I have to confess: sometimes my meditations are a work in progress all week, and other times, I’m glad to get two words out. [I’m sure it shows sometimes]. But this meditation happens to be the 188th.
Why is this so special, you ask? 188 is my number. Weird, I know. It doesn’t go on a soccer jersey. And it sounds like something you hear at the DMV or SOS. But you also heard it called out in the horse show arena some 15 or 20 years ago. “188… Redford Baby Blues and …”
It all started at a particular show circuit. A handful of times in a row, my registration had snagged the number 188. Maybe it had something to do with my mom working in the announcer’s booth occasionally… but the first two or three times, she wasn’t there. Somehow, 188 became my number.
And then, it wasn’t. When I moved on to bigger shows (ie: a single-breed circuit), we had the opportunity to “buy” our numbers in advance of the season, in a silent auction-style event. Little did I know, I was bidding up against someone in the “professional” category who had had 188 for several years. What did my little 17-year old self know?
I gave up, with little cash in hand, and walked away with 288.
It’s funny, though, how certain numbers will follow you. I can pretty much tell you my travel/high school soccer teammate’s numbers (which they wore for years). And I can tell you who competed under the show number 222 and 142 in my show circuit.
And, they say, certain numbers are reserved for certain competitors. For instance, in football, the beefy guys are 50 – 99, while the QBs, running backs, etc. are much lower numbers. And prior to Rich Rod coming to Ann Arbor, No. 1 was a revered gift upon a talented football player who earned the right to wear it for the Maize and Blue.
And they say that, in soccer, #10 belongs to the best player.
So what is it about a number that we identify with so many years later? How does it become such a part of our identity? Numbers you know. Michael Jordan? 23. Wayne Gretzky? 99. Dale Earnhardt? 3.
Numbers become a part of you as a player, as an athlete, and as a person. And if you are really good, they become part of immortality.
Retro re-post of the day: Pink, It’s Like Red But Not Quite.