Life’s a roller coaster

Post seven of a thirteen-part series exploring Ruth’s makeover from dorky writer to disco diva

I’m skipping class again this week, but I have a good excuse! We’re on the Gold Coast, staying with friends, while Mr Struth, works at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Although we’re having a fabulous holiday, I do feel guilty for missing the lesson, and I’m worried about what I’ll need to catch up on next week.

The kids and I enjoyed a sunny day at Wet’n’Wild, demolishing a picnic, splashing in the wave pool and screaming our lungs out on the rides. I’m not very brave when it comes to roller coasters and waterslides. My imagination starts working overtime and I conjure up terrible scenarios. Having said that, I’ve always encouraged my kids to give anything a go and, as a result, they are total adrenaline junkies when it comes to theme parks.

My daredevils on the Tornado

The thought of going on a ride makes me feel sick. My knees shake, mouth goes dry, and the butterflies in my tummy feel more like bats. I didn’t want to go on the waterslides, but I also didn’t want to let anxiety beat me. I became so frustrated with being scared and continually saying ‘no’ to my ever-encouraging tribe that, eventually, I summoned up the guts, climbed those never-ending stairs on wobbly legs and, literally, took the plunge.

Did I enjoy it? Not to begin with. Was it exhilarating? Absolutely! The kids were so proud of me, it warmed my heart.

Thinking of performing on stage makes me feel the same way. I’m terrified. I know there are ways of dealing with it – deep breathing, positive self-talk, practice the dances so much I know them backwards. But I’m worried that I’ll panic and forget the routines, or trip on my high heels. I’m anxious because I don’t want to let my dance-buddies down. I’m uneasy about what my family and friends will say. I think everyone will see my knocking knees, nervous smile and know how I’m feeling inside.

I braved the ‘Black Hole’ – eek!

Over our Wet’n’Wild picnic of fruit, crackers, dips, (and don’t forget the chocolate), I discussed this with the kids, trying to understand how they are brave enough tackle waterslides, roller coasters, dance concerts and everything else they do. They were, as always, super-encouraging, but the best advice came from Miss 11.

‘Mum, remember how you felt at the end of the waterslide? Remember how you wanted to go back on it straight away? That’s what you need to focus on. Getting there is scary. The ride is fun. The end is awesome and then you wanna do it again. You’ve just gotta start.’

How are these kids so wise?


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Born to Boogie Series

A thirteen part series exploring Ruth's makeover from dorky writer to disco diva

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