The primary time I rode a curler coaster, round age 10, at a modest amusement park simply exterior Chicago, the tracks had been, at greatest, 5 ft off the bottom, it didn’t loop or go the other way up or have sharp turns or deep dives. It was bumpy and rickety and noisy and brief in period. By the point we exited I used to be prepared for extra.
Whereas the know-how of amusement park thrill rides at bigger behemoths like Six Flags Over Texas graduated to bloodcurdling and downright silly, I used to be nonetheless recreation, till I obtained older and extra petrified and fewer silly, which ultimately pushed me out of the thrill-seeking demographic.
After I realized just lately that Six Flags was turning 60, I considered taking a ceremonial journey on the Texas SkyScreamer or the Titan, which stands greater than 225 ft and might attain speeds of 85 miles per hour. The plan was to do it as a type of a toast, but 30 seconds into this notion I got here to my senses.
I can barely climb a six-foot ladder today with out feeling woozy. My son not snickers when being summoned to blow the leaves off my roof. It’s what it’s, he now says.
Throughout a go to to the USS Lexington that sits in Corpus Christi Bay, I used to be cool climbing steep ladders into confined areas and dimly lit compartments armed solely with a small flashlight, however as soon as we headed out onto this lengthy strip off the deck, excessive above the water, effectively, my knees went crazy.
I’d at all times skilled movement illness, nevertheless it has change into much more pronounced with age. So, younger bloods, it’s not that we don’t need to hit the Titan – we actually can’t, because the mind’s equilibrium (the internal ear) loses its skill to make sense of the movement it’s experiencing. The end result; nausea, dizziness, nervousness that you simply actually are going to perish.
It’s why park workers are educated to keep watch over older riders, on the lookout for these facial indicators of misery.
The final time I ventured contained in the Six Flags park, through the annual AISD day, how content material I used to be watching others go up, down, round. I keep in mind catching the attention of one other dad my age. We grinned at each other, not saying a phrase, however realizing exactly why we had been each the place we had been.
Every time I communicate with park officers, they usually remind me how velocity and conquering one’s concern are literally constructive results. Psychologists describe it as “physiological arousal”; certainly, once I ventured over to the park one Saturday, 23-year-old Vincente Diaz described it as a authorized technique of “experiencing a pure excessive.”
Angela Scott stated it was a mix of stress and pleasure, like skydiving.
One other park goer I spoke with in contrast thrill rides to watching a horror film, although why you’d need the identical visceral sensation in the midst of a journey you’ll be able to’t escape is past me. (At the very least with the horror flick you will have the distant).
In case you view the historical past of Six Flags you’ll be able to see how the rides have change into greater and sooner and scarier.
In fact, Six Flags is greater than that. It’s an important place for household time and pal time and enjoyable time.
For its sixtieth Anniversary, for example, Six Flags began the yr with the Hearth & Ice Winter Pageant, went into its Spring Break Celebration and is now constructing as much as a brand new competition, ¡Viva La Fiesta!, which started final month. Nothing scary about that.
However now that I’ve a granddaughter, my a lot better half insists that is our alternative to expertise locations like Six Flags by her.
I agree, which is why I’m making reservations as we communicate for the Fort Price Zoo.
Can’t get sufficient of Six Flags Over Texas (particularly now that it’s celebrating its sixtieth anniversary)? Try the End Line on web page 66, as Richard Greene shares how the park helped plenty of notable locals meet and/or bond through the years.