Leap Year

Midnight. It’s February 29 for the first time in 4 years, with the next such date not showing up on calendars for another four. Last Feb. 29 I was slowly returning to running after a long bout of iliotibial band syndrome while looking ahead to finishing grad school. I usually try to stay present, but it’s fun to let myself wonder a little where I could possibly touch down after the leap of another four years.

“Leap, and a net appears.” That saying, printed on a refrigerator magnet for sale in a bookstore, pulled at me more than a decade ago. I remembered it, and more than once it’s provided a shot of courage.

Between leaps, what to do with this whole extra day?

I’m not in a position to manifest the way I’d most like to spend the 24 hours, but that’s all right. It’s still looking good. Most mornings I begin with a few quiet minutes thinking about the good fortune of waking up healthy and all I’m grateful for. The sunrise will bring two extra things to appreciate: It’s pay day and a day off for mid-semester break. Perhaps fitting for a marathon trainer on a day that conjures up an image of leg movement, I treated myself and scheduled a much-needed pedicure.

Beside that appointment, my time isn’t structured. Depending on how I feel upon waking I’ll either finish a freelance writing assignment or head out for the week’s long run of 20 miles. Since I’m up late as usual, most likely I’ll get into less taxing scribe mode. Then I’ll go forward from there. Maybe even leap.

What will you do with this whole extra day?

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