SALADO, TEXAS - There are plenty of ways people celebrate their birthdays, but a celebration that took place Wednesday was a century in the making.
Many people who know Al Blascke describe him as someone who is very adventurous. Betty Schleder is friends with Blascke as he used to come over and play cards with her late husband.
"I so respect this man," Schleder said. "I admire all of his vim, vigor and vitality. He inspires all of us who know and love him."
Blascke did plenty of inspiring Wednesday afternoon as he decided to do a tandem skydive at Skydive Temple in Salado for his 100th birthday -- setting the U.S. record for oldest citizen to complete one.
"I didn't even think about records," Blascke said. "It's just my 100th birthday."
Blascke said he first was asked to skydive three years ago when he was 97 but wanted to wait to do it until he hit 100.
"I told myself that would be something worth celebrating," Blascke said.
He didn't celebrate thousands of feet in the air by himself, though, as Schleder -- who is 75 years old herself -- decided to skydive with him.
"I was happy to do it with him," Schleder said. "This is a very special day and a very special happening."
One of the tough parts of skydiving, especially for someone turning 100, is squeezing into the airplane for the long airplane ride.
"They were concerned he wasn't going to be able to fold up like a paperclip and get into that little space in that airplane," Schleder said.
It wasn't a problem for Blascke, though, as he is a part of a yoga group called grumpy old men. His yoga instructor, Ki Browning, said her group focuses on keeping older men in shape and active.
"We have a lot of older men in their late 80s and 90s," Browning said. "Al was the oldest. I always ask him, 'How do you stay so optimistic.'"
Even though Blascke said he thoroughly enjoyed the trip down, he wished it could have even lasted longer.
"I saw more than I thought I would with my eyes," Blascke said. "It was too short.
He said it is still a trip worth taking for anyone and everyone.
You can't compare it with anything else, really," Blascke said "I just wish everybody could have as an enjoyable life as I've had."
Even though this is quite an accomplishment for a 100 year old, Blascke said he's not done being adventurous. He said next on his bucket list is to go see the northern lights with his nephew.
Blascke's experience was done with Skydive Temple.
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