I was an adrenaline junkie for some years, off and on, though if you met me now you wouldn’t think so. Like many, I thought I was invincible, and/or that I was so special an angel or whatever was looking out for me in particular to ensure I remained on this side of the veil.
You want to scream at teenagers who think this way. You’re not special! You can die at any time. You’ve just been lucky so far. But of course they aren’t going to listen; they’re teenagers. Duh.
One of the tamer ways I found excitement was by seeking out the newest, largest roller coasters within driving distance. One theme park my high school friends and I went to was in Gurnee, Illinois, which in 1978 debuted the Tidal Wave (it had been in operation at other Six Flags’ parks). This wasn’t a complicated RC to the naked eye, though it was a sophisticated engineering marvel, just up, loop, and down. No biggie, right? 🤣😂😱
We went on that thing as many times as we could, in between eating burgers and fudge and going on other loopy doopy rides. Did I get sick, dizzy, or nauseated? Nope! Did my back, neck, or feet hurt? Nah. Did I pass out, fall off, or die? Um no.
Time passed. I moved to California. My head began to hurt all the time. A date took me to Magic Mountain and we went on a coaster, but I didn’t feel good afterwards. I took my kids to Knott’s Berry Farm with another mom and we all went on a tame ride and my neck ached from the bouncing. I began to avoid rides completely. They just seemed like something I’d be better off not doing.
A few times in the past several years I’ve been to the Orange County Fair (where I’m going today, btw, and let us hope there are no shootings or stabbings), and friends have occasionally persuaded me to go on rides. Turns out, I don’t enjoy them any longer at all. I feel no joy in that adrenaline rush I once did.
I guess I have changed, in one area anyway.
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