The Air Force veteran lost his legs in his 80s after developing blood clots behind his knees but he has no intention of letting that slow down his zest for life.
Some people are born with a lust for adventure and taking risks and nothing can slow them down, not even age. Whether they're 20 or 90, the spirit of life is alive in their fiery hearts. A retired teacher, who was also a US veteran, from California is proof of that. Stan Rohrer, who turned 90 in January 2020, showed the world that being a nonagenarian does not mean that he wouldn't live his life the way he wants to.
Stan is a Valley Center resident, a retired math and physics teacher, a retired Air Force Communications Officer during the Korean War, an avocado farmer, an amateur radio enthusiast, and a double amputee, according to his daughter, Linda, who wrote about him in ValleyCenter.com. For his 90th birthday, he went skydiving with his daughter and it was one thrilling trip. Both went skydiving together but did tandem jumps with different trainers.
Until the age of 81, he used to go hiking with people decades younger than him but, unfortunately, he got a blood clot in the back of his knee due to arterial disease and his left leg had to be amputated. Three years later, he lost his other leg due to the same condition. But that didn't slow him down either. He continues to go kayaking in his handmade wooden kayaks and plays wheelchair tennis. He also loves to travel and rides his hand-powered tricycle bike.
"My daughter asked me if I would like to jump with her, and since she was jumping, I said yes," Rohrer told CBS News. "But I didn't realize it was going to be such a production!"
During the January 3, 2020 adventure, he jumped 13,000 feet above southern California's Lake Elsinore to celebrate turning 90 that week. His daughter had initially asked him to skydive with her as a joke."I joked in the beginning, I was like, 'You know what, Dad? If you're going to go, this is a good way to go.' And he was like, 'Linda, I'm not dying.' I was like, 'OK.'"
However, their plan turned serious and he agreed to take the leap with her. His daughter sees him as an inspiring figure and looks up to him for his enthusiasm for life. The 90-year-old said that his latest adventure was one of the craziest things he has done in his life and it was "enjoyable." He looks forward to giving it another whirl.
"I truly feel he is an inspiration to any of us who say, 'I can’t do that,'" she wrote in ValleyCenter. She marvels at his level of energy despite being elderly, which can slow down many people. "He can still beat a 20-year-old in tennis," she told CBS News. "It's the will and the desire, and I think that really is an inspiration to a lot of people."
Stan believes that he makes the "extra effort" since he's hanging out with people 40 to 50 years younger than him. He's not just a risk-taker but also very independent. He has modified his truck so he can drive himself everywhere and even unloads his kayaks without any help.
His daughter said, "He's an inspiration. Living is a choice every day, and I think if you choose that, there's a lot you can do."