, 2012 when I went on my first escapade to a land filled with intricate, intimidating machines. Its loud swirling noise traumatized even the screeching sounds of butterflies fluttering in the inner core of my abdomen. They called this place, located in Jackson, New Jersey, Six Flags Great Adventure. Despite its fun and venturesome title, I started to completely regret and even scold myself for believing that I could accomplish a feat like riding roller coasters endlessly in the air. At that moment, I've never felt so queasy, dizzy, nervous, and afraid all at once. Then a thought flew into my mind, it was Friday the thirteenth, an omen that I believed to exist to only scare off the weakest of people. I was, at that moment, one of the weakest of people. I've never felt so anxious, flustered, tense, and uneasy that I started to physically find difficulty to breathe. Every time I took a deep breath, the air inside my lungs felt like it exerted more force and fiercely pushed itself against the valves of my respiratory system. I quickly stopped again, and forced myself to breathe in and out. These relaxation techniques would not lessen my fears but it would soon aid me in discovering a rule of thumb I still live by.
As I turned the turnstile through the park, the first thing I see is the magnificent fountain, located at the heart of the park, spewing water in the most detailed designs. The park looked surreal in that nothing could be more perfect; kids were lining up to get their picture taken with Goofy, and Donald Duck, adults were chatting about how much they enjoyed their previous rides. Regardless of the beautiful scenery of the park, I was still very much anxious so my family and I started out with the Ferris Wheel. Despite the slow and soft pace of the ride, I shook and trembled with fear. When the Ferris Wheel reached its apex, I started to hyperventilate. This behavior was routine for the next few rides. It all changed when I reached Skull Mountain, I began to adjust to the redundant ways of the rides. By the end of the ride, I actually enjoyed it. My breathing became more consistent and normal, and I began to put my hands in the air. I relished the feeling of the breeze through my hair, and the plunging pressure toward my chest; it was one of the most exhilarating days I've ever had.
By the end of the day, I went on most of the major roller coasters including Nitro, Bizarro, and the one I'm most proud of, Kingda Ka. I realized that my fear was not in the roller coaster itself, but in my ability to accomplish these feats. I was anxious and scared about how I would feel afterward but never did I imagine the thrill and adventure I feel during the rides. I was too focused on the results rather than the process itself. If I had succumbed to the nerves prior to entering the park, I would have never experienced the fun and joy in roller coasters. I would have missed out on a wonderful opportunity that taught me the lesson of enjoying every moment you have. Every moment is an adventure, and it is those moments that inevitably define the person that you are. Six Flags sparked my initiative to enjoy every moment and is representative of my ideals for the future. In a few simple words, I learned the electrifying meanings behind the terms “Carpe Diem,” and “YOLO.”
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