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Accidental Immigrant: A Series of Happy Accidents

By Javier Flores
Hispano de Tulsa

When Juan Miret, Editor of asked me if I would be interested in being a contributing writer, I was honored and stoked for this opportunity. He wanted me to focus on social media and fitness (i.e., running) in the Tulsa metro, due to my profession and the fact that I recently ran the Chicago marathon. When he asked for a bio and a name for my column, I told him, “Accidental Immigrant” because I came to this country undocumented, but not by choice. I was brought here by my parents as a child.

How does social media and fitness align with being an accidental immigrant?

In the fall of 2009, even though I did not have social media experience, I applied for a social media internship with a local creative agency, Cubic. Much to my surprise, I actually got the position. So, as they say, fake it until you make it. And that’s exactly what I did in my internship. I read a lot of blogs, news articles, books, anything related to social media to enhance my career and it paid off. Eight months into my internship, Cubic offered me a full time position. From there, my passion for social media and anything creative blossomed.

Besides having a passion for social media, I started to have a new passion, fitness. Everyone I worked with at Cubic was very active (mostly all)… runners, bicyclists, iron man, etc. I’ve always been into fitness, eating healthy, and staying active, although I never dreamed of running a marathon. When you surround yourself with ambitious people, it is normal to want to achieve at the same level.

I ran my first 5k, the Runners World St. Patrick’s 5K, in the spring of 2010. I still have a vivid memory of that day… cold, overcast, surrounded by 2,000+ runners, the announcer counting down the minutes until start time and the sound of my heart pounding in my chest. That was just the start. From there…

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