Unstoppable 85-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Goes Skydiving For Her Birthday

Dodie Bruening was “flying high” during her skydiving birthday celebration.

ByABC News
October 22, 2015, 3:35 PM

— -- South Carolina-native Dodie Bruening takes being a great-grandmother to new heights.

The 85-years-old showed that she's not afraid to take the plunge, skydiving out of an airplane to celebrate her birthday on Oct. 21.

“I’m still floating from yesterday. I’m flying high. I haven’t gotten my feet back on the ground,” Bruening told ABC News of her 14,000-foot jump. “It’s just an absolutely out of this world, outstanding, euphoric experience. I wish everyone could feel what I felt.”

This wasn’t the whippersnapper’s first time flying high, however. She went skydiving for her 84th birthday, too.

“No one can believe the things I do, but I do them because it’s cake,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m not really old, age is just a number.”

84-Year-Old Skydives for Birthday: ‘I Felt Like an Angel Up There’

This year’s jump was “Absolutely better than last year,” Bruening explained, “because I knew what to expect.”

“Last time I wasn’t afraid, I was excited, but a little apprehensive,” she said. “This time I had an idea of what was going to happen and I could just relax and enjoy it. It was outstanding. What else can I say?”

The great-grandmother clearly doesn’t have a fear of heights. Skydiving has been on her bucket list ever since she was a little girl growing up in the 1930s.

“The higher I go, the closer I am to heaven and my husband,” she said. “It’s like you’re floating. You’re just riding along, and I don’t have words. It’s wonderful. It’s just an out of this world experience.”

When asked what her secret to staying young was, Bruening’s reply was simple: “I don’t have a secret. I never smoked, I never did drink and I was always active. I’m not going to go until God’s ready for me. He‘s going to leave me here to continue making people smile for as long as I can.”

She doesn’t plan to go skydiving for her 86th birthday, but only because she wants to try something new.

“I promised them if I live to be 95, I’ll be back,” she told her skydiving comrades yesterday at Skydive Carolina in Chester, South Carolina. “I think I might do something different next year. I might buy jet skis and go roaring down the lake.”

And as for her advice to those thinking they’re too old to do something?

“Age should never hinder you. It’s just a number,” said Bruening. “We can do what we want to do. No matter who they are, how old they are, or what they’ve done in life, if they want to do something, just do it. Go on and do it. Time is fleeting for all of us. Every day is a day loss if we don’t do something we want to do.”

Fortunately for this smiling senior, she’s wasting no time.

“It was an awesome, awesome time yesterday,” she said. “I want to thank God for giving me a beautiful day to go soaring again.”

Bruening, also an avid poet, wrote a poem capturing her birthday extravaganza in her own words. Take a look at her creative retelling below.

“Sky Dive Number Two” By Dodie Bruening