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July 7, 2006

La Tortura Me Encanta

“And I'm on tonight, you know my hips don't lie and I'm starting to feel it's right…
All the attraction, the tension…Don't you see baby, this is perfection…” -
Shakira, “Hips Don’t Lie”

Yesterday, prior to getting in the shower for the second time that day, I had an epiphany of sorts: working out twice a day is exhausting.

I was standing in the middle of our employee gym, stretching and watching (what else) music videos. Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” video was playing, and it seemed perfectly appropriate.

(**Disclaimer: this is likely to be a convoluted post completely devoid of intellectual significance. If you’re looking for something thought provoking, this would be a good jumping-off point to visit another blog.)

I confess that I’ve never really been into Shakira. She always seemed like a little more than I could handle.

This is the girl whose previous video for “La Tortura” features her making out (putting it very mildly – what’s the best phrase to describe “having sex with your clothes on”?) with a man in her kitchen while holding a 12” carving knife. She also douses her entire body - hair included - in what looks to be motor oil, then writhes provocatively on the floor while repeatedly arching her back and rubbing her hands all over her body.

I mean...there’s sex appeal, and then there’s borderline insanity. Shakira has always seemed like that crazy girl in college who is exotically beautiful and passionately sexy, but has an intensity to her that is overwhelming. Normal guys couldn’t come close to satisfying her, although secretly they wonder if they would be up to the task (especially with a girl whose current album is called Oral Fixation).

She’s the girl who would completely devour all of your time and energy if you ever tried to date her, and may potentially turn psychotic on you if you ever try to extricate yourself. Most guys, when they’re thinking rationally, know to stay away from these chicks.

(Actually, one of my college roommates dated a girl like this, and we wouldn’t see him for weeks at a time. Sometimes they would be in his bedroom with the door closed, and not come out for three days. He may as well have been on the moon. It was totally surreal. We didn’t know whether to envy the guy or stage an intervention. And it took him two years to finally break up with her. But I’m getting off track…)

Let’s say you’re at a frat party where Shakira is on one side of the room, and Jewel is on the other. Who are you going to start hitting on? Part of you can’t help wonder what it would be like to date Shakira for a while, just to see what kind of mindblowing lunacy you can tolerate. But deep down you know Jewel is ultimately the girl you eventually want to settle down with.

And keep this in mind: guys don’t often act rationally. Many of them will go for Shakira, knowing full well that they’re getting in way over their heads, that there’s no way they can stay on this road they’re heading down for the long haul. But the temptation to know what it’s like is simply overpowering.

Which brings me back to standing exhausted in the employee gym.

For the past four weeks, I’ve been working out nearly every day, and frequently twice per day in my new role as a triathlete. Although I’m managing it well so far, I know it has the potential to completely wear me out.

Traditionally, running has been my Jewel: a well-balanced, rational, reliably beautiful activity that I know I want to settle down with for many years to come. It was meant for me, and I was meant for it (sorry, that was easy). I knew I could dedicate myself to it, and still have a lot of energy for all the other things I enjoy. But like many guys, I crave the exotic life every now and then.

So I wandered across the room to hit on the hot Colombian girl with the body paint and the seductive stare – that was the day I signed up for the triathlon. And now all of this extra training makes me feel like I’ve signed on to date Shakira for the next two months.

I’ve lost all of my free time. I’m tired all day long. I mean, I like getting some action as much as the next guy, but sometimes I simply don’t have the energy to go at it twice in one day (um, just to clarify...I’m talking about workouts here). I haven’t seen some of my running partners in weeks. I’m attracted to all sorts of new equipment and techniques that I typically only read about (still talking about workouts). I’m sore in ways that I’m not accustomed to.

The amount of time I’m dedicating to one race is becoming completely irrational. There’s no way I can keep this kind of pace up over the long term.

Yes, it’s crazy. Borderline insanity, in some ways. But you know what? I’m having a blast. I’m starting to feel it’s right. I don’t know if I’ll ever reach the perfection that Shakira demands (really, what man can?), but from now until September, I’ll certainly have fun trying.


susie 7/7/06, 10:56 AM  

Ok, I'm worn out just reading this! Great post....

backofpack 7/7/06, 10:58 AM  

Yep, you are making me tired too...

Dare I ask? How does your wife feel about this exotic new attraction? (I'm talking tri here)

Cliff 7/7/06, 11:01 AM  

hahhahaha........too true too true..

jeff 7/7/06, 11:58 AM  

hah...i'm right there with you, donald. hey, it doesn't look like i'll be doing a half iron this fall. there's too much going on with our schedule and money is going to be too tight to afford the race/housing/trip. plus, i think i may be getting in over my head with trying to do a half iron as my third race.

i've got a couple sprints on the calendar, and hopefully another oly and then a half iron next spring-ish, but no santa cruz race this year. if you're there next year, though, you may just see me there...that's a more financial and schedule friendly time frame.

angie's pink fuzzy 7/7/06, 12:04 PM  

cute (should I say hot?) analogy. has your wife read it? :)

robtherunner 7/7/06, 4:17 PM  

Let me start off by saying that at first I thought you were portraying Shakira a little unfairly with the oil smeared all over her body, even though I think that is sexy, especially with Shakira. It's similar to portraying Christina Aguilera in her "Dirty" video, rather than showing her in a video like "beautiful." I think there is more to both of them than that and boy would I like to find out. Like you said, I am not sure that I would be up to the challenge and I might get thrown out of the room after one try, but hey I think it's still worth the effort. Thanks for ending with a truly captivating picture of Shakira so that others don't get the wrong idea that she smears stuff all over herself regularly. I wasn't sure how you were going to tie her into running, but somehow you managed to do it nicely.

robtherunner 7/7/06, 4:18 PM  

Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure she wants me. I can see it in her eyes.

Anne 7/7/06, 6:47 PM  

I don't know how you do it, but managing to turn a post about Shakira, Jewel and triathlon training into yet another impressive piece has me duly impressed. It's also nice to see someone admit training simultaneously for three sports comes at a cost -- at least temporarily. Glad exhaustion agrees so well with you.

jeanne 7/8/06, 8:43 PM  

shakira vs jewel...hmmm, i'm really gonna have to ponder that one! In the meantime, while I'm thinking, can you write another post with some hawt guys as the metaphor? please? with photos?? :)

Susan 7/9/06, 4:59 AM  

Hmmm. I need to think about this. Shakira is the first 3 songs on my iPod.

Mike 7/9/06, 10:02 PM  

Donald...how do you come up with this stuff!?! HILARIOUS post!

olga 7/10/06, 6:41 AM  

:) Since this post doesn't require any intellegent answer as well, I am not going to try. But I did like the analogy.

TJ 7/10/06, 5:37 PM  

that was awesome. i'm signing up for a triathlon immediately.

Downhillnut 7/12/06, 7:42 PM  

Great analogy. It's also an excellent way for me to realize why I'm going to just stay safely married to my running... at least until the kids are out of the house ;)

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