Living A Dream

This morning Atmavir shows me the place where he had written in the fresh concrete 2 days ago.  In comparison to other acts of  sidewalk art it is pretty tiny and inconspicuous.  You literally have to be right above it to catch that he has scratched there ‘3100 race’.

He tells me that when the concrete was being poured he had the inspiration to leave some small, more permanent reminder to the world, of what a great and significant event took place on this little loop.

All who have run here would probably think of this place as sacred ground, though most of the neighborhood surrounding it, or those who dash by all day long most likely give it no thought at all.  When he asked the workers permission to write something, they didn’t give him much attention.

They really had no idea what was going on, who he was, or what these runners who were constantly going by were really doing.  The man he asked didn’t say no and he didn’t say yes, and in a couple of hours he was gone.  By that time the concrete was pretty hard so Atmavir was just able to make this small brief mark there in a place that wasn’t covered.

A big bronze plaque mounted somewhere near by might give passersby something more to consider but truth to tell our eyes really can’t see it.  There are no spires of Notre Dame, no minarets of the Taj Mahal, it is just a pretty ordinary sidewalk, in which miracles have taken place every summer for 13 years.

There is every reason to believe that some way somehow the race will continue into the future.  Nobody is really thinking about it too much.  The people who are putting it on are getting older and the next generation of race directors hasn’t exactly showed up just yet and asked for the stop watches.  The philosophy around here, just like it is for the runners is, one lap at a time.   For the race organizers, it is, each year as it comes.

It occurs to me that the memories of little girls like Shakti are the best repository of the true life experience that is this race.  Just imagine how she will look back at her summer here with Dad and what he did here when he ran the race for the first time in 2010.

Yesterday on his 39th day of running he figuratively died from the frustration of not being able to run.  Now, on day 40, after an adjustment he has been reborn and finds himself able to run once again.  Hope springs eternal and self-transcendence is marked in bold bright letters in the heart and in the life of this young man from New Zealand.   It is also in all the others who find victory in adversity and joy and transcendence  in a place which a pilgrimage to a bright, brighter, brightest inner reality is all that really matters.

Start Day 40

“It is extremely fresh, bright, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and I am sure it is going to get extremely hot.”  Oddly enough the day will become quite warm but the humidity will not form the deadly partnership with the heat has it has for so many days. There are refreshing breezes wafting the leaves of the trees and the spirits of the runners.  For today at least it is a different world than they have been used to for a long long time.

He is walking today with bright pink tape stuck up and down his right leg.  He jokes and calls it, “a new fashion accessory.  I am on day 5 of a hamstring injury, and it has been quite the journey.  The pink is a new thing I am trying.  It is a therapeutic kinesiology  tape and it is designed to stretch out over an injury.  To try and pull it all back in together.  so that you don’t over extend the tendon or the muscle or joint or whatever it is that is hurting.  It is another key that I am putting in the door to see if I can unlock the thing and go through it.”

I ask him if the injury has been progressing over the past 5 days.  “Now it has definitely not got worse.  Physically it has been an absolute roller coaster ride.  It started out as excruciating pain where I couldn’t even limp.  Then through all these different pieces I have tried, taping, creams, and salves.  And just taking it easy and walking and all sorts of different options.  It is at a point where I am kind of maintaining it.  So the fact that it is not getting worse, I can only say that it is getting better.”

He is walking quite naturally and there is no noticeable limp or obvious favoring of the leg.  He says that he will start slowly in the morning and as the area warms up he hopes to increase the pace of his walking.  “When you stop you feel it again.  So the idea is to not stop.  No breaks allowed on injuries.”

He tells me that in the early stages of his problem he simply was not reading the signs that a problem in the leg was escalating.  He assumed it was likely just muscle fatigue, tiredness, or cramping.  “It is not hard to overlook the onset of an injury.  You just pass it off as some overall body fatigue.

It came to a head when he found himself suddenly, “in complete agony.  I was stuck out here half way around the course.  Not even able to lift my leg up and bring it through, it was so painful.”  He found that by applying pressure to his hamstring he was able to bend and move the leg.  By holding onto his hamstring he was able to make his way back to the counting area.   Once there he rigged up an ace bandage with 3 golf balls applied to the affected area and says he was then able to power walk another 9 hours.

At this point he says he has yet to see a chiropractor and this anticipation has also added to his overall dilemma.  “Mentally and spiritually I would say it has provided me with a lot more determination and will power.  It has given me the opportunity to power through it and go beyond.’

Yesterday he says he woke up with the expectation that he would at last be able to run.  He tried every running style he could think of.  “When I realized I couldn’t  I was overwhelmed with frustration and sadness.  It really got me down.  I have to say that day 39 is the first day that I really cracked in this race.  I shed a few tears.”

“I had a very hard day trying to accept what had happened, and at some point I just surrendered it all.  That is my new strategy now is just complete and utter surrender.  Stop trying to control it all myself, and not plan when I will be able to run.  How many miles I can do, if I am going to finish, or when I am going to finish.  All this mental dialogue.  Now it has got to the point where there is a nice feeling of peace that has set in over me.  When the time is right I can move on again.”

He has started the day with 2300 miles on the board.  Prior to this race the furthest he has run is 447 miles.  We talk about transcendence which is right before his eyes.  “That is what I have to be grateful for.  I have to stop thinking of what I have yet to do, and be grateful for what I have done.”

Some years ago, the great New Zealand runner Sandy Barwick completed the 1300 mile race.  When she passed the 1,000 mile mark she set the world record for the distance.  Because of hamstring injury she was forced to walk the final 300 miles.  Her 1300 miles has been for years the longest any New Zealander has ever run.  As of today Dharbhasana is 1,000 miles further along.  On day 40, when asked about what lies ahead he says, “I aim to do a lot more.  We still have another 13 days.  Anything can happen.”

Complete Dharbhasana interview

His brother is just 500 miles away from completing the 3100.  The last time Antaraloy was able to see him finish was in 2007.  He says at that time Sri Chinmoy had encouraged Asprihanal to increase his mileage and do 72 miles a day.

They worked it out that if he was able to keep up this mileage Antaraloy would be able to see his brother finish before he had to fly back to Helsinki.  “He finished 7 hours before my plane was to leave so he was able to come with me to the plane.  So that was nice, that I was able to see the finish.”

When asked what it is like to be able to help his brother, he says, “it is a privilege and a joy.  It is great fun.”

Asprihanal is of course extremely independent.  For most of the past 10 years he has had no help at all.  Antaraloy describes his efforts as psychic service.  “It is nice to have somebody there.  Of course I save him a little time by putting his chocolate bars on his table, instead of him having to take them from the fridge.  It is more an inner thing.”

Antaraloy interview

I must never lose contact

with my Lord’s Compassion-Eye

and his Forgiveness-Heart.


Poem of the Day by Sri Chinmoy

recited by Stutisheel

Poem of the Day

As luck would have it, when I returned, later in the afternoon, Dr. Mitch Proffman was working on Dharbhasana.

Mitch goes through some of Dharbhasana’s problems and adds, “thank God at 12 o’clock he started to run.  He is a warrior, not a worrier.  He is going to do great.”

Mitch moves quickly and seems to be adjusting just about every bit and piece of him.  At one point Dharbhasana calls out, “this is fantastic.”

Mitch says of his patient, “he looks great.  I think he is very happy that he has been able to run today.  You are in good shape.  You are ready to go.”

As Dharbhasana pulls himself to go back onto the course, he says, “Living a dream, thank you.”

Mitch’s chiropractic adjustment

A heart of beauty

and a life of duty

My Lord Supreme has given me.

I swim and swim

in ecstasy-sea.

Song composed this day in 2007

by Sri Chinmoy

Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners

A Heart of Beauty

Humanity’s dream

Is perfect perfection.

Divinity’s dream

Is supreme satisfaction.

The Dream of the Supreme

Is to make each human being

A conscious and living God.

Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 57 by Sri Chinmoy

One Comments to “Living A Dream”

  1. Kim & Ash says:

    Dharbhasana (and all the other runners), you are all truly warrior’s. D I felt your pain and frustration as I read this article. It is an incredible challenge you have taken on and I am in awe of your achievement and committment to yourself and your journey. We send all our love and blessings to you, Nandana, and Shakti from NZ xoxox 🙂

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