I just finished reading Murakami Haruki (村上春樹)’s memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, on the intertwined relationship between his marathon running and novel writing. It inspired me so much that I want to start running and get myself in shape too. Here are so great quotes:
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” (vii)
“I don’t even think there’s that much correlation between my running every day and whether or not I have a strong will. I think I’ve been able to run for more than twenty years for a simple reason: It suits me.” (44)
“Once, I interviewed the Olympic runner Toshihiko Seko…… I asked him, ‘Does a runner at your level ever feel like you’d rather not run today, like you don’t want to run and would rather just sleep in?’ He stared at me and then, in a voice that made it abundantly clear how stupid he thought the question was, replied, ‘Of course. All the time!’…… despite being worlds apart in terms of strength, the amount we can exercise, and motivation, when we lace up our running shoes early in the morning we feel exactly the same way.” (45-46)
“No matter what, though, I keep up my running. Running every day is a kind of lifeline for me, so I’m not going to lay off or quit just because I’m busy. If I used being busy as an excuse not to run, I’d never run again. I have only a few reasons to keep on running, and a truckload of them to quit. All I can do is keep those few reasons nicely polished.” (73)
I think ministry is also like running a marathon in some sense. I know I cannot run far if I continue this lethargic, impulsive, and undisciplined lifestyle. It is time for me to shed some pounds, find my focus, and single-mindedly run towards the goal of my life. Murakami started running when he was thirty-three. I am thirty-three this year. I guess it’s never too late to start.