addictive like pitbull

I love to hate Pitbull.

I love to hate his lyrics, which are either so stupid, they’re actually confusing, or they’re so blatant, it doesn’t seem right to actually call them “lyrics.”

I love to hate his product endorsements, which include vodka, small cars, and Kodak cameras, mostly because I don’t like to be reminded that the terrible state of the world economy is affecting even the high rollers, these days.

I also love to listen to Pitbull. Like the running program I started last week, Pitbull is surprisingly – disappointingly – addictive.

I’d never been drawn to running as a recreational activity. It’s always seemed more like a basic survival skill than something a reasonable person does for fun. Probably because, having lived in cities for most of my life, I’ve never had to run for my life. In fact, in the past two years, I can count the number of times I’ve mustered my legs into something resembling a jog. It was always to either cross the street or catch a train, and never lasted more than five seconds. But with a winter that seems to be lasting forever, and the beckoning warmth of the gym, learning how to run seemed like a good idea.

The problem and inherent advantage of running is that it jolts you into reality. Literally. While cycling is kind in the sense that it will keep you in the dark about your power to weight ratio [a.k.a. your big, fat ass], running does the exact opposite. As my foot landed on the treadmill last week, a tsunami of excess flab rippled up my leg and exploded around my waist. I was prepared for the sensation of having a belt made out of Jello wrapped around me, but it also felt like I was dragging and bouncing an anchor on my lower back. What is that, I briefly wondered to myself, before realizing that it was my abundant butt – the one that’s used to being comfortably seated on a bike saddle – that was jerking up and down behind me.

The horror of that experience had me up and running three times last week.

I am, however, using that word in its more general sense, to mean anything that is faster than a slow walk. I am walking as much, or more than, I am running, but if you judged by the traumatized look on my pathetically sweaty face, you’d think otherwise.

There is, however, a happy constant: Pitbull in my earphones, chanting those dumb, catchy lyrics as I pound my way through my scheduled jog. He reminds me that you don’t necessarily have to be good at whatever you want to do, you just have to work really hard at it.