Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THE PEANUT GALLERY: Reaching New Heights

I am a feet-on-the-ground kind of guy. But when faced with a death-defying stunt that would force me to push my limits, overcome my fears, and teach my daughter something all at once, I was all-in. Ok I admit, I was a little in. You see, I am not one to back down from a challenge. So I'd be lying if I said this story doesn't start with some good-old fashioned hubris and machismo.

My Director, Peanut, and I spent  a long weekend in Lake George, NY with two other families over Columbus Day. One of the days we spent at Fright Fest at an amusement park called The Great Escape. Fright Fest is appropriate because after a few rides with the kids I found myself face to face with this:


That, my friends, is the SkyCoaster. I, my friends, am petrified of heights. So petrified that to me, the SkyCoaster might as well be this:

Every time I see this I get nauseous.
I'm nauseous right now.
This guy is craycray.
But one of the couples we were with - daredevils themselves - wanted to go. And when they asked if I'd be their third, I moronically agreed. (After all, the tickets are cheaper if three people go. I can't pass up a bargain.)

Before we went, I had a while to think about it. And I wasn't thinking good thoughts:

The face of fear.
What have I done?
But up we went. And away I flew. Here is the video, as shot by My Director. She's the one you can hear screaming. Peanut is shouting, "Hello," trying to get my attention. I'm the guy in the middle, flanked by my friends:

If My Director wasn't screaming, you'd hear me laughing hysterically. This was an amazing adrenaline rush and I loved every second of it. I know probably a million people or more have done something like this before me. I don't care. The fact that I did it, and I wasn't scared, and that Peanut saw me do it, is a big freakin' deal in the DKL household. I know my daughter will be proud of me whether I hurtle myself through the air from ridiculous heights or not. But I want to show her that fears are there to overcome. To conquer. That we all have them, and we eventually have to face them.

And that's why I rode that insane SkyCoaster. So I could show my daughter that I did it, and that she could do it too. To face her fears and beat them. My daughter has taught me so much. She's taught me to reach new depths of my heart, to stretch new lengths of my imagination, and to reach new heights with my ability.

If not for that SkyCoaster, our little roller coaster ride together would have been my favorite of the day:

She's my fear stopper
The first time I had to face my fear of heights with Peanut was also on vacation, to the Pacific Northwest. I wrote about that here


  1. That was awesome man. Congrats on overcoming your fear!

  2. Yeah,I'm not going on that. :-)
    Nice to see you aren't afraid to show your cray cray side :-)
    Every time Peanut sees one of those she will remember her daddy rode that. Cool daddying moment!

    1. I'm with gina on this: no, thanks!
      Still, I hope that there comes a time when I can do something similar and model bravery for my tot. I am afraid of heights, too, but I'm hoping I can find something a little less, er, high to be a hero for my boy.
      Good job!

  3. Good job :) Never been a big fan of any of those brave rides myself but my husband is. Think I've done a few with him some years back, but now it's me & my youngest doing all the gentle rides while dad & oldest do the scary ones ! Wer'e lucky to even bump into each other for a ride together :) Just a few I think that are in-between scary & kiddie !


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