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2369Re: My 3100-Mile Race-Experience, Part 10

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  • harmonyvision
    Jan 31, 2004
      Discussing the latest gem in Matt
      Boulton's Race-Experience series,
      Sunamita wrote:

      > It also reminded me of the inspiring
      > musical, "Man From La Mancha," and
      > of Don Quixote. We're not quixotic
      > in dreaming of a peaceful, loving
      > world when the play of Light and
      > Truth manifests in persons of
      > courage and high consciousness like
      > yourself, Matt, and the race crew!
      >
      > Growing up, I thrilled to hear
      > Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams
      > croon over the radio "The Impossible
      > Dream," the theme song from "Man
      > From La Mancha." Inexplicably, my
      > eyes would well up as they poured
      > their hearts out, singing:
      > "To dream the impossible dream
      > To fight the unbeatable foe
      > To try when your arms are too weary
      > To reach for the unreachable star"
      > [Others of my vintage can better
      > remember the rest of the inspiring
      > lyrics.]

      What can I add, except ::clearing throat::

      "And this is my quest,
      To follow that star,
      No matter how hopeless,
      No matter how far..."

      But you know, the names of those bygone musicals, films, TV shows and
      commercials start to smear into each other after awhile. For the
      record, I think some of them were called:

      Man From U.N.C.L.E.
      Man from GLAD
      Man of La Mancha
      Our Man In Havana

      I'm glad that Matt is no longer "our man in hospital." I'm watching for
      the next part in his Race-Experience series with bated breath. The
      tension is mounting... Will he finish the race? Or will he trade in his
      running shoes for a one-way ticket to Palookaville? Tune in next week,
      same Matt-time, same Matt-channel!

      "When we live in the abode of peace, impossibility cannot knock at our
      heart's door. Nothing is impossible. Everything is not only possible,
      practical and practicable, but also inevitable. " -Sri Chinmoy

      http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/sri-chinmoy-freedom-boats/part4/4

      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sunamitalim <
      no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Dear Matt,
      >
      > Bravo! and in a word--INSPIRING!! Your gripping first-person account
      > is an odyssey any editor in the editorial genre known as 'personal
      > essay' would love to run. So query sports magazines, newsletters and
      > even the sports editor of your local newspaper to run your series.
      > What a heartwarming way to share your "applied spirituality!" What
      > could be more practical than to apply our inner realizations to
      > manifesting Light and Truth?!
      >
      > As you wrote, Matt, everyone has his/her role to play: "I
      > > had learned that while I was at the course, it was my job just to
      > > keep on running. It might be someone else's job to meditate, to
      > > sing, or to count laps, but it was my job to run." And that's the
      > whole point, isn't it?--honoring roles we're assigned to divinely
      > play, while respecting others'.
      >
      > Reading your glorious accounts reminds me of other heroic
      > ultrarunners who participated in our Seattle Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour
      > Races [I was RD for 10 years] and the unparalleled joy of
      > accomplishment and transcendence shared by all--from runners, to
      > helpers, to counters, and to appreciative spectators.
      >
      > It also reminded me of the inspiring musical, "Man From La Mancha,"
      > and of Don Quixote. We're not quixotic in dreaming of a peaceful,
      > loving world when the play of Light and Truth manifests in persons of
      > courage and high consciousness like yourself, Matt, and the race crew!
      >
      > Growing up, I thrilled to hear Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams croon
      > over the radio "The Impossible Dream," the theme song from "Man From
      > La Mancha." Inexplicably, my eyes would well up as they poured their
      > hearts out, singing:
      > "To dream the impossible dream
      > To fight the unbeatable foe
      > To try when your arms are too weary ...
      > To reach for the unreachable star ..."
      > [Others of my vintage can better remember the rest of the inspiring
      > lyrics.]
      >
      > Going beyond self-burden is another BIG challenge as you pointed out,
      > Matt: "I felt a massive burden of (self-imposed) expectation descend
      > upon my shoulders." Truly, this is a continously evolving spiritual
      > ideal we all struggle with, so thank you very much for mentioning it,
      > Matt; not to mention attacks from others who do not understand us.
      >
      > Above all, I'm heartened by this Jharna-Kala plaque on my desk:
      > "The fulness of life lies in dreaming and manifesting the impossible
      > dreams." ~ Sri Chinmoy
      >
      > Yours for Peaceful & Dynamic Living,
      > Sunamita
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, matt_boulton73
      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > I don't think I intended my reminiscences of the race to go on
      > > this long- almost 9000 words, and counting. And there are still
      > > so many things about being out there on that block, that
      > > miniature universe that I haven't even mentioned! I haven't
      > > really gone beyond saying "I got up on such-and-such a day and
      > > felt good/bad and did x number of laps." Anyway, for better or
      > > for worse, I'm not going to stop writing until I've reached the
      > > last day of the race.
      > >
      > > Some of Sri Chinmoy's students would structure some of their
      > > regular activities around the race. For instance, Databir and a
      > > few men would come down regularly in the morning, once or twice a
      > > week, and play Frisbee on the baseball field. The air would be
      > > filled with enthusiastic shouting for an hour or so- mostly from
      > > Databir. At the conclusion of the game, they would gather in the
      > > centre of the field, and recite the "Frisbee prayer" three times:
      > > "My Supreme, my Supreme, My Supreme, Your Victory is my heart's
      > > only dream. My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme." Often Databir
      > > would shower and come back for one of his famous guard shifts:
      > > sitting in his car, engine running, aircon on, he'd applaud and
      > > cheer us enthusiastically for a couple of laps, then we'd see him
      > > slumped in his seat, head back, mouth open, sleeping like a baby.
      > >
      > > On day 34, I ran 45 miles. I didn't expect to do much more after
      > > my big 70-miler the day before (that day soon became
      > > semi-legendary, thanks to the daily results being posted on the
      > > internet: I was showered with congratulatory e-mails, mostly from
      > > the Australians who were keeping a close eye on the race.) In the
      > > evening, day 34, it rained. Sometimes it's nice to be out there
      > > in the elements. It was one of those strange nights when you
      > > could swear that you're all alone out there; you don't see a
      > > single other runner for an hour or so. You wonder if everyone's
      > > gone home. In reality, everyone is out there, doing more or less
      > > the same speed, orbits never intersecting. I was feeling a pain
      > > in the sole of my left foot; it had been present before, but now
      > > it was becoming harder to ignore. But for the rest of the
      > > evening, I tried to put it out of my mind.
      > >
      > > I had my best morning of running on day 35. Once again, I led the
      > > field from the first lap. It was a Saturday, so we had the
      > > excitement of seeing the 2-mile race across the street from us.
      > > Afterward, all the 2-mile runners gathered near the 3100 mile
      > > "camp", where Sri Chinmoy paid them a visit. Everyone waited in
      > > silence whilst he sat in the car and meditated. Then he recited a
      > > prayer he had just composed. It felt strange running between Sri
      > > Chinmoy and all the people, who were silently meditating, but I
      > > had learned that while I was at the course, it was my job just to
      > > keep on running. It might be someone else's job to meditate, to
      > > sing, or to count laps, but it was my job to run. Next lap
      > > Rupantar told me, "Sri Chinmoy wants to give you Prasad!" so I
      > > went up to the window of the car, and Sri Chinmoy gave me a
      > > chocolate chip cookie, which I tried to eat soulfully, as I ran.
      > > The next lap, Rupantar delivered some truly shocking news to me.
      > > "Sri Chinmoy said that you can run as much as you want, up until
      > > August 13!" Now, the original time limit for the race was 51
      > > days, or 6am, 5th August. Going by previous races, we expected
      > > that Sri Chinmoy would give Suprabha a few extra days to complete
      > > the race, if she didn't finish in time. And some of us had
      > > thought that we, too, would get to keep running, as long as
      > > Suprabha was running. But this new extension Sri Chinmoy had
      > > made, just for me, blew my mind. The finish line had receded even
      > > further into the future. Worse, I calculated that if I did 60
      > > miles a day, I could actually finish the race! Therefore, I
      > > decided that that goal was what Sri Chinmoy had really intended
      > > for me, when he set the new time limit. I felt a massive burden
      > > of (self-imposed) expectation descend upon my shoulders.
      > >
      > > The lesson here is that when you interpret something that Sri
      > > Chinmoy says, you do so at your own peril. No-one had any
      > > expectations of me when I started the race. All I had to do now
      > > was keep on doing what I had done since the start- the best that
      > > I could. The extension was a blessing, not a punishment. It would
      > > take time, though, to fully appreciate it as a blessing!
      > >
      > > Anyway, I managed a steady 8 laps an hour for the first six
      > > hours. 48 laps, or just over a marathon. Six hours is not a fast
      > > marathon time in the regular world, but in the 3100 mile race,
      > > it's blistering. After 50 laps, I took a break. When I got out on
      > > the track again, for the afternoon session, it was a familiar
      > > feeling. All the momentum I had in the morning had been lost.
      > > Everything hurt. It's a supreme irony that taking a break does
      > > this to you. If you soldier on, everything comes good again. It
      > > was one of those afternoons when running was just too much. I
      > > walked. I felt a little depressed as I watched the time slipping
      > > away; I wasn't going to equal my 70-mile record of two days ago.
      > > But I shook off this stupid feeling. I had had a truly fantastic
      > > morning of running. I could walk for the rest of the day, and
      > > still do OK. If you can do a good total for the morning, "it sets
      > > you up!" to quote Abichal.
      > >
      > > Madhava, a chiropractor from Chicago, checked us all out in the
      > > afternoon. He tested our responses to various stimuli. We were
      > > all advised to stay away from sugar. He also told me that
      > > psychologically, there was some conflict that just "wasn't
      > > working". He had picked up that burden of expectation I had
      > > assumed. He told me, more or less, to drop it. So, more or less,
      > > I did.
      > >
      > > I completed 110 laps for the day, or just over 60 miles, tying
      > > with Namitabha for second place in the daily totals. That felt
      > > good. Little did I realize that this was the last day I would get
      > > within 5 miles of this figure for the rest of the race!
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