Notes from reading: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

 This book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” is collection of his daily entry of Haruki Murakami . He tries to connect his regular running habit and its learning to his way of life.  

He traveled all the way to Athens and on a humid day made run to Marathon village all by himself in heat and traffic. [super crazy :)]

These are some notes from the book:

  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself.
  • To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow.
  • I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void.
  • Human beings’ emotions are not strong or consistent enough to sustain a vacuum.
  • Growing older and slowing down are just part of the natural scenery.
  • You can’t please everybody.
  • When you’re young, 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 by a certain age, you’ll lack focus and your life will be out of balance.
  • I’m no great runner, but I’m definitely a strong runner. The more I ran, the more my physical potential was revealed.
  • Life just isn’t fair, is how it used to strike me. Some people can work their butts off and never get what they’re aiming for, while others can get it without any effort at all. But even in a situation that’s unfair, I think it’s possible to seek out a kind of fairness.
  • Human beings naturally continue doing things they like, and they don’t continue what they don’t like.
  • No matter how strong a will a person has, no matter how much he may hate to lose, if it’s an activity he doesn’t really care for, he won’t keep it up for long. Even if he did, it wouldn’t be good for him.
  • I don’t think we should judge the value of our lives by how efficient they are.
  • The body is an extremely practical system. You have to let it experience intermittent pain over time, and then the body will get the point. As a result, it will willingly accept (or maybe not) the increased amount of exercise it’s made to do.
  • Nobody’s going to win all the time. On the highway of life you can’t always be in the fast lane.
  • Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusions of a person about to lose consciousness.
  • The most important quality a novelist has to have is: talent, focus, endurance, patience .
  • Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest.
  • People have certain inborn tendencies, and whether a person likes them or not, they’re inescapable. Tendencies can be adjusted, to a degree, but their essence can never be changed.
  • As you age you learn even to be happy with what you have. That’s one of the few good points of growing older.
  • If something’s worth doing, it’s worth giving it your best—or in some cases beyond your best.
  • To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible.
  • In most cases learning something essential in life requires physical pain.
  • If pain weren’t involved, who in the world would ever go to the trouble of taking part in sports like the triathlon or the marathon, which demand such an investment of time and energy? It’s precisely because of the pain, precisely because we want to overcome that pain, that we can get the feeling, through this process, of really being alive—or at least a partial sense of it.