Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On Pilates and Poetry

Running, as Murakami tells us, creates a VOID, which I really like. That empty, blissful feeling that is just contentment. "What did you think about on that 10-mile run?" Well, nothing and everything. The thought process is fluid and ephemeral. I write the ending to novels in my head and then they slip away. That's why you want to get back out there the next day, to find the void again. 

Pilates, on the other hand, requires (at least for me) acute concentration. I can't bliss out because I have to count and coordinate and think about my body. The thoughts, the beauty, come in sharp little phrases. It’s like hammering out a vision. Small poems. Each line pulled from a tiny muscle I’d never even heard of. Pilates tires me out mentally in a way that running just doesn't, but it also calms me down. Makes me think about the beauty of bones and tendons as opposed to the EPICness of the sea, or the highway, or human strength, or family sagas, which are the kinds of things I think about when I run. 

Running lets me out of my body, Pilates forces me in.

Does each type of exercise hold a different mental space for you? Allow for a different kind of reflection?


  1. I love that Murakami book--and your post was also very well-written. I've not done Pilates, but yoga provokes the same response for me. I don't like it as much as the running state-of-mind but agree that it's necessary.

  2. I love this post. I wish you had written the Murakami book, as I really didn't enjoy it (which is the first for a Murakami book, I am(was?) a fan!)I agree with you, any form of exercise is so uniquely connected with a different state of mind ...

  3. Luna, I really liked the Murakami book as far as the ideas go, but the writing was very strange and sometimes just, well, bad. I wonder if it's bc of the translation? I've only read two of his novels and was a little iffy about them as I have difficulty with anything unreal.

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