Friday, December 4, 2009

RIDE LIKE THE WIND!

This morning the most peculiar occurence restored my faith in Buenos Aires to constantly surprise and amuse me.

After my pilates class, I was jogging around one of my favorite park/lakes in Palermo. Euphoric, exhausted, sweating like a pig, I was fully immersed in the activity that was being described in the song playing on my iPod: "Ride Like The Wind" by Christopher Cross. (Don't judge. It was on shuffle, and I dig CC.) Suddenly, out of nowhere, a crowd of people started running toward me, cheering, shouting for me run, run, run, ride like the wind across a fake finish line.

I was perplexed. For a minute I considered run run running in the opposite direction. But my curiosity was piqued. So onward I went, riding like the wind, breaking on through to the other side of that finish line. Once I made it across, the crowd descended on me, taking pictures, congratulating me, shoving prizes toward me. For a minute, I thought they were going to lift me up and start singing, "For he's a jolly good fellow!"

So this must be how Steve Prefontaine felt!

As the cameras rolled, the leader of the mob handed me a trophy, and he and one of the others, a woman, began putting a microphone up to my face. What the...?, I thought, but decided to play along. I started cheering, lifting the trophy over my head as if I had just won an Olympic gold medal. I was the king of the world! Then, I turned off my iPod and answered their questions.

"Where are you from?"

"New York!"

"How do you feel right now?"

"Confused!"

"You are a champion!" They pointed to a man dressed in full jogging regalia, who had begun running beside me when the swarm of people had first begun approaching me. He held out his hand to congratulate me.

"Now how do you feel? Incredible?"

"Incredible!"

I was totally into it. Finally, someone explained what I had just literally run into. They were taping a show to air on Canal 13 in January. My character had just won a major marathon, beating the show's protagonist, the guy who had congratulated me. I was not only a jolly good fellow, I was a champion! Cheers! Toast! Bravo! I was the man of the hour.

I guess the old saying holds true: It's not whether you win or lose. But you probably stand a better chance of the latter, if cameras are rolling and you don't even know you're playing the game.
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