I got emotional when I heard it click. I started tearing up.
Branson, Missouri (PRWEB) September 28, 2013
When Tim McCarty shot into the clear fall sky aboard the explosive-launch roller coaster PowderKeg on Friday, September 27, it was more than just the thrill of going from 0 to 53 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds – it was a victory ride that was a year in the making.
It was in September of 2012 that McCarty, 42, of Dallas, vacationing with his family at the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri, was guided off the roller coaster because he was too big to fit in the seat. “We were all excited when we got to PowderKeg, but when the ride attendant tried to push down the lap bar, it wouldn’t go, and I had to get off,” McCarty said. He had to walk up the exit, watching his daughters ride without him. “From then on, we called it ‘the walk of shame,’” he said.
The “walk of shame” was the turning point that led McCarty, who carried over 300 lbs. on a 5’3” frame, to begin to work out, lose weight and get healthy. Heavy since childhood, he began walking, and then joined a fitness center that opened behind his workplace. Because Downsize Fitness caters to overweight people with modified workouts and tailored training routines, “I thought, ‘Oh, I can do this,’” McCarty said. He now works out daily and runs 20 miles a week. He has become a personal trainer, and is training for a triathlon.
Friday, exactly a year later and 125 lbs. lighter, McCarty returned to Silver Dollar City, family in tow, and headed straight for PowderKeg. Amid cheers from park employees, he climbed aboard the coaster and the lap bar locked down across his waist. “I got emotional when I heard it click,” he said. “I started tearing up.” Then the coaster, and his new life as a coaster rider, launched.
McCarty went from PowderKeg to Silver Dollar City’s new ground-breaking wood coaster Outlaw Run, awarded Best New Ride of 2013 worldwide. Again, the lap bar clicked down, and he rode down the world’s steepest drop on a wood coaster through to the double barrel roll at the end. Again, he emerged elated.
“That was awesome, better than I thought it would be,” McCarty said, following his coaster rides. “I feel like I can do anything.”
Silver Dollar City, with more than 30 rides and attractions including coasters PowderKeg, WildFire and the new award-winning wood coaster Outlaw Run, is open mid-March through December 30. Information: http://www.silverdollarcity.com.