Roller coaster guide for scaredy cats

The Zoomerang, a steel coaster, is in the background of this photo of Lake Compounce and Phobia, a newer steel coaster, is partially shown to the right. (Beth Criado-Band/YJI)
1.     Take a look at the roller coasters. Quietly marvel at how people are willing to put themselves at the mercy of a cart that moves upside down and backwards at perilous heights.
2.     Be convinced by a friend to put yourself at the mercy of a cart that moves upside down and backwards at perilous heights.
3.     As you stand in line, watch the ride-goers scream as the coaster launches itself along a loop. Hope that it’s out of excitement, and not fear as you suspect.
4.     Finally, it’s time for you to step onto the ride. Consider making a quick dash to the exit, but don’t. “Come on,” you tell yourself, “you’ve made it this far.”
5.     You’re all buckled in and the ride starts, which means there’s no turning back now. As you creep up the first big incline, you realize the mistake you’ve made. You simultaneously want this slow crawl to end and last longer.
6.     The carts races along the first loop and you finally understand what people mean when they say they feel their heart in their throat.
7.     Close your eyes – that should make it bearable, right? Wrong. Now you’re just more aware of the way your body is hanging off the cart with nothing but a glorified seatbelt preventing you from falling to your death. This was a bad idea.
8.     Open your eyes. This was also a bad idea. Now you’re experiencing the disorientation as you go from looking at the back of your eyelids to watching the world spin around you as you hurtle along an ever winding track.
9.     The cart races along one more loop. (By now you’re screaming sounds marginally less petrified, so you’re getting better, right?) And now you’re slowing down to approach the end, so no more screaming necessary.
10.  Hop off the ride, giddy with excitement. Enjoy the way your adrenaline rush makes you romanticize the past few minutes of
absolute fear. Now that you’re feeling like a daredevil, it’s time to repeat the process – with hopefully less screaming.
Mugdha Gurram is a Senior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
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