So another week has gone by at the Guide and I have been busily typing away at all the things that pop into my head. Crazy things as you all know. And as you who follow me know, I keep a weekly fitness blog for myself every Friday. I wanted to be accountable to myself and to others for keeping up with my fitness goals. And while I certainly want to accomplish them all, I am not hard-nosed enough to give myself a time out in the Fitness Chair for not following through this week. Although now that I think about it, me in a time-out chair with a dunce cap on might be funny! Nah! Don’t get your hopes up. But as I was approaching this week, something came to the forefront of my mind as this was my thirteenth week for my fitness blog. Triskaidekaphobia.
Fear of the number thirteen. I wondered about such a fear. I figure that half the reason they came up with Thirteen Reasons Why for the book and the new television series on Netflix was because of that number. While I may be more frightened by a tale called eleven reasons why. They had to make it 13 because of the popular fear. Now I understand that the term “popular fear” sounds unreasonable. It’s downright crazy if you ask me. But one can only conclude that objectively, subjectively speaking. Or is that subjectively, objectively speaking. In either case, I object to the subjectivity of it. I think.
As always, we here at the guide need to get down to the bottom of just such an issue. And it IS an issue. Estimates from some random internet site have informed me that we lose in upwards of 800 million dollars in productivity every year because we fear that number so much. There is no travel, no hotel floors, no weddings, no funerals, no Hugh Grant, and no work . . . . scratch that. I mean, scratch the no Hugh Grant part, unless he has been trolling again. All that fear has led to inaction; as well as John Travolta and Tom Cruise to become Scientologists. I hope that’s the reason why they believe in Scientology. Because if they are in Scientology and it’s not because they are not running from fear, someone needs to smack them upside the head or something.
So I went deep into the bowels of the faux news on the internet (which sometimes I think is a redundancy) to find out the goings on behind the fear of thirteen. I know it was a struggle digging up all of this dirt on the number thirteen. But I knew you, my audience would appreciate what I found. And as any good scientist, I am going to now reveal to you all of my findings.
5 “Historical” Facts About 13
1) It all started with some nitwit at the local DMV-
Ok, maybe not quite that. Since they did not have DMVs back in the time of Hammurabi. But with that silly code that they came up with, some clerk forgot that the number thirteen came after the number twelve. I guess they had been counting the elephants all day and was so over it that they couldn’t take the time to make sure they got the numbering right on the code. “Eleven elephants, twelve elephants . . . oh, look! An Arabian horse. What number was I on again? Oh yeah. Fourteen Elephants.” And then, they didn’t even bother to correct their mistake. It’s like they pretended not to notice. There was a big elephant in the room and the pretended not to notice. Literally!
2) Then it moved on to twelve envy-
What do I mean by twelve envy? Glad you asked! Twelve envy means that Thirteen just couldn’t take it when it got left out of two many different things. Like there were Twelve months in a year. There could have been Thirteen months, but someone stopped at Twelve because . . . you know. Thirteen months? There were two Twelve hour sections in a twenty-four hour day. I guess Thirteen was just too much for some people. It had that strange looking number three in it that was a deformed and backward E. And so they said stop right there when thirteen tried to sneak by.
3) Jesus was the first person to officially sanction the fear of thirteen-
How could that be you ask? Jesus did not mention the number thirteen in the Bible. You have read your Bible stories. You know what you are talking about and I am just talking crazy talk here. Well, am I? Am I? First, did you ever stop to think about why he only had twelve disciples? He could have gone to thirteen. But he didn’t. He stopped at twelve.
Second, during the last supper, who was the thirteenth guest in the room? That’s right! Judas. I think you know that thirteen was the real problem here, not that silly betraying thing. I mean that could have been forgiven. But thirteen? Blasphemy! That was just too much and they realized it. So it had to go back to twelve.
And then came the fateful Friday the 13th for Jesus. That cross thing. I’m telling you that he knew 13 was no good. Finally, when Jesus went to heaven, they could have added another disciple to replace Judas and a thirteenth one as Jesus was gone. But no. They only made it twelve.
4) Traditionally, gallows had 13 steps-
The people who created the gallows knew that 13 was unlucky. So, when they thought about putting up steps to them, they knew they could have no other step amount than 13. They couldn’t do twelve or fourteen. Only thirteen would suffice. Those thirteen steps reminded the person going to his death that doom awaited him. There was no getting over it. Because once they had crossed all the way to that thirteenth step, no one could save them. There was no reprieve.
5) Thirteen continues it’s unlucky streak today with our sports heroes-
The first four of these examples we could set aside as mere occurrences. But attack our beloved sports heroes and all bets are off. Let’s look at just a couple of sports heroes associated with the dreaded number. First Dan Marino, number thirteen for the Miami Dolphins. For those of you not in the states, he is one of the best quarterbacks of American football there was. Sure, he made it to the Hall of Fame. But what about playoff success and the line society makes about greatness. He made one Super Bowl and failed. After that, year after year of heartache and misery. He would never return.
For our second stunning example, I put before you, Steve Nash. A Canadian and an amazing ambassador for the sport of Basketball, Steve Nash was a gentleman and a two-time MVP in his sport. But what was his sin? His sin was that he wore the number 13. One of the all-time great guards, he would never make it to the NBA finals. His best shot at it? A shove from Robert Horry and a broken nose derailed any chances he had. And finally, when he got traded to the Lakers his career collapsed. Injury after injury. His bad luck even spread to Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. Both of them have been jinxed the rest of their careers and Nash had to retire from Basketball.
So if you don’t hate the number thirteen by now, I just don’t know what to do to show you that you should be afraid. Very afraid. Bwahahahaha!
Fitness Week Thirteen
But that is not why you are here! You are here to read about how I did for my thirteenth week of fitness. How did it go? What did I do? And were there any black cats that crossed my path or did I walk under any ladders? Well, I am here to report to you that you have been spared those awful number 13 things. And while you are breathing a big sigh of relief, or happily smiling knowing that you are not reading a post from a ghost, I will recount the past week of fitness and how much or little I accomplished. Plus, maybe a tidbit or two thrown in about what I learned this past week. And to do that, as always, I am going to use my past weeks goals as my measuring stick.
Last Weeks Goals
Six Times At The Gym Or Going Out To Activities-
I was really hoping that I was going to do this one this past week. I was so motivated to start. But failure on another aspect of this week has made it difficult to accomplish this one. So instead I report that I made it to the gym four times this week. In other weeks this might have been a victory. But for now I am seeing it as a motivation to go out and make sure I get more done this next week. The good thing is that I am pumping up my times in my cardio so that my gym time is increasing. Lengthening the workout time is always a good thing. I could use an increase in my cardio as the sun is out more and its going to be time to do some glorious hiking and walking in some beautiful places. Summer come quickly please!
Eight Glasses Of Water Per Day –
I feel like I had a bit of a down week here when it came to doing this. I don’t know what it was about the water this week, but it just did not taste good going down. In fact, one night after the gym I got Gatorade instead. And I don’t like Gatorade unless I have food poisoning and then I am drinking it for entirely other reasons. Maybe a lack of salt in my diet the week before made it so my body was craving something like Gatorade. I don’t know. But I downed a bottle after a gym session this week. This meant that I was averaging more like 6 glasses of water per day instead of the eight from last week. It’s not a total failure, but not a success either.
Counting Calories –
Calories? What Calories? You mean those strange numbers they stick on the packages of food I get? Oh, that’s what they were! Now you tell me. In all seriousness, I would say I was half motivated by that this week. I counted calories on five of the days and let slip the other two. The downside to this is that I could have been better. The upside to this is planned failure. What do I mean? Any good diet plans to fail. Why do I say this? Because we want freedom. When we restrict ourselves from fun food, we fall apart. Allowing for failure allows us to not fail ultimately. Like a parent who needs the occasional hour away from their children in order to be good parents, when you diet, you need to step away from it now and again in order to succeed at it ultimately.
7 To 8 Hours Of Sleep Per Night-
Dun! Dun! Dunnnnn!!!!! If we want to talk about a part of the week that I completely and ridiculously failed at, here it is. And the reason? Well, some of it has been an unlucky bit of events that have not allowed me to be able to write when I was writing before. Some of it has been taking on increased things on my blog. And some of it is poor planning. Currently, I am doing four blogs per week, but after this week, I am seriously thinking about three. It’s not that much of a downgrade. And if I am giving you great or even better content, that makes me happy. And you happy is one of my goals.
My increased participation and comedy of errors has led to a two-hour night sleep and a five hour one this past week. That cannot happen again. And as a side note, I vow to get a planner this weekend. I am going to get more organized.
Final Grade: B-
I could have been generous to myself once again. But I am not going to be. I have one more week at this before I promised I would re-evaluate my own standards. As a result, I know that I really need to put out an effort this week. And another week of kindness on a grade may not encourage it the way that I want. So next week I will be evaluating progress and changes.
Next Weeks Goals-
Because I am evaluating next week, I do not want to increase my goals too much. I think trying to add something now wouldn’t be helpful to any evaluation. As such, here are the goals for this next week.
1- Six Times to the Gym or Outings
2- Eight Glasses of Water per Day
3- Counting Calories
4- 7 to 8 Hours of Sleep per Night
So there you have it. Another week. Another set of goals. And many, many reasons you should be breathing a big sigh of relief that it’s no longer the Thirteenth Fitness week. Because if it were, you should be watching out for black cats, tall ladders, and Tom Cruise jumping on more couches. Mostly fear the last one.
Continuing The Conversation
So how have things been going with all of you? How are the fitness goals coming? How often do you modify them? And how big are the changes? And one last question, because I am nosey that way. What kinds of things do you fear irrationally, and what is your biggest 13 fear story? I’m sorry. You say that is two questions? I blame the number 13.
If you loved the post, feel free to check out more of my fitness blogs, more of my musings, or anything else here at the blog. Plus, subscribe to my blog. All subscribers through email get the password to the subscriber only section of the blog: The Dad Rules. Find ten rules about being a dad that are important for life. It’s humorous and crazy as always.
Until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life
Week 0: Not Another Fitness Blog
First Week: Week One
Second Week: Two Down. Nineteen to Go.
Third Week: Forced Reboot
Fourth Week: I Just Adore Four
Fifth Week: Give Me A Five!
Sixth Week: The Great DST Derailment
Seventh Week: Not Quite Heaven
Eighth Week: Lucky Eight?
Ninth Week: Dressed to the Nines
Tenth Week: Goes to Eleven
Eleventh Week: Tooth Wars
Twelfth Week: Happily Ever After