Haruki Murakami on Running – theoryspace
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Haruki Murakami on Running

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.

Posted in Book Reviews, Inspirational, Japanese, Posts in English.

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8 Responses

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  1. viv says


    it’s such a good book, i like it alot too! very motivating~~~ and i enjoy reading coz he’s good at sharing his thoughts, in details.

    • Anson says


      Any other good ones by Murakami you have read? I just ordered Norwegian Wood and am planning to read it before the movie comes out by the end of the year.

  2. viv says

    hi Anson,

    我highschool時讀過一大堆村上,obviously 已經印象模糊,因為知道電影會上映,所以去年買了挪威的森林回來重讀。村上對emotion的細膩描寫令人佩服!很期待電影版!男主角是松山研一呀!聽說他的書很少改成電影,我曾經在VFF看過一部叫”Toni Takitani”的日本電影,故事很好,從未看過如此深刻描寫寂寞的電影!我看完後才知道竟是村上的短篇小說改編的,那部電影是宮澤理惠主演的,你有機會也找來看看~

    • Anson says



      Tony Takitani 只睇過 trailer 未正式睇過,我只知道坂本龍一做電影配樂。
      不過有些擔心看以寂寞作題材的電影。上次睇 Lost in Translation 之後 down 咗好耐……

      我有朋友都介紹 1Q84, 不過我都想睇番啲 classic 作品先。

  3. viv says

    toni takitani的那一本短篇小說,當時因為找不到中文版,所以我買了日文版來看,也比想像中易看,但是要邊看邊查字典囉~還是中文版看得順好多…

    • Anson says

      不是啊,我喺 YesAsia 買台灣版。

  4. viv says

    So far 睇成點?

    • Anson says

      So far okay 喎。
      都冇想像中咁多「噢」、「喲」、「嘿」…. 等嘅語尾詞。