Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Top 3 Hurdles that Hold People Back from Water Parks

Water parks entertain people of all ages – from the smallest kids to the thrill seekers. They include the most fun forts with tipping buckets and geysers and the most thrilling slides around. Guests can sunbathe under the sun or just chill on lazy rivers.

But not everyone thinks of a day to be perfect for an outing to the water park. It can be as hindering as a sick kid. Also, the wrong weather can hold them back. Worst of all, many people concerned about their body image are too afraid to expose themselves. So what keeps people from slip-sliding into watery fun?

#3: Someone Is Sick. Period.

Imagine that you and your family are heading to the local water park on your vacation (or staycation). You anticipate a fun-filled day of sliding the tallest slides and just splashing. Suddenly, your child becomes sick, and you straddle yourself between having to go without him or hunkering down at your hotel or home.

Well, we all know that contagious diseases can spread easily, but putting people with the contagious disease in the water is even worse. It’s even worse with diarrhea because fecal matter can spread easily. If you happen to have diarrhea, you might want to reconsider sliding down The Plunger.

#2: The Weather is Nasty!

Nasty weather is sure to wreck everyone’s days. In the outdoor water parks, the ideal day would be a non-rainy, warm day. But if it’s rainy or cold outside, people have to stay home. It’s even worse with thunderstorms, because water conducts electricity.

I took this when Blizzard Beach closed due to a thunderstorm (image by my flickr account).
A lot of us love indoor water parks because it’s weatherproof and tolerable to even cold days. But going there when frequent lightning expects to strike your area is just as bad as doing so in outdoor ones. You wouldn’t take a bath or shower during a lightning storm, so why go to a water park when the weather is that nasty?

#1: You Are FAT! (and You Feel Bad About It!)

In my point of view, the biggest hurdle that keeps people from going to water parks is their weight. I’m not regarding BMI, but their girths and lower body downs them because either one of their body parts or a combination of them is too big.

Keep in mind that they require swimsuits, and wearing them makes most of them look less confident in themselves. That’s especially true with many fat women, who have to wear swim skirts to conceal their hips and thighs as opposed to the bikinis thinner ones wear. It’s even worse if they go to the indoor ones, especially in water resorts in cold climates.

There are some rides that require you to ride shirtless, and most fat people (especially men) have to deal with that. Dress codes aside, the stairwells that take you to the slides are typically trying. One who is obese typically gets short of breath easily when he climbs those stairs. Also, the slides may be too narrow for them and some of them end up in a splashdown pool. To quote a fat acceptance advocate:

Once at the bottom of the slide the individual has so much momentum that they are plunged so far and so deep into the exit pool that, with the limited lung capacity that the amount of time spent underwater can be life threatening.

Also, keep in mind that a majority of water parks have tube/raft slides. Many of them post rules dictating weight and do not allow single-riders (especially on double-tubes). Thus, they sit depressingly near the wave pool, gorging on hot dogs and other high-caloric fare.

Poor lady...

So what’s worse than someone with diarrhea keeping you from raft rides? What’s even worse than July thunderstorms fraught with so much lightning that you can’t even go to an indoor water park? To me, it’s how people feel about their weight. Regarding that hurdle, they use their experiences at the parks and/or pictures of them to motivate themselves to lose weight.

So, what’s holding you back from water parks?

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