Personal Narratives

Upside down roller coasters don’t scare me anymore

May 17, 2022

By Shalina DeLaCruz
Staff Writer

Overcoming a fear isn’t easy and most times isn’t fun. In my situation, it was a roller coaster that goes upside down. That changed, however, in October 2021 when I overcame this fear at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson when I went on a ride called The Joker

The Joker is a ride that goes in circles, and it spins the entire time. Sounds fun, right? Not for me. Ever since I was a kid, I hated being upside down because it would make me feel dizzy. 

As my mom was driving four of my cousins and me down to Six Flags, my cousins were talking about the rides they intended to go on. When I said I didn’t want to go on The Joker, they started calling me a scaredy-cat. 

When we arrived and saw the ride, my cousins started pushing me and trying to convince me to give the Joker a chance even though I had refused their invitation many times in the past. 

My cousin Yasslyn was saying, “If you don’t go on it now, who knows when we will come back? You might regret it someday.”  

Yasslyn’s comment got me thinking, and I gave in. As the saying goes, “You only live once,” and I wanted to cross this off my bucket list.

Whenever I would see a ride that went upside down, I would feel terrified just looking at it. It would make me want to throw up, so waiting in line was a real challenge. My heart was racing, and seeing how quickly the line was moving did nothing to calm my nerves.  

My mom and my cousins were so proud of me, and I have to say I was proud of myself for overcoming my greatest fear.

Finally, when it was our turn, we took our seats and buckled up. That’s when I got the worst butterflies and began swinging my legs. I heard the Six Flags employee give the basic speech about keeping our feet and arms inside the ride at all times. With that, the ride started and accelerated as we made our ascent. I instinctively kept my eyes closed the entire time, so I did not realize when we turned upside down, and I didn’t open my eyes again until we were already coming up from being upside down. 

The ride’s speed was incredibly fast. Therefore, I pushed my arms on the handle in an effort to stay still and not move. We went upside down at least five to seven more times. 

While my cousins were screaming and laughing, I was not making any noise. For the most part, I continued to keep my eyes closed the whole time. As the ride progressed, I realized that going upside down didn’t really feel like anything because of how fast we were moving. Finally, the ride ended, and I felt dizzy but relieved.

My mom and my cousins were so proud of me, and I have to say I was proud of myself for overcoming my greatest fear.

We took a break, and I sat down. Then, my cousins asked if I wanted to go on The Joker again, and I even surprised myself when I said ‘yes.’ We went on again, and I felt much better the second time because I knew when the loops were coming. The second time, I kept my eyes wide open and was laughing along with my cousins. 

Now, when I see a ride that goes upside down, I don’t feel dizzy or nauseous because I’m no longer afraid of it. 

I’m happy I decided to go on The Joker that day because now it’s my favorite roller coaster, and I feel proud of myself for having had the courage to give it a try.

Now that the weather’s getting warmer, it’s a perfect time to go back to Great Adventure and ride The Joker once more. This time, instead of being scared, I’ll be excited about the fun that awaits.

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