Monday, December 10, 2007


I HATE roller coasters. Hate them. I grew up not riding them, knowing I would hate them. I am generally a very self-aware person. Then I went to Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto with my College and Career’s church group one summer. And there, I did something that I rarely do (because I am a stubborn, stubborn woman. Just ask Kelly Crull!). I succumbed to peer pressure. And I rode a large, old-fashioned wooden roller coaster. I checked the website, and I don’t know if it was the Mighty Canadian Minebuster, or Wild Beast. All I know is it was one of the worst decisions I have made in my 39 years.

I knew on the horrifying, clanking ride up to the edge of doom that I had made a very, very big mistake. For one thing, I still weighed about 85 pounds at the time, and the dang bar that was supposed to keep me in the ride was about 10 feet away from me. Later on I had bruises on my legs from desperately trying to wedge my body into the cart so that I would not be flung to my death.

When the 4-hour-long ride finished, my peers looked at me and remarked calmly, “WOW! Look at Heather’s face!”

That was the last time I got on a roller coaster. EVER. I can guarantee that, even if I live another 20 years. People tell me all the time that it was bad because it was a WOODEN roller coaster, an OLD roller coaster. Apparently I would ADORE the new-fangled metal roller coasters.

I’m not buying it!

I keep trying to convince Heather that the older (wooden) roller coasters feel more dangerous than the newer coasters. In the old version you only have a bar across your waist to hold you in and you really do have to hold yourself in the car, or you really could fall out! With the new style, there is a nice snug shoulder brace. You couldn’t go anywhere.

When I was a kid, I hated roller coasters and loved rides that went round and round and round superfast. One of them was called the Tilt-a-Whirl. Another favorite was the Spider (or something like that). I didn’t like roller coasters in part because I didn’t like being so high off the ground and the sensation of going up that first steep incline. I felt more secure in the twirly kinds of rides.

But now the teacups at Disneyland make me sick and I love the wild roller coasters (they only go straight forward or straight back, even when they’re trying to “corkscrew” you). My favorite is Batman, The Ride at Six Flags in Illinois. That one has a track at your head while your feet dangle beneath you or above you (when you go around the loop).

In August, I went on a new one here in Madrid. It ratchets you up a vertical drop backwards and then releases you face first as if you’ve just been thrown off a cliff. If I were to try to convince Heather that roller coasters really aren’t so bad, I would not start with that one.


Monaca said...

okay next time you guys are in chicago, we are taking a day and going to six flags. :) It's okay, Heather, they have kiddie rides too.

paulo said...

heather, i'm with you on the no roller coasters. i did an old wooden one to prove yea or nay (i was 8), and i'm a nay kind of guy. which makes sense that i don't like being knocked around while securely strapped in, but i will be the first to go on an airplane. love 'em! maybe that can be your next post...