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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Rebirthday to Me, Part 2

I had such a great time on Sunday that I've had to take a couple days to decompress!  While we did go on other types of rides, this day was all about the roller coasters--and did we ride them!  We rode the Intimidator, which as I said is the highest roller coaster in the southeastern US.  The Carolina Cobra is like a slingshot where the coaster is pulled backwards and then released to go thru loops, upside down and up again before stopping and then doing it all over again backwards!  The Vortex is a stand-up coaster, which was a completely new experience for me. The Hurler was a large wooden coaster that practically lived up to its name--with tight curves and slamming dips!  The Cyclone was a yellow and purple beast that hurt my ears!  (It was so jarring that my earrings were pressed into the back of my head--ouch!)  Ricochet was a little four-person car that takes such tight corners that it feels like you're going to go careening off the track!  The NightHawk was the most intense of the coasters we rode.  In fact, Tiana wouldn't even ride it!  Her friend Sophia and I did, though.  The rider starts in a seated position, but then the seats lie flat.  And then during the ride, the prone riders go from facing the sky to facing the ground! This was especially hard over the water!  I had to close my eyes for most of the ride--it was just too much!  We did ride both the Vortex and the Carolina Cobra twice!

While we were waiting to take our second ride on the Cobra, something interesting happened.  Two large ladies were attempting to ride the coaster.  Inasmuch as we had already been in it, and I knew how small the cars were, I told Tiana that there was no way they were going to fit.  We watched as two attendants tried to press the lap restraint down so that it would lock in place.  One attendant was literally on top of the woman pushing the bar.  The ride operator asked the one woman to sit up in the car as much as possible, and then one of the attendants tried sitting on the restraint to press it into place, but their efforts were unsuccessful.  This went on for about five or six minutes.  The women finally got up and left the ride, laughing as they did.

This was a very somber moment for me.  First, I felt empathy.  These women may have been laughing on the outside, but I'm sure they weren't totally sincere in their laughter.  Additionally, it brought back my own horrible experience at Hershey Park 15 years ago when I couldn't ride the Comet wooden roller coaster because I couldn't fit in the car.  My heart broke for these ladies--and even Tiana said that the incident gave her a better understanding of how humiliated I must have felt all those years ago.  And humiliated was the right word.  I was humiliated.  It was horribly painful.  And it was also why I chose to spend my rebirthday on roller coasters.  

I think we look pretty great.  Of course, this was BEFORE the coasters!  (L-R, Tiana, me, Sophia).

I definitely will go back again--next year and every rebirthday from now on.  It was great to look like a kid again...to feel like a kid again...to fit in seats I never could have without this surgery.  

I spoke to Nina about having such a great time, and she reminded me that this is just the beginning.  I will have other opportunities like this one.  I'll be able to go places, to do things without restriction, without worrying about whether or not I can fit on the rides or in the plane seats or in the tiny chairs.  It's a freedom I have NEVER known.  The possibilities of life have increased exponentially for me--and I will be forever grateful!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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