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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Murakami

Wow. Read Murakami’s book this week, a memoir of runner and writer, snatching a chapter here and there when I could. Excellent.

Not so much excellent because of how great everything was. Rather, excellent because it wasn’t always great. And he persisted. And was humble. And determined. And kept at it. Through marathons, triathlons, and even an ultramarathon, Murakami keeps running. (And writing.)

After reading this book, I know in my heart that I will do — not just can do — whatever I choose to. I just need to keep chipping away at it. Thank you, Mr. Murakami.

Normally, when I read a book, I mark the pages that interest me. I must have the corners of 50 pages turned over, so I will just share a few with you:

“This book does contain a certain amount of what might be dubbed life lessons…. personally lessons I’ve learned through actually putting my own body in motion, and thereby discovering that suffering is optional.”

“For me, running is both exercise and metaphor. …In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.”

“Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.” (This sounds awful out of context, but the whole section taken together is positive and empowering.)

“All I do is keep running in my own cozy, homemade void…. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says.”

“…since failure was not an option, I’d have to give it everything I had.”

“…you really need to prioritize in life, figuring out in what order you should divide up your time and energy. If you don’t get that sort of system set… you’ll lack focus and your life will be out of balance.”

“But when I think about it, having the kind of body that easily puts on weight was perhaps a blessing in disguise.”

“Nobody’s going to win all the time. … Still, I certainly don’t want to keep making the same mistakes over and over. Best to learn from my mistakes and put that lesson into practice the next time around.”

There’s so much more. Wow. Reading about his ultramarathon experience was almost a metaphysical one.

Whether you’re a runner, or a writer, or neither and just need some motivation and persistence, check this book out.

Mon, December 8 2008 » Motivation, Persistence

3 Responses

  1. Mark December 8 2008 @ 11:32 am

    Wow! Thanks for the review!

  2. Annette December 9 2008 @ 2:57 pm

    need to carve out some time in the evenings for reading…………I have been curling up in front of the Hallmark channel watching all the good Christmas movies 😉

  3. Alexia December 10 2008 @ 10:44 pm

    I just realized I’m missing the Christmas movies! Will have to find a few good ones to watch with the kids this weekend. 😀