South Florida woman skydives to celebrate 85th birthday

Zip lining, white water rafting are next on Colleen Kessler's bucket list

By Jenise Fernandez - Reporter

MIAMI - We've all heard the cliche, "age is just a number," and that's true in Colleen Kessler's case. But she's also showing that bravery and a sense of adventure have no age limit.

On Kessler's 85th birthday, she decided to check something off her bucket list: skydiving.

This idea all started one day at work.

Kessler has worked as the PBX phone system operator for Lago Mar Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale for 26 years and has developed close relationships with her co-workers.

"Over a year ago I said, 'Well, I want to do that, but I waited too long.' And I happened to mention it to one of my co-workers here, Mike, and he said, 'I've always wanted to go skydiving. Let me see what I can find out,'" Kessler said. 

Kessler showed up to the Miami Skydiving Center with her co-worker sporting a shirt that read proudly, "It's my 85th birthday!"

Kessler said she was mostly excited, but she did have a little bit of nerves on the plane. 

"My heart was just beating like everything, but other than that and talking to everybody, it was wonderful," she said. 

Kessler jumped from 8,000 feet with a 30-second freefall.

She said it all went by so fast, but she loved every second of it.

"I can still do whatever I want as long as I'm healthy," Kessler said. "It was a fabulous experience. I wouldn't mind doing it again."

Kessler is not done checking things off her bucket list. She said she plans to go to Costa Rica next and go zip lining and white water rafting.

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