60 IS MILES BET­TER FOR DI

As her age in wacky chal­lenge to mark birth­day

Daily Star Sunday - - NEWS - ■ by KELLY STRANGE sun­day@dai­lystar.co.uk

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.

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