I spent the day riding rollercoasters yesterday. I do not particularly like rollercoasters, but my boyfriend wanted to and I was curious about how I would feel doing it.
My boyfriend decided we would get to the park early and start with the most extreme roller coasters starting with Leviathan, the tallest one in Canada. I happened to have recently read something about the Leviathan Bible story about so this seemed like a good plan to me. Not because of the content of the story just because of the synchronicity and the fact that it felt fine intuitively. There are some things I have strong feelings about and many things I don’t.
Roller coasters it turns out are a thing I don’t have strong feelings about, but I do have a strong visceral response to. I found it easy enough to relax through feeling nervous but I still feel viscerally, physically uncomfortable. At the end of rides my hands would be often be shaking. After one I looked down and my palm was a pale pasty pink I’d never seen before. The back of my hand was sheer white.
I had thought after going on all the most intense roller coasters, I would feel more comfortable. I expected to look at them from below and think "oh I did that. that's not so bad." Instead, I looked up and thought "that looks so awful" and as the as the day when on, my body had more and more trouble relaxing physically before going on even less intense rides.
By end of the day, my relaxation process started to involve more and more steps. I would relax my mind. Easy. But my body was tense, tight. I’d try to go limp. Tighten up again. Relax more. I would start saying “I don’t want to do this” I think my boyfriend thought I was afraid, but I wasn’t afraid exactly
Or if I was afraid, this fear was entirely physical. I didn’t at any point think or feel that I was unsafe. I felt comfortable that I would be fine and I was able to easily relax my mind into a state of calm acceptance, but even like this, even with my eyes closed, my body responded to been whipped around and dropped.
You might think “why do this?” Perhaps I felt good after? Not particularly. The truth is I was largely doing it because my boyfriend wanted to. It seemed important to him and I was also curious, having never really explored how I personally respond to extreme drops at fast speeds or looping upside down and around. I’ve mostly had little interest in things like this or felt nervous about it.
It’s interesting to me how easy it was to mentally and emotionally get through it, even though it was physically most unpleasant. I am not sure if there were any benefits to going through it besides making my boyfriend happy and a certain amount of self-discovery.