Carolyn Meiselbach had dreamed of going skydiving for most of her life, but only got as far as taking a parachute rigging class...until earlier this year.
At 79, Meiselbach finally took the jump, against her doctors orders. And now, to celebrate her 80th birthday, why not do it again?
This time, the longtime Carroll Gardens resident is bringing family and friends, a group she calls the Ethical Eagles, to Gardiner, N.Y. to take the leap with her.
"There’s a lot of things wrong with me, and my doctors always
said do not jump out of a plane...so I fired those doctors and didn’t ask anyone
this time," Meiselbach said.
Aside from slight pain from the strap rubbing up against her pacemaker on the first jump, the first time went off without a hitch.
"People said I would not survive but I decided I was going to
survive and going to go no matter what," she said. "That [the pacemaker] was the only real pain or problem, but that went away after a
while, so I survived."
This time, she hopes to inspire the others to overcome their fears and jump.
"Im looking forward to it and to telling people not to be
afraid," she said. "I think once they do this, they’ll have none of those fears that may
stop them from doing things."
The Ethical Eagles will scream "Let Freedom Ring" as they jump against prejudice. As if jumping from a plane wasn't enough, Meiselbach is doing it big for her 80th.
After the dive, she and the group are heading back to the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture in Park Slope for a big birthday bash; a potluck feast open to all with a cash bar for proceeds to the society.