Train Dodging

This one was hairy. I mean, I've stood in front of plenty of trains in my life, but I always had the option of jumping off the tracks when I couldn't hang any longer. Marisa and I didn't have that option with this one. We were attached to these devices called ratchets that would fire and yank us off the tracks at the very last second. We had to have absolute faith in the rigging and not flinch. In our training on the ratchets we both found out the painful way what happens if you allow any slack in the cable before the ratchet fires. The cables need to be totally taught or else you are in for major whiplash. So that meant that when the train was within a few feet and we felt it was about to crush us, we had to actually lean in, which is exactly the opposite of what the natural human survival instinct wants to do. We were having our will power tested and it wasn't fun.

One of the first things I do when going into any stunt is to assure myself that my equipment is foolproof. This allows me to eliminate one variable from my mind and opens my focus up to the task at hand. I had this going for me with the ratchet up until 20 minutes before the stunt when they ran one last test and the ratchet barely fired. Marisa and I were not amused by this. The stunt coordinator assured us that they had any bugs worked out and it would fire perfectly for us. I accepted that but I know Marisa was very unhappy about the whole thing. I assured her that we would be fine.   

We took our positions and they started the train run-up from about a mile away. It was a very eerie feeling hearing that thing coming through the woods but not being able to see it. When in came into sight it was carrying some speed. I got very tense for a moment, then forced myself to relax so that I wouldn't get hurt by the ratchet. I reminded Marisa to do the same thing. As the train got closer and closer, it became very difficult to control myself. I wanted to jump out of the way!  I knew Marisa was getting very uneasy and I told her to hang in there. They let the train get way closer than I expected and I swear I thought the ratchet had failed. Marisa screamed at the last second. My legs were about to take over when the ratchets finally fired. We were outta there in a split second. My ride was fine but Marisa didn't fare so well. Her neck got worked pretty bad. I think she may have twitched just a little bit at the last second. The director was a little unsure of his shots and asked us if we would do it again. Marisa made my decision easy. She said no way. I would have done it again but wouldn't have enjoyed it.

Ozone Rapido