This week: The time you were the most terrified – your knees were knocking, your heart was racing, you could barely stand to be in your own skin.
I used to loved rollercoasters. Until the summer I went to Six Flags in Washington, DC and had my mind erased.
I was on an extended business trip and my co-workers and I decided to take a trip to Six Flags one Saturday. We spent about an hour walking around, taking in the sights, going on a few rides. Then we spotted the Mind Eraser. It was the biggest, loopiest coaster I had ever seen. I immediately put my hand up when my friends asked “Who’s in?”
The lineup wasn’t too long; it was still fairly early in the day. As we inched closer to the loading ramp I started to hear the screams. The cars rushed past above our heads. So much screaming. Stomach churning drops followed by straighaways and loops within loops. I was so excited I could barely speak.
Finally the ride was over and it was our turn to board. We were strapped in and then a padded, steel loop was lowered around our heads. It was in the shape of the letter U; the bars framed our faces and the horizontal bar went across our chests. Suddenly I felt very confined. I had a fleeting thought of maybe I should have examined the strapping mechanism more closely, and then we were off.
Almost immediately my head slammed against the left bar. I screamed because it really hurt. And then as we picked up speed and started twisting and turning on the track, my head was slammed into the bars again and again. After about 30 seconds I wanted it to stop. I started shouting but of course it blended in with the hysterical screams of my fellow passengers, just some crazy rollercoaster junkies! I tried to move my hands to protect my head but I was strapped in too tightly. I closed my eyes and tried in vain to stop my head from slamming into the bars. As the coaster sped up for the finale of the ride the jerking motion became more pronounced, and my head slammed even harder into the padded bars. By this point I was crying and terrified I would knock myself out. Somehow I held on until the end, eyes tightly closed, tensed for the next head bashing turn.
As the cars began to finally slow down I started yelling. When we came to a stop I was still yelling and crying and desperately trying to get out of my harness. They came to my aid right away and let me out first. They could see and hear how scared I was. I barely made it to the garbage can before throwing up. As I stood there vomiting, head splitting, I could feel my knees knocking and my heart racing. My tears fell onto the empty cotton candy wrappers and french fry containers. Tears of relief mixed with the hot tears of embarrassment. I had been so excited, after all. I had wanted this ride above all the others. And here I was puking and crying afterwards. Fantastic.
Worst coaster ride ever. LAST coaster ride ever.
This is the latest exercise in my 642 Things to Write About Project. Click on the link to find out more, or click on the category 642 Things to Write About Project to read past exercises. 🙂