Things a Chubby Girl can do at Waterworks Park in Redding, California:
1. Ride the Lazy Lagoon.
The Lazy Lagoon is a fake river that goes in a circle (if said circle had been drawn by drunk monkeys that were missing their opposable thumbs). I was able to snag one of the available inner tubes easily enough, but actually getting on it to ride was an exercise in patience and humiliation. I would grab the handles, jump out of the water, and attempt to land on the inner tube an exercise that usually landed me right back in the water. (I do believe, in the marine mammal world, the term for this is "breaching.") Alas, failure would not stop me. Out of seven million tries, I was able to successfully wedge my fanny in the inner tube hole exactly twice.
2a. Go down the Raging River Ride.
As you ascend the hill to the start of this ride, there's a sign that lists all the warnings. One of them says, "Increased weight will increase your chances of injury." Since it wasn't in neon, or flashing, or even printed on a sheet of paper that was handed out by a 16 year old lifeguard-in-training at the foot of the hill, I figured they didn't really mean it. I mean, seriously, just having it written on a sign? Please.
When I got to the start of the ride, I lept gracefully (hah!), belly-down, on my inner tube and got a shove from the attendant. I hit the first corner. I hit the second corner. I was gathering speed at an alarming rate. My life flashed before my eyes. I saw the faces of my children as they wept for their beloved dead mother. My parents wailed at the unfairness of life, "We were supposed to go first!" My husband was sad for about a year and then decided he would test the dating waters again before realizing nobody else was as perfect as his dear departed wife and he would never remarry.
Wait, that's too dramatic. My tuna sandwich lunch flashed before my eyes.
At some point, I realized I was dragging my feet behind me in an attempt to slow myself. "My toenails!" I thought. My perfect pink polish! My life/lunch be damned! I liifted my feet into the air and promptly flipped around, hurtling feet first at 90 miles an hour, towards certain doom.
At the end of the ride, I hit the pool, and immediately flipped off my inner tube and into the water. When I surfaced, there were people laughing. (I'm almost positive they were laughing at me and not something clever or witty someone had said just moments earlier.) At least my toenails still looked great. Oh, and I wasn't injured.
In retrospect, this isn't a good thing for a Chubby Girl to do.
2b. Ride the Lazy Lagoon. Again.
It takes five minutes and 54 seconds to go all the way around. Unless you paddle a tiny bit with your arms. Then it takes five minutes and 16 seconds. If you're being chased by a child hell-bent on drowning you, it takes 3 minutes flat. If you fall off your raft and said child catches up to you, you're in trouble.
3. People watch.
Here's something I realized. EVERYBODY jiggles when they're wearing a bathing suit. Even the skinny women. As GenAdFemale says, "Life is jiggly." I was very tempted to start photographing bodies, but if
turnabout is fair play, I would die if someone posted a photo of me, in my bathing suit, on the internet. Yes, I really would die.
Oh, the thighs I saw! Oh, the upper arms with grandma flaps! Oh, the chins! Oh, the lumpy backsides! Oh, the bellies! Oh, I've GOT to stop looking in the mirror!
Note to guy wearing a wetsuit: It's a family park, not the ocean.
Note to 300 pound woman in bikini: Next time, I AM taking photos.
Oh sure, there were other things to do.
I could have ridden down the Avalanche. The Avalanche is a 30 foot tall, U-shaped slide. You start up high on one side and slide, hurtling to the bottom of the U and then up to the other side, going back and forth until you slow down at the bottom of the U. I asked the ride attendant if anyone had ever fallen, or even gotten close to falling, off the edge. His response: "Physics won't let it happen." However, even if I actually knew this Physics guy is or his brother, Gravity, nothing would have prevented me from leaving a giant brown streak on the ride itself.
I could have hung with the little kids in the kiddie pool. Yeah, that's what parents want, a Chubby Girl whose kids are too old for the kiddie pool, playing with their kids, in said kiddie pool. I don't know how you get away with that and not have people think you're some kind of freak. I'm quite sure I would have ended up in jail. With a girlfriend named Rita.
I could have ridden the other three water slides. After my near-death experience on the Raging River, I think my own weight would have risen up in rebellion and injured me before I even hit the water.
I could have cleaned out the snack bar. Actually, between my kids and my brother's kids, I sort of did that.
All in all, I've got to say that the park itself is great. It's not too big, there are lots of chairs and shady areas, the food is decent and reasonably priced, and if your weight doesn't cause you to be injured, you might make it out with your pride and/or pedicure intact.