I’ve been keeping to myself these past few weeks because I’ve needed to really focus on getting this thesis done. Yes, I already had a first draft way back in December 2013, and, truth be told, it was not my best work. I just wanted it out the way. Now, I’ve had to return to the original draft and start the slow process of picking it apart before putting back together. The resulting draft is much more streamlined, focused and something that I’m beginning to feel proud of. It’s been an interesting, yet unexpected switch of emotions.
Amidst all the writing, teaching, marking, university administrative activities I felt the pressure to ‘get out’ – literally. To get some air. To do something that was just for me. So I’ve take up running. This isn’t my first encounter with the sport. I’ve been a runner for as long as I could remember. The past few years I’ve been interested in different sports and activities, like yoga and weightlifting – and enjoy them immensely. I guess, lately, running has been a very convenient way of keeping my sanity. I find running a way of finding some head space. I don’t think of my thesis when I run. I don’t think of ideas for journal articles or analyse theories I’ve been working on. In fact I try not to think of anything at all, and that’s the most amazing part.
Writing this thesis and running long distances are rather isolating activities. I think at a different point in time I would expect to feel very lonely. However, these days, I revel in the fact that I’m left alone. I’m enjoying the space I’ve been given to focus on writing and, with the weather improving day by day (fingers crossed) I run to find that void that gives me a break from myself.
Resources I found useful:
“The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances”, The Oatmeal. I can relate a lot to this comic, particularly the section on beating The Blerch.
“What I talk about when I talk about running”, Haruki Murakami – In his comic, The Oatmeal mentions running “to find a void”, which he credits Murakami’s book for the phrase. So I read this book to try to understand what Murakami was talking about.
(Image my own, licensed CC BY-NC-ND)