90-Year-Old Skydiver’s Surprising Advice to Stay Young

Jun 10, 2014 2:07pm

Virginia resident Evelyn Marshall knows a thing or two about staying young.

The great-grandmother of eight celebrated her 90th birthday Sunday by going skydiving — and it was not her first, but her third time jumping out of a plane.

“I was at an airshow and met the guy who had skydived in and it just looked so exciting that I told him I was going to sky dive on my birthday,” Marshall told ABC News.  “I skydived with him on my 70th and that’s what got me started.”

“After that, everyone said, ‘When are you going to do it again?,’ so I did it on my 80th birthday,” she said.  “Now after my 90th, what am I going to tell them?”

Marshall, a mother of four and grandmother of eight, jumped Sunday alongside three of her grandsons while more than 100 friends and family watched below.

Moments before they jumped, one of her grandsons gave her a special birthday present that was a nod to another famous geriatric skydiver, former president George H.W. Bush.

“I got a mailing from the Republicans that if you sent $25 they would send you a pair of the George H.W. Bush socks,” Marshall said, referring to the former president’s penchant for colorful socks.  “I mentioned it to my grandson and he, in about three days, managed to find somebody in Washington, D.C. who had the socks.”

Marshall says she sat down “right then and there” to put the striped socks on over her jeans before she took the 14,000 foot tandem jump.

“It’s a little bit harder to get out of an airplane when you’re 90,” Marshall said. “This time we sat on the floor and kind of rolled out and the sensation there was a little more nerve-wracking because when you roll you’re looking right down.”

In addition to skydiving, Marshall, who describes herself as a longtime aviation buff, also works part-time at a local airport near her home.  She says she cut her hours down to part-time only because she, “has too much other stuff to do.”

When asked after the skydive what advice she would give others who wanted to live her “age is but a number” philosophy in their own lives, Marshall had two simple lessons.

“Keep working and dye your hair,” she told local ABC affiliate WJLA.

 

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