Way, Way Better Than Cake

Meg Avey Leaps Into 60 (With Flair!)

tandem skydiving

When Meg Avey tells you she has no fear of heights and no fear of flying, you might think she’s fibbing. She’s not.

“When I was growing up," she explains, "I lived in a farm in Pennsylvania. One of our neighbors had a small plane, and he would take me up. His doors didn’t shut all the time, so I was always flying around in a plane with the doors open." She grins. "I didn’t have a parachute on for those flights, of course.”

So when Meg Avey decided to celebrate her 60th spin around the sun with a jump at Piedmont Skydiving, hopping into our little plane didn’t even ruffle her beautiful feathers. The somersault that her instructor, Scott, presented her with as a birthday present--now that got a yelp out of her.

“My children and my husband told me that they could hear me coming out of the plane! I was having the best time!,” she enthuses.

“It surprised me,” she continues, “That when you jump out of a plane, you don’t get that sensation that you are falling. You're just flying. And it also surprised me just how quiet it was when we were up there, once the 'chute was open. Scott and I were just having a regular conversation up there, and he was pointing out things--the skyline of Charlotte, for instance. Scott even let me steer the parachute. We did corkscrews. It was an unbelievable experience. I could have stayed up there forever. As soon as I hit the ground, I was ready to do it again.”

As you might intuit, this isn’t Meg’s first big adventure. Every year she hits a milestone birthday, this dynamic woman ticks something major off her bucket list.  

“When I turned 40, I had my third baby. That wasn’t planned--to have a baby when I was 40--but after having two boys, God knows I needed a princess, so I had my little girl, and that was fabulous.”

“Then when, I turned 50,” she continues, “I decided I was going to do a sprint triathlon. There are a couple here around the North Carolina area called the Rambling Rose, and I did one of those as my big 50. When I was heading to 60, I went: oh my gosh, what else is on my bucket list to do. Well: Skydiving, of course.”

Meg made her reservation for the Saturday of her birthday. The day turned out to be cloudy and foggy--bad news for a jump, but certainly not bad news all-around.

“We were there for four hours to see if the weather would blow over,” she explains, “And so we got to know the people--the instructors and the staff. They are an amazing group of folks whose whole job was to make us feel comfortable being there. They worked very hard with us even beforehand, making sure I had all my information before I got there. Eventually we had to leave so we could be on time for my birthday party, but we said we’d come back the next morning. We did, and it was a gloriously beautiful day. The result of their efforts was truly wonderful. It was seamless.”

Meg made a friend for life that day, too--Scott, the instructor who threw her that somersault as a birthday gift.

“Scott? Well, he and I just clicked. I love him,” she beams. “He and my husband totally clicked, too, because they’re both engineers and they had lots in common. Scott was just very funny, and completely put me at ease.”

She’d like to do the same for anyone who, like her, is looking to celebrate life with a skydive.

“Absolutely do it!,” she insists. “Have no fear. It doesn’t hurt. That’s what I’ve been saying in my Facebook posts, and what I tell anybody who asks me. When they say ‘you’re crazy,’ I say no. I sure am not. My jump was pure joy--is joy crazy?”

“People ask, ‘Well, what if you died,’” she adds, wryly. “And to that I say, ‘You know my faith in the Lord. If I had died doing this birthday parachuting thing, that afternoon they would have had a memorial service for me, and I would have died happy. If I didn’t die--which of course I didn’t--I had my own party, and I was still happy.” She laughs heartily. “Either way, it was a win-win situation.”

We’re so proud of Meg and her accomplishment. We’re stoked to hear that she’s looking into trying her hand in the indoor skydiving wind tunnel--and earning her solo skydiving license, to boot. We can’t wait until she’s part of our North Carolina skydiving athlete community, ‘cause we can’t wait to to share some sky with her!

Something I wanted to do for myself and my kids for our birthdays.  Went with a group of eight (all family) and honestly could not have had a better time.  The facility was nice, and the people were honestly fantastic.  Made the entire experience that much better.  Sincerely appreciate the attention to fun and safety from all of the instructors, and absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique thrill.

Oh...pay the money for the pictures and videos.  It's worth it...but hold the camera yourself.  Makes for interesting viewing later on.

» Randy Clark