Hello from gorgeous Savannah, Georgia! I’m here to run the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon tomorrow with Team in Training in memory of my brother Jonathan, and I can’t wait! This will be my second marathon with Team in Training; the first was last year’s Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. It was such an inspiring experience that I had to commit to another season.
I’m not particularly superstitious—or I only choose to be when I encounter a good omen—but I this week, as I began mentally preparing for the race, I also started thinking about all of the little things we do every day to bring us luck. Maybe we consider it lucky to see our favorite number, knock on wood to prevent something bad from happening, or cross our fingers as we're hoping something will happen. Most elite athletes have a routine like bouncing the ball a certain number of times before a serve or wearing a pair of lucky shorts. We all always seem to be seeking out that extra bit of luck that might make some unforeseeable difference in our lives.
It’s fun to imagine that there’s some sort of secret to luck that we can tap into, whether it be finding a four-leafed clover, hanging a horseshoe or dreamcatcher, or getting, ahem, dropped on by a bird flying overhead ((I swear, some people say this). I definitely find myself excited when I come across symbols of luck - what do you think is lucky?
Clockwise from top:
1. Vintage porcelain elephant figurines, Etsy. Ornamental elephants are supposed to bring good luck - plus, they're just cute.
2. Vintage horseshoe print scarf, Etsy. The idea of horseshoes being good luck dates back to a story about Saint Dunstan, who supposedly nailed a horseshoe to the devil's hoof and wouldn't remove it until the devil promised he wouldn't enter a home with a horseshoe hung over the door.
3. Clover shaped table, Oomph. Four-leafed clovers bring luck to their finders, and each leaf has a meaning. One is for faith, the second means hope, the third means love, and the fourth is lucky.
4. Vintage brass grasshopper paperweight, Etsy. Grasshoppers, considered good luck in many cultures, can only jump forward and symbolize moving forward past difficulties.
5.Handmade turquoise and gold dreamcatcher necklace, Etsy. Dreamcatchers ward off evil spirits and bless sleepers with pleasant dreams and good fortune.
6. Star print Night Sky blouse, Anthropologie. Stars are lucky in several ways: the North Star is lucky for sailors and brings guidance, and shooting stars grant the person who sees them a wish.
On the subject of luck, my family’s experience with leukemia, and my personal experience with Team in Training, has taught me that most of us are already incredibly lucky as it is, simply because we are blessed with good health. I have truly felt that by participating in TNT, I can help a sick person regain the good health that we only realize we are so lucky to have when it’s gone.
Tomorrow I will bring with me to the starting line a few reminders of that, both physical and emotional: I’ll be wearing three rubber bracelets created by Jonathan’s classmates to commemorate his life and to raise money for LLS, and I’ll be thinking of my brother’s courageous battle as I make my way to mile 26.2.