Back in the 80's, Reebok launched a campaign for their new U B U shoes. Or so I thought. I remember dragging my mom high and low to every sports and shoe store searching for these mysterious U B U shoes that captivated me. It wasn't until an arrogant store owner laughed in my face and told me that it was only the commercial and that these shoes did not exist. Deflated, I gave up on UBU and became just an ordinary pre-tween who still thought she knew it all. I wore the Reebok's but did not feel the same "superstar" status I would have felt had there really been a U B U shoe line.
What intrigued me the most about these shoes was the song that played on the commercial advertising them. "Instant Karma" by the Beatles. I still relish the lyrics and the tune to this day. I just LOVE that song and actually forgot about it until just last week, when instant karma hit me right in the face!
Recently, I have hit the doldrums of winter and I have been finding myself only able to run on the indoor track at my local YMCA. Around and around and around I run. Like, at what point can I stop counting the cracks on the wall that I pass or the weird people who seriously consider themselves elite athletes. Oh, that is a whole other post because those people are a very unique human race. But anyway, back to the around and around and around....
I happened to pick up pace with someone of my caliber. He was way cooler than I was but I felt like we both knew what we were doing. I stayed behind him as I did not want to let on to the fact that he was helping me forget about the monotony of this run and the fact I was considering bringing spackle my next time here for the cracks on the wall that I repeatedly pass. But what I started to do unknown to me was that I started to kind of run like him, almost mimic his stride. So there I was clipping along looking like a puppy dog chasing his owner. It wasn't until about a mile into it when it dawned on me that I AM NOT HIM! And things started to bother me. There were many things, in fact. First, my whole gait and body was reacting differently on this run. Probably because I was running with a different method. And while I thought the running was fine, body parts addressed themselves to me that have never made them selves known. The front part of my shin started to twitch, my left shoulder blade was tweeking out, and the bottom of my foot felt a bit funky. Second, and most bothersome, I was doing this without even knowing it. I wasn't being me, I was trying to be Mr. Cool Man Who Didn't Know I Was Chasing Him. And finally, that is when "Instant Karma" came on my iPod. I had to go sit down.
So, that is when all these old-school thoughts came flooding back to me. I sat and listened to the song. When "Instant Karma" comes on your iPod and freaky things are happening, you better sit down and listen to the song. The Karma Gods, I felt, would come barreling down and give me a good talking to. What I thought about was that silly U B U incident back in the 80's and most importantly the history of my running. I envisioned myself at the start of my running career and how that has evolved over the past 7 years. Have I always tried to run like someone else? Have I gone against "U B U" and just became what I thought I should be? As Mr. Cool Man wizzed by me a few more times and I sat pondering this whole thing, I dug deeper. It became a whole philosophical conundrum that quite frankly doesn't need to be discussed because it includes karma, the brian tumor, the running, is it all tied together.... The outcome was this: I am who I am and that is all that I am (thank God for Popeye when you need him)!
What it boils down to is that I have now resolved to make sure I be "me" and stay true to myself, my running, my fight against brain cancer, my life. There may times where I may not want to be me, either by choice or by the forces that may be. But being reminded that karma always has a way of sneaking up on you in an instant, well that is all I need to get me by.
So....U B U and I B ....well, ME!