Marvin Cross is a resident at Trillium Woods, a senior community in Plymouth Minnesota. This past summer a friend of his, Joan Wright, put out the word that he was going to go skydiving on his 90th birthday in July and would be happy to have anyone join him who would like to take the challenge.

This announcement went out to about 250 neighbors of Marvin’s who are other residents of Trillium Woods. Eighteen people responded positively and the date was set. You might think that Marvin’s 90 years set him apart but you would be mistaken. Of those responding most were over the age of 70 and there were others in their 80s. One person remarked, “If former President George H.W. Bush can do it on his 90th birthday, I sure can.”

The Skydive Twin Cities LLC skydiving services are located near Baldwin, Wisconsin, about an hour east of Minneapolis. The cost is around $210 per person per dive. That’s not a lot to pay for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and those who experienced it were convinced that they didn’t want it to be just a one-time event. One participant remarked: “It’s like nothing I have ever done in my life. Floating free; and after the chute opens you float with little or no sound and no sensation of falling.”

Each person is secured to a certified instructor who does all the work. The novice need only enjoy the ride but it is an awesome ride indeed. The plane takes the jumpers to 13,000 feet (that’s about 2.5 miles up) where they are tethered to an instructor and the pair exit the plane. They free fall for a few hundred feet and then a beautiful, huge chute opens over their heads and all goes still. After the descent, the pair touch down in a designated field close to where their transportation is parked and they are offered a video of the event to remember the day. Videos are available for about $100-$115 with tax. After 684 reviews, this skydiving service has a 4.9 star satisfaction rating — almost perfect!

We have been told that getting old is not for wimps, but it certainly can be exhilarating. Another participant commented, “This was one of the greatest events of my life. Think I’ll do it again when I am 90 like Marvin.”

Don Deline is a resident of Trillium Woods, a senior living community in Plymouth. He shares this column with other residents of Trillium Woods.

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