As a bona fide thrill seeker, roller coasters are at the top of my to-do list for summer entertainment. Anything with a steep drop qualifies. Dolly Parton’s Dollywood and Splash Country are a short drive, so I purchase a season pass each year. It makes for a fun day trip. They are located side-by-side, which makes it convenient to go to both parks on the same day. Dollywood has better food choices, so I like to go there in the morning and ride coasters until lunch time. After lunch, I go to Splash County and enjoy the water slides.
Having been cooped up in my office for most of the summer, I decided that I would go to the theme parks yesterday. None of my friends could go, so I hopped in the car by myself and headed down I-81 to Dollywood. Driving down the interstate I began to anticipate the day. I would make my way directly to the Mystery Mine for my favorite coaster ride. The attraction is popular, so it’s best to run straight back to it and get in line.
It was in the 90’s yesterday. The thought of cooling waters rushing over my body was just what I needed. Ah yes, I could float in the lazy river. The wave pool would lull my brain to a state of tranquil idleness. For an entire day, I wouldn’t have to cut and paste, chase a mouse, or delete. The smell of chlorine was enticing me to drive a little faster.I arrived at the gate at Dollywood.
I didn’t drive far into the parking lot until I decided the lines were going to be way longer than I wanted to wait. I made a u-turn and headed to Splash Country. There were plenty of things to do there; I didn’t have to have a coaster fix, I told myself. The only thing about Splash Country, or any water park, or water sport, it requires the wearing of swimwear. The thought of it evokes feelings of dread and insecurity for most of us. The only thing worse than putting on a swimsuit and venturing into public view, is shopping for one, but that’s another story for another day. I mean, really. Don’t you feel this way?
Don’t you have some jelly in your belly? How about a little junk in your trunk? Does the varicose in your veins look like a Rand McNally Road Atlas? Perhaps your glow-in-the-dark skin tones are too blinding to venture into the sunshine. Don’t feel bad about it. One sure fire way to overcome your self-consciousness about your body is to go to a water park!
From the moment I walked into the park area, I saw more crack then any cocaine addict, and it had nothing to do with drugs. PEOPLE…pull up your pants! ARG! Jelly in the belly? Holy cow, there was so much adipose tissue bouncing around that I wondered if these folks could even submerge themselves in the water. From my observation, it seemed like everyone was having a great time just “hanging out”. Nobody seemed to give a hoot about displaying cellulite; they had become best friends with it.
As I looked around at the mass of flesh surrounding me, I felt less self-conscious. Now, granted I’m no young thing anymore, and certainly no bathing beauty, but I did feel better knowing that I have some muscle tone and not a lot on my body that shakes. The experience makes me more determined to amp up the squats, lunges, and push ups. Seeing the need for fitness all around me, I am inspired to crank up my cardio, and cut some more fat out of my diet.
It is important that people feel good about themselves. We don’t have to be obsessed about our bodies to be more fit and healthy. If these same people, that were in the water park yesterday, would put forth as much physical effort as they were yesterday, just three times per week, it would make a huge difference in the way they look and feel.
I’ve been trying to motivate people to a more active lifestyle for more than twenty years. I haven’t found the secret formula to accomplish this yet. The best that I can do is to be a better example for them.
Fitness is like a roller coaster.
We go through ups and downs in our exercise routines, but if we stay active on some level, we’ll arrive at the depot with a lot less load in the train. However, if we drift along in the lazy river for most of our lives, we will find ourselves drowning in a sea of physical problems.
I love the thrill of the ride, won’t you take the plunge with me?