Perhaps because I’ve been closely following TH Mafi’s hilarious Querypolitan, I’ve been stricken by the bug to write about the intersection of physical fitness and a writing career, which I very briefly touched on here.
Writing seems to most the dreadful nemesis of physical fitness, a stony-faced Greek goddess armed with the ability to inflict spare tires and varicose veins. The more my writing and my fitness are left in my own hands, though, the more they seem to have some secret natural connection.
Writing seems less like Nemesis and more like Nora, the svelte and witty darling who when joined by her dapper husband Nick can overcome any number of gun-totting villains or olive-laden martinis (and Nick and Nora of The Thin Man drank all the time).
But when I sat to write this post I couldn’t think of much to add to my previous thoughts besides fanciful metaphors. The increased blood flow and energy from working out are obvious benefits to mixing physically strenuous activity with a writing lifestyle, but there’s clearly more, and that more to me seems to be centered around running.
I’ve tried, but have yet to exhaust all the connections between writing and running. I find both damn hard. Both require an iron self-motivation. Both are intimates with solitude. Writing is done alone, and as my friend pointed out, running is one of the few activities in modern society that allows for true solitude. When running we’re allowed to leave behind even our leach-like cell phones.
I was still trying to suss out the nuances of the relationships between running and writing when I finished Lolita and peered in my skyscraper-like stack of books-to-be-read and found What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami.
And so I point you, dear reader, to Murakami, as he’s far more lyric, even in translation, than I am, and an excellent chronicler of the interactions between writing and running. I’ve only just begun the book but it’s already cleared everything else out of my head, much the way a nice hard run will.