Monday, February 8, 2010

To ride or not to ride...

I love a good amusement park. I love fast rides and slow rides, and rides that take me high above the crowd, and rides that keep me close to the ground. Given a choice however, I will pick a bumpy, heart pounding rollercoaster every time.

My favorite is the old wooden rollercoaster. While waiting in line you wonder how it is still standing and will it hold up through your ride. I enjoy the modern rollercoasters as well, the ones that take me on fast, tight turns with long drops and the endless loops. I love the twinge in my stomach while we hang over the edge waiting for the drop, my body slamming from side to side with each turn and finally floating in every loop. To me the roller coaster is the ultimate thrill ride.

I have also been known on occasion to enjoy the Ferris wheel. The smooth constant turn of the wheel giving all its riders a chance to catch their breath, talk, get away from the crowds, and enjoy some nice views.

When I was twelve years old my soccer team won a tournament. Each player was given a ticket to the grand opening of the new rollercoaster at Lagoon. My team was excited because we would be the first to ride the “Colossus”. On the day of the opening our coach promised $10 to the player who rode the “Colossus” the most times in a row. I was up for the challenge, and for awhile many of the girls kept up. Around the 10th and 11th ride, one by one each girl dropped out of the competition. Ride after ride I was ready to go again. Finally on the 24th turn I sat alone on the ride, I won. With $10 and a headache I met up with my team at the Ferris wheel.

You see life right now is a bit like an old, bumpy rollercoaster; the climb to the top is slow, the thrill of the drop is small, bumping from side to side is painful, and the ride can give me a headache. I catch myself longing for the smooth, constant turn of the Ferris wheel, for its even course, and I wonder if I’m on the right ride.

Then suddenly a small drop or a new loop lets me float above the crowd and I’m reminded that I’m pretty sure I’d miss the ride.

The Ferris wheel will have to wait.