Life is a Roller Coaster

Tiger & Turtle - Magic Mountain

What is it about a roller coaster that is so appealing to so many people? Is it the incredible, freeing sensation of soaring into skies or the the gut clenching fear of plummeting back to the ground that makes people want to wait hours in line just to experience one? I heard someone refer to a roller coaster as a giant version of your dad tossing you into the air when you were a kid. Scientists will say it has something to do with the stimulation of your inner ear. It makes sense, I mean I was the type of kid that loved spinning myself into a dizzy fit, and being flung into the air by my dad – and I love roller coasters.

I suppose there are many things in this world that can simulate that excitement. The exhilaration of a budding relationship can bring you those same highs and lows. Certainly, a gripping movie can make you laugh and cry in a matter of moments. And of course the ebb and flow of a well written novel can be bring you a similar thrill. What is happy without sad? What is love without loss? You’ve heard that saying…life is like a roller coaster. I’ll admit that I’ve been through some crazy twists and turns in my life that have left me nothing but a bad case of nausea. And I’ve climbed to fantastic heights just to fall flat on my rear end many more times than I care to say. So I get the analogy.

But when I saw this article about an art installation in the Rhine, I thought to myself…”Now that is closer to how life is!”

At least in my experience, life doesn’t pull you up to soaring heights – you have to work hard to get there. You climb only as far as your legs can take you. If your lucky, someone might give you a little push, or hold your hand. But for the most part, it’s up to you to get to the top. As for going down? Well I guess that depends on you too. You could decide to play it cautiously, and climb down the steps. Be a little more daring and skip a few steps on the way down, or really take your chances and glide down the banister. Or heck, just jump off the darn thing.

But my favorite part of a roller coaster is that second or two of weightlessness you get right before the plummet. I get the feeling you don’t get that with this roller coaster. Drats! On the bright side, it might be a great way to burn off lunch!

Here’s the article for those of you who are interested:

A Roller Coaster for Wimps: You Walk Instead of Ride by Belinda Lanks