Two friends in their 70s who live at a senior’s living complex in Prince Albert, Sask., jumped out of an airplane and dove 11,000 feet outside Saskatoon this past weekend.
Doreen Harder and Marie Panas glided in the air — an experience they both say they will never forget.
“It’s such a feeling of freedom,” said Panas. “At my age, I don’t get that much excitement anymore.”
For years, Harder has been asking her friends to go skydiving with her, but no one was brave enough to step up to the challenge.
“They were too chicken I guess, they wouldn’t do it,” she said. “I was telling my friend Marie that, and she (said) ‘I will go with you’ so we got beamed up … it’s just total freedom from up there. You can see everything.
“I just felt like a bird, maybe an eagle.”
The two ladies were being called brave by their family and friends.
The women said falling thousands of feet from a plane into thin air did not frighten them, but the fear of losing something did cross their minds.
“One funny thing when we were going that showed our age, I said ‘if I lose my teeth, can we send out a search party for them?’ And they said ‘no’ unfortunately and that I should probably keep my mouth closed,’” said Panas. “But that’s easier said than done when you’re enjoying yourself.”
Albert Boucher, Skydive Saskatoon operator, said it was a definite treat when the two ladies showed up on Saturday for their skydive.
“It’s inspirational to see,” he said. “It’s fun to watch them experience that first jump … you could tell that they’re pretty cool friends and they both bought shirts there. I think they’re the coolest old ladies out there at the old folks’ home right now. So, it was pretty fun to see.”
The thrill-seeking friends encourage others to not let their age be a factor in trying out something new and daring.
“Had I started this when I was young, I (would) have been addicted to jumping all the time,” laughed Panas. “I know how a bird feels. We’re birds now but I don’t eat worms.”
When asked if they would skydive again, they both said, “in a heartbeat.”
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