I've finally taken up running, and it feels for life this time. I have the same strong intuitive feeling as on the day when I finally quit smoking. I had the sensation then that it was for life. I've taken up running primarily to push the endless possibilities of the human body and mind, and to acquire the virtues of stamina and endurance; virtues that would, as I see it, enable me to stay fit, focused, active and agile, now and into old age. I'm also taking advantage of the luxury of having time on my hands and the privilege of living by the sea. So, I've taken the small steps... my first group run will take place on 5th October. It will be an 8K run by the seafront in support of a local charity organisation, the Women's Refuge Project. Following that a 10 K run in November again by the seafront, and a big jump to the Sussex Beacon half marathon in February next year. The intention to run had been with me for many years, I made a number of tentative 5Ks and a couple of applications without in the end taking part due to lack of training. I had signed up for the Sussex Beacon half-marathon last year, but never showed up. Instead, I decided to go to Armenia and observe the Presidential elections with the OSCE/ODHIR, which was a whole other kind of marathon in itself.
Today, I came across an inspiring article about Haruki Murakami, on his latest book 'What I talk about when I talk about running'. Haruki started running and writing in his early 30s, and ever since the two activities have been intertwined in his life. It's clear for Murakami, running has a moral dimension and running is indeed a happy solitude. Murakami is 59 years old today, and has run 27 marathons. What a man, that for me is impressive. Running has left him with heightened receptivity to landscape and to shifts in weather patterns. All the time Murakami is running he is thinking - but what is it he thinks of exactly?
'All I do is keep on running into my own cosy, home-made void, my own nostalgic silence.'
Start small, think big. My small steps begin with an 8K run...