It’s been quite a few years since I rode a roller coaster.  I had dinner with a friend the other night and they had mentioned that Cedar Point has a new “fast pass” that makes the day so much more enjoyable with faster lines.  There is a behind the scenes entrance to all the major rides and when people are waiting 1-2 hours for a ride, this “fast pass” line takes about 20 minutes.  It is over double the price of a normal ticket but worth every penny!

From the Front Seat

Front Seat of Maverick

Once I decided to go and roped a friend to go with me, my goal was to ride a couple of my favorite roller coasters, the Maverick and the Millennium Force, all day long…and that is exactly what we did.  I love both of these roller coasters for different reasons.  Millennium Force is just plain HUGE and really fast, rising to 310 feet, 80 degree drop, and traveling at 93 miles per hour.  The Maverick is a totally different beast and travels a mere 70mph but is full of twists and turns and tunnels and is meant to mimic a rodeo. 

The lines moved so quickly it was actually worth waiting a couple extra minutes to ride in the front seat of the Maverick.  It is a game changer to experience that ride from the front seat.  You get to see everything first hand and shooting up and over a hill with a 95 degree drop (more than vertical) really gets the butterflies and adrenaline moving!  From there it is up and over another hill, twist one way, twist the other, over, under and around for about 2 min 30 sec.  In the middle there is a pitch black tunnel that you come to a complete stop in.  Anxiety builds while sitting in the dark waiting for the next phase. You are then blasted through and out of the tunnel and twist one way, then then other, over under and around again until you come to a complete stop at the end.  Go try it sometime…it is a wild rush!

Of course as I am riding this ride over and over, I am thinking about how it relates to life.  Life has its ups and downs.  As soon as we are up, we are down, and when we reach the bottom, we are already heading back up.  Life twists one way, we make a correction and it twists the other way.  We get over things, we feel pinned down under things.  Just when we have given up and stop to close our eyes and reflect, it is time to open them back up as we are slingshot out of a dark tunnel and more ups and downs and twists and turns.  WOW!!!

So what are we supposed to do?  How can we gracefully maneuver this ride called LIFE?  When I get in line for these roller coasters, I am nervous every single time.  I don’t care if I rode that ride 3 times already that day, I am still nervous when I strap myself in.  I bank on the fact that there are loads of people, on a daily basis, making it to the end alive and well.  I realize if I am strapped into the seat correctly, I have a really good chance of making it safely.

This idea doesn’t work quite so easily and readily for real life because there are no seats, harnesses or seat belts.  I relate the harness and seat belt to our ideas and concepts about the world and the seat is the solid foundation we build on.  If we figure out what our core values are, keep a positive attitude, and keep laying down a good, solid foundation, we will make it through the ups and downs and twists and turns quite gracefully.

When you get a chance to take a wild ride on a roller coaster, DO IT!  When you realize your own life is the roller coaster, EMBRACE IT!  Have some fun with it and know that if you have employed the proper harness and seat belt, though its not possible to come out of life alive (that is just against the rules), we can have an enjoyable ride!

Can you relate?  Have you been on a wild ride, either literally or figuratively?  I would love to hear your stories!

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