When people back away from the idea of a skydive with a terrified look on their faces, our favorite thing to do is show them photos and videos of the many grandmas who have chosen the Wisconsin Skydiving Center to make a jump. Lots of amazing ladies in their 80s have accepted the challenge–and they’ve impressed the heck out of us in the process!
T.G.I.F. doesn’t mean what you think it means. It means “This Grandma Is Fearless!” Maybe it’s because raising two generations of successful humans is way scarier than making a skydive, but we’ve noticed that grandmas tend to be the bravest tandem students of all. Grandmas tend to be cool under pressure, to listen very carefully to their tandem instructor and to smile while the college boys in the plane are sweating bullets.
One story that inspires grandmas and non-grandmas alike is the story of Irene O’Shea. Irene was born in 1916–so she was one hundred years old when she made her first jump in May of last year. She was inspired to do it in order to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease research, as MND had claimed the life of her daughter. What a hero, right? If you’re inspired like Irene, there are lots of ways that you can use your skydive to fundraise for a cause you care about.
Their bodies might be more fragile than they were in their 20s, but y’know what? Grandmas know that they’re tougher than anyone imagines. They listen carefully to their tandem instructor and take the pointers seriously, so it’s rare that they end up landing wrong. Blustery young whippersnappers, on the other hand, are sometimes erroneously sure that they’re unstoppable. As in many life situations, it’s ignoring the instructions (i.e., deciding you’re going to try to run out the landing) that gets you hurt.
After eighty (and more!) trips around the sun, you know what matters. You know that it’s your responsibility to make the most out of every single day, whether you have three of them left or three decades. You know that taking a carefully calculated risk today is a heck of a lot better than wishing you’d taken a risk after the opportunity is gone. And you know that the best gift you can give your family is the knowledge that, y’know, grandma is a total badass. (The skydiving photo looks awesome on the mantelpiece next to school pictures of the kids.)
Are you excited at the prospect of becoming one of the world’s coolest grandmas? We’re stoked to invite you to spread those wings–even if it’s the first time you’ve been in the sky in eight or nine decades. We’ve got lots of experience with senior skydivers, so we’ll be able to take excellent care of you.
Careful, though–you might lose your dentures!