The look of shock and horror had crept up on her face. I sensed jolts of confusion from her as I spoke the words. “I would like the number four without meat.”
Her eyes went blank in expression before she refocused them again on me as I stood patiently at the cash register. “Did you want another type of meat?” she asked hoping quietly to herself that I had just misspoken.
“No, just the sandwich without any meat.”
She turned around for a second to look for help and asked another cook behind her, “Do we have sprouts?” She turned to face me again. “Did you want sprouts? We can put sprouts in it.”
I smiled. “Sure, that sounds great.” I realized that the encounter that I had just gone through wouldn’t be the last in the beef state of Texas. (more…)
After a trip to the restroom and a gulp of water, I lined up at the back of one of the final waves of the 2018 Surf City Half Marathon race. I was a little nervous about finishing the whole thing knowing that I hadn’t hit my mileage target. The words, I just might die, kept swirling around my head until the race announcer cued the sound for the start of the race.
I slowly inched out over the start line and followed the crowd of runners swiftly kicking their way down Huntington Beach’s stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. I jogged amongst the pack of people for several miles until the crowd began to thin out. The sounds of chatter began to wane as gasps of breath fell in their place, and you can hear, just off in the distance, the cool ocean waves crashing on top of each other trying to taunt the sweaty runners nearby. (more…)
“Oh, YOU like hiking and camping? I didn’t think that you would be into that?”
The comment came from a friend after hearing about one of my latest camping trips. It was around the time that I had joined a club for adventure seekers in college. There were no other black people in the group, and there were fewer women in the club than there were men. The club was a reflection of what I commonly saw when I laced up my boots and went hiking. Unless I was in the mountains of the diverse multi-cultural melting pot that was Los Angeles, California, I was almost always the only black female hiking in a sea of paler faces out in the woods. (more…)
A single bead of sweat drips from my brow and down the side of my face as I continue to peddle without gaining any ground on the stationary cycle. A middle-aged woman looks over my shoulder to view what I am looking at on the screen of my phone and then coughs—directly in my face. I get up to leave the gym already annoyed at the fact that all of the treadmills have been taken. From the look of the packed gym, it’s clearly the second day of January during the week when everyone is extremely gung-ho about their New Years resolutions.
It’s not until I get back to the car that I adjust my thoughts to view the positive aspects of the situation. Yes—this is the time of year when I have to wait a little longer for a treadmill at the gym, but it’s also the time of year when people come off of the high of the holiday giving season and focus on accomplishing goals that are set to better themselves. (more…)