written by Rachelle Gabriel in March of 2012

 Being up 18 stories in the air didn’t bother me as much as what was about to come. Then the words that echoed like a bomb in my head, “Three, two, one, FLY”.

                It was a hot, sunny, July day. Walking around ValleyFair in sopping shorts and t-shirts, from the water ride we previously went on, was starting to get miserable.  But as we were about to leave something caught my eye. It was a contraption that looked like a swing that was meant for a giant. It was, the Rip Cord. My father noticed it too. We were amazed and curious about this “ride” so we sat on a nearby bench and just watched as this thing was being operated. Sarcastically my father told me “Hey Shell, you feel like going on that ride?” But the thing is I wanted to go on it right when I saw the Rip Cord. When I told my dad that, I saw a sudden look of terror come across his eyes. But being the daddy’s girl I am he agreed to go on it with me.

           We went up to go and get in line, and there was NO ONE else, to be seen, to go on this ride. We had to pay to go on this ride because it was part of Challenge Park, like the Go Kart Track is. Another thing my father and I had to do is sign our name on a sheet of paper.  I got kind of scared then. It felt like I was signing my death certificate. That’s when reality finally punched me in the face. Many things were going through mind.

The operators then took us to the back to be put in an apron type of thing. Before we got completely strapped in the apron they asked us who was going to pull the rope. Right away I pointed to my dad and said “Him!”. Once we were strapped nice and VERY tight we were taken to a blue platform in the shape of a box. My nervous/ excited/ scared/ level was now a very high eight. We were given to another set of operators who hooked us up to ropes and cords. Then we had to hook arms, safety regulation. Once we were hooked up the floor suddenly dropped from us and my father and I fell horizontally towards the ground without actually touching the ground. Then we started going up. Up and up we went. As we were going up I could tell that my dad was more scared than I was. He had his eyes closed and was complaining that his stomach hurt and that it seemed to be taking forever to get to the top. While I was screaming “Hi!” to the people below and pointing out how the Go Kart track looked like Mario Kart at that angle.

We finally made it 180 feet in the air and it felt amazing and was one of the scariest moments in my life. We were just hanging there for a few seconds that seemed like forever. Being up 18 stories didn’t bother me as much as what was about to come. Then the words that echoed in my head like a bomb, “Three, two, one FLY!”. My dad pulled the cord and we were off. We free fell about 50 feet until the slack in the ropes became tight. It gave me a feeling like flying like superman or skydiving. I was filled with terror like I was going to die and a sudden rush of adrenalin. After a few swings back and forth reaching the speed of about 65 mph the “adventure” had ended. Once our feet were on the ground again I asked “Can we go again?”