I absolutely love working out. I know, some people think I’m crazy. But if I don’t work out for a few days, my pores feel clogged. My shoulders tense and my hips stiffen after days sitting in an office chair. I usually choose climbing and yoga to stretch out my muscles, undo the tension, and work up a sweat. But sometimes, especially when the dog hasn’t been out all day and is buzzing with energy, I choose to run.
I’ve never been able to get into running. I have been trying for years—literally, since my freshman year in high school when I ran cross country—and I still can’t shake the thoughts in my head when I force myself to run: I hate this. Why are my legs made of bricks? Everything is so heavy, even my arms are heavy. Thank God I have a dog to pull my slow butt around the track… My lungs are dying. I hate this.
One of my authors recommended I read Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. As another writer, she thought that I would connect with his story. Yes, I thought, surely a bestselling novelist can teach me how to love running.
And I did learn quite a bit. Murakami is clear upfront to say that this isn’t a book about how to be healthy or why everyone should run. It’s a meditation on what running means to him, and what he’s learned along the way. Writing about running is a way for him to process it, to reflect on how running has inspired him—otherwise, he says, “I’d never know what running means to me.”Continue Reading