It’s Friday the 13th. If you’re less ‘Friday Feeling’, and more ‘Freaking Out Friday’, you may be suffering from a touch of Triskaidekaphobia– fear of the number 13.
Superstitions surrounding Friday 13th are all around us, often affecting the choices we make on a daily basis. Hotels often skip from room numbers 12 to 14, as they know that guests prefer not to stay in a room numbered 13. Restaurants often miss out a table 13, as diners will avoid it where possible when choosing where to eat.
Similarly, the fitness industry has its fair share of superstitions too! So, in the spirit of Friday 13th, we’ve rounded up some of the freaky things professional athletes do to keep the superstitions at bay…
- Tennis superstar Serena Williams said she lost the French Open because she didn’t tie her laces right, didn’t bounce the ball five times and didn’t have her extra dress or shower sandals with her.
- Baseball legend Moises Alou, would urinate on his right hand before stepping up to the plate, which he claimed help him control the bat!
- Tiger Woods always wears red on the Sundays of tournaments. Why? Because his Mum told him to! According to her, it’s his power color, so he’s just rolled with it ever since he went pro in 1996.
- American ball player Larry Walker was obsessed with the number 3. He was married on November 3 at 3:33 and his phone number had “as many threes as the phone company would allow.” While playing, he wore number 33, and he would take three practice swings before going to bat. If he was tight, he would alter that to some multiple of three swings, and he agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract with the Expos in 1993.
- Babe Ruth always made sure to step on second base whenever he jogged on to the field. If he ever forgot, he would run out from the dugout and kick it before the next half-inning began. As for his baseball bats, he refused to allow teammates to borrow one from him, claiming that every bat had a certain number of hits in it, and he wanted every last one of them!
- Wade Boggs never started a baseball game without eating chicken beforehand, which is a whole lot of chicken, considering there are 162 games each year! He also entered the batting cage at exactly 5:17 pm, ran sprints at 7:17 pm and wrote the word “chai” in the dirt before starting each bat.
- Michael Jordan wore his lucky shorts from his days at UNC underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform in every NBA game.
- Tennis champ Rafael Nadal takes a cold shower 45 minutes before every match. He points the labels of his drinking bottles toward the end of the court he’s about to play from and he never stands up from his chair before his opponent.
So, if you find yourself turning your back when you see a black cat today, or going out of your way to avoid a ladder, you’re certainly not alone!
Happy Friday 13th!