Sometime yesterday Nirbhasa Magee got inspired. Now not just one of those little aw shucks kind of inspirations but one of the really really big kinds. The sort of inspiration that gets you right to the very top of a mountain. He had already taken a huge risk just by entering the 10 day race, since he had never run a multi day race before.
The thought of doing one though had been nagging at him inside for a little while. Many if not most others could have simply played it safe and shut the door on such a crazy thing like running for 10 days. At the very most he could have selected something like the 6 day, just a little easier.
And to be honest about the situation, in the great scheme of things he wasn’t as well trained and experienced as many of the elite runners were who run the 6 and 10 day self transcendence races. So really the best he could hope for was to stick it out and make it comfortably into the final hours of the last day and then sit in a chair and enjoy the sun in the park.
In professional sports we can marvel at athletes pure strength, speed, and agility. Great competition reveals to us arm chair mortals just how wonderful the human body can be when it is trained, naturally talented, and supremely focused on winning. Nirbhasa like all the other runners here are remarkable athletes, but their focus is far far from winning or loosing, or becoming rich and famous. The 82 runners who have been here so long, suffered so much, and gone so far are seeking something else. Not that they all wouldn’t want to be stronger and faster than they already are but something more important is happening inside of each and every one of them.
Now what happened to Nirbhasa was that he got this one inspiration to finish the race with 600 miles, which would be a terrific achievement. But then sometime last night he got another inspiration that was just plain crazy. If he had slowed down a step or stopped to really think about it, he could have simply discarded the inspiration and laughed it off as just plain insanity.
For what happened under the full moon bright sky, was that Usika suggested to Nirbhasa that he should finish the race with 1000 km. Which theoretically was really a beautiful thought, except for one thing. It would mean that over the last 24 hours he would need to run 91 miles. An impossible total if you consider that it was more than 24 miles further than he had run on even his best day. And one thing more, nobody else in the race had run anything like 90 miles since the very first day of running.
By no means does self transcendence
Mean an impossible task,
And possibility can and must reach
Self transcendence shore.……Sri Chinmoy