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Crossing Off Skydiving From 91-Year-Old’s Bucket List

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(credit: CBS) Tracy Perlman
Twin Cities native Tracy Perlman is an Emmy Award-winning producer and...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Have you ever thought about what’s on your “bucket list?” What things do you want to do before you die? At 91 years old, Gertrude “Gertie” Nelson decided it was about time she checked skydiving off her list.

Before the ride, Gertie’s appearance was a bit of a contradiction — a walker and a jumpsuit. But for her, it’s just another day to do something amazing.

“Doctor said I’m fine, he’d even come watch me. So I don’t worry about it,” she said.

After reading about a group of women that skydive, Gertie thought she’d give it a try.

“I’m not afraid. I think at this point of my life, the short time that I’ve got left, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do,” she said.

A broken leg postponed the dream last year. Now she’s suited up with her great-nephew, Matt.

“She’s pretty determined just to do it on her own but I figured there’s not too many people that can say they’ve been skydiving with a 91 year old woman,” he said.

It took a little maneuvering but the crew got Gertie ready to jump.

A little boost later and then Gertie was wheels up.

Exiting the plane from two and a half miles up, there’s 60 second of free fall, followed by an 8-minute drift back to land.

And when Gertie’s feet touched back down to the ground, she was ready for more.

“I think it’d do it again,” she said.

So what’s the secret to being 91 years old and jumping out of planes?

Gertie said it’s having a good outlook on life and watching out for others, instead of yourself.

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