In celebration of the official start of spring and life rejuvenated, Guinness World Records is recognizing the endless spirit and youthfulness of 101-year-old great-great grandmother, Mary Allen Hardison from Ogden, Utah, who is now recognized as the 'Oldest Female to Paraglide Tandem.'
Pushing record breaking to new heights, Mary's incredible feat was achieved as part of her 101st birthday celebration this past September 1 st. On, as she describes, "a whim to not be outdone by her 75-year-old son Allen," who had recently taken up paragliding as a new outdoor activity, Mary took to the air fearlessly for her first flight.
Cheered on by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren, Hardison was strapped in by Cloud 9 Paragliding Company representatives and took flight amongst the strong winds. Paragliding instructor Kevin Hintze describes Hardison as "hardcore" as they spun together hundreds of feet in the air.
A self-described rookie to the paragliding sport, Mary's primary hobby is knitting garments for the less fortunate: caps for children's' hospitals, crocheted bandages for leopards in India, and knit caps for premature babies. Her closest experience to anything extreme was riding all the rides at Disneyland at age 90.
Hardison comments, "I feel very humble in setting a new Guinness World Record. My desire is for the elderly to keep on going, do things as long as you are physically able. Be positive. Friends don't like a grumpy person."
Hardison also urges other senior citizens to stay moving and to continue to challenge themselves, even if it means them breaking her current record:
"When a person is busy, the hurts seem to ease up. If you are able and even older than I, then I'm happy for people to attempt to break my record. I promise the experience will be well worth it!"