Monday, October 3, 2016

That Time I Thought I was Going to Die

The first time I went to Cedar Point, I wasn't very old.... or very tall.  In fact, I was about an inch too short to go on any of the REAL rides which completely devastated me!  I was an adventure-chasing-thrill-seeking kid who desperately wanted to be tall enough to ride the Mean Streak.

My brothers were tall enough to ride though.  And they went on the ride while I balled my eyes out.  When they returned, their faces were as white as could be, and my brother B's glasses were still crooked.  Apparently he still couldn't use his arms to adjust his glasses.  He was frozen with fear while riding the Mean Streak.

They hated the roller coaster ride and NEVER wanted to ride it again.

By the time I was tall enough to go on the rides, I was unstoppable.  It didn't matter how big, how fast, or how scary the ride was, I was on it.   The first time I went on the Millennium Force, I laughed the whole entire ride.  I wasn't one of those people who screamed on rides.  Rides were just a fun rush!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when my brother asked me if I wanted to go with him to Cedar Point.  The company he works for was declaring it their company picnic and picking up the bill.  If there is one thing I like more than roller coasters, it's free tickets to go on them!

Yesterday was the big day.  We got there before the park even opened but there were rides going already.  And that's when I decided to watch the newest ride.  Valravn.  It didn't look too incredibly tall but it was the drop off that was making me weak in the knees.  I've never liked rides with straight drops.  I will take loops until I'm queasy over a straight drop.

Only this ride didn't just let you drop straight down, oh no.  This ride stops you at the very top of the drop and lets you dangle before dropping.  I would watch and count the seconds of the carts hanging, then listen to the screams come from every single rider.

I looked over at my brother and told him, "I don't think I want to do that one."

"But it's the new one, we have to do it...don't we?"  He suggested.

I told him I needed some warm up rides before going on Valravn, and so we started small with rides we'd done many times, and because it was early in the morning, and late in the season, we had very little wait time.  We knocked out the Iron Dragon and Rougarou in our first hour.

After lunch we did my favorite ride, the Raptor, and then we headed to a ride with a straight drop but not nearly as high as Valravn's, the Maverick.  The drop on the Maverick was only 100 feet while the drop on the Valravn was 214 feet.

By the time we finished those two rides and walking around, it was time to eat again.  Knowing we probably only had enough time for one more ride, my brother convinced me to go on the new one.  I agreed on one condition... we sit in the last row.  I did not want to hang 214 feet in the air for 6 seconds while looking straight down.

We got buckled in and the ride started moving up hill... the higher we got, the more I was regretting my decision to go on this ride.   And then we were at the top hanging over....stopped....

My brother was curing like a sailor.  I was trying to but all that came out was sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-oh-oh-oh-sh-sh-sh.... and then we dropped and I screamed louder than I had ever screamed in my entire life! We looped, we went upside down, and sideways... and then we came to the top of another straight drop, though this one didn't stop, it went slow enough for me too know it was coming.  I was in complete panic mode and I looked at my brother and nearly crying, I said, "please don't make me do another DROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP OOHHHH SHSHSHSSHSHSH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"  Again, my scream probably could have been heard across the park.

A few seconds later and the ride is over.  My brother tries to give me a high five to congratulate me for surviving the scariest ride I've ever been on in my life.  However, my hands are still gripped to the ride, so he literally has to pick up my hand and slap it to his.  We unbuckled and my legs were shaking but I was so happy to be on the ground again.

"That was scary as hell but it was fun, wasn't it?"  B asks me but I give him the look of death.

"I. I. I. I. am still trying to process everything."  I finally get out.  "I will never EVER go on that ride again."

We have to stop at the nearest bench so I can sit down and calm my nerves... which takes almost an hour.  My brother asks me how many times we went upside down on the ride and I answer him honestly, "Other than the drops, I have no memory of that ride, I'm starting to think I blacked out!"  We laugh but it's true, I didn't block out but my mind was completely paralyzed by fear and that's a feeling I don't get very often.  I couldn't even function enough to swear!

For the record, my brother agrees that it is the scariest ride he has ever been on, and I'm not sure how quick he will be at doing it again, either.  But me, that was the LAST time I will ever ride  Valravn.

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