Ups and downs

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nervous, scared and excited— those are all the emotions I experienced the first time I went on a real roller coaster. When I say “real,” I don’t mean the kid-friendly roller coaster with mild twists and turns. I’m talking about a roller coaster that features bloodcurdling drops and crazy inversions that get your head spinning and heart pumping.
I remember my first encounter with a “real” roller coaster as if it was yesterday.
I went on a trip with my high school choir to Orlando, Florida, where we performed in a state competition and got a chance to visit a county fair.
At some point during our visit, one of my friends persuaded a group of us to get in line for a roller coaster that appeared threatening. Needless to say, I was a bundle of nerves during the hour we waited in line to get on the ride.
But as soon as I got in my seat, fastened my harness and the coaster was in motion, there was nothing I could do but go with the motions and soon my nervousness turned into excitement.
I ended up going on the ride three times after that, and then we proceeded to ride the quintessential rides found in county fairs including the tilt-a-whirl and ferris wheel.
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of carnival rides like roller coasters, especially after it’s over. A sense of accomplishment washes over you as you ask yourself, “Did I really just do that?”
There’s also nothing quite like the experience of the county fair—the sounds of people laughing and screaming on rides, the smell of cotton candy and kettle corn and the sight of dozens of people enjoying a fun day. Every year, the community is invited to attend the Pearl River County Fair in Poplarville, which features carnival rides, livestock shows and a rodeo.
While some people may have a phobia of carnival rides, it doesn’t hurt to try at least one ride, even if it’s a small one, in order to step outside your comfort zone and face your fears, like I did years ago. So, the next time the fair comes to Poplarville, don’t let the opportunity for excitement pass you by.

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