Do you love going on scary rides? Or aren’t rollercoasters for you?
I’ve mentioned before that we spent a week in Holland this summer. One of the great things about our location was that there was a theme park on site. As we visited two years before, we knew what we were doing and where the best rides were. We headed off there as soon as we arrived.
We had had to wait before coming back until our little boy was 120 cm – the sadness on his face when he wasn’t allowed on some great rides was too much to bear a second time. There was one rollercoaster that I had spotted on our previous trip. I was NOT going anywhere near it. Not now, not ever.
Unfortunately, I was scuppered by my kids. We’d been on a few rollercoasters in the same area that whizzed through each other’s twists and turns. The Falcon (my nemesis) hadn’t been one my daughter wanted to visit last time, so I didn’t recognise the entry. It wasn’t until we were quite a way up the queue that I realised their deception. This ride involved a vertical ascent up into the trees, followed immediately by a 180 degree descent. This was not my idea of fun.
What is strange is that when I was younger I absolutley loved the fair ground. We occasionally went along the sea front on a Sunday afternoon and I would go on a ride with my brother or Dad while my Mam waited patiently for us on the ground. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t able to join in. I was absolutely convinced that this would never happen to me.
And yet, it has. I don’t know if it is an age thing or something to do with my inner ear, but I no longer have the same love for seemingly dangerous rides as I did in my teens and twenties. I’d happily accompany school children on every last ride at Alton Towers. It was a real reward when my Year 11 form got to go as a treat. I think the treat was mainly mine.
There was a fair on a car park up the road a couple of years ago. My little children were desperate to go. “You can choose one ride each,” was my reluctant agreement. The swinging chairs were a hit, although my daughter still reminds me that I “left her” to be on the row in front to sit next to her younger sibling. The ride chosen by my dare-devil son didn’t look too problematic. There was a sign saying that it was not for crying children. Ha! As if this sort of ride would upset someone of my theme-park-standing.
What about praying adults?
I asked if my two could go on without me. In hindsite, I cannot imagine what I was thinking. I would have let my precious babies cruise this hell-hole without my body weight to hold them on? This must have been one of the most reckless things I have ever considered.
It was horrific. When I thought it could not get any worse, it went faster and higher. I thought my neck was never going to recover. My children loved it, but I think I may have spoiled it for them a little by asking, “Please, Lord, let it stop!” over and over again. Of course, they bring this up fairly often, too.
So, what is it about danger? Do we feel our mortality more as we get older? Is part of it having our own children – we are more risk-averse because we don’t want them to come to any harm?
Back to scary rollercoasters: the Falcon. Did I step over the carriage and wait for my family at the other end? Or did I brave it? It was touch and go – but I did it. I must say I had my eyes closed the whole way through. I went to my happy place – a beautiful beach we’d been to on holiday. And I agreed to go on it again later in the week but still closed my eyes. Brave, and yet not so brave.
What have you done that you are frightened of?
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