Great Adventure... I Don't Think So! - My Family Travels
Great Adventure Death Defying Rollercoasters

Hurling through the air at speeds defying logic, twisting, turning, flipping upside down, then careening down terrifying heights, screaming until your lungs burn, is not my idea of fun.  Roller coasters have never been a big pull to me.  Why would anyone want to put themselves through that on purpose?

In the past, when we went on family vacations to amusement parks, I would select to go on the most mundane, ordinary rides possible.  My dad, the thrill seeker, would go on all the fast flying, death defying rides, sometimes coming out looking a little blue, but yet still heading to the next line.  Whenever I saw a huge rollercoaster over my head, I looked up and saw the strangest thing, people screaming their heads off, but at the same time, throwing their hands in the air and waving enthusiastically. How could the two reactions exist together? I was determined never to find out.

That said, it may seem very strange that I visited Six Flags Great Adventure recently with my school.  Perhaps, due to the fact that I went with my Physics class, there was not a bit of fear in me.  After all, the visit was clinical; I was going to study the inner workings of the monster rollercoasters, what made them tick? 

To my dismay, all of my friends either loved roller coasters or were willing to try them to placate the rest of the group.  Not me! I would stay true to my cause.  Unfortunately, what happened next was similar to what happens when rain beats down against a rock for a period of time; it erodes.  After standing around, waiting on the sidelines for what seemed like hours, watching all the hype, missing out on all the camaraderie, I regret to say that I joined the masses on the long line leading to what could only be termed as my demise: Nitro.  One selling factor was that I was told there would be no loops, twists, or flips, so how hard could it really be?  If anything, I could always change my mind at the front of the line, but at least I would have the companionship of my friends all the way there.

As I neared the front of the line, I started to hyperventilate. What did I think I was doing? As I started to back out, one of my friends looked directly at me, and said, “It’s not so bad.  I know you can do it”. Apparently that bit of confidence in me was what I needed. I stepped into the seat, strapped myself in, and took a long deep breath. As soon as the ride started slowly going up the monumental hill, I had another panic attack and clenched the bar until my knuckles were white.

When we reached the top, I was petrified. I couldn’t imagine how it would feel as we barreled down the hill.  Then the oddest thing happened. As we started free falling down the steep slope, my inhibitions seemed to float away. Exhilaration replaced fear, and I felt like I was flying. It was the most wonderful feeling imaginable!  I even dared to lift my hands from the bars, but only momentarily.  When the ride was over, and we disembarked, my legs were a little wobbly below me, but I had the largest grin on my face. “Let’s go again”, I said! Who would have thought that my greatest fear could turn out to be the thrill of my life! My advice to others, “Don’t be afraid to try something new, you just never know!

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