Posted by: vikingsinspace | March 19, 2012

VII.12. Find the Courage to go on an Upside-down Roller-coaster

Date Accomplished: 3 Sept. 2011

The Dreaded Upside-Down Roller-Coaster

I’m not much of a thrill seeker, as I think is evident by many of my goals.  I never really enjoyed going to amusement parks as a kid, and disliked going on many of the rides I did go on (one I remember distinctly was a mini enclosed ferris wheel – I was the only person on it and decided halfway through the ride I felt trapped – I screamed at the conductor to let me off but he would’t stop the ride…  I don’t remember how old I was, but I was quite young).  Despite this, I usually enjoy roller-coasters, but could never find the courage to go on a coaster that went upside-down.

The Entrance

At the time I accomplished this goal, I had just moved to Virginia, and my girlfriend came down to see me over the Labour Day Weekend.  One of the things we opted to do was go to Busch Gardens, and I decided this would be the time I would get myself on an upside-down roller-coaster.  I knew I was going to be nervous, so to work my way up, we started by going through a couple of simple log rides, and the one coaster in the park that didn’t go upside-down: Apollo’s Chariot.

Map of the Loch Ness Monster Coaster

I felt pretty good after going o Apollo’s Chariot, but after having a look at the other coasters in the park, I wasn’t sure what I would handle best.  Most of the coasters are newer ones where the occupants’ feet dangle from the car, and I knew I would’t like that – I have always hated ski lifts for that very reason.  I do much better with heights if I have something under my feet.  So, we opted to ride The Loch Ness Monster – one of the oldest coasters in the park, but apparently considered a classic.

The Loch Ness Monster is 13 stories tall and reaches speeds of 60 mph, during which the coaster goes upside-down twice.  I was nervous as hell waiting in line.  Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long, so I wasn’t dwelling on it too much.  I found the ride to be surprisingly smooth – and I didn’t really notice when I went upside down.  I knew the upside-down part was coming, but the quickness of the car and the restraints I was put under kept me looking ahead and the loops just kind of went by without incident.  I was still a little shaky afterwards, so I opted not to go on any of the other upside-down coasters, but it was still a good day and a little personal triumph for me facing a stupid little fear.

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