“I run in order to acquire a void”, I had an idea what Murakami meant when he wrote that in the book ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’ but I couldn’t understand exactly. What void is he talking about? Why do I run? How does it make me feel? What do I think about when I run? These questions had been swirling in mind since I read the book. Every run is different and hence, the answers are never the same.
Today, while running I understood exactly what he meant. Most days, I run because am training for something. Some days, the run is more personal. On those days, I run because am trying to run away. From a situation. A conversation. A person. The voices in my head. My thoughts. Memories. Stress. Anxiety. It could be anything. I run faster and faster till I can leave the thoughts or the situation behind. And then the pain takes over. I am exhausted, gasping for breath, weaving in and out of traffic trying not to get killed, calves screaming in pain, ankles reminding me about an injury that could flare up. In that moment, all I feel is physical pain, there is no space for thoughts or trivial worries. My body takes over and the mind shuts down. Then I stop. I have reached my void. A feeling of exhilaration takes over. My body is flooded with pheromones. I maybe useless, worthless, a tiny, unimportant speck in the universe, alone BUT I can run. I know how to outrun my mind.
The void is as close to Nirvana I can get.