60 IS MILES BETTER FOR DI
As her age in wacky challenge to mark birthday
MUM Diana Forsyth travelled a mile in 60 different ways to mark her landmark birthday.
She was dreading turning 60, so dreamed up the daft challenge to cheer herself up.
Her 60-mile mission included a skydive, Segways, skis, tandems and shopping trolleys, horses, helicopters, bikes and buses.
Diana, who has written a book about her adventure, said: “I used to be down about getting old but my 60 different ways to travel a mile challenge has changed all that.
“I’d been dreading my birthday but it tuned out to be one of the best years of my life thanks to this. I roped in all my friends and family.
“Even my dad Dennis, who is 91, came on a helicopter with me and loved it. Some were easier than others, the skydive was the most terrifying, but I still did it.”
The mum of four’s eccentric plan began when she was brainstorming ideas for a bucket list with her friend.
When they hit on the idea to find 60 ways to travel a mile, her blues about ageing fell away.
She started in January 2014, hoping to complete five different miles per month until her 60th birthday in November 2014.
Diana, 62, said: “I’d always been negative about getting old. I was lucky enough to have good health and a job I loved as well as four lovely sons and a husband but I still hated feeling old. But the challenges changed all that.
“As I went up in the helicopter with dad and rode a train with my son, I realised how lucky I was to be having fun with the people I love.”
It wasn’t all fun though – like the time she had to travel up and down the escalators at Reading train station until she reached a mile.
Or the time she threw herself out of the plane for the skydive.
Diana said the funniest method was travelling a mile in a trolley from her local supermarket.
She said: “Everyone was staring as I clambered in and my husband Charlie began pushing me around the car park. But we didn’t stop until we finished the mile.”
On her birthday itself, Diana had only one challenge left – a mile up some stairs.
Her husband Ian, 69, suggested she made it extra special and climb the stairs at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Diana said: “When I reached a mile I was beaming. I’d walked to the very top and then back down again and couldn’t think of a better way to mark turning 60 after such an incredible year.”
Now Diana, from Hook, Hants, hopes her book, which describes her bonkers year, will encourage others to mark getting older in a wacky way.
She said: “It turned me from a negative person into a happy one and I hope it inspires others. Since then I’ve done the London to Brighton bike ride and taken part in an assault course, things I never dreamed I would be doing in my sixties. I used to be down about getting old but now I see age is just a number and life is what you make it.”
60 miles: My Trials and Smiles, under Diana’s pen name Sophie Johnson, is on Amazon now.