Have you arrived at God’s castle?
“I am very close.”
*Translation by Lyalya*
Yuri has to be one of the most mystical and cheerful athletes I have ever met. The last time we talked he declared that his destination was not a physical one, but something inner instead. He called it God’s castle.
It was almost as though the race course and the mileage he accumulated each day was simply the avenue he was traveling upon in order to arrive there.
“It takes all of me. My soul is striding towards it. My heart is preparing its shrine for this meeting. My mind is silence itself. My vital is surrender itself. My body is just experiencing huge happiness in anticipation of reaching the finish line.”
“I am striving towards this meeting with all my strength. I am doing all that I can. Every minute and every second and it will happen.”
“It is like a current and you are caught in its flow and you feel as though you are being pulled along.”
I ask Yuri if this experience requires any of his own personal effort.
“It is both. God is calling me and stretching his arms out towards me. In turn I am stretching my hands out towards him and striving to reach him. So it is both ways.”
With just 370 more miles to go and if he continues to run 68 mile days Yuri can be finished the race in 5 and a half days. I am curious if he will be happy or sad when it is all over.
“The happiness just doesn’t vanish by itself. It always stays in your heart. It is like a bank in which you can invest. Make withdrawals when you most need to.”
Yuri says that when the daily prayers are translated into Russian for him every day they are like intimate and loving companions that he runs with for the rest of the entire day.
“These poems are like flowers in the garden. You plant a flower and the garden becomes more and more beautiful. There is one prayer that still comes to me most frequently.”
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