February 28, 2012
In 1996, I was eleven years old. I will never forget the classes' reaction to finding out our classmate, Jared, was born on February 29. It was like someone was playing a joke on us. Mrs. French explained that Jared was a leap day baby and explained what leap years are, but kids are mean. We teased Jared and taunted him, telling him that he was only turning three years old because this was only the third February 29th since he had been born.
Jared stayed quiet until we stopped. (A hint I didn't learn until later in life: Mean people will stop caring if you don't care.) He quietly said something that you could tell his parents had told him over and over, "I was born on an extra day. I was born on a special day. I was born on an extra special day."
I was inspired by the profound words of Jared this leap year. Tomorrow I will revise his mantra to make it my own...
You'll probably still have to go to work, to school, whatever your routine is. (It's not that special.) But, take advantage of your extra day.
Tomorrow, I will ride my bicycle to work and breathe in the bonus air of the extra day. I'll wear my new Adventure Cycling socks, because they're special. And I will use some of my additional time to plan adventures that are extra special to me -- adventures that are powered by my own two legs, spent with friends, and filled with laughs.
If you're still searching for that next adventure, take tomorrow to plan an extra special trip yourself. Maybe our tours department can help.
I hope you find this extra day extra special.
And happy birthday, Jared! Six was my favorite age.
RACHEL STEVENS is a graphic designer at Adventure Cycling Association who writes about how Art + Adventures = Awesomeness.