June 16: Do My Best Every Day

Yesterday Pranjal passed a significant personal milestone that tells an awful lot about this incredible Slovakian runner and just why he has been so successful here at the 3100 mile race.  Yesterday it turns out was the 3rd anniversary of when he first started his, never miss a day, running streak.

After completing the Self Transcendence race here in 2009 he hit upon the inspiration that if he simply kept running, at least 2 miles a day, he was almost certain to get better, and he was right.  His strategy, which is a simple one, is one of  the keys as to why he has improved so much. In fact from the very first year he ran here, which was 2005, he has transcended himself each year.  Now, after 4 days of running he is 4 miles ahead of last years pace.  This of course is a razor thin margin but if he manages to keep it up, it will mean he will once again improve his time, in this his 7th year in a row of running the 3100 mile race.

Some of the veteran runners here, but not all, take lengthy breaks once they have completed the race.  Who could blame them.  There will be weeks if not months ahead of painful recovery.  From the very first time he ran here Pranjal felt that this was going to be his life., and as long as he was able to run, he wanted to immerse himself in this, the pinnacle arena of spiritual transformation.

Every one of us believes that there is at least one thing in our lives that we may be better than average at doing.  Very few of us however can even begin to imagine the training that any of the athletes here, particularly Pranjal, puts in, in order to not just make a decent effort, but to wholeheartedly say they gave their all.  More importantly he is not for a moment thinking of beating any one else.  He simply wants to be able to simply say that he gave all that he had to give.  Expect no reward in this either, other than the certain knowledge that this was his very best as a runner and as a seeker athlete.

Pranjal is a relentless trainer and a relentless seeker of his own perfection.  If it means coming early and staying late he does it.  If it means taking shorter and shorter breaks and being as efficient as it is possible to be, he will do it.  If it means that the key to getting more miles each day is to run just a little faster each lap, he does it.  If there is time to squeeze one more lap before the clock strikes midnight, he will do it.  Is he tired, is he sore, is his body suffering, absolutely.  The thing is of course is that he is not listening to his body, or his mind, or the pain, or the fatigue.  He listens only to his heart, which is giving him the best possible guidance and which is never wrong.  O to be like Pranjal.

Atmavir continues to run extraordinarily well.  For the last 3 days he has run the most miles and is now a whopping 10 miles over last years pace.  The ideal weather is allowing everyone to settle into a comfortable rhythm.

 

Ashprihana’s toe continues to be a minor irritant for him.  He has cut the top of his shoe off like most of the other runners do, but which he never usually does.  He managed 63 miles yesterday nonetheless.

Surasa continues to stay on pace.

The only thing the runners read each day is the daily mileage report.

 

It holds different degrees of importance to each and every one.  Occasionally there are discrepancies which require some minor adjustment.

 

 

Start

Day 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories on the new runners will come in a few more days.

 

Igor has 277 miles.

 

 

 

Sarvagata has 259 miles.

 

 

Pradeep has 234 miles.

 

 

 

Surasa has 253 miles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pranjal’s daily running streak has yet to get to the epic dimensions of other classic runners.   It is easy to imagine however that with his iron determinaton he is likely to build it to historic proportions in the years to come.  His training pace sometimes isn’t very fast.  He says, “after the race it is very slow, but still I have to go on.”

When asked if he feels any pressure to constantly improve each year that he runs here, he says, “I always say to myself, I will do my best, and that’s it.  We will see what will happen.  You never know.  I could get some injury.  To me what matters is that I give everything here.  For me each day is a new race.  So I try and do the best every day.”

When I ask him if he ever goes home at night with any regrets that perhaps he could have done better .  “I don’t think so in my case.  The mileage is not really important to me.  Sometimes the best can be 50 miles and sometimes the best can be 70 miles.  Sometimes you have a hard day.  But even on that day you can give everything there.”

I wonder how he manages to stay so apparently calm and steady.   “You have to discipline your mind.  When you give your mind some choice.  The mind will always choose the easy way.  In this race, in life, in everything this will happen.”  He tells me that now that he has set up a schedule in which he will absolutely run each and every day it has created a new discipline and a confidence for him.  “I know that I have to run.  It doesn’t matter what.  Even if it is raining and I feel bad.  I know that there is no choice.  I have to go out.  It really helps me.  The mind is tricky this way.”

“When you are running here, especially when you are alone, you are in your own world.  Inner things happen, it is similar to meditation.  Because once you enter into this world you are happy here.  Even if things are hard outwardly.”

I ask if there is ever a moment when he might not want to be here.  “Sometimes you can be really tired, but it is part of the race.  Sometimes you are up sometimes you are down.  It belongs to the race.”  He then talks about Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy and how it relates to success and failure.

When you have made enough progress, you will be able to know it just by the fact that at every moment you have some inner joy. Also, you will not be disturbed by the result of your actions. Suppose you engage in a particular undertaking, an action, and from this you want to have satisfactory results. If you have not made enough progress, then you will feel miserable if the result is a failure. But if the result is a failure, and still you remain cheerful, you will know that you have made tremendous progress. You have given most importance to the action, divinely done, but not to the result thereof. If the result creates problems for you, if failure disturbs you, then you have not made real progress. But if you have made real progress, true progress, then the result will never bother you. If it is good, if it is success, well and good. If it is failure, it will not bother you at all; there will be always a sweet, sweet feeling of satisfaction inside your heart.

Sri Chinmoy, Father’s Day: Father With His European Children, Agni Press, 1976.

click to play Pranjal interview

[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/pranjal.mp3|titles=pranjal]

The poem handed out to the runners today.

Recited by Karibe.

[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/karibe.mp3|titles=karibe]

Gunthita was on the course inspiring the runners with a musical performance.

[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/guitar.mp3|titles=guitar]

 

 

Enthusiasm Awakeners

Click to play

[audio:http://perfectionjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/parvati2.mp3|titles=parvati]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every day
I try my very best
To increase my love-capacity
For both God the Creator
And God the Creation.

 

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 48, Agni Press, 2007.

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