July 1: When You Are Inside Your Strength Is Infinite

“I feel it.”

Like everybody who is running the 3100 mile race Yuri is not immune from all the noise and confusion that is now continuing to spill across their sacred path. Yet he is finding something positive is coming out of all the discord.

“It concentrates you to be inside.  You take all your strength and direct it inward.”  Pointing at a big machine moving past us, “this technology in the outer world is ready to crush you.  But when you are inside nothing threatens you.  The technology that is here blocks your strength.  It is very hard to run.  But when you are inside your strength is infinite.”

“This technology is a very good teacher.  It teaches you very quickly.”

I then ask if this is the case than he must be receiving a very good lesson.

“It forces me to be exactly where I have to be.  It doesn’t allow me to get relaxed.  It doesn’t allow my mind to be floating around in the clouds.  It means I am doing the true inner work within, and that is the way it has to be.”

yuri-good

At his home in Vinnitsa Ukraine he says it is very hard there right now. “That which is happening in my country is also happening inside my heart.  When I am there it is very painful.”  There are so many problems that they all cannot be solved quickly or easily.  “They are being resolved but not so fast. I am one with my country and with my people.” Yuri says he prays that the complicated situation there can be healed peacefully.

“But with my prayer, I always end it with, Let they will be done.”

I mention to Yuri that he is known on the block as the smiling runner.  Each year he seems to get more joy and more experience.  I wonder what he does with these new gifts.

sun-yuri

“No, it is not like that.  This happiness and joy is going through me.  The more of it that I give than the more I get in return. That is how it turns out to be.”

Click to Play Interview ( Translation by Lyalya):

Yuri

With construction on the street going into its second day the motor homes seem now to be in a better place.

flower-precamp

Yuri had 65 miles yesterday and now has 1176 miles

pre-yuri

Lots of time

pre-clock

The subtle qualities of light in the early morning

pre-janos

Start Day 18

start

There are sometimes moments that resonate with a kind of singularity and purity of purpose.  The broad canvas of course shows the ultimate achievement.  But sometimes along the way a moment, a look, and act stands out.

Clearly announces itself, to our otherwise unawareness, that something special is being created.  A chance than is given for us to linger and appreciate all the minute effort and skill that went into what is unfolding before us.

ashprihanal

His big daily numbers of course speak for themselves.  A groaning mound of 70 plus miles accumulating into an obvious mountain now of 1311 miles

Yes there are now records as well.

1300 miles-16 days+15:17:13 (third best all-time, any event)

17 days-1311.6320 miles (world best)

About the same distance to Dallas Texas.

Screen-Shot-2015-07-01-at-9.25.44-PM

But there was a special moment that speaks volumes about what Ashprihanal is really doing here the past 17 days.

With a little more than 14 minutes left before the race finished at Midnight, Ashprihanal asked how much time was left.  When told, he said, “O, I can run 2 more laps.”  He made 141 laps yesterday.  A 7 minute lap is a very fast lap.

ashprihanal5

Grahak is gaining a little more mobility.  He was helping the runners today particularly Ashprihanal

grahak-asphrihanal

All kinds of crazy things are happening today

camp

Galya has moved into 2nd place.

flower

Galya had 70 miles yesterday. He has 1239 miles.

galya

His lunch is waiting.

camp2

A very strange place for now.

flower8

Atmavir is having some problems that started yesterday.  He made 49 miles and has 1223 miles.

atmavir2

The rain was heavy last night

flower2

Vasu had another good day of 71 miles.  He has 1164 miles.

vasu

By noon the road was nearly clear of construction.

vasu-construction

There are of course very few cars on the street.

flower-nirbhasa

Nirbhasa had a great day with 60 miles.  He now has 1067 miles.

nirbhasa3

Sharing the course with the fastest.

nirbhasa-camp

Sharing the course with the not so fast.

nirbhasa4

Stutisheel had a tough full moon day yesterday with 33 miles.

flower-stutisheel

He has a 17 day total of 1044 miles.

stutisheel

He is moving better today but of course there are all kinds of obstacles.

construction“Chef has prepared a delicious meal today of ……pizza (lastnightaze) and carefully aged pomme frites avec le sauce tomato ketchup.”

flower-squirrel

Light here and there.

flower3

Misha

misha

Surasa did 63 miles yesterday and had 1035 miles.

surasa

She starts the day 4 miles ahead of Kaneenika, and looks to have had a bump to her knee.

surasa3

Obstacles of all kinds

surasa-truck

Still small spots of beauty.

flower4

Kaneenika had 62 miles yesterday and has 1031 miles.

kaneenika2

The 2 girls are clearly inspiring each other.

kaneenika

Time for a break.

kaneenika-camp

Little surprises.

flower7

Ananda-Lahari had 58 miles yesterday. He has 949 miles.

ananda-lahari2

Every lap counts.

camp-counters

The other side of the road.

flower6

Baladev had 57 miles yesterday and has 938 miles.

baladev

Lyalya helped me this morning by translating Yuri’s Russian.  I am curious just how she came to be such an integral part of the 3100.

“I first saw the race in 2012, but last year was when I really got in it because I was a helper for one of the runners and was also a helper of other helpers.  I felt like I was a part of this world.  This was the only place I wanted to be. I couldn’t imagine being any place else.”

lyalya2

“It is like when your soul is here and your physical body is somewhere else, you just feel this disconnection.  There were some days when I went to work and felt that I was only there physically.  But I am just yearning and waiting to be back here at the race.  It was an incredible feeling.  It was the first time I ever felt like that.”

“I feel that the energy that is created here, when you connect to it in any way.  When you help someone, when you come and cheer for someone.  When you just do anything in any way you just connect to this huge energy.  You want to be here in every way.  You want to be here physically, mentally…it is like you have no choice.  The more you are involved the more it pulls you in, and the more fulfilled you become.  You feel that you are part of this huge project.”

lyalya-counting

Lyalya is very keen in trying to run ultras herself though confesses that she only started running 3 years ago.  “It is a completely new thing for me.  Because this is a hard thing for me, it gives me the most joy, and it gives me the most transcendence.”

Late last year she ran her first 24 hour race in Ottawa. Lyalya describes comparing her experience running for that period compared to running 3100 miles as a drop in the sea. “I feel this is something vast and something infinite.  The 24 hour race showed me how easy it is to walk past these opportunities.  If I didn’t try I would never have experienced it.” Lyalya ran 76 miles, 123 kilometers.  “I shocked myself.  I didn’t know my capabilities.  It was just a taste of that world.  It gave me huge inspiration to one day even do a 3100 mile race.”

Click to Play Interview:

Lyalya

Lyalya translating the daily prayer

lyalya-poem2

Misha reads the daily prayer.

poem

Click to Play:

Poem Misha

Enthusiasm Awakeners

parvati

Click to Play:

Parvati

The inner cries
Are infinitely stronger than
The outer strength.

flower-good

3 Comments to “July 1: When You Are Inside Your Strength Is Infinite”

  1. Petra says:

    Dear Utpal,
    Thank you and Lyalya for translating Yuri´s words. I feel we all can learn so much from him. And Asprihanal´s record-breaking flight is so extraordinary! I was looking and looking at the photos you took of him. He has such special qualities! I think this year will be most significant for him. And one last thing, how unique is squirrel´s tail! Thank you so much Utpal, I really appreciate your work!

  2. nada says:

    10663
    Obstacles there are.
    Again, eagerness and enthusiasm
    Also are there
    To overcome all obstacles —
    Present and future.

    Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 11, Agni Press, 1999

    Thank you, deeply inspiring every day is. Asprihanal is light like a bird, unearthly

  3. Salil says:

    We watched the videos at the Iceland meeting last night. The inspiration is spreading around the world. Today we ran from rec yo The inspiration is spreading around the world. Today we ran from Reykyavik to Grindavik. Thanks for all the great work!

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