I don’t know what it is that I’ve done in a past life for the universe to exact its terrible revenge on me, but it must have been bad. Like, really bad.
Without going into detail of the seemingly utter ruin that has become my life as of late, suffice it to say that apparently karma has no problem kicking a girl while she’s down. Repeatedly.
2016 if not off to a great start …
I’m trying to roll with the punches, but let’s face it: I’m no boxer. The best I’ve managed so far is to simply fetal up in the corner and cry “uncle.” Enough, already.
There is something weird that keeps happening though …
After a particularly rough afternoon I was driving home after dropping my son off at school and the most inspiring song ever to be recorded suddenly hit the airwaves. I don’t know what prompted the DJ to select that particular song — Survivor isn’t exactly a hot ticket band these days — but it was exactly what I needed to hear.
I am talking, of course, about the theme song for Rocky III — Eye of the Tiger.
I cranked up my car’s speakers as loud as they would go and my mood instantly changed. Suddenly I found myself driving down 123, air-drumming to the beat and singing along at the top of my lungs.
I’m sure I received some side-long glances as I stopped for the red light and began to shadow box but by the time I pulled into my driveway, my view of the world had changed from I am completely screwed to I got this.
What’s strange about this is that it’s the third time this has happened.
Eye of the Tiger was released in 1982. Why it’s suddenly being played on the radio again, I couldn’t tell you — I don’t have my radio tuned to an “oldies” station, not even “classic rock.” But apparently, if I’m having a bad day, Dave Bickler’s vocals will be there to pick me back up.
Music has that effect on me — even crappy 80’s music. Perhaps especially crappy 80’s music.
I have always found the Rocky movies to be inspirational — except the one with “Tommy Gun.” I didn’t like that one. But the thing about Balboa is that even when he got the snot kicked out of him, he kept coming. He didn’t win his fights because of any particular boxing talent, he trained by chasing chickens for Pete’s sake. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, in the first movie, he didn’t even win — Apollo did.
Rocky’s “strategy” for winning fights wasn’t exactly the most technical pugilistic form ever displayed on screen; he basically just let the other guy punch himself out. On his face. Then, when Mr. T or Ivan Drago or whoever was so tired from throwing punches that he could barely hold up his arms, Rocky would sneak in a left hook.
Real life, as strange as it seems, is similar to Rocky in that way. You don’t “win” at life, you just have to go the distance. If you get knocked down, you have to pick yourself back up and just hang in there — even if you’re taking continuous shots to the head.
At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. I’ve taken the punches. Now I just need to work on my left hook.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.