Yesterday, I took a trip with some special people in my life to Great Adventure. I haven’t been there in years, but I was really anticipating it. Lately, I’ve found myself having trouble quelling my fears. As much as I am trying to believe that all my needs will be taken care of, I’m still tuning into that little voice that produces the fear of lack. So, I was excited to visit the theme park, because I knew that I would be forced to confront fear. Maybe, it seems strange but it has always worked for me. I’ve been rebellious ever since I can remember. When faced with the meanest roller-coaster, my rebellion gene kicks in and I have to conquer it.
The hardest part of the roller-coaster is the climb to the top. Once I am secured in the seat, the coaster slowly climbs to the top. I can see the ground beneath me. I am looking down on where I’ve been and realizing how far I could drop if something goes wrong. At that point, every fear possible runs through my mind.
“Why did I choose to ride this?”
“Will I make it?”
“Was this the right thing to do?”
As the coaster reaches the top and I know I am about to freefall, I let go. I am committed to enjoying the ride with all it’s twists, turns and loops. I am terrified, but I am exhilarated. Blood is coursing through my veins, my heart is pumping and the adrenaline causes my senses to come alive. In those few moments, the risk was worth it. And when the coaster comes to a stop, and the ride is over, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I have faced and conquered my fears.
We rode several roller-coasters yesterday, but one definitely stands out. The Kingda Ka was a very intimidating roller-coaster. I’m not normally scared of roller-coasters, but I felt my knees knock a little when I stared at this one. The coaster travels at a speed of 128 mph and propels up a track that is 456 feet high. If that doesn’t sound scary, I’m including a picture.
The rebellion within me told me that I had to face it no matter how scared I felt. And I knew that if I could do this then there was nothing to be afraid of. My heart and mind were fighting as we stood in line and even as I strapped myself into the seat. The coaster moved slowly forward and then rested. My tension relaxed for a moment and my mind cleared. Suddenly, like a rocket, we shot forward and were propelled at such a speed that I didn’t have time to think about what was about to happen. The next thing I knew, my back was forced against the seat and I was staring up at a night sky. Then I was weightless and we arrived at the top, spun upside down and was sent hurtling to the earth. I felt like I had just jumped off a building. As, the coaster continued, I let go. I wasn’t in control and I didn’t care. I trusted that I would be okay because I had to be.
The magical part was that when it all ended, I was sitting next to someone that willingly took the ride with me. We faced our fears together and we took the risk. In the end, we arrived back at the station and we were laughing hysterically. We were screaming, clapping and ecstatic. In my heart, I knew he didn’t have to ride with me. He had every right to sit this ride out, but he faced every challenge that day with me. He’s faced every challenge with me.
It’s amazing what a rollercoaster can do to renew your faith. Life and love is very much like a roller-coaster. You decide when and which roller-coaster you want to be apart of. But, there will be ups and downs. I guess it is all in how you look at it. If you stare at those twists and tell yourself that it will kill you, then you will probably will cry. If you look at those turns and tell yourself that you will enjoy it and it will make you stronger, then you might grow to love it. If you never get on the ride, then you miss out all together.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain.
Choose to ride, my friends!