June 28: Keep Moving

“Sri Chinmoy tried to inspire us in many ways, and this was one of them.”  Sopan has just read for me the prayer that Sri Chinmoy composed on this day in 2006.  Asked why he thinks he wrote these sweet offerings for the runners each day that summer and then on through the entire race in 2007.  “He showed his appreciation to the runners in this way, and inspired us to keep moving.”

sopan3

This amazing young Bulgarian runner has demonstrated a daily mileage consistency like no one else on the course this year.   With almost clock like precision he has put in 10 days out of the last 12 in which he has run 113 laps each day.

Sometime late this afternoon he will pass 800 miles and then sometime close to midnight he will call it a day, hopefully with 113 more laps neatly marked on his clip board.  Then almost in an instant he will pack his things up and head back to his room.  Pedaling through the dark streets towards a room where he will spend a handful of quiet hopefully restful hours.  The briefest of sweet breaks  in which he will have to share with no one but himself.

sopan7

He wrote in his daily blog the other day, “Felt like blessing after a difficult humid day. Finally I can catch up a little on sleep as I have been going regularly to bed kind of late.” He like all the runners obviously deserve blessings.  Who can really imagine just how hard it is each day being here and doing what they do.

Then try and grasp hold the reality that this same routine will simply replicate itself for many more miles and many more weeks yet to come.  The lives of the runners here are almost always in constant movement.  Sopan and all the others see in this great journey a goal which will not let them stop or rest until they at last complete the very last step of the 3100 miles.

photo by Bhashwar 1979

photo by Bhashwar 1979

The spiritual life is not like the ordinary life. In the ordinary life, if you have come to a particular point and do not want to go further, you can just stay there. But in the spiritual life, if you have come to a point and then do not continue ahead, you cannot remain where you are; ignorance will pull you back. In the ordinary life, if you have come five steps, you can stay there for three months and then, if you want to continue your journey, you can. But in the spiritual life, if after taking five steps you wait for five days, immediately you will be pulled back to your starting point, because ignorance is only one step behind you all the time waiting to grab you. In the spiritual life, my child, you always have to be on the move.

Sri Chinmoy, The Ambition-Deer, Agni Press, 1974

The girls getting ready

pre-camp

The race director, Rupantar watching the minutes

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Start

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The morning is nearly perfect

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A lot of evidence remains of the heavy rains that came for a shocking 20 minutes the night before.

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Shoes need to be dried and Nikolay sets some out to dry.

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The race leader Atmavir is dealing with some flu symptoms but still ran 120 laps yesterday

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At least the garden needs no watering

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Sarah gets to have a hot cup of coffee with milk, no sugar.

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Surasa continues to lead the girls.

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This morning as she goes by she suddenly starts to speak about Mount Everest.  She is moving up the sidewalk towards the camp and to my eye looks pretty flat.  She says that she has run this stretch now for 12 days and has done so more than 1300 times.   To her it no longer looks flat and her legs and body feel the strain of slowly climbing upward.surasa-behind

This is the very top of the course.  As you swing around this corner it starts to decline in elevation.

wide-corner

There are some spectators who have a unique perspective of the course.

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Ashprihanal and Baladev ask for a photo

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Ashprihanal had 128 yesterday much more than any one else.

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Sometimes food and drink items find unique places to await the return of the owner who put them there.

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Vasu did a very good 116 laps yesterday

vasu

The open sky comes and goes all day

sky

As does Pranjal who is also almost as consistent as Sopan

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He ran a very good 119 laps

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Free entertainment every morning

wide-parvati

Nidhruvi enjoying the endless melody of transcendence.  As well as a good 110 lap day.

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Some melodies everyone’s ear can hear.

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The camp always has special touches here and there.

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For some there is little rest

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There is life in the hard things

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Ananda Lahari continues to search for constant movement

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There sometimes seem to be no limits

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No end to smiles

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Then somethings not so obvious at all

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And then there are some things which are simply tight and tired muscles.  Sarvagata getting a stretch

sarvagata-stretch

“Honestly I wanted to finish at 11:30 because I ran well.  But the rain was a little bit distracting. So I finished at 11:45.  When you run in the rain you are slower, you have to take an umbrella.  You can not keep a good pace.  But it is okay.”   He says that for about 1 full lap it was raining very heavily.

sopan6

“The thing is that you work so hard all day, for every single lap.  Then lets say by 7 o’clock in my case I have to have a certain number of laps.  So that at the end of the day I can have a good day.  Keep to my schedule.”  He describes how for him keeping track of his laps is very important to run well.  “You just break it by time.  I know that by this time I have to have this many laps.  If I have so many laps I can have a good day.  But sometimes you are tired and cannot run.”

Photo by Jowan 2006

Photo by Jowan 2006

I suggest that he has had a lot of good days and he says that it is all grace.  (laughs)

“The way it works is that in the beginning I really wanted to make a habit, both physically and mentally.  Once you have a habit the body gets used to it, a certain number of miles.  Then it remembers.  It then becomes easier for the body and then it doesn’t get stressed.  When you have a certain number of miles every day and it doesn’t change the body gets used to it.  Also mentally it becomes easier.  Because you know you have so many laps to do and you have done it many times.  It becomes clock work, exactly.  So it becomes a little easier.”

sopan

“It is always a relief to go home.”  It is only a little more than 5 blocks away.  He tells me though that he has to make a slight detour along the way.  “I cannot bicycle up this little hill, after a long day of running.”

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prayer

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Enthusiasm Awakeners

parvati

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Move forward!
God’s Compassion-Eye
And God’s Affection-Heart
Are beckoning you.

Sri Chinmoy, My Christmas-New Year-Vacation Aspiration-Prayers, Part 25, Agni Press, 2003

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2 Comments to “June 28: Keep Moving”

  1. Francesco says:

    Every day I am glad to read your blog!

  2. Elmer Carlson says:

    Your blog is a constant source of inspiration to me and many others.
    All the runners and crew are tremendous!
    Much Gratitude to you all!
    Dr. Elmer Carlson
    Tacoma,Wa.

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