Montserrat Mecho, 78, who is happy in free fall

Montserrat Mecho values the experience of happiness above any other feeling on earth. She experiences this feeling when she jumps out of an airplane with a parachute strapped to her back. Montserrat is 78. Over the last few years, she’s jumped thousands of times; her pursuit of happiness brings her back to the skies over and over again.

Montserrat Mecho, 78

Aside from her free falls, Montserrat has also broken a few records in swimming. She is also a downhill-skier, a wind-surfer, and a diver. All this for a simple reason: extreme sports make her happy. In pursuing happiness, Montserrat continues to ascend into the sky, climb mountains, and submerge herself into the depths of the seas.

When Montse (as her myriad of friends call her) first jumped from an airplane, at 49, she didn’t freeze up with fear. In fact, she performed a few acrobatic moves, turns, and even a successful “corkscrew.” In that moment, Montserrat admits, she felt total bliss.

Under the continued spell of bliss, Mecho jumps out an airplane for the thousandth time. In free fall, she flips over, so her back is parallel with the ground and waves her arms and legs, smiling at the friends above her, who’ve remained on board.

“I smile a lot,” says Montserrat. “The fact that I am able to do what I want to do makes me utterly joyful.”