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85-Year-Old Flies To New Heights At Calif. Trapeze School


And on this Friday, we bring you the story of a woman clearly unafraid to try something new.

BETTY GOEDHART: I'm Betty Goedhart. I am 85 wonderful years old. I go to trapeze school here in Escondido four times a week.


Yes, she said trapeze school. Betty Goedhart of Escondido, Calif., remembers going to the circus with her dad and marveling at the women on the trapeze.

GOEDHART: So I mentioned that on my 78th birthday party. And a friend of mine gave me a coupon to go to the Trapeze High school in Escondido to have a free lesson. And I loved it that minute and am just delighted to be where I am now.

MARTIN: So if you've ever seen people do this, it does look scary and harrowing. Betty says it's not that hard, though, once you get the hang of it.

GOEDHART: The main thing about the whole trapeze is that you have to - the timing has to be perfect. So if you listen to the calls, you'll have no trouble.

INSKEEP: Of course.

MARTIN: No trouble.

INSKEEP: No trouble at all.

MARTIN: No trouble.

INSKEEP: It's just fine.

MARTIN: So Goedhart did clearly listen to the calls from up there on her trapeze. You can see her do this in this amazing video online. She's wearing a red-white-and-blue leotard, sailing through the air, held only by a safety harness. She's doing the splits. It's pretty crazy. She made it into the 2019 Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest-performing female trapeze artist. The book went on sale this month.

GOEDHART: And I'm very honored to be flying on this journey of my life. I certainly never expected it. To me, it's like doing the impossible.

INSKEEP: She hopes her record will encourage people not to think that they can't try something new. We got a lot more on our journeys, she says. Isn't it fun to do the impossible?

(SOUNDBITE OF GAUCHO'S "J'ATTENDRAI") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.