“But really as I run, I don’t think much of anything worth mentioning. 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… As I run I tell myself to think of a river. And clouds. But essentially I’m not thinking of a thing. 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.”Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir
The host of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! wrote about the delights of running in our overconnected age and it looks fantastic.
“If I don’t leave my headphones behind when I run, I wouldn’t spend a single minute of my waking life free from input.
I have a friend who wears headphones on long solo runs because, he says, “I can’t spend that much time alone in my head.” I disagree. He can, and he should. Spending that much time inside one’s head, along with the voices and the bats hanging from the various dendrites and neurons, is one of the best things about running, or at least one of the most therapeutic. Your brain is like a duvet cover: Every once in a while, it needs to be aired out.”Peter Sagal, The Incomplete Book of Running
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.Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir
“When your mind lets go of things and attentiveness is not forced…that’s when you tap into a feeling of freedom.”
It can be challenging to tame the incessant honking from the monkey mind, especially when we’re roaming ahead with no destination in mind.
But we can achieve flow, moving like water over rocks in stride with the magnetic forces of the land.
Exercise is integral to creative thinking and persistence. I stumbled upon two articles today that emphasize this importance.
Maria Popova of BrainPicker, explains how simple movement improved her focus:
When my body is moving, it’s almost like it takes the wind out of this mental spinning, and I’m able to focus.
Famous Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, explains how running strengthened his will to write:
Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself?
Writing requires creativity, focus, and endurance; just like exercise.
But I do not run to run. I run to listen — which real runners consider not only dangerous but apostasy.
Music is powerful. Music generates brain waves and inspires movement. Whenever you feel down, slothful, or bored, put on some tunes.