I recently went to Movie World on the Gold Coast for a conference. It was in the evening and the park was closed to the public. We had access to a group of rides and two of the rides were rollercoasters. What is one of my fears?? Riding rollercoasters??!! I wouldn’t say I loved them as a child, although I was much braver back then and as I grew older I felt less and less desire to ride a rollercoaster.
I knew there would be rides, but didn’t give it much thought until I arrived. Then I saw the big rides and fear started to build in my chest. I knew my partner would want to go on the rides as he is a big kid, and also knew this was an opportunity for growth.
There were two rollercoaster rides. One was being repaired and the other ready to go! People started to walk towards the rides and I started to feel anxious. I asked my partner if we could go on the smaller ride first. I wanted to ease myself into it. First ride was easy and so I was ready for a rollercoaster.
People were walking around saying how much fun the first rollercoaster was. I saw people of all ages and an older woman who was lining up. I started talking to myself. “You can do this”, “Embrace the fear”, “It will be over in minutes”
I lined up, feeling nervous and hooking into everyone else’s excitement. Then people were saying the ride only lasts 30 seconds. I will just close my eyes, hold on, scream and it will be over in no time.
We lined up and then our turn came. We were three quarters towards the back of the rollercoaster which made me feel a bit calmer. The bars came over the top of my shoulders and I was clicked in. I held onto those bars for dear life. Then whoosh …………… a fast surge before the climb up the ride and then doooowwwwnnnn. I closed my eyes, tensed my body, held on tight and screamed………….Then before I knew it, the ride was over. Wow I was buzzing!! I was so proud of myself. I did it!!
Then my partner said “Let’s go on it again?”. If I can do it once, then I can do it again. “Ok let’s do it”! The second time one of my worst nightmares came true. We were right up the front. My partner said “Put your arms up this time?” I said “No thanks I am holding on”. Then before I knew it, the ride was over. It wasn’t so bad being up the front. Yay!! I did it again.
My body was shaking a bit and I was so happy with myself. I was feeling safe. There were no more rollercoasters as the second one was being repaired. Then once again, my worst night mare, the ride was open. I felt sick. I didn’t want to go on a ride which was broken and then repaired. Is it safe?
My partner was excitingly pulling me towards the second rollercoaster. “Come on let’s go on the next one?” Ahhh this time I was paralysed. I kept saying no, I’m really happy with what I have achieved. I don’t need to prove anything to myself again. “You go, Ill wait here”. Then reluctantly he went on the ride alone.
While he was on the ride I sat and waited. Then the voices came into my head. “Am I going to regret not going on this ride?” “If I walk away tonight will I be satisfied” “Business is all about facing our fears, taking risks and will I miss a huge growth opportunity?” I knew I had to ride this rollercoaster. I live everyday like it’s my last and knew I would not be satisfied if I died tomorrow and hadn’t played full out.
When he came back from the ride beaming and asked, “Do you want to have a go?” I said “YES”. I was petrified and determined. Then once again my worst night mare…. Right up the front. This time there were no bars over the top of my shoulders and I felt even more vulnerable. I asked myself, what is the worst thing that can happen?? I will die. I’m not scared of dying. More scared of living.
The rollercoaster took off and I was petrified. Hanging on for dear life. My partner kept saying, “It’s a kids ride”. I closed my eyes as the rollercoaster climbed up the huge hill. Then down it went. This ride was bigger, faster and more extreme. I screamed!!!! Then my partner said, “Open your eyes and lean into it”. I said, “OK I trust you”.
I opened my eyes. Everything looked so beautiful. There were bright lights everywhere. Then I leaned into the ride. I went with every turn, every high and every low and to my surprise I not only enjoyed the ride but I loved it!! It was FUN! I felt like Harry Potter on his Nimbus 200 soaring through the sky at great speed, catching the snitch and winning game!!
I did win the game. I am gaining so many lessons from this experience everyday. The key to life is seeing it through the eyes of a child. Riding the rollercoaster of life as a kids ride. Leaning into it, enjoying the highs and lows, giving up control and trusting that the universe loves and conspires to support you. Ride up the front! The view is even more magnificent!