I’m sure most of us probably own a Haruki Murakami book in some form or another, but you may not have known that he was an life athlete or even a marathoner. His book called“What I talk about When I talk About Running” is a reminder that even the most boring things are the most valuable parts of life, similar to meditation as practice to discover ourselves.
But what did I even talk about when I talk about running? I talk about how it makes me happy (endorphins, duh) and that it’s my stress reliever. I talk about the friends I’ve made and the races I’ve trained and how I train for them. We always hear “things don’t happen overnight”, and pleasantly enough, Murakami records this practice throughout the memoir.
I actually started reading this book when I started running, because of course, JR handed it off to me on a day where he was planning to get a long run in while I wanted to just hang out with his dog Puff Daddy (yea that’s his name) on a bench at Lake Chabot. I actually got through a few chapters, but never had the chance to finish the entire book until recently.
It wasn’t until a couple months ago that I picked the book up again as I began getting tired of scrolling on my phone on the commute to work. Bay Area public transit commuters have are caught up endlessly checking social media and refreshing over and over even though nothing new pops up. I know it’s not the most awful thing but I feel I could be utilizing my time better. As I try my best to break the mold, I carry a book to disconnect for a few hours a day.
“What I talk About When I Talk About Running” is a mix between autobiography, running journal, a tale of a writer, creatives and how to be successful in art. Murakami didn’t start running until he was 33 years old, but shares how he went from 6 miles a day, to 20 marathons to a couple ultra marathons and triathelons. Murakami being the successful writer he is and was, went through his struggles and writers blocks, but he persisted. “What I talk about” covers where he lived and where he’s traveled, from Hawaii, Japan and running. He actually quit his ownership of a Jazz club to move to hawaii and focus on writing and running. It covers why he runs and shares his training for the New York Marathon. He even gets into the depressing truths of his body not working the way he wants it to and how age affects his athletic abilities.
I personally was in a runner’s block avoiding training, but after reading this book it makes you want to get out and train. It’s a wonderful story and I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in running. Thankfully I am in full training mode as I prepare my first Marathon for Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans in March 2018 with St. Jude!
Thanks for reading, and I hope this inspires you to keep moving forward!
To help me reach my fundraising goal for St Jude, please visit my fundraising page: http://heroes.stjude.org/Smankeyy