We had a Leap Day at the start of the week.  This day – February 29 – is traditionally regarded as the only day women propose to men.

According to The Telegraph, the custom of a woman proposing to a man on the 29th February “dates back to the 5th Century, when, legend has it, an Irish nun called St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose. St Patrick then supposedly gave women the chance to ask the question every four years.”

Thanks to St Brigid and St Patrick, I proposed to Chris on a Leap Day 12 years ago.

I just reminded him of this anniversary by text while he was at work and he texted back “I’d still say yes” which was very encouraging. Because if anything, I love him more now than ever. We’ve had 12 years of ups and downs but no man has ever “got” me like Chris does. In fact, I saw this Instagram post and thought it summed up our relationship perfectly.

Now, you may be wondering what the relevance of my proposal means to you.

Well, at the weekend I received an email from a former student:

Four years ago on ‘leap day’ or maybe the day before, I was at your Pilates class and you talked about the significance of leap day and also the personal significance to you and your husband. Thanks to you, I went home and made a big ‘leap’ of my own. I’d been in a very unhappy relationship for a long time (in total the relationship was over 7 years), we had bought a house together and I felt trapped.

As a result I was a miserable and bitter person. I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t cry every day! I was deeply unhappy and I didn’t realise that I was projecting it onto everyone around me. I went home that night and ended the relationship. It’s the best decision I ever made and I don’t know how long it would’ve taken me to take that step without your wisdom.

I’m now in a happy and healthy relationship and we got engaged on New Year’s Day. Thankfully my family and friends (who I was being horrible to!) were there to help me through and I’ve repaired the relationships I had harmed through my bitterness. I just wanted to say thank you, for the massive change you encouraged me to make in my life.

So here’s my suggestion:


Whether this is to do with your romantic life, business life or just life in general, it is important to jump without always knowing that there is a safety net for you. I know that every time I have taken a leap (like proposing to Chris or moving to Scotland) the net has always appeared for me and I have never regretted it.

I also suggest you take that leap whenever you want or need to, rather than waiting for some outdated custom to give you permission. Yes, I proposed on a Leap Day but once I found the man who loved my mind as much as my body I would have proposed to him on any day!