I can’t remember when exactly I stopped being thrilled with roller coasters. I’ve never ridden one until I puked, or had an incident where I passed out because of pulling insane amounts of G force out of a corner, or any other such thing. Maybe it’s because the actual ride can be seen to be so controlled and the outcome assured that you really don’t need to do anything other than find a way to cap off the vomit as it tries to make its way up the tube. A long time ago, when I was still wild and free and living in Edmonton, I recall the day that the roller coaster came off of its track at West Edmonton Mall; there was a person killed in that incident. For some reason, I was at the mall that day. I doubt it was because there was someone killed and I was a rubbernecker looking for a way to gawk at the destruction and carnage. But I do recall being drawn in further to see what was going on because I was there already and seeing a lot of commotion. Knowing that this actually happened by seeing it first hand didn’t turn me off or make me doubt my safety either. Ir seems that the allure of a “contained” thrill just didn’t do much for me. My stomach can only handle so much because of overactive balance and yet that didn’t stop me all the time from jumping on a ride like that going for it if that’s what I felt like. The whole process just stopped being fun. Rollercoasters haven’t stopped for me though…just the fun.

Tears actually came to my eyes yesterday for reasons other than sliced onions, cold wind in my face or hot wind from my backside. It was a fantastic day overall! There was very little extraordinary about the events of the day which included a coffee meeting with an acquaintance and some other errands which I fit in while I was out. I drove, I walked, I shopped, I interacted, I made a list of things to do and scratched them off as I went through the list and many other little things (probably even got a good deep nose picking in there at least once). The drive home was uneventful and I parked the truck where I usually park it, walked in to the house so that I could take care of the urge that had been knocking on the door for quite a while at that point. Details of the visit to the great white throne can be spared for the purpose of this conversation, so I’ll move on to the hoisting of my pants, and the quick latch of the button and zip of the fly as I walked over to the sink and turned the water on, squirt some soap in my hands to rub away the sins of my previous executive actions as king of the porcelain…..and as I rubbed my hands together it hit me and that’s when the tears came to my eyes. I realized that I had just done things so normally and fluidly and unconsciously, the way I hadn’t done them since mid September of last year. In fact in mid September I remember not being able to bunny hop the chair at the table closer after I sat down, so I would make it as close as possible even though my dead arm would clear the table as I swung it around during sitting. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed looking at all my pants and seeing the buttons and zippers that I had no chance of doing up and deciding on sweats instead. It all flashed back in my mind, playing like a movie of my recent life.

Maybe I was sad that it seemed like I had just taken the whole day for granted. Whatever the case was, it momentarily overwhelmed me to realize that this was a day unlike many I’ve had in the last number of months. It all seemed to come so easy, and that was nothing like I had experienced in a long while. In fact the previous day had not been one that had come nearly as easy, and it seemed like every detail of the day had to be fought like a battle of submission in order to get things to turn out the way I want them to. My leg still wanders from what I tell it to do and my left arm is not strong enough to keep up with my right arm and the two are constantly fighting while I’m just trying to do simple things here. “I’m walking here!” But most days if I’m honest I still feel like I’m the drunk in a convenience store trying to hide the fact that I’m totally loaded and staggering around looking for the corn dogs. Personal criticism is constant as I have to always be aware of how I’m moving and using my body parts so that I can continue to relearn natural fluid movement. I have to give myself a pat on the back from time to time in order to keep myself going. And I know through realizing the little changes from time to time that I am making good progress on a daily basis. It’s that momentary “view” that I get at the top of the coaster once the train of cars reaches the apex of the long climb.

You know that long “hang time” there is as the back of the train of cars all have to make it to the top in order for the full impact of the climb and that momentary realization that you are about to really get into it? Well there are lots of days that feel like that as well. Just hanging there, waiting for things to really get rolling. I’m sure that the twists and turns are yet to come, the ups and downs and barrel rolls along with the screams and wide eyes. Once that coaster gets into it, there is nothing left to do but ride it out. I got into this whole thing without realizing I was in line for a rollercoaster. But now that I’m into it and there’s no choice but to ride it out, it’s exceptionally nice to have those frozen moments in time to have a little mini movie of where I was and where I now am. I’m very grateful to be able to have tears come to my eyes in a moment of sober realization. Yes tears and laughter and every other emotion still come out way easier than they should (lability) but I’m okay when I get a chance to see the change and just be grateful. No moments should be taken for granted, or lived without the intensity of a roller coaster ride.