The Voyeurism of a Free Faller

by Linda Seccaspina

The air eagerly grasps my face as the sound of my heart accelerates inside my ears. I struggle to breathe in the over-whelming rush while my body feels like it is free-falling along the twists and turns of the oncoming track. A gasp somehow escapes my pressed lips as my body is lifted over a portion of land that contains sharp edges and corners. Calmness prevails for the next few minutes until a downward spiral engulfs my body. The constant barraging visual cues make me wonder if I will make it to the end.

I force my eyes to close, and know another breath cannot be taken unless a scream erupts. My stomach feels like a feather fluttering in the continual illusion of danger. It is no longer the mind bending exhilaration of riding the edge. Now it is a groundless, weightless fall, compiled with an automatic inborn fear of crashing. 

After the rise and fall of a deadly curve I now look to the ground instead of what it is ahead. Strong emotional feelings have now been triggered and I wonder if I am the only one free-falling among the towering evergreens. The hills and valleys of the track begin to subside and suddenly I wonder if life is measured by the breaths we take, or by the moments that take our breath away. 

I wrote this piece after I told the originator of the youtube video "Mieders Alpine Coaster" by David Ellis how I felt watching it.  I admitted I was a voyeur not a participant, but that his video fascinated me to the point that I needed to write about it.