Roller coasters terrified me as a child/teen. I am not a big fan of heights so I suppose that was a big factor in my avoidance in riding them. In Junior High, I remember travelling with my Girl Scout troop to Cedarpoint. It’s not much fun to go to an amusement park with other kids if you don’t ride roller coasters. I decided to conquer my fears and literally “take the plunge”. As my stomach felt like it was coming out of my body on the big drop, I told myself I would never do that again. Fast forward to my 20’s. Those roller coasters looked so fun, yet the anticipation of the stomach dropping feeling came to the surface. In an attempt to conquer my fears, I once again boarded. This time, I experienced a few seconds of terror but then basked in the fun of the unexpected. I realized that how I ride a roller coaster, represents how I approach life. Events often seem overwhelming; particularly when I can’t have see the other side of them. As the life I am riding, lurks slowly up that hill, I realize I cannot get off and I can either hate the rest of the ride or find some joy in the experience.
I am reminded and encouraged by my roller coaster experiences as I begin new experiences this fall. I have a son beginning his first year of high school and am homeschooling my daughter for the first time. As the school year approached, I found myself being “pulled up the tracks” while experiencing fear and excitement at the same time. I have now gone over the hill and the last few weeks were a rush of adrenaline as lesson plans, homework, routines all increased the speed of my life tremendously. However, the speed has decreased enough that I can now enjoy the little crests along the way. I know I can conquer the next hill. I want the front car though.