Sure, it would probably have been better if we leaped right over this year but that’s just not how it went. Instead, we had to show up every day and trudge through challenges of Biblical proportions (which are continuing). It has been hard, and for many of us, traumatic and even catastrophic. And to put salt in the wounds, 2020 was an actual Leap Year with a whole extra day of this hell in it.
The photo below was taken right after my father-in-law died of Covid in April 2020. I wrote a poem titled And There Will Be Blackberries around then, as the blackberries were blooming and I didn’t know if any of us would even still be here when they would be ripe. And yet, here we are.
Traveling at the Speed of Bike, growing and sharing food gardens, and daily Leaps of Faith have helped me. The Leaps of Faith, in particular, have been a reliable source of daily belly laughs as they consistently crack me up and remind me of the essence of my soul (how fitting that Disney Pixar just released a movie named Soul). Some days, they are my only laughs.
I have leaped literally hundreds of times this Leap Year. Below is the first one I was able to do after completing a month of physical therapy after I survived a hit-and-run while Traveling at the Speed of Bike in July. This was on the way to my specialist’s office for my final visit (after passing a new ghost bike along the way), and I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to do this then (or ever again). Even Magic’s streamers took a leap of faith that day!
Here is my most recent Leap of Faith, taken yesterday on the top of a MARTA parking lot where I rode to view the sunrise*:
And now, as I wind down on a year of leaps, I invite you to join me, as my friend Caryn did (pictured below with me in Suwanee, Georgia) as well as her husband Jeff; as did my friend Jon; and Betsy and Jack; and one of the girls to whom I taught bike skills recently (cropped to protect her privacy) .
There are only a few more days! Let’s leap the shit out of this year**!
Here’s what I find works best:
- Choose a background. Forests, cityscapes, bridges, street murals, and sunrises/sunsets all work especially well, as do holiday settings right now, although even the middle of an empty street or a mall parking lot can have a surprisingly uplifting effect. I spent a surprising amount of time under the power lines this year — maybe trying to stay connected to my own personal power;
- Set your phone on Live and on the 10-second timer;
- Place your phone on the ground propped up by a water bottle, pointing upward toward your leap scene.
- Push the button, run to your spot, wait for the flashing light, and then leap. (Don’t worry about looking silly — people will smile, and smiles feel good right now.) I usually leap up to three times in a row to make sure I get a good one.
- Then scroll through the live footage and screen-shot your leap at its apex.
- Post it on social media tagged with #Leap of Faith. If you’d like me to post it here on Traveling at the Speed of Bike as well, tag me on social media!
* Great spot for socially-distanced sunrise viewing, by the way. Maybe that should be a thing in 2021?
** Can’t get air between your feet and the ground? No worries. There are no rules here. This counts, as does whatever feels right to you: