– Sarah Davis – No matter what anyone may tell you, I think everyone is a little superstitious.
Maybe it’s a shirt, or a pair of socks, someone always wears to practice. Maybe it’s a breathing ritual done before a flight, or perhaps they always shoot with a specific set of five arrows on competition day. No matter the differences, these superstitions all have one thing in common: they provide people with the illusion of luck. The idea they are now primed for victory, or the idea that some divine force is in their favor now.
I think we all know, deep down, that most of these things mean nothing, but there’s nothing wrong with believing in them. For a lot of people these tokens can: ease competition nerves, provide a kind of comfort, and even act as a security blanket when faced with the great unknown of competition or practice. Although these comments might sound as if I’m above superstition, I can assure you, that is not my intention. I cannot pretend I am not superstitious myself. The security blanket analogy applies perfectly here. I’m the first to say I get terrible nerves whenever I have an important event, so it’s nice to have something for myself, something to ease the jitters. For me, it’s a Mockingjay pendant.
The story of the Mockingjay pin begins before I even started archery, all the way back in 4th grade at Phoenix elementary school. My dad bought me a book, the first book in the Hunger Games series, and I was hooked. I was a big Hunger Games fan, reading all three books in the span of a week, getting into a little bit of trouble with my teachers when they caught me reading during class. I know that this is hardly original, the Hunger Games fan going on to become an archer in Katniss Everdeen’s stead. It’s true that when I started archery in 6th grade, I was a big fan.
The next chapter in the story of this good luck pin is friendship. As I became friends with others on the archery team, I obviously found other fans of the Hunger Games series. I was hardly the first. The most notable of these fans is one who is still one of my best friends almost 5 years later, Hailey. Hailey and I had a lot in common. We are both archers, love to read and watch movies, want to be authors, and we both loved the Hunger Games series. Hailey was an even bigger fan of the Hunger Games than I was. One day, Hailey came to practice with a new necklace over her archery uniform. It was a Mockingjay pendant given to her by her parents, and for years, she wore it to every competition. We met before the tournaments started and told each other to “channel our inner Katniss” and basked in the good-luck-aura of the necklace.
While our childhood interest in The Hunger Games has waned, I still consider the necklace a good luck charm. And even if it doesn’t come to every competition anymore, it still lives on as a memory between friends, and a moment of levity before some of the most anxiety-inducing tournaments I have ever been to. For that, I am thankful for my Hunger Games obsession bringing me a good luck charm.