Significant Moment in My Life

1 January 2017

As a girl who had always hated heights and finding myself fifteen stories in the air, the only thing that came to mind was if I was going to make it off the roller coaster I was riding. Conquering my first roller coaster and overcoming my fear of heights made me realize that I shouldn’t be afraid to take chances in life, but to be brave, because it may just turn out to be the ride of my life. At thirteen years old, I was the kid that no one wanted to drag to an amusement park with because I strictly stuck to the merry go round and swings.

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My parents were always eagerly trying to persuade me to at least try a roller coaster but I refused. Deep inside I wanted to be fearless and be able to jump on the attraction like there was no problem, but I was too nervous. All of my friends, including my family were adrenaline junkies, always wanting to get on the roughest and worst rides of them all. This naturally caused me to become even more frustrated when attending Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, which was very often.

It wasn’t till one day when visiting the park that I decided I was not just going to take a risk, but I was determined to overcome my first roller coaster. I still remember exactly what I was feeling as I walked up to “Wild Fire”, the fifteen story ride that with my luck included a full loop, corkscrew, and high-speed spiral. It was the perfect day to be at an amusement park, with no clouds in the sky and the park in a busy chaos. I was with my family and two best friends as they were on a mission to complete every roller coaster in the park.

I, on the other hand, was just hoping that I would enjoy the rides originally created for ten year olds. Half way in our journey through Silver Dollar City, I had managed to skip nearly all the rides my family rode, including a mini roller coaster that still did a wonderful job of scaring me just by watching the coaster crawl up the hill and rage through its track. By now, I was used to sulking on the bench while my family and friends happily screamed as they rode right past me. Not only was I a burden, but I was hardly having fun being known as the big baby along with sitting on a cold, hard bench.

Although all these thoughts bothered me, there was one more issue I couldn’t get out of my head, and that was dreading our last stop when I knew I’d be left standing by myself once again while everyone took a ride on Wild Fire. As we finally headed over to get in line for this ride also known as my own personal nightmare, I started analyzing all my precautions concerning the ride which only got me thinking about how many other things I had skipped out on in my life for the same reason I wouldn’t get on a roller coaster; I was terrified.

I remember all the events that had happened that day but one thing I’m still yet to fully understand is how it clicked inside my head. Getting on this rollercoaster didn’t just mean getting over a fear of heights, but realizing that there are a lot of things that can seem daunting in life, and it doesn’t mean it should hold me back. This lesson is one of the few reasons why I still honor this day as a significant moment in my life. There were a few things that contributed to what I did next.

First, it was all my built up frustration of being the wimp who wouldn’t step foot on a roller coaster. Second, it was all of the careful thinking I had been doing that day and how I was fed up with being scared. And last, the little ounce of courage I had left lying in me decided to slowly come out forcing me to apprehensively make my way to Wild Fire’s line. As I slowly came up to stand with my family, they all looked at me as if I had just done something insane, which I realized I actually had.

Although they were frankly surprised they fully supported me and went on about how proud they were, which seemed to help my nerves. I then failed to realize how I was going from never have being on something higher than the swings to stepping foot onto a roller coaster that was about to fly at 66 mph. We were scooting closer and closer to the entrance as my stomach started to turn but I kept pushing out all the negative thoughts trying to force themselves into my head. Finally after what seemed like years, I was being strapped into a neon orange chair and fastened in so I wouldn’t budge…hopefully.

Although I was scared to death all I could think about was how proud I was of myself and that if I didn’t get to walk on concrete again, at least I had gone out with a bang. My thoughts were interrupted by the ride coming to life as the machine screamed and wheels began to roll. I took one large breath and before I knew it I was flying through the air and twisting from side to side. I managed to keep my eyes open as I twirled upside down, and better yet, started to actually laugh. I was having fun.

I felt my heart float up and down as we traveled through the corkscrew and saw the clouds glaze across my vision. I even began to let go of my best friend’s hand and threw my arms in the air as the adrenaline rushed through my body and left me breathless. Just when I was starting to really enjoy the ride, I felt the same forces that scared me once before pulling against the car as it came to an abrupt stop. Smiling from ear to ear and walking with a bounce in my step, my family and I celebrated my accomplishment with a gigantic funnel cake, which only made me happier.

In the end I actually rode the coaster two more times before my parents had to practically drag me out of the park. After such a triumphant day, it made me realize I hadn’t just conquered the thing I was so afraid of, but had a grand time doing it. This experience had not only given me an adrenaline rush but a wise life lesson when it comes to trying new things. Riding a roller coaster isn’t going to the be the last scary experience I encounter, but I hope in the future, instead of hiding in a corner, I’m going to just jump on and enjoy the ride.

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