Nothing like falling over 300 feet to jumpstart a stalled brain. I spent last weekend at Cedar Point for the senior class school fundraiser. We all got into the park for free in exchange for 4 hours of our time working a booth….and the school received a percentage of the proceeds. Not a bad deal.
I hadn’t been on a roller coaster in several years, but could not WAIT to try out the new rides. There was high wind the first day so several of the big coasters were closed, drizzly rain the night of the second day….and so, the crowds were light to say the least. Sunday morning/early afternoon was perfect for riding rides- but few people took the chance. Six hours at Cedar Point may give you approximately 5 hours standing in lines on a regular day….but on Sunday- we had no more than a 15 minute wait for any ride. Amazing. Let’s go!
Millenium Force broke records 10 years ago when it was built. 310 feet high….a dive to the ground at an 80 degree angle…speeds of 93 miles per hour. I accidentally found myself in the front car- (lack of attention will do that) and was um, a bit nervous since I sort of rely on a seat in front of me to break my fall in case of an emergency…kidding, er maybe…mainly though it meant I didn’t really have anything substantial to hold on to.
Clicking up to the peak, I focused on the freighters on Lake Erie, watched the birds catch the wind and….relaxed. There was no turning back, I was set to fall and was about as calm as if I was sitting on the bench in my front yard with a cup of coffee, it was so beautiful out.
I was scared at the top in split second before going over….but was just as quickly amazed. I love that feeling. The rush of adrenaline, the complete lack of control, the ‘holy cow, how is this even possible’ thoughts.
After that ride I could not wait to try the next craziest…Top Thrill Dragster… 420 feet straight up and then you twist your way back down. It was the tallest and fastest coaster in the world when it opened in 2003.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a shot at this ride, since it broke down as we were set to get on. The car in front of us was shot up, but didn’t quite make it to the top and it came rushing back down (this happens) They went to shoot it up again, but it didn’t make it again, and so they shut the ride down. next time, baby, first thing.
There is only one kind of ride I will not attempt -won’t even watch. Those dang swings make me ill, around and around, not really going anywhere, blah. Shocking heights and speeds do not faze me, I will twist upside down, in the dark, dangling dangerously above the ground….but going round and round is just not my thing.
Which brings me to the point of this -extra long- post…
Same ol’ same ol’ makes me ill,
potentially disastrous change is what I crave.
This can be a tough balancing act to control. I try to insert risks into my safe life, roller derby for example, but mainly my risks are mental. I take on just a bit too much, just enough to throw me in a tailspin every so often.
The GBE2 prompt was Balance and I avoided the topic because at first glance, balance reminds me of keeping everything safe and normal, around and around, just enough of this and that and everything is perfect …..gag me…
but then somewhere between Cedar Point and plotting my next adventure I realized balance is relative, and yes, even necessary. Now that I am back to standing in line, so to speak- balancing out work and working out- creating my own art and teaching- writing my own stuff and the stuff that earns money – friends and solitude – family and individuality….it’s true my balance will not look like your balance and that’s okay.
since I am self analyzing here, and you have the freedom to click away at any moment, I will continue…
I also realized detaching myself from the outcome is how I handle free falls. On the way up the 310 foot coaster, I was “in the moment” i suppose, but not really…..the truth was I was traveling up a coaster on my way to possible death, but I was enjoying the scenery, bird watching even, thinking about how pretty the clouds looked over Lake Erie, wondering if we were going to get any rain later…screaming wasn’t necessary-worrying wasn’t worth it, what was done was done, I was enjoying that second.
so, end of self analysis…..
Where ever you find yourself today-
enjoy the view.
I added “clarity” to the title at the last second because it worked….and it fulfilled my “catching up on GBE2 posts” ~love it.