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 go back years, though for some of us, when Friday 13th hits, they stick around like the grim reaper, crippling our abilities to crack on with our day.
Hotels often skip number 13 from their room numbers, due to many superstitious guests preferring not to stay in room 13.
Restaurants sometimes miss out a table 13, as diners will avoid it.
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…
Three Is The Magic Number
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 it to a multiple of three swings.
Larry agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract with the Expos in 1993.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams claimed in an interview that 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.
Mums The Word
Tiger Woods always wears red on the Sundays of his tournaments. The reason? Because his Mum told him to!
According to Mum, red is Tiger's power color, so he’s just rolled with it ever since he went pro in 1996.
Baseball legend Moises Alou, would urinate on his right hand before stepping up to the plate (which he claimed helped him to control the bat better!)
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!
Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner
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 going the extra distance to avoid a 13km run, or shying away from sitting down at table 13 in the Village Pub today, you’re certainly not alone! Happy Friday 13th!