I can’t remember when it happened exactly. It wasn’t in my 20s because I remember spending every birthday at Alton Towers and saying an emphatic ‘yes’ to every rollercoaster. Even the ride that we had queued up for, when an employee took a hammer to the track just before we got on. We still looped the loop without a thought.
It might have started when I had Tes. All of the sudden there’s not just you to think about and for some reason over the years when I’m faced with a decision to take part in something that has a chance of physical injury my yes has turned into a non wavering no.
Non wavering that is until your nephew’s get involved. During our annual Center Parcs jaunt this week I’m faced with a slide that my younger younger bigger brother declared he ‘thought he was going to die’ as he got off. Not the most persuasive argument to get me on said slide. As my nephew’s busily make their best chicken impression my head continues to shake no. Nope. NO.
What’s it like I ask taller younger brother. Fun. He says. Will I get hurt? I say. No he assures me. Some people you trust in the world and he’s one of them. The nephew’s continue to dance around my feet with mischievous pleading eyes. And that’s when I find myself walking up the metal steps and somehow queuing up for …..The Tornado.
It didn’t do my nerves that much good when the waiting foursome ahead in the queue sat in the inflatable raft all smiles to then go out of sight for a few seconds with the excitable laughing still echoing upwards towards me only to be suddenly replaced with piercing screams akin to those victims of Freddy Kruger. Then silence.
And then it was my turn. The nephew’s looked gleeful as I took my seat. I gripped the handles like my life depended on it. I think my life actually did depend on it! It swirls slowly at first twisting around the turquoise tube. Water splashes gently in our faces as it begins to sway harder and faster. And then it happens. The tube disappears. There is no slide. The raft and four people are now at the mercy of gravity and my stomach has left my body. My hands shake and I’ve lost most of the feeling in my legs. We are hurling vertically to oblivion with all our senses trying to make sense of how we can survive falling into thin air…..seconds feel like minutes when the raft finally makes contact with the slide again and after a few more rapid turns brings us to the bottom. To safety.
So I did it and I was glad I did it. Did I enjoy it? Not sure. What I have enjoyed is learning I need to say yes a bit more to things I might feel uncomfortable about. We’ve all got different things that scare us.. perhaps facing them head on is one way to at least be able to say, we’ve done it. We’ve faced our fears!
Happy Sunday everyone x Dwys x