I was a few years late to Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running; not sure how it escaped my attention, but I only read it a few months ago. It is now officially my favorite book about running and I am re-reading it.
It isn’t a page-turner, mind you. Sure, you could go through it in a day or two, but you are much more likely to read a few pages at a time, then close the book and think. (Think about you and your own history as a runner; think about what you think about when you run; just think.)
The quote above was one of the first things that made me think. When I was (much) younger, I was so jealous of people who could eat all of the food, especially junk food, and not gain a single pound. You know those people, right? Well, I’ve never been one of them – thank you, slow metabolism. Every piece of cake goes on the thighs, every chocolate bar sticks right to the butt.
I started running because I realized that it helped keep the pounds away: I could eat my candy and it wouldn’t end up on my six-pack. Then slowly, I began to like running. Then I began to love it. Then I realized, I couldn’t live without it!
Then I wanted to run faster and started thinking more about the kind of food I was eating. Then food became fuel, and calories became nutrition.
Then one day, I measured my resting heart rate, and it was 45. (I had to look up online whether that was OK. Turns out, it is quite normal for athletes. The heart is a muscle and when you use it a lot, it becomes stronger, pumping more blood with each beat.)
Then I realized, I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. Healthier than 18-year-old me; healthier than 25-year-old me. Definitely healthier than people my age who lead sedentary lifestyles — no matter if they are skinny, or not so much.
And I owe it to my slow metabolism!
So if you’re one of those people who feel like they have to work hard to maintain a healthy weight, repeat after me:
[tweetthis]Thank you, slow metabolism, for giving me a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body![/tweetthis]
And if you haven’t read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, pick it up. It’s one of those books that make you want to lace up and jump out for a run!