Warning: Don not attempt to perform or recreate any of the activities or actions in this story. Riding an amusement ride/attraction may expose you to forces or experiences beyond what you are capable of safely mentally or physically withstanding. Always observe and follow posted warnings and restrictions before riding any ride/attrition and always follow all instructions given by ride/attraction operators.
What’s the count?
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” Fred DeVito
With my app in hand and my first milestone of 100 behind me, some of the crew at Yukon Striker were taking even more interest. Some would ask me what the count was and one crew member surprised me when he knew what the count was. That impressed me because most of the time I only knew generally what the count was unless I was close to a milestone and also that he had taken that much of an interest in what I was doing. Some crew members were making projections of how many I could get by the end of the season.
Coming off a day total of 50 I made the mistake of believing that that would continue. It didn’t. I started to realize that I had been fortunate to get to 100 fairly easily and that factors out of my control would start working against me. It was now August and more people were coming to the park. The single rider queue can be very slow moving and sometimes not moving at all because there are no empty seats on the trains. When single riders use the single rider queue, they tend to be spaced out in single file. More groups of people were using the single rider queue which tend to be packed tighter together causing the queue to move slower. Adding to all of that, the days were getting hotter. This produces what I started to refer to as the zombie walk where guests slow down getting on and off the trains causing the queues to back up even more. Each of these had an accumulative effect and I was starting to wonder if I was just wasting my time and should just give up.
I began to take inventory of why I was doing this. It wasn’t to get the highest count. There were two others that had season’s fast lane plus that were already way ahead of me and I wasn’t going to catch up to them using the single rider queue. It wasn’t easy. I would log about 19,000 steps each day on average which worked out to 19 km of walking, plus the physical stresses riding on an physically intense roller coaster 20 to 30 times each day. Why was I doing this if it was not fun anymore? That turned out to be the wrong question. The correct question should have been why is this not fun anymore? The answer was that I was more focused on the numbers than having fun.
Stopping using the count as a measurement of success was necessary if I was going to continue this journey. Accepting there were going to be things out of my control and figuring out which ones I could control was an important step. How many I could get in one day became less and less important in the measurement of a good day. The journey was becoming more rewarding than reaching any destination could be. I continued riding barefoot in the front row for my milestones as my own personal celebration of achievement. What’s the count would become a surprisingly more significant question in the following season that I didn’t see coming.
I made some friends, met many people, and learned a lot that season. When the regular season closed in October, my count was 311. It was the end of my riding Yukon Striker for 2019 and everything was about to change.