Thursday, August 2, 2012

Defying Death, or, Roller Coasters Scare Me!

This little ride is called the Zippin Pippin.  It is said to have been one of Elvis' favorite roller coasters.  Last year, when it was errected in my tiny little city by the bay, both of my sons wanted so desperately to ride it, but only one was tall enough, so my husband took him on the ride.  When they got off, Israel was screaming "Rock N Roll!!!  I LOVE THE ZIPPIN PIPPIN!!!"  My husband vowed never to ride it ever again.  It was then that I learned of his extreme hatred of rides.  But I was off the hook because my younger son is the one who is attached to me, and he was too short by about an inch.  I knew I'd have to go this year, and I promised him I would.  So wouldn't you know, the place where my company decided to have it's annual picnic?  The amusement park that is the home of the Zippin Pippin (or as we in my household affectionately refer to it, El Pippino Del Zippino).  Zach has grown at least 4 inches since last summer, I knew there was no escaping it this time, and I knew my husband was not going anywhere near it, except to hold my things for me.  So after a short, unproductive period of trying to convince my son he did not want to go on this thing, the two of us got on.  Taking your seven year old son on a roller coaster is an adventure, but taking an autistic seven year old on the roller coaster just after he had eaten a veggie burger and an M&M cookie?  Whew!  We barely escaped a catastrophe!  I am not generally fond of heights, and even less fond of going down hills at what feels like uncontrollable speeds.  But what makes this particular roller coaster nearly unbearable is that it is a rickety wooden coaster, and each turn results in horrific jerking motion, nearly enough to give you whiplash.  And right before you reach the end of the ride, there is a tricky spot where it seems as though the coaster actually leaves the tracks and heaves your body upward, causing great pain to your legs as you try to harness yourself in the contraption.  I was quite relieved to step off that thing, my heart was racing, my forehead sweaty, all the wind seemed to have gone elsewhere.  When we got to the exit my son quietly told me, "That was awesome and scarey and I almost puked." 
When we met back up with my husband and our older son, Israel was hopping up and down saying, "Yeah baby!  Now it's my turn, Mommy!"  Again, I tried to talk him out of it, to no avail.  I had promised, and it just wouldn't be fair to deny him.  This is the son who is afraid of nearly everything (especially germs and spiders) and he is really meek and even looks a little fragile.  This roller coaster is something he has on a lot of other people, that he isn't afraid to go on this incredibly horrific ride.  So we went, I just dove in without thinking about it.  I told him, "I don't want to do this, but I know I promised, so I will.  But I will only go once, so please don't ask to go again when we get off."  He nodded in agreement, silent, as if he was disappointed that I had figured out what he wanted.  Before the ride began his nerves got the best of him a bit, and he admitted to being a little scared, but we had no time to dwell on it, we were off!  And the second time was a lot more tollerable than the first, except for that last bit of taking flight at the end.  My son who so desperately fought for his chance for this, sitting beside me dropping S-bombs the whole way.  When we got off, we were both relieved it was over, Israel shouting out for the world to hear that 1. The Zippin Pippin is the coolest ride in the world  and 2. He was dropping S-bombs and F-bombs the whole time.  He was quite proud of himself, and me of myself, for surviving the ordeal altogether. 
The rest of the evening was quite enjoyable, we wandered around and I went on a few more rides with the kids, and just before park closing, the lights on the rides illuminated, leaving the rain puddles alive with color.
Bay Beach Amusement Park at night
  We all slept really good last night after our adventures in our tiny city by the bay, with dreams of roller coasters perhaps. 
Tonight, I will workout with my husband again, and he will take me through a leg workout.  I am already pretty tired, but I know once I get in the gym I'll come to life a little.  I will say, It was really nice getting to sleep in a little later this morning.  After tonight there is only one more workout in Phase 1 of this program.  I may take measurements and photos this weekend, but I know one thing for sure, I am looking forward to a rest before starting the next phase, which is going to be even more challenging.
Hope your week has been a breeze.  Happy Thursday!

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