What Was I Thinking?

December 16, 2010
By ZachO BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
ZachO BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I can remember back into the fifth grade spelling bee when my teacher, Ms. Bagley said, “listen to your gut.” Of course my word was “flaunt” so I listened to my gut, and said “f l o n t,” and got out. Now since that day I have questioned the words listen to your gut. On tests, and in sports games when I am thinking about a hard decision, I try to listen to my gut. Then I end up with a harsh pain in my stomach. That odd pain that I feel so much has never been as bad as the summer that I rode a roller coaster called Steel Force.

Today I have ridden a countless number of roller coasters. Once Memorial Day has passed, all that I want to do is go to Dorney Park or any other place with an ample amount of monstrous roller coasters. I would have never felt this feeling if I never went on Steel Force that fateful day. I had my forearm over my eyes to block out the blistering sun. I could feel the cold sunscreen on my face as my mom mushed it onto my face. I asked, “Are there any white spots,” and she replied “No, I rubbed them all in.” Suddenly, I jerked my head behind me due to the high-pitched screams in the distance. I noticed a small strip of gray slide down a red decline. Of course the source was no other then the riders of steel force. All right, today I am going to ride that roller coaster, and not be scared. Although deep down I knew that it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Once my family was done packing the swimsuits and towels, we started to parade to the gate. The man we gave our tickets to let us use our expired coupons. “Mom why do you have to ride the stupid carousel” I moaned. I felt excited because I saw on the height ruler at the park that I had reached 48 inches. I could finally ride the major thrill rides! Eventually, my mom walked me down to the very back of the park. The excitement was building within me. I looked at the long, winding line to Steel Force and realized I was crazy. “Whoa why are the kids so big in line” I questioned. Pretty quickly after, my mom started to panic about taking me on the ride. Meanwhile, people were taking the never-ending drop into a mountainous tunnel. I wanted to sit in the very back, but my mom made me sit in the middle. I put my mom’s purse into the cubbies on the side. I finally shut the door and proceeded to my seat. About a minute passed, but it felt like 10. The woman was speaking about safety, but it all sounded like a blur. All I could make out was “enjoy your ride,” and then we were off.

Wwheenn wwilll thhiss eendd I thought as my head bobbled from the cart on the chain. My mom had her hand over my body, because she feared I would fall out. “Zach, hold on. Don’t put your hands up,” she explained to me. “Don’t worry, I’m fine”, I replied. What if I wasn’t though? What if the handle bar did not hold me in? What if I got sick? How embarrassing. I thought all of these things as we climbed the hill. All of a sudden, the cart stopped. I knew I could get off and be a wuss. But I thought about it, and realized I didn’t need to leave, because what would I say to my friends? The words of Ms. Bagley, listen to your gut, came back to me, and I realized that even though they steered me wrong in the spelling bee it helped me many other times in my life. So I decided to listen to it again, and give it a try. It turns out someone had her phone out and the person in charge needed to take it. I tried to open my mouth, but when I did, she was already walking down the woman was pacing down the steps. So the cart proceeded up the hill. I gasped intending to hold my breath through the treacherous drop. I gripped the handlebars while tightly shifting my hands until they slipped off. My sweat was disabling my grip. I leaned toward the back of the seat. I grinded my teeth to relieve some of the stress I was feeling, all just to prepare for the drop. Then my jaw dropped as I saw the first car creak down the hill. It slowly dropped in a very fluent motion. Stealthily, I tightened my stomach and forearms. I also clenched my eyes shut. I couldn’t even look. In a quarter of a second, I had a light bulb moment. I thought of all the fun I was about to have and quickly held my mother’s arm with my left hand and rose up my right. I opened my mouth and giggled until I saw the blue tunnel at the bottom of the hill. Our cart suddenly took control of our weight and let gravity pull us down.

I felt the butterflies build up as we dropped. My mom’s fingernails scratched my chest as she tried to hold on to me. She continued holding me as we continued through the tunnel of darkness and then up again only to find another huge drop. “Whooohoo” I screamed. We started to do a 720 degrees turn, and I felt parts of my face flapping around in the wind. I clenched together my neck muscles, but it was not enough strength to resist the force as we built up G’s. Then the back of my head slammed onto the stiff back of the seat. This ride is amazing I thought, why would I even question not going on it? In a flash I became quite upset when we hit some magnets that slowed us down. I thought the ride was over. But just like that we were forced down in a series of humps. I was blinded by the camera’s flash, and when I could finally see again we were done. I unbuckled my seat belt and my mom said with relief, “Thank God we are done!”

I walked off of that ride a changed person. In the end I completely loved the ride and ended up going on it several other times in the same day. I guess that it is sometimes a good thing to listen to your gut even if it sometimes fails, because that day I had a great time. Thank you Ms. Bagley.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Dec. 22 2010 at 3:13 pm
great story Zach - I was on the edge of my seat!

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