Have you ever had a fear that has haunted you for many years? In the life of Joe Thomas, this was true. Joe had a fear of heights and roller coasters. He knew that he would have to conquer this fear. Joe was just like any other kid growing up near Pittsburgh and visiting Kennywood Park for his class trip every year.
One hot summer day, just south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania a young boy named Joe Thomas was visiting Kennywood Park with his class during the class trip. Joe had a great fear of roller coasters and heights. Joe really wanted to ride the roller coasters so that he would not be made fun of. He could not ride the roller coasters though, because he was too scared. He especially was scared of the Steel Phantom.
Joe would not ride any of the roller coasters at Kennywood. Another year came and went and Joe still was afraid of riding the roller coasters and had no fun at Kennywood. He was seventeen years old now and this was his class last trip to Kennywood before he graduated. He decided that he wanted to ride the steel phantom and try to conquer his fear. He stepped into line with his friends. His friends were very excited, but Joe was scared.
Every step that he took towards the front of the roller coaster he became more and more frightened. After about twenty minutes he reached the front of the line. He was sweating and his heart was pounding rapidly. The next roller coaster car pulled up and he froze. He stopped completely still and was holding everyone up in the line behind him. The older boy behind Joe knocked him out of the way and everyone past him in line.
Joe realized that he had lost his chance and left Kennywood knowing that he had not conquered his fear and was unable to ride the steel phantom. He started to lose confidence in himself. Twenty years later, Joe had two young kids and a beautiful wife in his new home just outside of Dallas, Texas. He was working in a profitable law firm when he got a call from Bob Gerry. Bob was one of his best friends from highschool. Bob was a working in Pittsburgh for National City Bank.
He had three children. He lived with his wife and kids in Mount Lebanon. He wanted to get together with Joe and catch up on old times. They both were excited to talk to each other and wanted to meet. Bob asked Joe if he would like to meet at Kennywood Park.
Joe was not excited about going back to Kennywood, but he knew that the kids would have a good time. He agreed to meet. The next day the two families meet together at Kennywood. The two wives took the children to the rides while Joe and Bob talked about the old days. But the only thing in Joe’s mind was the steel phantom. He really wanted to overcome the fear of roller coasters before he left the park.
He told Bob that he wanted to overcome this fear, and Bob took him to the steel phantom. Joe was a little scared but was not going to back down this time around. Joe and Bob climbed into the car. Joe’s heart was pounding rapidly just like before.
As the car climbed up the big hill Joe started to sweat more and more. The car suddenly stopped at the top of the hill. Bob and Joe were startled and were wondering what was going on. The speaker on the front of the car came on. The announcer said that there was a malfunction with the car and they would have to get out of the car and walk down the steps. Joe was terrified because he knew that the steps were so high.
He was very scared, but he carefully walked down next to Bob. When he got down to the bottom he knew that he had accomplished the greatest feat in his life. He had conquered his fears of heights and rollercoasters. Joe realized that he could go on with his life knowing that .