Casey White: Roller coaster journey

Casey just returned from a trip to Disney World with her family that proved to be more telling than she thought.

About 10 years ago, my husband, (who at the time was my boyfriend) and I went to a theme park for the weekend. It was going to be a great time to kick back and have some fun. We rode some rides, played some games, and had an awesome time.

Then we decided to ride one of the more popular roller coasters in the park. It was supposed to be one of the fastest they had at the time, and we were looking forward to it. We waited in line for almost 45 minutes, and then we were next to get onto the roller coaster. We sat down, and went to buckle ourselves up. Well, one of the most embarrassing that can happen did. My belt didnâ??t fit. We tried to stretch it, but it wouldnâ??t budge. So I called one of the employees over, and instead of being discreet about it, they had to call attention to every employee there by throwing their hands up in the air to let everyone know that someone was going to have to get off. Then I had to walk in front of everyone else standing there waiting in line, and close to tears I had to get off the ride. It was one of the most embarrassing things to ever happen to me, to have literally hundreds of people watch me walk away, knowing that I was too fat to ride on this roller coaster.

That day in my life has stuck with me for a very long time. I even contacted someone at the park later, telling them that it was the most humiliating thing to ever happen to me, and that I felt that they should change the way they did something like this, as to not humiliate someone else like I was. The response I got back? A very vague apology and someone telling me that this was the way they would always do it, and that if I was not sure if I was going to be able to ride something in their park, I should probably not even try to ride it, you know, just to be on the safe side. That response was like a slap in the face for me.

Well, a few weeks ago, my family and I just returned from a trip to Disney World. We had a great time. But, while waiting in line for some rides, the experience I had 10 years ago was always haunting the back of my mind. Would I be able to ride this without getting kicked off for my size? Thankfully, I never had to worry about it. We even went on one roller coaster that stated on the signs that people of certain size and shape may not be able to board this ride. Now, most people could look at this statement, and think nothing of it. But for someone like me, I worried about it the whole time I was waiting in line. It was going to happen again, I just knew it. Thankfully, not only did it not happen this time, but I had more than enough room on this particular roller coaster. I was able to enjoy myself despite size. (Which is thankfully shrinking a little bit every week)

For most people, reading that statement on that sign while waiting in line would have been like reading the phone book: of no particular meaning to them. Thatâ??s what I want too; to be able to read something like that and not have to worry about it. Most people cannot understand what itâ??s like to have to worry about things like that, whether it be riding a roller coaster, or worrying about needing and extender belt on the airplane. Unfortunately during our plane ride to Florida that had crossed my mind too. Thankfully, that was another issue I didnâ??t have. But next time I fly, thatâ??s one less issue Iâ??m planning to omit from my brain. Traveling is stressful enough thank you!

Iâ??m still working on a lot of things in my life; this is one thing I have checked off my list. Working the catwalk is not one of them. Wearing a bikini is not one of them either. Wearing a comfortable one piece in front of others while not trying to hide myself, yes. Being confident with my physical self, also yes. Thatâ??s all Iâ??ve ever wanted. I donâ??t want to stand above the crowd; I just want to feel a part of it.

Have a great week everyone!