HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who has never really had the urge to go skydiving, although I’m sure it’s a thrilling experience.
I mention that after seeing an article in Thursday’s Herald about 101-year-old Bryson William Verdun Hayes who became the oldest person in the world to skydive.
I know others who have done the same thing when they reached their 80th and even 90th birthdays. It was one of the key moments in the movie “The Bucket List” when Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman both went skydiving on their adventure tour.
But let’s be honest, when you are older, you don’t have as much to lose. There are some pretty serious accidents in skydiving.
Not to take anything away from the feat, but I don’t know how it actually qualifies as skydiving when you are strapped to another person on those tandem jumps, like in the movie as well as Mr. Hayes’ accomplishment. You are simply along for the ride.
When I was in college, one of the guys on the wrestling team with me was the National Collegiate Skydiving Champion. I don’t know how many people actually competed in that sport when they were in college, but it’s still a pretty big honor, I’m sure.
However, I remember well during that period of my life when 18 skydivers accidentally dropped over Lake Erie in August 1967 and 16 drowned. Two were rescued by fishermen. My teammate told me he was often a member of that group but didn’t go up that day.
Fate sometimes intervenes, and we talked about that incident a few times. Still, it didn’t deter him, and he continued to jump.
When it comes to thrill-seeking, I think I’ll stick with roller-coasters and other amusement events. Or maybe playing golf in Florida once in a while when alligators and snakes roam the courses. Some courses have signs that say if you hit your ball into the wooded…