Thursday, 21 May 2009


So, I've just started my new job at The List and I'm really enjoying it. My brain feels as though it might explode with all the new information it's storing, and I have the strange feeling you get when you're learning something new and you feel like you're never going to get your head around it even though you know full well you will.

I've been coming home from work desperately hungry, and in search of food I can throw together in no time at all. I've been slowly building up a wee craving for this over the past few days and it perfectly fit the category of food that takes minutes to prepare but still tastes fresh and delicious.

In other news, I've been running lots recently and am currently reading Haruki Murakami's book: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. He didn't really start running properly until he was in his early thirties so his writing resonates with me in a way that other pieces don't - all to often I find writing on this subject patronising and elitist, as though you can't possibly consider yourself a runner unless you've run a marathon every year since you were six and 10k every morning before breakfast.

He talks at the beginning of the book about the mantras we use to keep ourselves going when things get tough:

"'Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.' Say you're running and you start think, Man this hurts, I can't take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself. This pretty much sums up the most important aspect of marathon running."

This really struck a chord with me; in the main in relation to running of course, but I think this is something that can be applied to other parts of our life. I've resolved to make a conscious effort to rise above the annoying stuff and let it go over my head. It's easy to get bogged down with the inevitable crappy things life throws at us, but by opting not to, the crappy things feel less crappy and we feel happier and less bogged down as a result. It's really much easier to be happy and positive. It works.

I have confirmation that it works as a mantra for hideously painful races too - my friend (and now hero, incidentally) Kev completed The North Face 100 race through the Blue Mountains in Australia last weekend in 19 and a half hours. That's 100 KILOMETRES by the way, or the equivalent of over two marathons, running, over mountains, starting at 7am and finishing... well, you do the maths. This is an amazing achievement by anyone's standards and I'm completely in awe of what he's done. And I'm sure Murakami would be thrilled to know that this little mantra helped him through some tough points in the course.

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