After two hours of driving and battling traffic, we finally made it! The park was alive with people, sounds, smells, and life everywhere. Kids were running towards the water park while thrill seekers like me were headed to the giants of steel.
We started out with the biggest and best rides first, like we always do. Waiting in line is the hardest part because the adrenaline is coursing through your veins faster than the cars moving on the tracks. You want to be strapped into that seat so badly, you can’t contain yourself. To be catapulted forward into the air and feel the wind gushing on my face is one of my favorite feelings.
Since the very first time I visited Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia there has been a feeling of unexplainable magic while there and riding those giant coasters is just indescribable. There is one coaster that has a first drop of about three hundred feet and reaches speeds of about ninety miles per hour (picture below). It’s the scariest and most thrilling experience I’ve ever had.
There was a time when I was afraid of these gentle giants. Afraid of the crazy heights, afraid of being flipped upside down at speeds of up to sixty miles per hour, afraid of something breaking during the ride, etc. All the thoughts of everything bad that could possibly happen would swirl through my mind and cause me to stay as far away as I could.
But one day I just looked past my fear and did it. I let go of all the reasons why I was scared and thought about all the reasons it would be amazing. I asked myself ” what trumps this feeling of pure terror in my stomach?”. Then, just like that I was riding my first coaster, terrified but realizing that I was loving every second of it.
I think there is true freedom in that. I realized that this past weekend as I rode all of my favorite rides in the park. Making the choice to be free. To be free from our insecurities and to be free from fear is like a breath of fresh air, much like riding those coasters.
We go through life much the same way; being afraid of every twist and turn is how we feel in control of things. We think that being afraid of something will, maybe, just maybe keep it at bay. But I’m sad to say that it doesn’t. Things in life will happen regardless of what we do to keep it from happening. Bad things happen to us, even scary things and a lot of times good things. Our reactions to those things can either make or break us.
Ultimately freedom and happiness is a choice we can make. Whatever it is you may be facing- a rough relationship, understanding your faith, a new job, or losing someone you love- know that the way you are reacting to it matters. It’s okay to be a little scared but don’t let that fear keep you from living your life. Living your life to the fullest is your choice and yours alone. Live it because you want to enjoy the ride.
So for the future, instead of chickening out and running out of line, tackle that coaster head on. Buckle up that seat belt, hold on, and enjoy the ride.
Happy 4th of July,