What I Talk About When I Talk About Running By Haruki Murakami

  • You have to wait until tomorrow to find out what tomorrow will bring
  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional
  • The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.
  • I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring.
  • People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But I don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as well. I believe many runners would agree.
  • All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says. I just run. I run in void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void.
  • 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.
  • 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 own 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.
  • In other words, let’s face it: Life is basically unfair. But even in a situation that’s unfair, I think it’s possible to seek out a kind of fairness. Of course, that might take time and effort. And maybe it won’t seem to be worth all that. It’s up to each individual to decide whether or not it is.
  • Sometimes taking time is actually a shortcut
  • Being active every day makes it easier to hear that inner voice.
  • Nobody’s going to win all the time. On the highway of life you can’t always be in the fast lane.
  • An unhealthy soul requires a healthy body
  • You make do with what you have. As you age you learn even to be happy with what you have.
  • I’m struck by how, except 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.
  • That was the rule. Break one of my rules once, and I’m bound to break many more.

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