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6.19.2012

Pounds of Flesh

In his book "What I talk about when I talk about running" Haruki Murakami says, "There's a wise saying that goes like this: A real gentleman never discusses women he's broken up with or how much tax he's paid. Actually this is a total lie. I just made it up. Sorry! But if there really were such a saying, I think that one more condition for being a gentleman would be keeping quiet about what you do to stay healthy. A gentleman shouldn't go on and on about what he does to stay fit. At least that's how I see it."

To some extent I agree with this Japanese man. However, his new saying is a little hypocritical because the man wrote an entire book which was basically manifesto about his theory on physical fitness. (In the next paragraph down, he acknowledges this fact and says, "Instead this is a book in which I've gathered my thoughts about what running has meant to me as a person.") He writes in such a charming and heartwarming style, that you can't really look at this book as him being hypocritical though. He doesn't implore his reader to "do this to be healthy" or "start running marathons like me to lose weight!" No no, he just talks about what has worked for him, and how his running has translated into a meditative space for him to think and prepare for his writing. (He's considered in many circles to be one of the best contemporary authors alive today...so, he's got that going for him too) Anyway, Murakami  has been running for an hour (or more) per day, 6 days a week since 1989 and has completed over 20 marathons. Running is his thing and it's inspiring to read about a writer so dedicated to both writing and running.

His book has inspired me in a few ways, but the biggest thing that has struck me about this book is its message about dedication and persistence. They go hand in hand, I think. He runs 6 days a week without fail. Do I do anything on that kind of a consistent schedule? Nope, can't say that I do. I don't think I've done a consistent form of physical activity since I was working out every day for soccer back in high school. Holy Shit. That's not good news. It's not good for my body or for my mental stamina. I think writers especially need to be able to set themselves to a task and do it consistantly. Novels aren't written in 30 minute increments...A novelist has to be able to endure hours of sitting and writing. Same thing with exercise. Pounds don't fall off in 30 minute increments. Hell no they do not. Instead, they start to edge away when you consistently work your body. Day by day. This is what Murakami noticed. He said at first when he started running he could only do it for 30 minutes or so, but then gradually he began to feel his body change...this gradual change might be different for everyone, but I think the hardest thing to do is just START. Get a move on it. That's the hard thing. Murakami started running because one day he just decided that he was going to be a runner, just like how one day he decided he was going to write a novel. (Seriously, that's how it happened. In his book he said, "and then a thought struck me, 'You know what? I could try writing a novel.'" HAHA! Who does that?) He wrote his first novel- Hear The Wind Sing in the early 80's.) Anyway- he just up and started running. So I'm going to do that too, in a modified kind of way....


I'm not going to use this blog as some kind of stupid exercise tracker, don't worry.

And now that I've written it, it must be done. 
-Austin 

P.S.
There are a million churches in Billings. I swear- there must be 5 within an 8 block radius of my grandparent's house. #jesusfreaks 
This is just a random picture from graduation...we couldn't stop laughing. 

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