It's officially summer now, and as you can imagine given my disdain for winter, I'm beyond stoked about that (even if my hair is not). Aside from trying to get to the beach as much as possible, summer also makes me want to hit up amusement and theme parks. You would think this wouldn't really be my jam since it involves waiting in lines with the unwashed masses, and I must admit it was when I was at Hershey Park, assaulted by the stench of someone's body odor, when I had the thought, "OF COURSE humans descended from apes! Creationists, look around!"
But somehow, I love amusement parks. (Really, who wants to go? Like...now?!) Probably my favorite part of theme parks are thrill rides and rollercoasters.
Now, I'll try out different water sports or learn how to ski in a foreign country, but for the most part, I wouldn't exactly call myself a "daredevil." (Unless you count the occasional badass rule-breaking.) So maybe I'm not a true adrenaline junkie, but I do love me some high speeds at high altitudes.
I've never suffered from motion sickness, and I have a remarkably strong stomach for a Jew. (Really! I've never thrown up from being drunk! Not even last week!) I'll get a headache from a wooden rollercoaster or get nervous about getting stuck at the top of a Ferris wheel, but I have zero issues with getting sick on thrill rides.
This all changed a few years ago when I went with my family to Disney World for my parents' 30th anniversary. I love everything about Disney World and would go on any ride there, and when we went to Epcot, there was a new one since the last time I had been called Mission Space.
Mission Space is a simulated ride where you sit in a seat with a harness-type thing over you and it shakes you around a lot while you stare at a giant screen, meant to make you feel like you're in space or whatever. So when presented with the less intense option, my brother and I naturally chose the more intense option. Simulated rides I feel are on the low end of the "thrill" factor.
BUT HOLY SHIT THIS RIDE CHANGED ME FOREVER, AND NOT FOR THE BETTER.
You get in, four in a row. My brother Jeff and I were next to a guy and his young son. I was between the boy and my brother. We got strapped in and I noticed the signs saying to keep your head back and your eyes open and that would help avoid motion sickness. OK, whatever. Then each person is assigned a title. I think I was the lieutenant or something, and when (the lieutenant to end all lieutenants, Lieutenant Dan) Gary Sinise tells the person in your position to press a button, you press a button.
I don't know what happened. They did something weird to the air to change the "gravity" and make you feel like you're on Mars or some shit and I immediately started to feel like I had the meat sweats. I was cold and clammy and pretty sure I was going to vomit all over my dress and possibly the poor child next to me. I would ruin this kid's day! I'd have to go back to the hotel and change my clothes and maybe burn this dress which I happened to really like. Without even thinking about it, I started breathing the deep ujjayi breath I learned in yoga. My instructors would have been so proud to know it got me through violent nausea rather than simply a challenging Warrior 2.