Sunday, July 15, 2012
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami is a runner and a writer. I am also a runner, like to write, and love to read about (among other things) running, so this book was pretty much perfect for me. In this slim volume Murakami writes about running, writing, and getting older He writes about the pain and beauty, the satisfaction and triumph, and the workmanlike dedication to train and achieve a goal, whether the goal is running a marathon, completing a triathlon or writing a novel. He also writes about the undeniably affect of growing older, but still continuing to move forward even if it means moving a bit slower than before.
As a runner, I totally got where Murakami was coming from. When I run I think about everything and nothing. Sometimes I am working out a solution to a problem or planning the rest of my day. Sometimes I imagine myself in some sort of adventure where I have to save the day. And sometimes I just concentrate on each footfall and each breath. At times I've experienced the runner's blues, as Murakami calls it, and found it hard to put on my sneakers and get out the door. But like Murakami, I keep going, because that's what you do. You keep going. You run through it. Soon you find yourself on the other side of the runner's blues, and full of energy and enthusiasm once again. Reading Murakami was reminder of this and has inspired me to recommit not only to running, but to a few other projects I've been working on halfheartedly.
I haven't yet read any of Murakami's fiction (though I plan to) so I cannot compare this to his other work. I can say that you don't need to be a runner to read this. If you enjoy good writing, if you know what it is to like to slog through good and bad days as you work to achieve a goal, whatever that goal is, give this book a try. It is well worth the read.