You know how it is. You start getting on in years and you begin to think about all the things you’ve never done. Lots of people keep a tally of these things – a bucket list, if you will – and vow to get them done one at a time.

Sally Townsend Theriault on her way back to earth. Submitted photo

It’s simple, really. Maybe you take a vacation to an exotic land you’ve always wanted to see. Maybe you take some night courses and get your college degree. Perhaps it’s a tattoo, a motorcycle or a marathon you’ve been putting off for too long. Lots of people have bucket lists and they’re out doing these things as we speak.

Not all of them are jumping out of airplanes and whistling toward the ground thousands of feet below, however. But that’s how Sally Townsend Theriault of Rumford rolls when she sets out to turn bucket listing into an extreme sport.

We caught up with Sally once she reached the safety of solid ground and asked her pointed questions about her long fall and the motivations that compelled her to do it. I mean, did she even consider just getting a spiffy new tat and calling it good?

What made you decide you wanted to jump out of an airplane and free fall thousands of feet? I have friends who skydive and I thought, why not? I’m not getting any younger and I might as well do it while I still can. It was on my bucket list, and my honey, Ron, surprised me by getting it for my birthday. Besides, if President George H. W. Bush could do it at 90, I can do it at my “young” age!

How old are you and what’s your day-to-day routine? I turned 59 on September 29th. I’m the office manager for Great Falls Dental Associates (in Auburn), so I pretty much have a desk job although I get out for a walk during the lunch hour. Weekends I love to fish as the weather allows.

What else is on your bucket list? The other things on my bucket list are: smoking a cigar, riding in a limo, and riding a motorcycle. I’m sure I’ll be adding more as time goes on!

What was the scariest part of the jump? The scariest part of the jump was that first step out of the plane and looking down. I thought to myself, “What the heck am I doing?”

What was the most unexpected part? The most unexpected part was when we first jumped we did a barrel roll, I wasn’t prepared for that at all!

What was going through your head while you were falling? You know, besides WEEEEE! The thing that was going through my head the most was, ‘I can’t believe I’m actually doing this!’ I was also thinking how awesome it was and that I wanted to do it again!

What did it feel like when you finally had your feet on the ground again? When my feet were on the ground, I was ready to go up again! It was so freaking awesome! Skydive Coastal Maine was the best!


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