The impetus behind my affinity to long-distance running: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running By Haruki Murakami.
People often ask me "Why are you running so much at this stage of life ?" I know, all the time my reply was scrappy and superficial. I wish I could have given them the book to read - "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" by Haruki Murakami as the befitting answer. This book is more of a memoir than an autobiography and it deals with the genre which is strikingly different from the genre Haruki Murakami is known for.
The book talks about the transformation of Haruki Murakami as a writer from a small jazz bar owner who took a bold decision to be a full-time author leaving a business (his Jazz Bar was doing well at that time) behind. When you are relinquishing your old habits/lifestyles and embracing a new life, then, it will not be a cakewalk for sure - he started running at that juncture of his life. Hence, in a nutshell, this book is a combination of running, writing, and old age. The author will take you through the feelings of a long-distance runner and help you to decode their mind. Most of the chapters highlighted the psyche of a person who was reinventing himself and as a reader, your mind and soul will coalesce with that of the author's mind.
Your mind will have an indelible mark when you read the line "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional". He will lure you to indulge yourself to enjoy solitude in the middle of the cacophony of mundane life when you will bump into “When I'm running I don't have to talk to anybody and don't have to listen to anybody. This is a part of my day I can't do without.” He will bring you down to the ground and knock you down with the hard truth when he wrote, "Nobody's going to win all the time. On the highway of life you can't always be in the fast lane."
I will end up writing a mini-book if I attempt to recall even one-third of the golden lines or passages which are worth quoting here!
In this book, it will be interesting to find out how running affects your life and clears your mind and you would like to take a plunge and give it a shot to long-distance running!
Happy reading and running too.
P.S: My Favourite passage from the book: "For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be."