Title: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Writer: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Vintage (2009)
Bought at: Book Depository (IDR 84k, bargain!)
I was lack of working out and maintaining a healthy lifestyle during my twenties. In my early 30s, I tried to fix it and had successfully done so for about a year, before I was back to the lazy, unhealthy life.
This year though, I’ve decided to give it another try, and hopefully do it right. I started running in January, using a running apps, and until end of February I’ve run about 125 km. It’s hard and challenging but I think if I don’t do it now I won’t do it anytime soon ever.
And that brought me to this book, a memoir from Haruki Murakami, whose book I’ve just read once and I still don’t consider him as my favorite writer (yet). But, since this book tells a story about him as a runner and a writer, it felt so fitting with my current situation.
Turned out, this book is REALLY good. Very inspiring. Murakami is a good writer and even though he has every reason to brag in this book considering his remarkable achievements- he actually wrote it in a very polite, subtle, humble way that gave no reasons for the readers not to like him and sympathize with him.
Murakami started running when he was 33 (another reason to make me feel confident!!) and he told his story honestly- from failures to successes and from highly motivated moments to have a runner blues. It felt very real and relatable indeed.
The most inspiring thing about Murakami is he never stops. He never made age as his reason to quit or slow down. For him, as long as he could, he would always be a runner, just as he would always be a writer -no matter how old he is.
Another thing that made me love this book even more is that how Murakami could use running to describe things that he learned to be a good writer, and vice versa- to use writing as a tool to describe running. Great analogy- since those two activities indeed need the same amount of patience, perseverance, passion and skills.
This memoir, unlike other memoirs of famous people, did not tell stories of Murakami’s personal life and struggles of his professional career, but rather give a unique point of view through Murakami’s hobby, that created another identity for him as a runner. And it is truly inspiring.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
Thank you, Murakami!