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I guess this is Growing Up

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“Um…I’m thirsty.”

“I’m Dad, nice to meet you. Now quit stalling, we are going to ride this thing!”

I was hoping it would not come to this. This was supposed to be the best time of the year time; after all, this is my summer vacation. Fifth grade was worth going through just to have that three-month break, at least until I learned that my family would be visiting Cedar Point that season- and Cedar Point equals roller coasters.

I started to fish for distractions. “Can we get something to eat?”

“Don’t be such a worrywart, just ride!” He might as well have told me to “try it, you’ll like it!”. No kid believes that talk!

Many roller coasters loomed over us. Cedar point has some of the most impressive roller coasters in the world, including the famous, record-breakingly tall “Millennium Force”. However, we were getting in line for a different ride, the “Iron Dragon”. Not that it mattered to the younger me, because I was scared senseless all the same. I never did like roller coasters; they flung me up, down, and around, with only a small bar to hold me in place. Most of the time, I could hardly keep my eyes open during the decent. Even worse, this was one of those modern, steel-crafted upright-standing coasters, meaning there was not even a floor to hold the passengers. Yet I was already in line, and there were already people behind us, so we had no choice but to queue.

“I’m tired…”

“Well, the line’s not moving very much, so you can sit if you like.” I did, though it was not the outcome I wanted. I wanted to LEAVE!

Waiting was always the worst part. A ride could be exhilarating, or it could be offensively disappointing- yet waiting in line was the most nerve-wracking activity in any theme park. The anticipation would manifest in every bead of sweat rolling down my forehead, as I watched group after group scream their way down the first hill. Just imagining the pull of gravity forcing a scream out of my gut was enough cause for alarm.

Just then, my panic was interrupted by something delicious.“Churros! Hot, Cinnamon-y Churros!”

Well, that got my attention away from the ride. “What’s this guy doing, selling food to people waiting in line?”

“All I know is that he’s a genius. You said you were hungry, right?”

We arrived at the track, with the last riders walking off towards the exit. “Hmm,” I thought, “those guys seem to be just fine.” I looked at their faces, and they were… smiling? If they could enjoy this ride, why couldn’t I? I strapped myself into the safety restraints, showing an unusual flash of bravery that impressed even me. Up we went… and back down. There was a hard turn left, and a few hard turns to the right. Our car even took a sharp drop, skimming just over the ground and through a tunnel. Before I realized it, the ride had ended. The whole family climbed out, and headed to the photo booth to see ourselves in mid-drop. Just then, I had a startling revelation.

“That… was actually fun!” I do not know if it was maturity or just adrenaline, but I felt more pumped than ever. This ride- the one that worried me to no end- was not so bad after all! I ended up buying a T-shirt at the gift shop to commemorate that day and wore it until holes appeared in the stitching. But that is not important; what sticks with me the most is what I said directly after getting off the ride…

“Let’s go on again!” Perhaps I should not have been so afraid of an experience I did not have yet.





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