When you are sitting comfortably back in your armchair it is actually pretty easy to claim to be some kind of expert on what is really happening at the 3100 mile race. You might even be able to convince others but convincing yourself is another matter.
You can come every day, have endless conversations with each of the runners. Run around and around the course so many times that you might just to begin to mistakenly believe that you are one of them. But when you begin to become just a little too comfortable with that perception, the reality will always inevitably rear up in your path and confront you with the truth. It comes for me usually the moment I get to go back to my comfortable home and they all have to continue on.
I am not a psychologist and I am unfortunately noticing of late that my running ability has seen better days. There is a part of me though, deep inside that relates clearly and deeply to what these 10 incredible athletes are doing. There is an inner experience here that I comfortably identify with and relate to on a spiritual level. On the very mundane and practical reality, I just don’t understand some of the simple mechanics of it all. A perfect example of this is simply how one can find perfect detachment with the results and be able to find an absolute acceptance within themselves, at not completing all 3100 miles.
How that it is really possible to just be here and run and not to be constantly tantalized and tormented by the numbers. To somehow surrender completely to the inner experience, in which you really are detached from the demands and constraints of the outer world. Instead you are somehow able to tune your being to the beck and call of your own subtle inner voice.
Atmavir is for me is a running enigma. A vastly talented athlete he is here for the 5th year. In each of the last 2 years he has led the race going through the first 8 days and then it seems something just evaporates with both his speed and power. He looks, for lack of better words, like a high performance race car coasting around the track. I asked him this morning what he thinks most people think when they look at him. “They are probably wondering why I am not running,” he says.