Since I have moved to a very health conscious city, I figured I better rededicate myself to getting in shape. I have been trying to get to the track at a school not far from my apartment a few times a week. The track, the school, and the neighborhood are perfectly nice and safe but I like to call the area "Little Mexico." I am the only white girl using this track. Luckily I'm still tan from the summer and usually get to the track before sunrise, so no one has realized "which one of these is not like the others."
Yesterday was an interesting day at the track though. There are taquerias on every corner around the track so it isn't unusual to smell Mexican food, but yesterday I was detecting a very strong scent of cumin on a particular stretch of the track. I'm very familiar with the smell of cumin because when I first started cooking I had a few mishaps with over seasoning and learned quickly that a little cumin goes a long way. So I thought it was very odd to be getting such a strong scent of straight cumin while trying to work out. On my second lap around the track I get back to the area with the smell and it is still really strong. At this point I notice some dirt sprinkled along the track, more concentrated in some areas than others. It looks like the sand out of a sand trap on a golf course. Then it occurs to me that there is no sand on the field inside the track and that this isn't sand at all, it's cumin. This, as you can imagine, led to many questions in my curious little mind. 1) Why would someone have cumin at the track? 2) How did the cumin that was inexplicably at the track get spilled? 3) Did someone have flavorless tacos for dinner because they spilled the cumin on the track? I spent the next quarter mile trying to rationalize the mystery of the cumin with no luck. At that point my attention turned from tacos to CHiPs.
A guy in a black tank top and white shorts, sporting some lovely body art passed me at this stage in my workout. I get passed at the track with unsettling regularity, but this guy flew by me. I don't make much of it at first, but on the next lap he passes me in the exact same spot. At this point I notice his hair. It is thick and black and all feathered up like Erik Estrada's. I then have a vivid picture of him jogging in full California Highway Patrol regalia. This amuses me for another quarter mile until he passes me again in the same spot. Then I realize this guy is doing two laps to every one of mine, and even though I'm not very fast, that is a bit ridiculous. When he passes me a fourth time in the same spot and has run two miles in the time it took me to do one, I come to the only possible conclusion: he is half Mexican, half gazelle. He does not have a hair out of place, is smiling, hasn't broken a sweat, and could probably sing a show tune at full volume as he runs. I'm not holding up near as well. If he is a gazelle on the track, I'm a sloth. Perhaps I'm being too hard on myself, maybe I'm more like a chicken which is, apparently, the fifth slowest animal on land.
Needless to say, instead of feeling accomplished and invigorated after my workout, I just wanted to grab some tacos on the way home.