This past weekend, MHG Consulting had an office-sponsored event at Six Flags Great Adventure. As our caravan approached Jackson, New Jersey our team was greeted by towering coasters, sunshine and a little rain.
We all cringed at the thought of being strapped into the seats and launched up the tallest roller coaster in the world: Kingda Ka. But what better way to bond as a team than to conquer the Goliath of all roller coasters together?
The people in our group who had previously been on the coaster were swapping stories of their experiences, while those of us who hadn’t began to appear pale and nervously shift around in discomfort.
Our office culture is to have a winning mentality and operate outside our comfort zone. And that culture was evident as team members that swore they wouldn’t get on the ride overcame their fears by jumping at the chance to experience the thrill of the coaster.
Naturally we started our day at the park with Kingda Ka. The wait for the ride was shorter than any other line we could see and was filled with faces that looked both skittish and excited.
As we sat in our seats waiting to strap in for the ride, our hands trembled, like ice cold fingers trying to tie shoe laces on a blistering winter day.
As we rolled down to the launching platform, the 10 seconds of anticipation until our launch felt like an eternity. The clicking of gears sounded like the shifting of two tectonic plates. Then suddenly without warning were launched down the tracks at the blistering speed of 128 mph.
Only a few seconds passed before starting the upward climb, but our eye sockets and internal organs felt like they had shifted from the overwhelming torque of the coaster. As we climbed the face of the ‘King’ we saw blue skies and cumulus clouds.
As we submitted to a crawling pace atop the 456-foot giant, we could see the furthest limits of The Garden State and began to brace for the downward plunge. With no time to spare we were in free fall and cork screwed down the back of the coaster. There were no thoughts, no words. Just a giant gasp of air then silence as we braced for the adrenaline rush.
The entire ride lasted 28 seconds and as we headed back to the platform each passenger had their arms in the air as if they just won a grueling marathon; facial expressions showed relief and excitement.
Our experience with Kingda Ka will be remembered by our team as a moment of triumph, which made this trip just another reminder that we have the best crew around.