15 years in the making, educator Judy Bach and former student (my daughter) Rachel Payzant Holdaway, finally accomplished one of their bucket list goals: sky diving.
I first met Judy Bach when she was my oldest daughter’s 6th grade teacher at Victoria Groves School in the Alta Loma School District. Judy later moved on to Vineyard Junior High where she taught science to both my younger daughter and my son.
When Rachel was in Judy’s class, they realized they had a lot in common. For one, they were both born in March and for another, they both craved adventure, stuff like jumping out of airplanes. So, 15 years ago, at the end of the school term, they made a bucket list pact to go sky diving when Judy turned 50 and Rachel turned 18. A momentous occasion deserved a momentous bucket list accomplishment, so they thought.
Five years passed and the time for their bucket list promise was at hand. Both Judy and Rachel were thrilled and began making preparations. Unfortunately, the men in their life weren’t too keen on the idea. Judy’s husband, Gary, was very uncomfortable having Judy jump out of a plane, 50th birthday or not. And my husband Kevin, Rachel’s dad, knew that at 18, Rachel had a lot of living ahead of her: college, marriage, career, motherhood, to name a few. He did not want the responsibility of knowing that his “OK” for this dangerous bucket list activity could cut short the possibility of those other life events not happening courtesy of a bad sky diving jump. Consequently, there was no sky diving bucket list attempt for Judy and Rachel on their milestone birthdays in 2006.
Fast forward 10 years to March, 2016. Rachel was turning 28 and Judy was preparing to celebrate another milestone birthday, her 60th. Because Judy’s bucket list desire to sky dive had not relinquished in the past 10 years, Gary finally gave the go ahead. Judy wanted me to let Rachel know of her upcoming jump which I did on a call to Rachel on her birthday. The very next day, Rachel called me back to say that she was coming to California to fulfill her bucket list sky diving journey. Apparently, Rachel’s husband Jesse, was tired of hearing how much Rachel wanted to do this bucket list item with her teacher and encouraged her to take the leap (pun intended).
On March 13, 2016, at GoJump in Oceanside, California, Judy and Rachel’s 15 year bucket list promise became a reality.
Judy shared with me that she “is really in to falling.” She also added, “I just can’t believe that I finally get to do this today. First time I saw it, I knew I wanted to do it. I am so glad I am doing it with Rachel.”
“They will board a 750 turbo prop plane and fly 15 – 20 minutes until they reach an altitude of 13,500 feet. The tandem sky divers free fall for 60 seconds. After, the tandem instructor pulls the parachute, at approximately 5,000 feet, where they ride under the canopy for a couple of minutes, landing in a nearby field.”
Judy’s tandem instructor was Brent and Rachel’s tandem instructor was Wilco, a veteran of 7,700 jumps. He described the sky diving experience as “fancy within limitations.”
In a matter of 20 minutes, Rachel and Judy’s sky diving bucket list was over. It played out just as Kelly described.
Said Rachel, “It was amazing and invigorating.” Judy added, “It was the best thing I ever did. I was scared but I am ready to go again. It was everything I hoped for and more.”
In the end, Ron put this bucket list experience in perspective:#BucketList Perspective: “The two saddest things in life are getting what you want and not getting what you want. It is more about the chasing than the having.” Click To Tweet
Judy and Rachel chased this check off to their bucket lists for the past 15 years. For them, it was totally worth the wait. I wonder what’s up next.
What was the last item you crossed off your bucket list?