Reading Running

Last year I posted a blog about my favorite running books titled Books that Speak to the Heart of the Runner. Recently, I reread my number one pick, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami, and enjoyed it better than the first time. It reminded me that running is not only essential to my physical fitness, but to my entire well-being. Running is holistic; it nourishes the body and mind.

Rather than bore you with excruciating detail, I decided to simply share with you some excerpts from the book:

 “Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest.”

  “I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different.”

  “The main thing was not speed or distance so much as running every day… Running every day is kind of a lifeline for me.”

 “Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day… How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much?”

 Haruki on starting to run at the age of thirty-three: “The age that Jesus Christ died. The age that Scott Fitzgerald started to go downhill… That was the age when I began my life as a runner, and it was my belated, but real, starting point as a novelist.”

 “Even when I grow old and feeble, when people warn me it’s about time to throw in the towel, I won’t care. As long as my body allows, I’ll keep on running.”

 “Long-distance running has molded me into the person I am today, and I’m hoping it will remain a part of my life for as long as possible. I’ll be happy if running and I can grow old together.”

In many of the excerpts, Haruki is talking about running; but in just as many, he is talking about writing. To the author, running, writing and life are interwoven. Long-distance runners who have been running for years, or decades like me, will relate to his observations, regardless their profession or vocation.


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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