RATIONALE FOR “SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL”


Do you talk to yourself?

I do!

What do you say?

Most of the time I say, “You can do it!” But sometimes, I let myself give in. 

It wasn’t until 2012 and a public promise made in a classroom at business school that I took up running again. My commitment to myself still holds today. And this blog follows my ongoing story.

I take inspiration from Murakami Haruki, the Japanese author and avid distance runner. It is he who said that suffering is an option. If we allow ourselves to think “I can’t do it!”, the body will follow the brain.

Running is a proxy for my ongoing daily battle to better myself. It prepares me for the challenges that life and work put before me.

There are times when I have chosen to suffer—when my mindset allows me to focus on the negative: to suffer. It is at these times that progress is at its slowest. This rings true not only for running, but also in life. Murakami also said that pain is inevitable. Without going through hardship, we can never reach up to the next level.

Running doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It has become a way to see different places around Japan, indeed the world. When we talk of battles with the self, we are really talking of competing and trying always to do better. 

Now a 40-something husband and a father of three, we left Tokyo recently after coming to realize that we wanted to raise our children in a better environment where they could interact with nature every day. The choice wasn’t entirely selfless—I didn’t enjoy squeezing into the train every morning and evening to get to and from work. 

So this blog is about my ongoing journey: of parenting, of observing, of taking what life throws at me and throwing it back, of running and reflecting, of learning to live in the countryside again, and of me just being me.

Please browse through the posts and give me feedback on what I write so that I can make it more interesting for you and others.

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