Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Running, Walking and Writing

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 5th April, 2012

I’ve never had the slightest desire to jog, let alone run, and to be brutally frank have always felt rather sorry for the poor guys and gals trotting past me along the road, attached to their iPod, bound up in their own thoughts and physical discomfort. But after reading Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running maybe I shouldn’t pity them. The Japanese novelist appears to have been fully conscious of who and what were around him as he did his daily runs, yearly marathons and what sounds like a truly ghastly ultramarathon. Of course he was aware of the protest in his muscles, and he can hardly have failed to notice that essentially he was setting himself tests, again and again. Anyway, it seems to have given him inspiration in his craft as a writer and anything that does that cannot be sneezed at. And when I think about it, I actually do something similar myself — walking long distances, rather slowly, preferably on the flat. I’ve walked along sizeable sections of the coasts of Cuba and Mauritius, to mention just two. Walking by the sea for hours, stopping every so often to take in the view, or have a drink if there is a conveniently located cafe or bar, even chat to some local, certainly helps me clear my head after long hours at my desk, but it also helps me think through what I am working on at the moment. When I leave the office in Ahmadi where I am located now and head off along the road to Kuwait City I’ll be observing and thinking, maybe even dreaming, as usual. So, OK, Mr Murakami, having read your book and thought about it, I don’t think you (or other runners) are mad after all. You just use a speeded-up version of what I do myself: Walking and Writing.

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One Response to “Running, Walking and Writing”

  1. Graham said

    Sounds ideal, I hope you can find a moment to take the occasional picture to share some of the vistas you enjoy!

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