The word of the day is “ouch”

Posted: July 5, 2013 in 5K, Exercise, Goals, Inspiration, Ouch, roller coasters, Supportive Partner Woman, Team AllEars, Theme parks, Walking, Weight loss

Had a great Independence Day. Spent the day at Hersheypark with some friends at my company picnic and it was actually fulfilling. Not only that, 16,472 steps and no blisters. Woot!

Right up until the end.

The day was oppressively warm… there was a fleeting breeze, but it was not always dependable. It took about as long to get into the parking lot as it took to drive to Hershey. So, you could say it was busy. We started the day with The Scrambler, a special request of Supportive Partner Woman. Line was a little long, but the ride is always fun. After which, we scouted out Skyrush, which is the latest entry in the Hershey coaster pantheon, while we waited for our friends to arrive. I was pretty sure I was going to attempt it, if one big hurdle could be overcome… if I could fit.

They have a demonstration seat at the head of the queue, so I sat in it and was pleasantly surprised to actually fit.

This would come back to haunt me.

After our friends arrived, we made our way to the back of the park to ride one of our favorite wooden coasters… Lightning Racer. Lightning Racer is a dueling wooden coaster that usually ranks in the top 15 wooden coasters in the world. It’s a lot of fun, and doesn’t beat you up like a lot of other woodies.

After that was the picnic lunch. It was kind of a challenge, but I managed to eat a little bit of chicken BBQ and half of a hamburger patty. I also had some fresh fruit. It was pretty tasty, but I can’t help contrasting it with what I would’ve eaten back in my heyday. That would’ve been multiple hot dogs and burgers, all with rolls, chips, washed down with lots of diet soda.


And to think that was normal. I’m liking the new normal that much better.

Following lunch, we wandered over to The Claw. This is an evil beast that I kind of looked at and said, “Oh, HELL no.” We hung around while our friend Hollie went for a ride, then we wandered to the arcade to play some SkeeBall. Post SkeeBall, it was off to my favorite coaster in the park… Great Bear. Great Bear is smooth, yet thrilling, and I even managed to get SPW (Brave little toaster!) on board for the ride. As with many things, there’s a backstory. During my yo-yo weight loss years, I went to the park. Paid admission and all that, then decided to try to ride Great Bear. I waited nearly an hour in line, climbed on board and they couldn’t close the restraints. I was too fat. I left the park immediately, totally ashamed.

The last time I rode it, I managed to fit, but it took two people to get me in, pressing on the harness until I could barely breathe, until the belts would actually close.

This time, there was even some extra room.

The ride is smooth and thrilling, and due to the design of the coaster, it roars like an angry bear. This is due to the lack of sand in the supports and the design of the track itself. Following Great Bear, I was hoping to take my first ride on Storm Runner. This was not to be, however. The seat harness is supposed to touch your thigh and I needed another inch or two. Gives me something to look forward to next time.

The Skyrush train

The Skyrush train

We closed the day with a visit to Skyrush. The motto for the coaster in “Ride the edge” because the two outboard seats are floorless. I opted for a trip on one of those. SPW (Kind of a coaster chicken!) was having no parts of this, so there were only three of us. The train is pulled out of the station with a cable lift rather than the typical chain lift. You are moving up that hill at a pretty good clip. The cable system pretty much throws you over the top and into an 85° drop, reaching speeds of 75 mph. That’s awesome. Then the airtime kicks in, pretty much throwing you out of your seat. This is what caused the problem. I hit the restraint with my left leg so hard, it bruised the quadriceps. This has made walking a challenge, not to mention getting into and out of a car. It will heal, and I now have more of an appreciation of what to expect, should I ride it again. I’ll leave you with the front seat POV.

After our park time, we stopped at the Troeg’s Brewery in Hershey to meet up with the subject of today’s inspiration section, Brad. Brad is a fellow Disney enthusiast, fan of quality beer, as well as an all around great guy.

We met some years ago at Magic Meets (are you sensing a pattern here?) and we just hit it off from the get-go. He and his family live in the Central PA area as well and we get together periodically, although not as frequently as we would like. Brad is one I refer to as insane, as he is a running nut who’s been known to do the Dopey before it was officially the Dopey. What that means is that he would often run 42.4 miles in one weekend. See? Insane. That being said, he’s been incredibly supportive of my efforts with Team AllEars and has offered much in the way of sage advice and patience for a complete novice runner (me). I’m really psyched for January now… I think that crossing that line will really make an impact on my life and maybe illustrate that I can succeed at something I thought insurmountable. It will be because Brad (and many others) believe in me, so much so that I might start believing in myself.

Scary, huh?

I’m going to do it. Failure is not an option.

Song of the Day: Sole Survivor – Asia

  1. Dan says:

    Hello Brian. I am Dan. Came across your blog while searching if fat guys will be able to ride at Hershey Park. Thanks for the info, I am pretty sure I will be able to have some fun with the kids after reading your blog. Judging by your profile picture though, I think my gut is a bit bigger than yours and I may have to take some drastic measures to drop some weight quick! I saw your recent weigh in was 281 lbs, I am about 9 pounds heavier than that at 5’10” tall. Any tips on rides which may not work for me?

  2. nightfly27 says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for reading. I’m by no means an expert on Hershey… I live about 20 miles away but don’t go that often. My suggestions would be to check out the demo seats where available (Skyrush, Storm Runner, Great Bear). Great Bear has seating for larger guests… I think it’s row 5, the two middle seats. For Skyrush, since I’ve lost so much weight, it’s easy to kind of fit the restraints under the gut. It’s not exactly comfortable, but you can work with it. Lightning Racer is traditional with a belt and individual lap bars. You should have no issues. I haven’t ridden Sidewinder or Wildcat in quite some time, nor the super dooper looper. Trailblazer is very tiny and I haven’t fit in that since high school when I weighed around 185.

    Best of luck and keep me posted on how it works out for you.

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