20 09 2011

Have you ever been made to feel stupid in front of hundreds of people?  It happened to me yet again at Six Flags/Great Adventure this past Saturday.  I was there with about 60 young people from our Lighthouse Church Youth Group and even though I had a minor heart attack earlier this summer, I was determined to not let that stop me from still enjoying life and new adventures and still being able to go for it! 

Now I need to confess quite boldly that I love wooden roller coasters!  They are my favorite rides everywhere and anywhere.  The older and the shakier, the better the thrill!  I love getting to go on the Great White at least once every year that stands prominently right here in our own backyard on Morey’s Pier in Wildwood!  Do you know that I was once on the Cyclone Coaster at Palisades Park forever endeared to our hearts in the old Freddy Cannon hit song?  Has anybody out there ever been on the world famous Cyclone out on Coney Island???  I have!  I made sure that I experienced the excitement both in the front car and in the back car.  It was the only ride that literally made me see stars when I got off of that crazy thing! 

Now back to my latest episode of Rudy’s amusement park memories!  I had gone on the monster wooden giant named El Torro for the first time at Six Flags last year and was looking forward to a return engagement.  It dwarfs the Rolling Thunder Wooden Coaster that still sits lonely right next door to it that I thought was so huge back in the 70′s!!!  After waiting in those forever lines that are always a big part your entertainment dollar at work, I finally got to take my turn and get into my seat.  I knew at once that there were going to be problems because the ride operators had huddled over me- shoving the safety bar down upon my mid section over and over again!  It hurt!  It made me cry out a big, “Ouch!”  But I didn’t want to make a scene so I patiently allowed them to do their job and hoped that we could just get on with the ride.  But eventually, a young lady came down and knelt beside me and politely told me that she hoped I would enjoy any other rides at Six Flags that day because I was not going to be able to go on this one! 

I immediately felt stupid and embarrassed as I had to get up and get off the ride while everybody else watched!  I wanted to cry!  I was too big for El Torro!

Now I know that many of you would have just accepted the news and let it go, but not me because I just couldn’t.  I wanted to get on that ride.  So I did not eat a thing the rest of the day and I jogged in place while waiting in other lines and I did everything I could to try to lose a pound or two before I would venture to El Torro again.  And late in the day, after the shifts had changed, I went for it!  I knew full well that I could be embarrassed yet again!  But with my gut sucked in and my belt tightened as far as it would go- this time I was going to make it!  I was determined and yes I did ride El Torro and yes I did enjoy it and yes I am still a big kid at heart! 

I guess what I am trying to share with all of you today is that the crowds aren’t always right and just because one person with a badge might tell you a definitive, “No!” doesn’t mean that it necessarily has to really be a “No Go!”  And even though I was made to feel foolish and left out because I literally didn’t fit in the first time, didn’t mean that I had to allow somebody else to define me!  I knew that I had ridden that ride before and I knew that I could do it again!  And when the end of the day came- the story wasn’t one of defeat but of success and I got the picture to prove it!!!

Now what is somebody telling you that you can’t do, that you know you can???




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