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Everything You Need to Know About Life You Learned Watching Slingshot Videos

Ethan and Landon, Courtesy of Screamer’s Park Daytona Slingshot

There is nothing in this life you need to know that you can’t learn from watching videos of people on the SlingShot rides. If you aren’t familiar with these attractions, they are basically a capsule that can hold up to two people, attached on both sides by bungee cords. The capsule is pulled back and released, and you are thrown, like a slingshot, through the air.

I spent a good chunk of an hour watching these videos, which it seems the attractions do as a matter of habit, and I feel like everything I needed to know about life was contained in these little morsels of terrified, petrified, and horrified wisdom.

Before anything else, you NEED to know this – be like Landon – the little kid on the left in the video up above. He is IT. He grabs the fear by the throat, looks it in the eyes, spits in its face, and LOVES life. He is the ultimate friend to Ethan, who likely has peed himself at some point – but not because his friend Landon abandoned him. Landon encouraged him, supported him, reached out for him at his moment of greatest need. You may never know someone like Landon, but I can’t imagine not wanting to do everything Landon does, I want to be Landon when I grow up. And that begins the lessons we learned watching slingshot videos.

  1. You only get one life. Live it. – I am an anxious person. Much of my life, even when I am doing my best to live it, is lived in terror of some kind. I have social anxiety, I worry about my children, I fear things both known and unknown. And the irony in that is that I LOVE being around people who have an adventurous spirit. My husband, for example, is afraid of next to nothing. He doesn’t worry about being late, he’s never concerned about bills getting paid, he gets to experience life on a level I will never know – but had I watched SlingShot videos growing up, maybe I would have known. Yeah, shit is scary. Face it, embrace it, and live life.

2. Never underestimate the value of good underwear. – Aside from the occasional bowel or bladder accident on these slingshot rides, the biggest undergarment issue is those people who choose to go without. I’m looking at you, ladies. Women in tank tops or – who even wears these anymore – tube tops spend a good chunk of the ride trying to restrain “the girls,” who seem to take on a life of their own, with the help of the gravity defying slingshot effect. Always have the respect in yourself to put on some damn underwear. It’s important in life to know your worth and wearing clothes that randomly give freedom to your boobies is a little devaluing in my opinion. You’re worth more than that. Keep the mystery alive, and dress appropriately. Oh – and your mom wouldn’t want you to be caught by paramedics in an accident not wearing your best underwear.

3. Moms will always have your back, even when they are losing their lunch. – There are moms on these videos with young children, who let go of the safety harness they are wearing themselves to put out the good old mom arm seatbelt device, in an effort to protect their children. There are older moms with older daughters, and I watch them try desperately to control their own fears and tears so they can guide their children safely back to sanity and the earth’s surface. Your mom is always doing the best with the tools she has to work with. Give her credit.

4. The most important thing you can have beside you is a friend who will do even the dumbest shit with you – like ride a slingshot. There are some things in this life you just can’t face alone – and you won’t have to if you keep one good friend by your side. This is your go-to person. This is the person who will pick your kids up when you forget them – yes, I said forget them – at school. They will help you plan birthday parties, weddings, funerals, and escape routes for when your teenagers become too much. They know when you need a cup of coffee or bottle of wine, and they make the time to make sure you don’t drink either alone.

I won’t ruin the experience for all of you, should you choose to learn more of life’s lessons by watching slingshot videos. I saw people scream, curse, laugh, cry, pray, and pass out – literally pass out. All of life’s emotions tied to one incredible ride.

Live, my friends. We come this way once, and for some of us, the trip is way shorter than we want it to be, Experience things, learn the lessons, enjoy the journey. n