You never forget the surge of adrenaline as you climb the hill. You never forget the feeling it gives you as you race down a steep incline. You never forget how happy or how terrified you are for taking the chance.
This is much like life. For me, I will never forget the first time I was brave enough to try an adult roller coaster by my own choosing. When I was younger, kid rides were perfect. The roller coasters weren’t too fast. It was safe.
And, after my seven-year-old self and my sister were dragged onto Splash Mountain in Disneyland, we never wanted to go on a roller coaster again. We hated it.
Time passed. My feelings regarding roller coasters didn’t change. I was too afraid to give it a chance. My reluctance, as well as my sister’s and my mother’s, was much to the dismay of my father who loves going on any type of ride, no matter how crazy. So he went alone.
When I went with my family to Orlando for the first time, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter had just opened. Magical is the only word to describe everything about it.
The area features three rides — Flight of the Hippogriff, a fast roller coaster that doesn’t take you upside down; Dragon Challenge, a fast roller coaster that does take you upside down regularly; and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a fast roller coaster type ride that takes you inside Hogwarts castle.
It takes you through Harry’s many adventures, which include sudden turns, nearly upside-down motions and the 3D-like sensation of flying on a broomstick. It also has a sign out front with more warnings for a ride than I’ve ever seen before.
Maybe someone cast a spell on me. Maybe I cast one on myself. Either way, despite being terrified, I felt an urge to try the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster. I refused to let myself back out at the last minute.
I was surprised at how that turned out. I loved it. When we returned to Orlando a few years later, I tried all sorts of crazy rides at Disney World and Universal Studios, including the Hogwarts castle ride.
They were fast. Some were in the dark. Some took you down backwards suddenly. I even got brave enough to try Jurassic Park The Ride, which features an 85-foot plummet in darkness to the water below. I loved every second of every crazy ride I tried. I’m eager to try upside-down rides next.
The lesson to be learned is that sometimes we have to take chances. Of course not everyone likes roller coasters or can handle them. That’s hardly the point. We just need to take chances on something or someone.
Opportunities surround us all the time. They sit just around the corner. They wait for us to get out of our routine or to try something spontaneous every once in a while. They come with taking the next step in a relationship or engaging in a relationship. They linger in the form of a dream to pursue. They are here even if we can’t see them.
Until you take hold of them and take a chance, you can’t know if you’ll like it or hate it, if it’ll be a success or a failure. We can’t sit around and not do anything because we’re afraid of what’s going to happen.
Besides, it might just turn out to be something you really love. Just take a chance and prepare for the ride.
Lisa Goudy can be reached at 306-691-1289 or follow her on Twitter @lisagoudy