June 26: Just Surrender

At the start of the race this morning Surasa informed everyone at the starting line that it was Nidhruvi’s birthday.

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Instead of rushing off at their own usual pace all 12 runners instead walked soulfully together with her towards an ever brightening dawn sky.  For a short distance, perhaps no more than 100 meters, they clearly showed just how much a unique family they all really are.  Together they sang for her the birthday song with a delightful mixture of voices, some sweet and some perhaps searching hard to find the note, but still singing with oneness and affection for this wondrous runner from Austria.

For her yesterday was not the kind of day that would normally bring a smile and yet she was still able to find one just the same.  It was a tough one for this great runner, who has run so well for decades now.   She who is also defying most ideas of just what a runner can still do as her age creeps ever closer to 50.

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Today, which is her souls day is now stretched out, long and gruelingly hard before her.  Ahead are 18 arduous hours locked in place.  Time in which she has nothing else to do but run her very best.  But she, like all the others, go forward each day with optimism.  A not fragile belief that their bodies will endure the unforgiving test they all face.  That their spirits will remain just as luminous as the dawn which glows with so much promise now on all their faces.

The weather forecast predicts that today will be much more pleasant than the hot miserable drudgery which was yesterday. “The weather became cooler, it is such a gift, it is a blessing.”

With so much more running yet to come she tells me she does not have any expectations.  Right now on her souls day she is doing just the thing that she loves best to do.  “It is so quiet inside me, that I could start crying immediately.”

silouhette-nidhruvi

“I felt it already yesterday.  Yesterday I had some little problems with the Achilles and I was so grateful that I could still run.  I just surrendered.  I thought I am not going to push.  Just stay peaceful and calm.  It helped me so much, just to take it the way it is.”

For her it was a surprise that all the runners would honor her on her birthday in this way.  “It was kind of touching.” I suggest that when she is here next year she will not be surprised.

An unconditional surrender
Is just one farther stride
     To Heaven.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 6, Agni Press, 1998

Photo by Bhashwar 1979

Photo by Bhashwar 1979

Baladev locks his bike.

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The girls sorting things out

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Atomic clock issues

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Start

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There could be thunder showers tonight

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Surfaces will not be dangerous today.

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It is also the last day of school.  Jane is a teacher at the local school and has come today with her husband Gary.  “I am not sure what it is really about honestly.”  She has taught at the nearby school since 1997 and for her the past 15 years the closing days of the school year have coincided with the 3100 mile race.

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“I appreciate it.  I feel that it is a very healthy thing to do.  I mean you guys live in our community.  I live in Briarwood.  I think it is a very positive energy, but I don’t know exactly what it is about.”

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Further down the block Wayne sits on the low metal fence and watches the runners pass.  He tells me he just graduated from the high school and did well this year.

Ananda Lahari has 600 miles after 10 days of running.

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At this moment Ashprihanal has just heard Sri Chinmoy say some encouraging words from Sri Chinmoy on his mp3 player.  “Happiness is strength.  A new supply of energy.”

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He ran 120 laps yesterday, 65 miles.

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Vasu picks the leaves used to treat blisters.

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Used cups sometimes go in the fence and not on the ground.

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Atmavir has in the past been vulnerable to the heat but yesterday he did the most miles, 70, 128 laps.

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Sarah checks out the lap sheets.

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She smiles often but sometimes the struggle cannot be hidden.

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Sarvagata is doing well.

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Perhaps just a little happier with the progress he is making within.

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Feet

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They say with joy, “we are the Vienna girls.”

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Baladev continues to keep up the pace

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Sometime this morning the party for Nidhruvi will continue with a delicious raw food cake

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Nidhurvi and Surasa sharing the road, sharing one of the great challenges of their lives, and finding joy in it all.

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Sopan takes a stretch

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He also continues to make those all important 113 lap days.

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Surasa remains consistent.

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Vasu says that he has been picking the blister leaves for the past 2 or 3 days.  He had a real blister problem last year.  “I must be careful with my feet.  A little bit has started in the same place.” He say he puts on Aloe cream, plus the leaves, and tapes them every day.  Last year every day the blister got worse and worse.  He feels generally that the heat is not a problem for him but that the hot surface of the sidewalk makes it easier to get blisters.

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He also feels that it is more important now to run slowly and steadily.  “I hope, but it is all grace.”

“Last year was different than this year.  Last year I was in better shape.  I was stronger.  I ran faster the first 3 or 4 days.  But at the end of the 3rd day I had a blister.  So this year I am trying to run a little slower.”

“I also feel that I am getting stronger every day.  But I must be more careful.”

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vasu-and-laika“I think Yuri is more wise than I am.  He has started slowly and steadily.  Every day he has become stronger and stronger.  But he also can be surprised by this race.”  He also believes that it is through overcoming problems that each runner here can make progress.  “But we don’t need to find difficulties.”

For much of the morning he runs with his friend Yuri. We pass a man with a large beagle and he asks me to take a picture with him and the dog. He tells me the dogs name is Laika.  He says that it is the same name as that of a Russian dog who was the first living creature to enter space in 1957.

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He also tells me about a place on the course where he strongly feels the presence of his late spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy.

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Another kind of visitor

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Pranjal had one of his better days yesterday with 119 laps.

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Vera tells the story of how she brought this rose.  She says its name is, ‘Free Spirit.’

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The runners appreciate all the effort and sacrifice that people offer to the race.

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Enthusiasm Awakeners honoring Nihdruvi

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I Am Surrendering Myself

You are not thinking at all.
Therefore, you are not moving.
He is thinking too much.
Therefore, he is moving backward.
I am thinking neither too little
Nor too much.
I am just surrendering myself
To my Inner Pilot.
Therefore, the human in me is succeeding
And the divine in me is progressing.

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 71, Agni Press, 1983

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5 Comments to “June 26: Just Surrender”

  1. Francesco says:

    Hi Utpal
    I really appreciate your blog.
    Thank you

  2. Kuladhara says:

    Good job!

  3. Vasanti says:

    Happy Soul`s Day to Nidhruvi! All the best to the Vienna girls – to all the girls and all the runners, amazing ultra-heroes! What an inspiration to the world! (and gratitude for the reports again)

  4. Stutisheel says:

    Hi Utpal!

    You forget to write that Laika and his owner are good friends of Stutisheel 🙂
    Thanks for conveying 3100 spirit

  5. Bigalita says:

    Nidhruvi, Happy Happy Soul’s Day! Didn’t know it was your birthday yesterday, so I am a day late!! Sorry. Ihr drei Wienerinnen seid ja ganz einmalig! As are all of you incredible hero warriors!. Much, much gratitude to each and everyone – runners, helpers, visitors….

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