The Thing About Fear

The thing about fear is a person doesn’t usually set out to be afraid. It creeps up on you. There are times you know that some situations can cause you to be afraid. Going to an amusement park and riding on the Merry-Go-Round most likely would cause very little anxiety.  The Ferris Wheel on the other hand is really just a Merry-Go-Round turned on it’s side. Feet dangling down, seat swaying back and forth, going up backwards and then it stops just as you are right at the very top. Very high above the ground. You can’t see any other riders ahead of you. If you try to look down any little movement sets the seat swinging back and forth. You realize you left your stomach on the ground, somewhere far below.

Then there are the roller coasters. No one forces you to take that journey. We line up like puppets and wait sometimes for an hour or more just to climb into a small little contraption into which we are strapped and trapped for a three minute ride that jerks and bumps along a rickety track. Going up and up and up and you know that the higher you go the farther you are going to fall.

This brings me to Las Vegas. My daughter Rebecca and I were in Las Vegas for a few days and she said “let’s go ride the roller coaster at New York New York”. This is one of those rides that runs outside the building it twists and turns and goes upside down. I was feeling adventuresome. As we walked up to the top there were very few people. Then we turned the corner. Oops, there are the people. The line was very long. We had to stand in line quite awhile before it was our turn. Rebecca wanted to be in the very first car. Then we were in and then we were moving. Going up slowly. I was braced for the big fall but, no, not this time. I relaxed a bit but it was too soon. Suddenly we were upside down doing loop de loops. I was screaming and hiding my face and then it was over and Rebecca turns to me and says “want to go again?” Big Grin.

You feel like you are going to die, because this car is going to run off the track and you will end up in a heap on Las Vegas Blvd. The morning headlines will read “Mother and Daughter killed when roller coaster car crashes onto Las Vegas Blvd.” But you don’t die, this time, and the urge to try another roller coaster is still there.

The thing about fear is you can let it paralyze you or you can face it. There are things in this life that take much more courage to face than a roller coaster. If you can conquer the roller coaster you can conquer other challenges as well.


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