spinning in circles…backwards. Two complete 360 degree circles. My youngest daughter was screaming because she was so short that the bar wouldn’t stay down on her lap. I had no time to worry about myself…I was worried for her. But the ride came to a stop. We breathed a short breath and then it reversed just as rapidly as before and we were spinning again…

We climbed out, a little shaky and then I knew the worst was yet to come. I would have to climb down those stairs…those open stairs.

The last coaster I rode was with the youngest daughter. It was The Tennessee Tornado in Dollywood. (click link to see ride in action) I have a t-shirt with our pictures showing our faces as we came shooting out of the tunnel.

I guess I’ll always be young at heart. I’m still afraid of heights, but I still love the thrill of roller coasters. And, who knows, maybe I’ll do that zip line thing yet. Conquering fear means facing it…


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