Of Words and Miles

By Mario Fraioli

Photo: Dan Cruz

It’s fair to say that writing and running play important roles in my life and have each influenced me in profound and unique ways. The two activities share many parallels, and even connect and overlap with one another from time to time. Running and writing both take some degree of desire, diligence, discipline and planning for it to go well; occasionally, however, I’ll fly off the cuff and go with the flow, sometimes resulting in a pretty special outcome (and sometimes not!).

At times, both activities will fill me with feelings of dread and drudgery but I almost always feel better after finishing a run or wrapping up a writing session. Writing, like running, can be chock full of unexpected hurdles and frustrations—and there’s struggle and sacrifice inherent in both activities—but you learn to stick it out and work through your problems even when the process isn’t enjoyable.

I don’t have a set time to run or write each day, but generally prefer to run early and write late; more often than not, however, I get going when the schedule dictates or the mood strikes. Writing is an activity I always partake in alone, even if the finished product gets read by thousands of people. When I write, I prefer for no one else to be around so I can get in tune with what I’m trying to feel, learn, discover or understand. Running, on the other hand, often goes one of two ways: I can share the miles with others or I keep them all to myself, depending on what I want to get out of it that day. There’s a time for camaraderie and a time for independence, and I like that I can usually choose between the two.

So where am I going with this? No idea if I’m being honest, but I was inspired by this short piece from Outside and decided to see what I could catch from my little stream of consciousness. Hope you enjoyed it. And for what it’s worth, I think Haruki Marukami said it best:

“Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as well.”

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