Sunday, August 30, 2009

Joy's ride

We decided to head on up to Pacific Skydivers to make some jumps outside of Vancouver today, since our reserves are due for repack. We met Joy while we were there. She came up from Prince George, BC, to make a tandem skydive (click any picture to enlarge). Joy is 88 years old and lost her husband last year. What a go-getter she is! This was not her first jump; she made her first tandem seven years ago, and returned with her entourage to make this one. No one else who came with her made a skydive, but she did!
Just look at her striding to the plane. I mean, STRIDING at 88 is exactly where I want to be, and this woman is simply, well, fearless. She and Rob are walking to the "big airplane" (the King Air) which goes to 12,000 feet, not the wimpy 10,000 in the smaller plane she did on her earlier tandem. "I want to go all the way this time," she said, and was willing to wait until the plane could be filled.
This picture shows their return to the planet, after the jump. Rob is the consummate professional, which is why he was her tandem master. But she was calm, cool, and collected in the plane, smiling hugely the whole time. The young woman she used to be is still present; she told me she is 28 inside, not 88. And I believe her!
This is her family who came out to watch her make the jump. There are sixteen in this picture, if you count the pregnant woman twice who is two days overdue, and at the Drop Zone with Auntie Joy. All of these relatives are inherited from her late husband, she told me. I couldn't help but wonder why she was the only one making a tandem... they were all heading home to celebrate. She only drinks scotch and gin, she said, because years ago she developed gout and the doctor told her no wine or beer, just the hard stuff. Her family said she makes (and enjoys) a mean martini!
And here is the featured foursome: Rob (tandem master), me, Joy, and my husband Skratch walking back from the landing area. It was a beautiful, magical day, and Joy is my latest BFF! Blue skies, and many more years to enjoy your exceptional life, wonderful lady!


  1. This is fantastic; how inspirational! Thank you for sharing. I love the picture of her landing.
    I have enough trouble trying to talk myself into being fearless at 28; I cannot quite imagine myself as actually being fearless at 88. But what a great reminder that life is here to be lived. We gain nothing by sitting safely on the sofa...

  2. She is a treasure! It's a joy to read about people her age that don't stop living. Life's adventures are still there for the taking. I like your new BFF! It's cool her family all turned out to watch.

    I like what you said about stride. Sure, my mom's health isn't the greatest, but she could swing her legs out a little more without falling down. I pay attention to my stride when I walk with her. I don't want to go back to baby steps!

  3. She is too much! I love her style. Wow, and I was so impressed with your skydiving skills (still am), but at 88? She's an inspiration to us all!

  4. Oh my goodness! At 88, it only proves that age doesn't matter and that age are only numbers. What matters is how you feel and the positive attitude which motivates us to aspire more. Very inspiring.


  5. I'm in love with Joy, too! Her parents named her aptly!

    I was amazed of that shot you got of her "striding." You're right. That looks like the stride of a woman half her age. 88? What a trip. This is one to share with the family. I wanna be her when I grow up!

  6. Wow!Congratulations to Auntie Joy, and what a joy! Love her in that outfit! What a brave woman she is!

  7. She is an inspiration. We are only as old as we feel. It would be a pleasure to know her.
    Great photos.

  8. She is AWESOME!!!! I am just getting back from my trip to visit the am catching up on your blog.
    What a great lady she is!! You all look like you are having a great time.

  9. What an inspiration! A truly remarkable lady!
    Sunny :)

  10. I crazy or was this on the news? Even if it wasn't she's awesome. I want to be just like her!

  11. Still skydiving at 88! This is wonderful and it gives hope to us all in our 60s. She is a great lady and looks very fit.

  12. A wonderful old lady indeed! I'm glad she didn't break her leg during this dive, with all her family looking on. I think she well deserves a red hat, don't you?
    Blessings, Star

  13. I am always happily amazed when I read stories like this. It is wonderful to see such vigor in what much of our society refers to as "the elderly". Age is nothing more than a state of mind and activities like this keep the mind young.

    The mother of a dear friend (he recently passed away) went skydiving on her birthday at a similar age. Maybe when I reach my eighties I will give it a try.


  14. Wow, isn't that great? My dad did this for his 70th birthday and I thought that was pretty amazing. You're pretty amazing yourself, DJ. I also just finished reading you post about healthy eating. Now I'm feeling really lazy and unhealthy. I need to step it up a bit.


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