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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

That Time I Jumped Out Of A Plane

skydive illustration
Back in May I was invited to take part in a skydive. Jumping out of a plane is high on my midlife crisis bucket list and these opportunities don't come along very often, do they? The event was cancelled due to bad weather a few times but eventually the rain clouds cleared and it was GO, GO, GO!

My husband drove me to the Skydive NorthWest centre in Flookburgh (just north of Lancaster) and I met up with the other divers of the day.  We had about 20 minutes training which explained that the instructors that we would be paired with for our tandem dive really know their stuff having jumped out of planes thousands of times. We learnt how to help the instructors to make our experience safer and more enjoyable by learning three jumping and landing positions.

And then we were off... up, up and away.
(Brian was my tandem instructor and Gary filmed my dive)

I love flying and being in this small plane took me right back to when I learnt to fly and glide with the Air Training Corps.  Gary was filming and snapping pictures for me and Brian was checking the harnesses and pointing out the sights of the North West to me.  We could see over the Lake District, the whole of Morecambe Bay and even the outline of the Isle of Man.  Being in the air is an amazing place to be and I love to see the shape of the land from a privileged position (hence my obsession with Planescapes).

I only had one moment when I might have regretted my decision and that was when I was sat on the edge of the plane.  But there was no turning back as Brian flung us out into the air, we went into freefall for a minute or so and then he opened our 'chute.  In fact, you can watch the whole experience here:

It's really easy to sponsor me

Cancer Research UK

As you know, each year I raise money for Cancer Research UK.  This year I have taken part in the Race For Life in Blackburn with my own cancer survivor - my daughter Rachel - and I have jumped out of this plane.  Later this year I'll be running another 5K and all contributions to the fund are very welcome.  You can visit my fundraising page or donate by texting NMLC99 and your donation amount to 70070.  

Chicago Town Pizza
Huge thanks to Chicago Town for funding the skydive.  We sampled some Chicago Town pizzas whilst waiting for our turn at the Skydive Centre and they are DELISH! They pride themselves on delivering a freshly cooked pizza straight from your freezer and manage this by quickly freezing the freshly made pizza rather than pre-baking it.