This I Believe

Jacob - La Vista, Nebraska
Entered on December 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: fear

Harmless Intentions

It’s amazing to see how people react when they are afraid. Some people scream, some people run away, and some people even attack. All people have fear. Fear is just the misunderstanding of a certain object or occurrence. It can also be the absence of knowledge to determine the outcome or consequence of a certain action. Well whatever fear is to you, sooner or later we will all have to face it. Whether it’s holding a spider, being locked in a closet, or going sky diving. For me, it was the twisted metal scrap heap of a contraption called… a roller coaster.

I was 5 years old and being exceptionally tall for my age, I was able to ride a lot of the rides most of the kids my age could not. It gave me a sense of power and courage, but this overwhelming power soon turned into and unforgotten curse.

There was a ride called “Thunderation”. It was an old rollercoaster that had the cars in the shape of a long, old fashioned train. My parents had been on this ride many times and have told me of the wondrous feelings achieved from being thrown around in a screaming metal deathtrap. I of course disagreed. I stood watching from the side as the monstrous machine bombarded its way from twist to turn. I was immediately terrified. I could not see how people could enjoy the feeling of falling to their death. My dad saw the terror in my eyes and tried to convince me to go on it, but my mind was set. Seeing that I was reluctant to ride, my dad grabbed my arm and dragged me from stair to stair climbing to the top of an old wooden tower where the beginning of the line seemed to be. I resisted and cried but my dad wouldn’t hear it. Finally after the line had shrunken, we mad it to the rollercoaster. I could still hear the screams of the recent passengers aboard. I thought I was going to die. My dad picked me up and strapped me into the seat. It was too late. There was no way I could get out of it now. I turned and stared at my dad as the rollercoaster ascended the hill. As I took one last glance I noticed something utterly weird and mystifying, my dad was smiling.

I went through the ride without a problem. As the rollercoaster came to an end, I found myself screaming for another go. It was the most liberating experience of my life. With the help of my dad, I had faced my fear. I now no longer fear roller coasters, but cherish them with a child’s heart. Sooner or later we will all have to face our fears, and when you do challenge your fears, I hope you see that there was never anything to be afraid of after all.