When I was younger, “space” was something that appealed to me. I loved the Star Wars movies and was (and still) a Trekkie (Star Trek). My favorite morning cartoons were Star Blazers (Loved the wave motion gun) and Voltron. Yes, like many little boys of the 80’s, I was a GI Joe Fan and couldn’t get enough of the infancy of Superhero Movies (Superman) and shows (Hulk). I am unsure if it was the hero or the heroic actions that attracted me to these shows and movies but am I am sure I loved them all.
One type of Fantasy that did not appeal to me though was Wizards, witches, warlocks and alike. I remember seeing the original Neverending Story and finding myself less than interested. And as I have grown older, I still to this day, don’t have interest in the popular fantasy movies and stories that exist. Fantastic Beasts, which is in the movies now, was something I glanced over with little interest…till I read the first Harry Potter Book: The Sorcerer’s Stone.
Now, the first question you might be asking is this: Why are you reading Harry Potter now? Aren’t you a bit old for reading such stories? Well, it all comes down to one’s kids. About a year ago, a friend of ours gave us the Harry Potter series (up to the 7th book). My oldest daughter, who reads everything, had run out of books and was waiting for her next visit to the library. I suggested she start the Harry Potter books – after all, everyone who has ever listened or read them has loved them and they weee just collecting dust on the top shelf of our bookcase. She picked up the first book and now three months later, she is done with the first three!
So you are probably still asking why I am reading the first book and the answer is simple. JK Rowling wrote these books for her son and they tend to follow the son’s age. In book 4, there is one scary part and I was told that I should read it first before my 9 year old does. But instead of skipping the first three books and going right at the fourth book so my daughter can move on, I first asked myself, “what is the fascination with Harry Potter?” As I just finished the Sorcerer’s stone earlier today, I now know what the fascination is! These books are compelling! They are tremendously entertaining and I am now onto book 2!
So how does this all relate to running? Well as I have said many times before, I am a big fan of audio books. On the toughest runs I undertaken, audio books have helped me cope with the pain and suffering from such, taking me away from the issues that came from such runs. The books center me and focus on the goal at hand – I also learn something as well! And since I started running and “reading” so to speak, I have learned a bunch and heard some great stories.
But as someone said to me on twitter, being focused enough to listen to an audio book while running is hard. Admittedly, I miss some things from the more informational books I listen to. Even with Born to Run, I missed parts that I only caught by listening to it a second time. This is ok because it keeps me connected to the environment around me. But with these Harry Potter Books, the opposite is occurring! I am hearing everything in this book and forgetting about the environment around me. This has not happened before and I am unsure if this is a good thing or a bad thing?
On the positive side, I will not have to read these books twice! I did not miss many details about the Wizards and Witches of Hogwarts along the roads and trails I hit up over the past few weeks! On the negative side, not really hearing the environment around me is taking away from the running experience. Thus I have a balancing act to undergo with Harry Potter and my running shoes! Will the magic spells of the book help me become a better runner? I guess time will tell.
Thank you for reading!