Publicity Photo (Marty Misner)
How many of you watched Nik Wallenda walk 1450 feet across Niagra Falls on a soaking wet 2 inch steel wire? He was carrying 78 pounds of equipment, being pelted with rain and blinded by mist, and praying all the way across for his survival, as his kids looked on. He did this knowing how it feels to watch your parents and your grandparents taking similar risks. He comes from a family that has lost many members to daredevil stunts.
I admit it, I watched too, but I have to say I just don't get it! My son was home recently showing me all kinds of videos of risk takers. It seems everybody is jumping off something lately. Did you see the grandma who slipped out of her parachute? I just read that in New York City people can actually pay for the experience of being kidnapped unexpectedly! Are we so sedentary, sitting in front of our computers, that we are willing to bungi jump to the opposite extreme just to wake ourselves up?
Nik looked brave and focused, and the grandma wants to drive a race car next, but I would be more like Grace's Dad in the video below - "never again Grace!"
I love the sound of a roller coaster when I enter an amusement park. It's the sound of the boardwalk, the sound of summer fun. I love to look at roller coasters. I find them graceful and monstrous at the same time. But I just don't feel the need to make my heart beat that fast, to fool my body into thinking I am struggling for my life.
Psychologists say, that about one third of us enjoy the pounding heart, breathlessness, and sweaty palms that accompany our fear response. They say it's actually the feeling of having survived that people crave. This group likes testing their ability to go to the edge and live through it. They say they feel alive and engaged when they are scared, but in my opinion, that feeling of appreciating their life is only hitting them because they are risking it - or at least their brain thinks so! I just feel that I have a nice life going here, and I'd like to keep it going as long as possible! I like to feel my heart speeding up because I have found a beautiful nature scene, or because I am gazing at someone I love! I guess I've always been a bit of an old lady inside - but not the kind that jumps out of planes!
How about you? Are you a fan? Do you have some amusement park photos to post in our Flickr pool? (I do - because I'm the one who stays behind and holds the cotton candy and takes your picture while you're riding!)
(Don't forget to post your water themed images too - you can get your thrills by being chosen for our feature!)