Running has saved my life countless times. The first time I went out I thought I might die. As I sat on our neighborhood curb hanging my head I looked up at my friend and said, “why do people do this?” I felt my whole body, all of it in some form of pain. She laughed, a veteran runner at the age of fifteen, star of the track team. For some unknown reason I went out with her again, and again and again and soon found my body loved it, and so did my brain. My brain discovered that any problem I had could be remedied by hitting the pavement. Whatever had been swimming around in my monkey mind suddenly quieted and became something I could handle or bear. At the age of sixteen I learned that this was something I didn’t want to live without. And with any practice comes patience. I soon learned some days my runs would suck regardless of how much time I had put into my practice. And quickly understood that the path would be there the next day and the day after that. Each day a chance to put my action into practice.
Haruki Murakami is incredibly gifted in his craft of writing and running and talks about the practice of both in, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His fiction is magical and takes the reader places that they rarely expect, but I love this one for its grounding force. He speaks plainly about the true practice of writing and running marathons.
You have to continually transmit the object of your focus to your entire body, and make sure it thoroughly assimilates the information necessary for you to write every single day and concentrate on the work at hand. And gradually you’ll expand the limits of what you’re able to do. Almost imperceptibly you’ll make the bar rise. This involves the same process as jogging every day to strengthen your muscles and develop a runner’s physique. Add a stimulus and keep it up. And repeat. Patience is a must in this process, but I guarantee results will come.