Luck Be A . . . What?

I can’t remember ever having a lucky charm or lucky number or lucky color to give me an extra boost at crunch time. This was not for lack of trying. As a teenager I’m sure I had several shirts that I would wear to social events (not all at once) with the hope that they would be the difference between being approached by a cute boy or not. (I’m also sure that none of them worked — which is why I had so many. I just had to keep trying.) I wanted to have a lucky number, but numbers didn’t really attach themselves to me. And while I really liked to wear light purple (lavender?) when I was growing up, it was never the color that released my inner karma.

I am thinking of such things today. Lucky things. Mostly because of this study about good luck charms and good luck wishes and how they actually do help athletes (okay, anyone) simply because of the psychological edge. I know, surprise surprise. (Of course you are going to perform better if you think you have something lucky on your side and can actually relax and be comfortable.)

However, I am also thinking about such things because yesterday I purchased a new running shirt. It is sleek and black and it has a shelf bra in it, which means I don’t have to wear my sports bra when I wear it. The sports bra I was wearing when I broke the 4-hour marathon goal. The one I was wearing when I totally smashed my goal time in the half a few weeks ago. The one that supported me through both pregnancies. (Hahaha.) The one I was not wearing when I missed my 4-hour goal in the Mayor’s Marathon. Certainly it has some magical properties, right?

At the beginning of this morning’s run, I was sure I would miss the sports bra. I could definitely feel a difference as we headed to the park. The shelf bra is not quite as, er, secure as the sports bra and I was feeling a little, um, bouncy. It crossed my mind that I might have to wear both if I was going to run as comfortably, and as fast, as I wanted. But I did have some negative energy to burn off this morning, so I kicked it up The Hill as fast as I could manage with the wee ones in the stroller. It felt great. I felt great. I completely forgot about my “handicap.” Even better, there was no chafing from the elastic.

So, no good luck charm for me. Or at least no lucky underwear. Not yet anyway. What about you? Do you have a charm or a ritual that gives you an edge? How did it come about? Do tell. I’m intrigued by such things.

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