Fear is an emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding or freezing from traumatic events. (Wikipedia)
Forget Everything And Run. (Crissy – (ME)
I looked up at the raging monster and I can taste the bile as it slowly rises in my mouth. My heart was beating double time, my palms were sweaty and my breathing shallow. I can’t do it. I can not conquer it. My head feels light and my eyes go dark…
The carnival season was over and we’re winding down and recovering from a hectic season. We planned a day trip to one of the UK’s largest theme parks, *Thorpe Park. In case you didn’t know, I am a big coward. Especially when in comes to heights. The thought of going on any of the rides never occurred to me because it is NEVER going to happen. My plans are to stuff my face with junk food and just enjoy listening to other people scream in fear.
We were having a good time until my friend Megan nudged me with an atrocious comment, ”We have to go on one ride and I mean a big one!” I snorted loudly at her to which she barked, ”WE ARE GOING!!!” A new sense of fear now seized me. ”We’re going on that one”. She was pointing at the one called the **Nemesis Inferno. I sized up the ”raging monster” as it soars angrily over my head, taunting me as it loops and turns. I look up at the raging monster and I can taste the bile as it slowly rises…
We are in the queue and I keep asking myself ‘Why on earth am I still here!?’ ‘RUN!!!’ No, I was feeling too embarrassed to turn back now. There were kids in the line for crying out loud. The little voice in my head taunts me; ”Big baby!”. How dare she. She was the baby. I rolled my eyes. I was determined. As they pull the bars over my chest and strapped me in, my heart started to beat so hard, I was sure it was trying to make a futile escape. As my friend grabbed on to my hand, I said a little prayer and felt a tug as the beast started it’s horrifying journey. As it starts it’s climb, I thought, trying hard to convince myself, maybe the fear is all in my head and it is not as scary as it looks. The raging beast reaches it’s peak and was about to make that catastrophic drop. My heart beat got stronger, I felt its beat throughout every inch of my body. A thousand macabre thoughts of dying and death by roller-coaster crossed my mind. My head felt light. I held my breath…
…then, what happened next, was the most astonishing thing ever! I opened my eyes. I saw the most breathtaking view of the park. Surprisingly, there were lots of beautiful greenery. My heart rate slowed and I felt so calm in that split second before it dropped. Then it dropped. I closed my eyes with a fearful, death-grip like hold I could feel my eye-balls at the back of my skull. I joined the girls in a blood curdling scream. My stomach did some impressive somersaults, worthy of a ‘Perfect Ten’. Suddenly, there was a sharp pain in my left hand. ”Oh my God! What was it?” ”Did my hand get caught or severed by the Raging Beast?” My heart rate accelerated at the speed of lightening. I cautiously looked over at my hand to see my white-faced friend’s vise-like grip on my hand holding onto it for dear life. She was meant to be holding it for comforting support. I could feel her fear. I chuckled to myself because they both dared me to go on the ride and were both so excited and now they are both screaming like teenage girls in those slasher movies. I decided to open my eyes again. I was marveled at my own calm. I felt a freakish sense of tranquility and I started to love being on the ride. Suddenly, in a moment of lunacy and adrenaline rush, I released my hand from the grips of ”death” and threw it in the air with a loud ”WooHoo!!!” and then, all too soon, the ride ended.
It was exhilarating. Is this what I have been missing all my life? This rush?? This awesomeness??? Don’t get me wrong now, I’m still pretty much a height recreant, but now I think, maybe I can take more chances. Not just with heights or roller-coasters; in life. Hey, that is one scary ride, life! Fear, it no longer means to me Forget Everything And Run but Face Everything And Rise. Fear is a choice. We either choose to let our thoughts control the fear or we rise above it and face it.
Now what next can I try to conquer my fear of…?
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
*Thorpe Park: https://www.thorpepark.com/
**Nemesis Inferno: https://www.thorpepark.com/rides/nemesis-inferno/