This time I felt a little braver and considered doing it. When we figured out that you could ride for half price if you signed up and rode in the morning, I got pretty excited. (Having fun and saving money? Sign me up!) We decided to go back the next day so I could finally ride and stop getting teased for being a chicken.
By the time we got there, the girls decided they wanted to ride again and we convinced Dylan to try it for his first time and ride with them. We were doing this thing! We waited around until our "flight time" and then I got suited up. "Step here, pull these straps up, (lots of tugging and tightening) hold onto this handle and walk over there and wait by the gate." I was shaking by this time, but I smiled as I waited nervously. They got me on the platform and I waited while the group of three that "flew" before me was lowered back to the platform. Then they waited while the workers got me hooked up. "You're going to fall forward, don't try to stop yourself." I barely heard this and then I was falling. Gary said he could hear me scream from where he was waiting to videotape. The people who rode before me said, "That's the worst part."
"No," they laughed, "but it's really not bad. You'll love it!"
They were escorted off the platform and I was pulled up to about 189 feet in the air. That was always the part that had looked the scariest to me, but I was surprised to find that I didn't mind much at all. It was kind of funny to see people on the ground watching me get hauled up there. Finally I reached the top and stopped for a few seconds. I heard someone over the speaker say, "Rider, 3-2-1, fly!" I pulled the RipCord on my harness, I fell, and then I was flying at about 80 mph. It was so awesome! (You can watch the video at the end of this blog post if you want. It's just a couple of minutes long)
When I got back to the platform, I got to talk with my kids before they rode. From the look on my face, you can see that I loved it. They did, too.
When we were all back on the ground again, I kept thinking about the RipCord as we rode other rides and went to Oceans of Fun. Fear had almost kept me from enjoying a really fun experience. How many other times had I let fear keep me from enjoying something awesome? Too many times to even count, I'm thinking.
Sometimes it feels easier to just stay where we are at, where we're comfortable. We know what to expect and we prefer to play it safe even as we look longingly at something else that looks exciting.
I had watched many people ride the RipCord at different parks over the years. It had looked terrifying from the ground, but every single person was smiling and putting their arms out like they were flying, no matter how loud they had screamed during that initial drop from up high. That should have reassured me, but I was still shaking when I went to get hooked up to the ride.
I'm going to keep the RipCord in mind when I come up to exciting, scary challenges and new experiences in life. God has so much in store for you and me, we just need to trust Him and move forward in faith, not fear. We'll miss out on so much if we don't.
"The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)
Have you ever let fear keep you from doing something fun? How can focusing on God help you to trust Him and try new things?