Haruki Murakami “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”


  • I’m not totally uncompetitive. It’s just that for some reasons I never cared about all that much whether I beat others or lost to them. This sentiment remained pretty much unchanged after I grew up. It doesn’t matter what field you’re talking about – beating somebody else just doesn’t do it for me. I’m much more interested whether I reach the goals that I set for myself so in this sense long- distance running is the perfect fit for a mindset like mine.
  • It’s not fun to be misunderstood or criticized, but rather a painful experience that hurts people deeply.
  • Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.
  • I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point to 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. I’ve had this tendency ever since I was young, when, given a choice, I much preferred reading books on my own or concentrating on listening to music over being with someone else. I could always think of things to do by myself.
  • I haven’t spotted any springs nearby. I have to pound the rock with a chisel and dig out a deep hole before I can locate the source of creativity.
  • The most important thing we ever learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.
  • I think that certain kind of processes don’t allow for any variation. If you have to be part of that process, all you can do is transform – or perhaps distort – yourself through that persistent repetition and make that process a part of your own personality.
  • I quietly absorb the things I’m able to, releasing them later, and in as changed a form as possible, as part of the storyline in a novel.
  • In my own way I’ve enjoyed my life so far, even if I can’t say I’ve fully enjoyed it.
  • But just as our consciousness is a maze, so too is our body. Everywhere you turn there is darkness and a blind spot. Everywhere you find silent hints, everywhere a surprise is waiting for you.
  • I’ve always done whatever I felt like doing in life.
  • I’ve carried this character around like an old suitcase, down a long, dusty path. I’m not carrying it because I like it. The contents are too heavy, and it looks crummy, fraying in spots. I’ve carried it with me because there was nothing else I was supposed to carry. Still, I guess I have grown attached to it.
  • To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible. /…/ an unhealthy soul requires a healthy body.
  • What I do know is that people have certain inborn tendencies, and whether a person likes them or not, they’re inescapable. Tendencies can be adjusted, to a degree, but their essence can never be changed.
  • 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.

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