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13777Re: Joyathlon in Cambridge and "Britishness"

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  • niriha7
    Jul 2, 2005
      Hello Roger,

      Your vision of holding a proper triathlon in Great Britain is
      commendable. I had not realized that this was on the horizon of your
      fertile imagination. If it were to stay as a joyathlon where only the
      members of the Sri Chinmoy Centres in Great Britain were the
      participants, then the less formal format which was used recently
      seems ideal. However, as I was joking around about meals being added
      in between each event and so forth, I did not realize that your
      creative brilliance was at work. And I mean that seriously - do not
      forget that I saw your performances in several plays on last year's
      Christmas trip. Yes, you will be getting a DVD of those plays.

      I am truly impressed that you are considering the possibility of
      holding a triathlon and researching the logistics. Henceforth I
      am dispensing with all joking in this regard and offering a resounding
      "bravo" and "good luck"! Niriha

















      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, rogerfromcardiff
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Hi Niriha,
      >
      > <<Is he going to be the
      > coach and make triathletes out of all of you?>>
      >
      > Er, well, if you'd seen me swimming you'd know that making real
      > triathletes out of all of us would be a long, long journey....still,
      > a "proper" triathlon with transitions etc. would be good for us if
      > our eventual goal is to emulate our Australian brothers & sisters and
      > organise events like this for the public. We would need to learn how
      > to marshall the transitions and set up the course in such a way as to
      > ensure total fairness (ie. no-one has to run further to their racked
      > bike than anyone else etc.) - of course this would mean lots of us
      > marshalling and not so many competing.
      >
      > I do like events that are as open as possible, allowing everyone who
      > wants to to participate(like our Self Transcendence Marathon at
      > Rockland with its generous cut-off time and flat, loop course) so a
      > repeat of this year's Joyathlon, complete with breakfast in the
      > middle, is definitely on the cards! Remember, it was the Brits who
      > invented cricket, the sport where you start at 11am then everyone
      > stops for both lunch and tea and you also go indoors for a break if
      > it starts raining :)
      >
      > It's only natural that our "triathlon" should reflect our national
      > character!
      >
      > Roger,
      > Cardiff
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > Hi Fran,
      > >
      > > Sounds like a great idea to join in next year. However, it seems as
      > > if Roger is planning a transcendence opportunity and that the
      > > joyathlon with become a real triathlon. Yikes. Is he going to be
      > the
      > > coach and make triathletes out of all of you? I admire his vision
      > > but perhaps the way it was done is best for inclusion of all levels
      > of
      > > athletic ability. Breakfast after swimming is such a great idea. I
      > > grew up by the ocean and was always hungry after swimming. And high
      > > tea after biking is so civilized.
      > >
      > > Let's see what develops! Niriha
      > >
      > > ^ ^
      > > @ @
      > > \_/
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, franmbc
      > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > > Yes, a lot of people got a lot of joy when they discovered that
      > they
      > > > could have breakfast right after the swim. And as for the heat -
      > > > well perhaps we can consider it as "warm weather training" for
      > our
      > > > August marathon!
      > > > I hope your computer is all mended and better now.
      > > > Perhaps now you have a bike you could train up a little and join
      > us
      > > > in next year's tri!
      > > > :+)
      > > > Fran
      > > >
      > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
      > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > > > Dear Fran, While reading your delightful rendition of the
      > > > Cambridge
      > > > > weekend, I noted that one of my suggestions had indeed been
      > > > carried
      > > > > out - you athletes had a meal after each event - almost. Two
      > meal
      > > > > after a total of three events is not bad. What a way to hold
      > an
      > > > > athletic competition. With the exception of the heat, it
      > sounded
      > > > > like a terrific weekend. Niriha
      > > > >
      > > > > PS By the way, I did buy a bicycle.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, franmbc
      > > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > > > > Here are some extra notes on the British/Irish/French
      > Joyathlon
      > > > in
      > > > > > Cambridge.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The pool was an open air one - not so common in the not so
      > hot
      > > > UK -
      > > > >
      > > > > > which we had all to ourselves on private hire for a couple of
      > > > > > hours. It's on Jesus Green (Cambridge is full of famous
      > > > places!)
      > > > > > and surrounded by trees, so at 7.45am when the girl's swim
      > > > started
      > > > > > we had sunlight glinting on the water's surface, blue skies
      > > > > overhead
      > > > > > and the gentle sway of green leaves all around. Idyllic.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > That pool certainly was LONG. Half way back on my second
      > length
      > > > > my
      > > > > > goggles had misted over, so that with the reflected sunlight
      > I
      > > > > > couldn't see the other end of the pool at all and had no idea
      > > > how
      > > > > > far it was still to go. I found myself in an interesting
      > world
      > > > of
      > > > > > light and water and breath with no external reference points
      > at
      > > > > all
      > > > > > apart from the sound of Bithika shouting encouragement from
      > the
      > > > > side
      > > > > > of the pool. But because she was walking alongside I had no
      > idea
      > > > > > whether I was actually moving forwards at all - the end of
      > the
      > > > > pool
      > > > > > seemed to be taking an unfeasibly long time to appear out of
      > the
      > > > > > mist. Suddenly it was there at my fingertips, and there was
      > also
      > > > > > Sahana with her video camera to capture me at my best....
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I think everyone's favourite event had to be the cycling. It
      > > > was
      > > > > a
      > > > > > gorgeous sunny English summer's day and the route went along
      > > > hedge-
      > > > > > lined country lanes flanked by fields of golden corn.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > We raced as a time trial, setting off at one-minute
      > intervals.
      > > > > Each
      > > > > > person would go forward to the start point and have a few
      > > > moments
      > > > > to
      > > > > > meditate before being counted down - 5,4,3,2,1 GO! and off
      > into
      > > > > the
      > > > > > hot sunshine. As I was going out the first cyclists were
      > coming
      > > > > > back in the opposite direction and each and every one of them
      > > > had
      > > > > a
      > > > > > HUGE smile of pure joy. In fact it was so obvious how much
      > fun
      > > > we
      > > > > > were having that people who hadn't cycled for years gradually
      > > > also
      > > > > > got drawn into taking part, and in the end almost everyone
      > did
      > > > the
      > > > > > cycle race.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I should probably mention here that there was some difference
      > in
      > > > > the
      > > > > > techincal spec of the bikes used - ranging from top-end
      > racers
      > > > > > (Richard), to tri-bike (Agnes), to, erm, shopping bike
      > (Mandhu),
      > > > > but
      > > > > > everyone scored highly on Oneness-Participation.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > By the time we got back to Jesus Green for the 2-mile race
      > the
      > > > > > temperature had soared to a very un-British 32 degrees. The
      > > > park
      > > > > > was extremely crowded, and I was delighted to see a couple of
      > > > > people
      > > > > > picnicking next to the river out of a wicker picnic basket on
      > a
      > > > > > checked blanket - I noted with satisfaction that I was
      > indeed
      > > > > > having a complete summer-in-Cambridge experience, although I
      > > > > > couldn't see whether they had any strawberries and cream in
      > that
      > > > > > basket.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > So now we charged twice round the park, avoiding the kids on
      > > > bikes
      > > > > > and resisting the temptation to swipe an icecream out of an
      > > > > > inattentively extended hand as we swept past, before flopping
      > in
      > > > > > the shade of the trees for a gargantuan picnic lunch of our
      > own
      > > > > > (although not, sadly, out of a wicker backet).
      > > > > >
      > > > > > After some recovery time and prize-giving, we showered and
      > went
      > > > > for
      > > > > > a final meditation in a beautiful, peaceful (and cool) hall.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > It was a great weekend because it was something new for us,
      > and
      > > > so
      > > > > > many people took part. Many (most) of us had not swum or
      > cycled
      > > > > for
      > > > > > years.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > So now we know - triple the events gives triple the joy.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > From a song by Sri Chinmoy:
      > > > > > "Oneness-participation
      > > > > > Is the Heart's humming sweetness."
      > > > > > (unofficial)
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > A big thank-you to Steve and Roger who worked like trojans to
      > > > > > organise the whole weekend.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Fran
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
      > > > shane_dublincentre
      > > > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Hi all,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > This weekend found me on an overnight bus headed to
      > England, to
      > > > > > > participate in the first annual (hopefully) Joyathlon - Joy
      > > > > weekend
      > > > > > > and Triathlon rolled into one! I arrived bright and early
      > on a
      > > > > > > beautiful summer's morning in London and turned up
      > > > at 'Hacienda
      > > > > del
      > > > > > > Torpy' to be told by Kaivalya that the 2 mile race was in
      > > > > > progress -
      > > > > > > sure enough the prodigal runners returned; some exhausted,
      > > > some
      > > > > > saving
      > > > > > > themselves for the next day. All this running made me a bit
      > > > > itchy;
      > > > > > I
      > > > > > > headed out for a jog, running around Barnes Common until I
      > had
      > > > > made
      > > > > > > absolutely sure I was lost, then using my global HPB to
      > > > navigate
      > > > > my
      > > > > > > way home (HPB = Haranguing Passers-By). Then there was a
      > heap
      > > > of
      > > > > > > chatting I had to get out of the system, so poor Kaivalya
      > and
      > > > > > Sahadeva
      > > > > > > took the brunt of that, God bless them.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > The French boys came and we all made our way up northwards;
      > > > Arno
      > > > > > was
      > > > > > > gracious enough to drive some of us up and stay with us for
      > a
      > > > > while
      > > > > > > even though he had to be back in London that evening. We
      > > > whiled
      > > > > > away
      > > > > > > some time at Grantchester Gardens, where the poet Rupert
      > > > Brooke,
      > > > > > the
      > > > > > > pholosophers Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein and
      > > > > economist
      > > > > > > John Maynard Keynes used to hand out at the beginning of
      > last
      > > > > > century.
      > > > > > > It was a little bit of a time warp for me because I used
      > to
      > > > read
      > > > > > > quite a bit about the goings-on of this particular set.
      > There
      > > > > was
      > > > > > many
      > > > > > > a scone had; plus a river which myself and Acharjya made
      > full
      > > > > use
      > > > > > of
      > > > > > > to get in a bit of practice for the next day.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Then we made the short trip into Cambridge; we had a very
      > nice
      > > > > > > meditation hall and a scrumptious dinner awaiting us. The
      > > > British
      > > > > > > Centres are learning 74 songs (and not all short ones
      > either)
      > > > for
      > > > > > > August so there was a fairly ambitious singing schedule on
      > > > > Saturday
      > > > > > > Night -time constraints cut it short somewhat, but I did
      > like
      > > > at
      > > > > > the
      > > > > > > start when we invoked the qualities that spiritual singing
      > > > > should
      > > > > > have
      > > > > > > - consciousness, oneness, soulfulness, sweetness,
      > perfection,
      > > > > > > confidence, cheerfulness and gratitude - by chanting each
      > of
      > > > > them
      > > > > > > mantrically seven times. We also saw some videos of
      > Ashrita's
      > > > > > latest
      > > > > > > feats, the humanitarian service being performed by the
      > British
      > > > > > > centres, and Sri Chinmoy at the Louvre. One could almost
      > > > forget
      > > > > > about
      > > > > > > what was to come the next day...
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Seven o'clock found us at the longest pool in Britain. The
      > > > water
      > > > > > what
      > > > > > > just right and the distance (200m) didnt seem too
      > > > intimidating.
      > > > > > Eight
      > > > > > > of us at a time were put in the pool without any lanes to
      > > > > separate
      > > > > > us;
      > > > > > > the signal was given and we were off at a frantic pace .
      > > > > > According to
      > > > > > > neutral independent observers, Steve started all the
      > trouble by
      > > > > > > veering right and squeezing us all in. The pool quickly
      > became
      > > > a
      > > > > > mass
      > > > > > > of tangled arms and legs and people laughing on the
      > > > sidelines.
      > > > > > After
      > > > > > > what seemed like an age of frantic swimming, getting kicks
      > in
      > > > the
      > > > > > > stomach and returning them with equal vigour, I looked up
      > and
      > > > > saw
      > > > > > I
      > > > > > > had only covered 50 metres. This was one of the most
      > > > > disheartening
      > > > > > > moments I can ever recall having. I dont know how I
      > finished
      > > > at
      > > > > > all.
      > > > > > > My swimming technique is so bad; I barely kick my legs at
      > all
      > > > > and
      > > > > > more
      > > > > > > often than not I am to be found inclined at 45 degrees to
      > the
      > > > > > surface
      > > > > > > of the water with my head up; I have been told I look like
      > a
      > > > > > combine
      > > > > > > harvester in the water. Dave wisely stuck to the sidelines
      > and
      > > > > > > finished miles (and smiles) ahead of everyone else. In Heat
      > 2,
      > > > > Ed
      > > > > > and
      > > > > > > Chidabas proved the superiority of technique over kicking
      > > > people
      > > > > in
      > > > > > > the stomach, resolving that long disputed argument once and
      > > > for
      > > > > > all.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Ok, what's next? Straight out of the water and onto the
      > > > bikes?
      > > > > Er,
      > > > > > > well hang on, we have to have breakfast first...(the
      > > > Australians
      > > > > > are
      > > > > > > already inching their mouse towards the 'Next' button) In
      > > > > defence,
      > > > > > I
      > > > > > > would have to say that having the three events separate was
      > a
      > > > > great
      > > > > > > idea; it meant everyone could (and did) participate, and
      > those
      > > > > who
      > > > > > > wanted to go hell for leather could still do so. After
      > > > breakfast
      > > > > we
      > > > > > > were all ferried out to the countryside for the bike
      > section (4
      > > > > > > miles); Richard gave an exhibition of the skills that have
      > > > made
      > > > > him
      > > > > > > one of the Uk's top amateur cyclists . Roger very kindly
      > let
      > > > me
      > > > > > have
      > > > > > > his bike and his funny shoes that you clip into the pedals.
      > I
      > > > had
      > > > > > > never been on that kind of racing bike before and it was a
      > > > little
      > > > > > > nervy negotiating cars out for a Sunday drive but I really
      > > > > enjoyed
      > > > > > > that bit. Dave practically had the triathlon sown up after
      > the
      > > > > > first
      > > > > > > two events, being over 2 minutes ahead of everyone
      > else.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Back into Cambridge for the run (2 miles); the temperature
      > was
      > > > > > close
      > > > > > > on 30 degrees and the crowds in the park were huge. The
      > route
      > > > > > avoided
      > > > > > > people for the most part apart from one section where they
      > > > were
      > > > > all
      > > > > > > queueing up to buy icecream...thankfully no disentangling
      > had
      > > > to
      > > > > be
      > > > > > > done and everyone finished safe and sound.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > The whole results thing is Roger's area so I'll leave that
      > to
      > > > > him;
      > > > > > > he'll probably have a bit more to say about the day. One
      > thing
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > really inspired me was Kaivalya finishing; a formidable
      > runner
      > > > > in
      > > > > > his
      > > > > > > day, his back is at him a little nowadays. I think he just
      > > > took
      > > > > > things
      > > > > > > one thing at a time, he probably wasn't thinking about
      > doing
      > > > the
      > > > > > whole
      > > > > > > thing when he hopped in the pool. Great stuff.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Then to round off the day, back to the meditation hall for
      > a
      > > > nice
      > > > > > > meditation, and some very nice arrangements of Sri
      > Chinmoy's
      > > > > songs
      > > > > > > performed by Ananda and Fran's group.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Thanks so much for Steve and Roger for the organising; I
      > had
      > > > > such a
      > > > > > > great time.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Shane.
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