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Not your typical adrenalin junkie
I’m not your typical adrenalin junkie. When I visit the fantastic theme parks in central Florida, I don’t rush to the thrill rides and buzz with anticipation as I wait my turn. I’m more likely to hover around, checking out whichever roller coaster my friends and family want to tackle. I’ll look at the scale of the beast, watch countless fun-seekers go up and down, round the bends and looping the loops – all at such high speeds.
I have to be persuaded and cajoled to even get in line. “I will do it. No wait, I won’t. ” My nerves are shattered and I go through such a range of emotions. Firstly I feel terrified, then excited at the thought of beating the ride. I swing between being positive I want to do it, to being positive that I don’t. After much to-ing and fro-ing, saying ‘maybe later’ and “lets do a tamer ride first” or “lets get a soda drink before we do anything else”, I start to come round to the idea. I procrastinate but I know deep down that I’m going to face my fears and do it anyway. Even when I feeling at my bravest, there is still that niggle in the back of my head saying “Are you mad? ”
What finally persuades me is the thought of standing watching the others whilst they go for the ride of their lives I know that as soon as they are off I’ll regret it instantly if I’m not with them. I don’t want to be left holding the jackets only for them to come off the ride absolutely high on adrenalin whilst I’m feeling nothing but annoyance at myself for being such a chicken. So, I approach the queue with trepidation and as I slowly but surely move up the line, I battle with myself; “I don’t want to do it but I don’t want to miss out. I’m excided yet I’m terrified. ”
At last, it’s my turn to go. I sit down, I strap in, I obsessively check and recheck the safety harness. I am absolutely petrified. Then we’re off. I scream, my eyes are squeezed shut and I think “Oh my god, this is it; time to meet your maker. ” If it is a slow climb roller coaster like Duelling Dragons, I push myself as far back into my seat and grip the harness like there is no tomorrow. If it is a high speed starter, like the Hulk, there is no time to worry – you are gone and the Gs are carrying you.
The first drop approaches. My stomach is in my chest and my heart is pounding in my throat. But, here’s the funny thing, once I’m over that first drop, speeding downwards, my screams become giggles, my eyes start to open and… Yes! I am absolutely loving the thrill! The fear is still there but it is overridden by the sheer delight. I’m upside down and spinning around. “Oh no, we’ll never get under that tunnel without hitting the roof! But we do. I’m thinking “go faster, I’m going to beat it! ” Yes, I am truly alive and laughing like a child as the wind whips at my face and my grip loosens on the harness.
All too soon it’s over. I’m full of post-thrill ride endorphins. I feel elated and brave and am thinking “which one can we do next? ” And that’s the joy of Florida theme parks – there are so many thrill rides to choose from. I’ve done them all; Universal, Disney, Busch Gardens, Sea World…
Reluctant participant I may be, but that only adds to the thrill. The anticipation, the trepidation, the fear and the joy – I love it, I hate it, but really I LOVE IT. So, if you are like me, don’t be left at the sidelines, go for it. Once you do, you’ll be craving more and you certainly won’t regret it. Go on, you know you want to…
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