The senior citizen has also ziplined in Ras Al Khaimah and gone on the fastest roller coaster in the world.
On March 14, Dubai-based Indian expatriate Harinarayan Nair celebrated his birthday by jumping out of a plane.
However, unlike the five others who leapt out of the Skydive Dubai plane at 13,000 feet, Nair is a slightly uncommon adrenaline junkie. He was celebrating his 71st birthday.
Though senior citizens skydiving is not uncommon, Nair’s irrepressible spirit is nothing short of commendable.
“All those over the age of 70 must get a medical fitness certificate before skydiving as the blood pressure (BP) levels cannot be too high,” said Nair.
Unfortunately for Nair, he failed to get a medical clearance to perform the dive as his BP was a little above the usual standard.
“Normal BP is measured at 120/80. Mine was at 160/80. I went to three doctors, and one suggested I see a cardiologist check the condition of my heart,” he explained.
“As the day progresses, the BP rises or fluctuates. That’s normal as well.”
The cardiologist informed Nair that he might face a spike in BP when jumping out of the plane, which is a risk factor. “So, they also refused to give me the clearance,” he said.
Refusing to give up, Nair spent a day performing yoga (makrasana), breathing exercises, and meditation to reach his goal BP levels.
“On the day of my birthday, my BP was at 140/80 to 145/80, which is permissible at my age. So, I was able to dive on that day,” said a delighted Nair.
He now joins a family of skydivers. Nair’s daughters, Richa and Shruti, and his son-in-law Varun have all gone skydiving before. “
Now, we are a family of skydivers. The plan was to do it on my 70th birthday. Unfortunately, the pandemic cancelled all our plans last year. This year, with encouragement from my daughters and son-in-law, I finally did it,” said Nair.
He moved to Dubai after working in Oman for 31 years.
“I managed a factory there. My daughters studied there and moved to Dubai when they got jobs here,” he said.
A long-time yoga practitioner, Nair said meditation and yoga essentially help him keep up an adventurous spirit.
“I have also gone ziplining at Ras Al Khaimah and gone on the faster roller coaster in the world in Abu Dhabi. I see that my daughters have the same adventurous spirit,” said Nair.
Speaking about his experience with Skydive Dubai, Nair said he was initially a little anxious to know how it will look from there.
“Honestly, I was not scared at all. Instead, I felt great exhilaration the moment I jumped out of the plane and spent the initial moments freefalling at 120km/hr,” he exclaimed.
When asked if he would try it again, Nair said, “It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but that does not mean I would not try out other adventures because age is just a number.”