Gutsy Goddess—Kretz

I am honored to introduce Kretz. She jumped out of a bad marriage and then broke 14 world skydiving records and helped raise millions to fight cancer

“Find out what you do well and do it for all you’re worth!”

It was a rude awakening. I was 26 years old and in a very bad marriage. My weight dropped to 85 pounds and my doctor said if I got sick I was not likely to not recover. One day driving home from the school where I taught I heard the song “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.” At the next confrontation with my husband, I gathered my courage and was gone, taking only my car. What a feeling came over me—Freedom!

     Something changed drastically that day. While I was frightened of everything, I had a dream. I wanted to make a parachute jump—and I did. I was so afraid to skydive, I literally took myself to the drop zone and ignored my fear. By the 5th jump, I pulled my own rip chord and saved my life.

       After five years I had my first World Record, 32 women hooking up in the air. I was one of four Americans invited to the first 100-Way Women’s World Record. Diving last out of the airplane came easy. The highlight of thee women’s dive I achieved was the ” Jump for the Cause” where 136 women raised nearly a million dollars for cancer.

            My first 100-way was in France and took a week to complete; it felt like going to girl scout camp all over again. I also did a 120-way out of a C130, the first 144-way diamond formation, the 300-way out of MI 26 Helicopters in Russia (three people short) and the successful 300-way in Arizona.

           Overall I’ve done 2500 dives, earned my pilot’s license and broken 14 World Record Skydives. Now I’m retired from teaching and my last jumps were SOS jumps in California.

           Breaths of Inspiration—If you are frightened of everything, take yourself out and follow one dream. Don’t listen to your inner negative voice. And remember what Picasso said. “Find out what you do well and do it for all you’re worth. Because it’s the artists of the world, the feelers and thinkers that educate and articulate the big dreams.”

We’d love to have you join the conversation. Please comment below—you never know who you might inspire or where it might lead. 

For more Gutsy Goddesses click here


  1. Wow! Great story and pics!

  2. You are amazing! You are an inspiration! I’m next!!! I’m ready to make a move

  3. That is one heck of a life changing epiphany!! Go big or go home!!!! Truly inspiring and makes me want to do something epic!!

  4. Denise D'Amboise June 26, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    What an inspiring story! Just reaffirms that we all have the ability to face our fears and access our power to achieve whatever we want. Way to go!

  5. Great story Kretz!! You rock!

  6. Great story, Kretz … you rock!

  7. When you put your mind to something, the rest falls into place. Remarkable story!

  8. You have always been an inspiration Aunt Linda!!!!

    • admin_laughingatthesky July 12, 2017 at 12:32 am

      Thanks for stopping by BK. She has inspired many. If you’d like to share any of your own “Brave Books,” or Words of Wisdom,” or if you have a nomination for more “Gutsy Goddesses” we love to hear from you. I’m also starting to compile songs, art and poems that inspire.

  9. Thanks BK. I wish I could surf like you!

  10. Madison Kretzler July 3, 2017 at 3:51 am

    You made me a fearless, strong, and independent woman! I love you, Mom! I’m glad you get to share your inspirational story with the world!

    The Woman. The Myth. The Legend. The Kretz!

  11. Lynn Macfarlane July 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Wow! What an amazing story. You truly are a gutsy goddess!

  12. admin_laughingatthesky July 12, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Thanks Lynn—Isn’t she!!!

  13. Kretz, you are and have always been an incredible person. Thanks for being an inspiration in my life 20+ years ago. Haven’t yet jumped out of a plane but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for skydiving thanks to that summer with Chris and Maddi.

  14. You’re a gutsy goodess alright! More power to you.

    • admin_laughingatthesky July 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      So glad you stopped by Corinne! As a blogger who “believes in encouraging growth in others,” and with your interesting past, I’m wondering if you might have a favorite quote you might be willing to share or a Gutsy Goddess you might recommend. Either way—Welcome to The Tribe!

  15. Keep pushing the envelop otherwise you will be confined by your own self doubt. Empathy, inner peace and happiness are obtainable goals. Reconciling one’s past so that it doesn’t interfere with one’s present is another goal. Good luck with your lifetime adventure.

    • admin_laughingatthesky August 3, 2017 at 11:21 am

      John—thanks for the insight and inspiration. Not easy yet very true. So glad you could stop by. I hope you come back again.

  16. What an incredible story! I love these kinds of things . . . we don’t have to be unhappy and paralyzed where we are.

  17. admin_laughingatthesky August 3, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Thanks Lynda. So glad you stopped by. I believe you have your own “incredible story.” I hope you will con side filling out the Gutsy Goddess questionnaire on the About page.

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