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24981Six Day Race Memory Loss (Re: "I'm Losing My Memory...)

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  • arpan_deangelo
    Apr 30, 2011
      I was planning to write something about my experience in the 6-day race this past week. When I went to this site after completing the race the first thing I saw was Kamalakanta's story about losing his memory. There were some other interesting replies also, so I thought I might add this amusing, strange but true memory experience I had in the race.

      It was the last night before the final morning of the race which would end at noon. I wanted to get as many miles in as I could until the end so I decided to try to get through the night without sleep. At around 4:00 a.m. I was getting quite sleepy so I went to the medical tent to put my feet up. I did not want to go into my own tent and be tempted to get too comfortable and fall asleep there.

      Luckily I set my phone alarm for about 30 minutes before I sat down. The next thing I knew was that I was turning off my alarm and it was 30 minutes later. Obviously I had slept that long but could not remember a thing, literally. I looked around at the familiar surroundings and I even recognized a good friend and runner, Sarvagata, working on his feet next to me. But I could not remember why I was there or what I was actually supposed to do next.

      I knew that I should be in a hurry to get somewhere and did not even bother to ask him what was happening. I just quickly left the medical tent and went to the course. I was still trying hard to remember what the event was and what I was supposed to do although everything seemed familiar. I saw some other runners walking through the camp to make the turn onto the rest of the mile loop. So I followed them and hoped that my brain would wake up soon as I wasn't sure if I did something wrong or if I wasted too much time. If I kept following other runners I knew I would eventually find out where we were going and what we were supposed to do.

      By the time I reached the first quarter mile point I started remembering that it was a 6-day race event and that this was the last morning. I also started remembering that I needed lots of miles to reach my original goals and that I was behind my own schedule, but I could not remember how many miles I had.

      By the time I reached the campsite and counting area again and looked at the scoreboard my memory finally came back fully. I knew what I had to do and felt that I could finally relax a bit as I had a short rest and the end of the race was less than eight hours away.
      I know that sleep deprivation can cause some memory loss perhaps because the memory part of the brain is deficient in oxygen. It has happened to me before in multiday races where, usually by the last night, exhausted from the whole race and sleeping very little, the brain starts to lose its ability to identify situations or places.

      In regards to Kamalakanta's story and relating it to not forgetting the Supreme, perhaps when we get overly stressed out from daily life and we do not relax our consciousness through meditation or other devotional activities such as reading, singing, etc., we tend to forget our special place on this special planet and what we are supposed to be doing here. In this situation being with other aspirants who seem to be doing the right thing can inspire us and jog our memory so that we too can again get on the right track spiritually and try to reach the spiritual goal once more.

      The recent 6 and 10 Day Race was a very difficult yet uplifting experience for most of us who ran and those who helped or watched as well. I hope others will submit some more stories or anecdotes here just to keep the amazing inspiration and energy generated from those races alive. There is always something quite special and transcendent about those races that many people experience and may perhaps be too difficult to describe or convey. But I am sure some people can be inspired to try and do so. I would love to write more stories also, if I can remember them!

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