Fear–it’s the gut-wrenching anxiety that strikes us all in moments of extreme stress, when our limbs tremble, our face goes pale, and we scream until we’re hoarse.
Some people dislike flying, Indiana Jones hates snakes, and I fear fairground rides. I’m sure you know the ones I mean—rides where you hurtle down steep hills, turn upside down and spin around against gravity. An adrenaline junkie I’m not!
When I was a child, one of our middle-age aunts visited Disneyland. She loved it and her description of the hair-raising rides and the way she’d said naughty words while screaming her head off made us bug-eyed with astonishment. It was difficult not to laugh at the vision my aunt painted.
Fast forward several years to my visit to Disneyland with my husband and sister.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” my husband asked.
“I’m at Disneyland,” I said firmly. “This is what people do when they come to Disneyland.”
I should have known better. While I was projecting confidence, I should have been crying “Fool! Fool! Stay far, far away. Run!”
So we queued up with everyone else for Splash Mountain. The entire time I laughed and chatted with my husband and sister, told myself I would be fine. No problem. If Aunt X could do this then so could I. We came to our turn and climbed into the hollowed out log. Off we went…
From the moment the ride started, I wanted to get off. My hands didn’t rise jubilantly into the air like everyone else’s—they held the safety bar in a white-knuckle grip. Even now, countless years later, I remember the paralyzing fear that squeezed me when our log went down the final steep incline. While everyone else shrieked with enjoyment, my throat constricted so tight that not a sound emerged. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best. At the bottom, wet but still in one piece, my legs trembled as I scrambled to stand on solid ground again. The contents of my stomach sloshed around uneasily, and I swallowed a lot…you probably get the picture without more graphic descriptions.
I don’t remember any of the rides after Splash Mountain. Actually, I think my mind blocked the horror of it all, but I was determined to try the different rides and get my money’s worth. Yep, it’s the curse of the thrifty farm girl. I had to finish what I started even if it scared me half to death.
Of course, no one is getting me on one of those rides again. I’m older, wiser, and not afraid to state my terror. No, I won’t stop my husband going. I might even go with him, but I’ll be hanging out in the kid’s zone and chatting to Mickey Mouse. Really, no one is talking me into going through that again!
What do you fear?
When Scribbit: a blog about motherhood in Alaska posted details of a contest about Fear, I decided this was the perfect time to confess my greatest fear. If you would like to do a post about Fear it’s not too late to enter the contest, which closes on 21 October. Here’s the link to the details.