How hating a rollercoaster changed everything

Every summer from the time I was 8, my parents would pack my brother and I up in the car and trek 10 hours south to my aunt and uncle’s house in Belle Mead, New Jersey. We’d spend the week swimming in their pool, playing cool video games not allowed at home, and watching Nickelodeon.

But one day each year, we’d go to Six Flags Great Adventure. Six Flags was always the highlight of the trip. Junk food, carnival games, and obviously, the rides.

Rides I enjoyed watching my dad and brother go on with my feet securely planted on solid ground. Sure, I’d go on the little spinny rides or the gentle log ride. But rollercoasters that go upside down? Not. A. Chance.

Then one year, I was probably 15, I decided enough was enough. This was the year I was going to ride Scream Machine – a classic rollercoaster with four loops, two spirals and one giant drop.

Butterflies attacked my stomach as we meandered through the queue lines. When we got to the front and our train pulled up, I realized I had two choices: get on it or bail.

It wasn’t too late to change my mind. I made it further than I ever had before! That’s progress.

But I didn’t bail. I sat in the cart, pulled the shoulder harness down, squeezed the handles as hard as I could and closed my eyes. I didn’t let go or open my eyes for the next minute and thirty-seven seconds.

I hated every single second of that terror-ride. I couldn’t (and still can’t) understand how people considered that fun. In fact, even watching the video above made me queasy all over again.

But I wasn’t disappointed when I walked off the ride. I was elated, even euphoric. I did it! I went on a rollercoaster! I didn’t bail! I opted for the scarier choice and it felt amazing.

That was the first time I remember choosing butterflies. Remember seeing two choices in front of me, and choosing the one that gave me butterflies. And to be honest, I haven’t chosen butterflies too many times since then.

Until now.

I’m on a journey to choose butterflies. To make the choice that’s a little scarier, a little harder, a little less comfortable. Or a lot. Care to join me?

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16 Responses to How hating a rollercoaster changed everything

  1. scottahmed says:

    This is an inspiring post – we could all improve our life experiences by choosing butterflies more frequently. I l look forward to following along!

  2. Ali says:

    YES! Choosing the butterflies every now and then is how you live to the fullest! So excited to see what new things your blog might motivate you to try! Amazing! Happy butterflies!

  3. Lyndsay says:

    I’m so glad you’ve joined the blogosphere! You have so much wisdom and insight to share with the world, I can wait to see what new thoughts and ideas come out in your future posts!

  4. Eileen says:

    Butterflies can be so freeing. Thanks for sharing- I will be along for the ride!

  5. Katie says:

    Linds! I love this! You are a beautiful writer and you are living a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing! I love you!

  6. Andrea says:

    What a great blog! I’ve been wanting to blog for a long time and I think, thanks to you, I have finally received the inspiration I’ve needed! I read this blog thinking about the first time I chose butterflies and rode The Zipper at the fall fair. I was on the ride for a few seconds when my heart stopped and I collapsed and the ride attendant had to pull the emergency brake to get me off. The first and last time I rode a roller coaster!

    You’re amazing Lindz, keep up the great work!
    Love Ya!

    • lindsturner says:

      Wow Andrea! I’m so glad this has inspired you to start blogging. I want to hear more about it!
      I’m also really glad that you’ve sworn off roller coasters after that experience…and even more glad that you’re healthy now!

  7. ngyammine says:

    I had the same experience somehow but an embarrassing one, I was new to Canada, and my sister that resides in Montreal came for a visit to Toronto. She came with her husband and back then my 7 year old nephew which I adore. I was there when he was born; in fact I was the one taking my sister to the hospital for delivery. To make things short, every time I see a roller coaster, I try to act brave but whom am I fooling, its sound makes me shake. So my nephew asked his mom to take him to marine land Niagara since they never been then and frankly I didn’t know what marine land was. I felt happy seeing my 7 year old nephew playing with all the game but then everything changed, HE INSISTED ME JOINING HIM ON THE ROLLER COASTER RIDE. Trying to act brave I told him yeah sure and my wife knows I hate it so bad and she understood really well what my eyes were telling her when I looked at her, they said HELP ME. Butterflies, stomachache, dizziness, you name it, and all this was before even buckling up.
    At the end of the day, the ride was awesome; we stayed on the ride for more than 3 times turns, imagine he was bored and wanted to jump to another ride, and I was no Charbel, STAY…
    I believe you never know what you’ve been missing until you try it out for the very 1st time.

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