My dad owes me.

Or maybe I owe him?

One role he has always played in our family is roller coaster / thrill ride companion to children who need the mental security a ride-along adult provides.

He brings out the courage in all of us.

I can remember him convincing me to ride this SkyCoaster with him once on a summer vacation to Destin.

He delights in getting people to agree to ride something they probably wouldn’t have tried without some extra prompting. And, afterwards, he earns a space in their memories as being right by their side during the adventure.

He’s done the same thing for my oldest daughter, who thrives on his encouragement and has built up a collection of special moments with him over the years.

But, this year he’d had knee surgery and was unable to join us for a day at Dollywood during our sometimes annual family mountain vacation.

So while he hung out at the cabin, I became my bravest daughter’s new ride partner.

His presence was missed.

I couldn’t convince her to go on several rides she’d done in the past. How does he do that?

But she did want to go on the Drop Line. And she’d only ever done it with him.

So there I was, forcing myself to join her because I didn’t want his not being there to mean she didn’t do a brave thing she knew she could do.

The premise is you’re lifted 230 feet fairly slowly on a tower, facing outward. The seats spin around as you go up so you see the park and surrounding mountain scenery. Then, at the top, you pause for an uncomfortable amount of time, begin to lift a bit more, then free fall until you’re maybe 20 feet from the ground.

It’s pretty terrifying.

The drop part feels like it lasts way longer than it looks.

We held hands and I crossed my legs the way my veteran daughter instructed me to.

My thoughts wavered between “it’s going to be fine” and “you’re doing this for her, so she embraces adventure and isn’t scared of things.”

It was an intense moment in time, free falling with my daughter.

Letting her bravery inspire my own.

The feeling is not too far from that of sending an email to thousands of recipients.

Even hundreds.

If you’re a newsletter creator, you know this moment.

The one at the top of the tower where you’re pretty sure it’s all going to be fine but you hesitate before hitting send and experiencing the emotional thrill of risking ridicule.

Just remember, “it’s going to be fine” and “you’re doing this for YOU, so keep embracing the adventure.”

And it gets a little easier each time.

Now, let’s see who’s been creating newsletter news that could inspire your own.

Ashley Guttuso  

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Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at], or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

Happy newslettering,

Ashley Guttuso