m, as marathon

I’m currently reading Haruki Murakami’s “What do I talk when I talk about running”.

Long before this book Haruki (from Japanese haru – sun, ki – radiance, shine) became my favorite writer. But this particular book bought me, literally. I’m a long distance runner for almost 20 years. Now this number 20 looks so big when I type it, but as long as I can remember, I almost never walked but run. As a tiny girl I would run to my friend’s house, run to the supermarket, run to take out the garbage, run just about anywhere as fast as I could. And in the world of that little girl, all people would run instead of walk.

Back then I already knew why I loved running; it was the only feeling close enough to the feeling of flying. Only decades after I read somewhere that when a person runs, there’s a moment when both feet are not touching the ground. You are ‘up’!

I was constantly being asked why do I run. I never gave away the answer. Me running, well…let’s put it simply and say it was saving my life & keeping me alive. That’s why I never even thought to compete or to be a professional runner > me running alone was too intimate, like breathing.

Recently something happened to me that opened my running and I finally want to share my running with others.

My utmost dream was to run a marathon, 42 km. Maybe I would run for all those who cannot. I would run for the poor, for the sick, for all kids that are abused and kids that are lost. I would run to fight all the injustice in this world. Particularly, I would run for all those women who never had a chance to start a life; who were treated like slaves, raped, molested, mistreated by own families, society, religion. I would run for love and human will to survive in any condition. Or maybe, I would just run.

My marathon training started abruptly on windy Wednesday, 02nd of October 2013. I’ve just arrived from Zagreb to Makarska around 18:15h. Mum was there helping me with my baggage and I told her: I’ll run a marathon. Even though she always worried about me running (cause ‘I’m skinny’) this time she said nothing except, ‘run’.

I ran on that windy Wednesday for 45 min. 30 min on Thursday. 60 min on Friday. Saturday was a break. Today is Sunday and I go for running later in the evening. I still don’t have running watch, but tomorrow I’ll get one. Marathon is not for hobby runners.

Back to Haruki’s book. In one of his first chapters he writes: “The pain is inevitable. Suffering is a question of choice.”  My whole past life fits in these two sentences. Reading them,typed on a paper in my Haruki’s book, made my choice & decision strong as a Titan. I’ll run 42 km.

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