'People say 'oh you must be mad to do it,' you're not, you're doing it because you want to. You have to take the chance.'
An adrenaline-loving grandmother of four is living her best life in her golden years. Mercy Baggs, from Wiltshire, southwest England, is proving by example that one should never allow age to come in the way of fulfilling one's dreams. The 90-year-old knows a thing or two about not letting age dictate how she lives, having skydived twice after the age of 77. The former police officer is far from done soaring across the sky as she is already planning to celebrate her 95th birthday with her third skydive. "My husband wasn't too keen, but the point is that I was 77 and I thought that my life was beginning to stagnate—nothing very exciting was happening—and I wanted to do something different," Baggs said of her first skydiving experience, reports Independent.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t had the opportunity to try it? Well @wiltsfarmfoods are on a mission to make dreams come true for some Bold Age Pensioners! @arlenephillips https://t.co/mgEtI2GbWw pic.twitter.com/LuOyHHAdGF— My Weekly (@My_Weekly) October 20, 2022
Baggs, who believes "life begins at 60" and that age is "just a number," first got into skydiving after she had two tumors removed from her spine in 2007. "When you get older, you get pins and needles in your leg and think that's normal," she told The Mirror. "I kept tripping over and then it came to a head. The doctor referred me for an MRI scan and they found I had two big tumors on my spine. The doctor said if 'we don't do something very quickly, you'll be paralyzed.'" The close shave with paralysis was a wake-up call for Baggs, who then began doing all the things she'd been keeping aside.
We love sharing stories of our wonderful customers, especially when they do amazing things like tandem parachute jumps! This is exactly what our customer, Mercy Baggs did last month to raise funds for the brilliant Wiltshire Air Ambulance. pic.twitter.com/OmCk21audD— Wiltshire Farm Foods (@wiltsfarmfoods) April 29, 2022
Her first skydive was to raise money for her local sports clubs and Wiltshire Air Ambulance. "At first when the door opens, it is very cold – the wind was blowing us from side to side – but gradually you start to enjoy it," Baggs explained. "You're literally skydiving and suddenly the parachute opens, and you see everything below you and it's an exhilarating experience like no other." She jumped out of a plane again earlier this year at the age of 89. "I read about people doing it and once I told the family, I was going to do it," she said. "It was nice for the first one in May, but the one this year in March was the coldest day ever, it was freezing. My face literally froze. When the door opens and you're sitting on the edge of the plane, I thought 'oh my God.' We took off and it was exhilarating. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If I'm lucky to live to 95, I will do another one. I would love to."
Go on Mercy! "I feel sorry for people who say 'I wish I'd done that' - do it. You have one life to lead, this is it" https://t.co/tlPeLSOiHw— Saffron Otter (@SaffronOtter) October 11, 2022
"I was 59 on the Sunday, on the Monday I was 90. I was still the same person. Age isn't a barrier to anything," Baggs added. "You've got to have faith in yourself. People say 'oh you must be mad to do it', you're not, you're doing it because you want to. You have to take the chance - how many people say 'what if?' 'what if I don't like it', well try it." Sharing some words for others over the age of 55, she said: "Never let anyone make you feel like you cannot do something because of your age because I don't."