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HOW TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE - by Mark Juddery

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  • priyadarshan44
    HOW TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE by Mark Juddery Advertisements for comedy shows and movies often promise non-stop laughter to the audiences. Of course, this is a
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 25, 2003
      HOW TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
      by Mark Juddery

      Advertisements for comedy shows and movies often promise
      "non-stop laughter" to the audiences. Of course, this is a
      slight exaggeration. To laugh non-stop for 90 minutes
      would require astounding reserves of energy and physical
      fitness.
      Last year in Munich, Ethiopian strongman Belachew Girma
      took up the challenge. Laughing for an hour and 40 minutes
      (seemingly at nothing), he worked the crowd into a lather
      of shared hysteria -- and broke the world record for
      laughter. After his triumph, he lay on the ground, too
      exhausted even to smile.
      No doubt he was smiling once he recovered -- not just at
      his own victory, but also at the events which surrounded
      him on that day.
      The Impossibility-Challenger tends to inspire people that
      way. Here is a sporting festival where nobody wins fame,
      fortune, or major sponsorship deals. (At least, not yet.)
      However, many of the competitors are the best at what they
      do. The organisers are students of Sri Chinmoy, and the
      object is in keeping with Sri Chinmoy's axiom: "to
      overcome human limitations and to challenge the seemingly
      impossible."
      For many (though not all) of the athletes, the game is
      "Guinnessport". This term was coined in the seventies, to
      describe the daredevil antics that earned a place in The
      Guinness Book of World Records, the world's best-selling
      book. An annual event during the 1980s, it returned last
      year after a decade in hiatus.
      Over the space of a single day, the impossible happened -
      numerous times. A Slovakian muscleman juggled three 7.25kg
      shot putts, keeping them in the air for 52 minutes. A
      Czech juggler set 124 records in 100 minutes, using
      various parts of his body to move everything from dice to
      coconuts. An Austrian 'cello virtuoso played continuously
      for over 11 hours. A yoga instructor did a 32-minute
      head-stand, hands behind the head.
      The king of Guinnessport - and the chief drawcard - was
      not about to be upstaged. In the space of a few hours,
      American athlete Ashrita Furman (also one of Sri Chinmoy's
      students) broke not one record, but three: one mile of
      hula-hoop spinning, one mile of lunges (in which the knee
      had to touch the ground at every step), and standing on a
      gymnastic ball. (He remained balanced for two hours and 11
      minutes, bettering his own previous record by over an
      hour. Not simply a token record, but a significant leap.)
      Guinnessport followers have come to expect the impossible
      from him. Ashrita has broken so many records, in so many
      disciplines, that in 1987, Guinness editor Norris
      McWhirter presented him with the title "Mr. Versatility",
      and allowed him a bonus record: the most world records in
      unrelated categories.
      Anke Riedel, director of the new
      Impossibility-Challenger, remembers the previous event
      back in 1990, when Ashrita broke a record for playing the
      most hopscotch games in 24 hours. At that same event,
      karate masters sliced blocks of ice, and one daredevil
      rode a bicycle backwards while playing the violin. The
      Impossibility-Challenger was nothing if not diverse.
      In bringing back the event, Anke wanted a return to the
      magic of that eccentric, but nonetheless inspiring meet.
      Obviously, the idea is to go beyond human limitations. But
      what makes this event different from most other sports
      festivals (including many other Guinnessport festivals) is
      the emphasis on something else: fun.
      "We can all find different ways to transcend ourselves,"
      says Anke. "It need not be something serious, but you can
      just try something in any field you choose. Not everybody
      can run as fast as Carl Lewis, for example, but some
      people can run backwards."
      As many of the events might suggest, endurance is often
      more important than speed. In fact, the
      Impossibility-Challenger includes one race where the
      winner is LAST across the finish line.
      It might sound (and even look) funny, but the race is not
      a joke. The event is "slow bicycling", which requires some
      skill. "You have to cycle 100 metres without touching the
      ground," Anke explains. "You have to stay in your lane.
      It's an exercise in concentration and patience." Qualities
      that, like endurance, can be practised and improved,
      whatever one's "natural" ability.
      This year's Impossibility-Challenger, to be held on
      November 9, already has an intriguing program, with many
      of last year's champions returning. Super-brain Rolf Laue,
      who last year memorised 96 binary numbers in one minute,
      will attempt something quite different: one-mile
      coin-tossing. Kosovan athlete Agim Agushi, who bounced a
      football on his head for 15 kilometers, will attempt to
      break another record for bouncing a ball, this time in a
      seated position. The indefatigable Ashrita is also
      expected to return.
      Anke says that, after a day of watching these events
      (even those which don't make the record books), one is
      inspired to transcend oneself, to do better in one's own
      chosen field of endeavour.
      So, as the director, will she be attempting her own
      records in the future?
      She laughs at the thought. Maybe later, but not for a
      while. "It's enough of a record to organise it!"
    • nayak_ltp
      Mark s story is so nice, so well-written and enjoyable. This is exactly the way to get the word out: through interesting stories. Thanks, Mark! Nayak
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 27, 2003
        Mark's story is so nice, so well-written and enjoyable. This is
        exactly the way to get the word out: through interesting stories.

        Thanks, Mark!

        Nayak

        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, priyadarshan44
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > HOW TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
        > by Mark Juddery
        >
        > Advertisements for comedy shows and movies often promise
        > "non-stop laughter" to the audiences. Of course, this is a
        > slight exaggeration. To laugh non-stop for 90 minutes
        > would require astounding reserves of energy and physical
        > fitness.
        > Last year in Munich, Ethiopian strongman Belachew Girma
        > took up the challenge. Laughing for an hour and 40 minutes
        > (seemingly at nothing), he worked the crowd into a lather
        > of shared hysteria -- and broke the world record for
        > laughter. After his triumph, he lay on the ground, too
        > exhausted even to smile.
        > No doubt he was smiling once he recovered -- not just at
        > his own victory, but also at the events which surrounded
        > him on that day.
        > The Impossibility-Challenger tends to inspire people that
        > way. Here is a sporting festival where nobody wins fame,
        > fortune, or major sponsorship deals. (At least, not yet.)
        > However, many of the competitors are the best at what they
        > do. The organisers are students of Sri Chinmoy, and the
        > object is in keeping with Sri Chinmoy's axiom: "to
        > overcome human limitations and to challenge the seemingly
        > impossible."
        > For many (though not all) of the athletes, the game is
        > "Guinnessport". This term was coined in the seventies, to
        > describe the daredevil antics that earned a place in The
        > Guinness Book of World Records, the world's best-selling
        > book. An annual event during the 1980s, it returned last
        > year after a decade in hiatus.
        > Over the space of a single day, the impossible happened -
        > numerous times. A Slovakian muscleman juggled three 7.25kg
        > shot putts, keeping them in the air for 52 minutes. A
        > Czech juggler set 124 records in 100 minutes, using
        > various parts of his body to move everything from dice to
        > coconuts. An Austrian 'cello virtuoso played continuously
        > for over 11 hours. A yoga instructor did a 32-minute
        > head-stand, hands behind the head.
        > The king of Guinnessport - and the chief drawcard - was
        > not about to be upstaged. In the space of a few hours,
        > American athlete Ashrita Furman (also one of Sri Chinmoy's
        > students) broke not one record, but three: one mile of
        > hula-hoop spinning, one mile of lunges (in which the knee
        > had to touch the ground at every step), and standing on a
        > gymnastic ball. (He remained balanced for two hours and 11
        > minutes, bettering his own previous record by over an
        > hour. Not simply a token record, but a significant leap.)
        > Guinnessport followers have come to expect the impossible
        > from him. Ashrita has broken so many records, in so many
        > disciplines, that in 1987, Guinness editor Norris
        > McWhirter presented him with the title "Mr. Versatility",
        > and allowed him a bonus record: the most world records in
        > unrelated categories.
        > Anke Riedel, director of the new
        > Impossibility-Challenger, remembers the previous event
        > back in 1990, when Ashrita broke a record for playing the
        > most hopscotch games in 24 hours. At that same event,
        > karate masters sliced blocks of ice, and one daredevil
        > rode a bicycle backwards while playing the violin. The
        > Impossibility-Challenger was nothing if not diverse.
        > In bringing back the event, Anke wanted a return to the
        > magic of that eccentric, but nonetheless inspiring meet.
        > Obviously, the idea is to go beyond human limitations. But
        > what makes this event different from most other sports
        > festivals (including many other Guinnessport festivals) is
        > the emphasis on something else: fun.
        > "We can all find different ways to transcend ourselves,"
        > says Anke. "It need not be something serious, but you can
        > just try something in any field you choose. Not everybody
        > can run as fast as Carl Lewis, for example, but some
        > people can run backwards."
        > As many of the events might suggest, endurance is often
        > more important than speed. In fact, the
        > Impossibility-Challenger includes one race where the
        > winner is LAST across the finish line.
        > It might sound (and even look) funny, but the race is not
        > a joke. The event is "slow bicycling", which requires some
        > skill. "You have to cycle 100 metres without touching the
        > ground," Anke explains. "You have to stay in your lane.
        > It's an exercise in concentration and patience." Qualities
        > that, like endurance, can be practised and improved,
        > whatever one's "natural" ability.
        > This year's Impossibility-Challenger, to be held on
        > November 9, already has an intriguing program, with many
        > of last year's champions returning. Super-brain Rolf Laue,
        > who last year memorised 96 binary numbers in one minute,
        > will attempt something quite different: one-mile
        > coin-tossing. Kosovan athlete Agim Agushi, who bounced a
        > football on his head for 15 kilometers, will attempt to
        > break another record for bouncing a ball, this time in a
        > seated position. The indefatigable Ashrita is also
        > expected to return.
        > Anke says that, after a day of watching these events
        > (even those which don't make the record books), one is
        > inspired to transcend oneself, to do better in one's own
        > chosen field of endeavour.
        > So, as the director, will she be attempting her own
        > records in the future?
        > She laughs at the thought. Maybe later, but not for a
        > while. "It's enough of a record to organise it!"
      • goldenboat27
        Thanks for the kind words, Nayak. Of course, I m merely reporting what s going on. In August, I did plenty of interviews, which are ready to be turned into
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 28, 2003
          Thanks for the kind words, Nayak.
          Of course, I'm merely reporting what's going on. In August, I did
          plenty of interviews, which are ready to be turned into stories --
          and hope to do many more. The thanks should really go to those
          who are doing so many awesome manifestations -- and are
          happy to talk about it!
          Mark


          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, nayak_ltp
          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > Mark's story is so nice, so well-written and enjoyable. This is
          > exactly the way to get the word out: through interesting stories.
          >
          > Thanks, Mark!
          >
          > Nayak
          >
          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
          priyadarshan44
          > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > > HOW TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
          > > by Mark Juddery
          > >
          > > Advertisements for comedy shows and movies often
          promise
          > > "non-stop laughter" to the audiences. Of course, this is a
          > > slight exaggeration. To laugh non-stop for 90 minutes
          > > would require astounding reserves of energy and physical
          > > fitness.
          > > Last year in Munich, Ethiopian strongman Belachew Girma
          > > took up the challenge. Laughing for an hour and 40 minutes
          > > (seemingly at nothing), he worked the crowd into a lather
          > > of shared hysteria -- and broke the world record for
          > > laughter. After his triumph, he lay on the ground, too
          > > exhausted even to smile.
          > > No doubt he was smiling once he recovered -- not just at
          > > his own victory, but also at the events which surrounded
          > > him on that day.
          > > The Impossibility-Challenger tends to inspire people that
          > > way. Here is a sporting festival where nobody wins fame,
          > > fortune, or major sponsorship deals. (At least, not yet.)
          > > However, many of the competitors are the best at what they
          > > do. The organisers are students of Sri Chinmoy, and the
          > > object is in keeping with Sri Chinmoy's axiom: "to
          > > overcome human limitations and to challenge the seemingly
          > > impossible."
          > > For many (though not all) of the athletes, the game is
          > > "Guinnessport". This term was coined in the seventies, to
          > > describe the daredevil antics that earned a place in The
          > > Guinness Book of World Records, the world's best-selling
          > > book. An annual event during the 1980s, it returned last
          > > year after a decade in hiatus.
          > > Over the space of a single day, the impossible happened -
          > > numerous times. A Slovakian muscleman juggled three
          7.25kg
          > > shot putts, keeping them in the air for 52 minutes. A
          > > Czech juggler set 124 records in 100 minutes, using
          > > various parts of his body to move everything from dice to
          > > coconuts. An Austrian 'cello virtuoso played continuously
          > > for over 11 hours. A yoga instructor did a 32-minute
          > > head-stand, hands behind the head.
          > > The king of Guinnessport - and the chief drawcard - was
          > > not about to be upstaged. In the space of a few hours,
          > > American athlete Ashrita Furman (also one of Sri Chinmoy's
          > > students) broke not one record, but three: one mile of
          > > hula-hoop spinning, one mile of lunges (in which the knee
          > > had to touch the ground at every step), and standing on a
          > > gymnastic ball. (He remained balanced for two hours and 11
          > > minutes, bettering his own previous record by over an
          > > hour. Not simply a token record, but a significant leap.)
          > > Guinnessport followers have come to expect the impossible
          > > from him. Ashrita has broken so many records, in so many
          > > disciplines, that in 1987, Guinness editor Norris
          > > McWhirter presented him with the title "Mr. Versatility",
          > > and allowed him a bonus record: the most world records in
          > > unrelated categories.
          > > Anke Riedel, director of the new
          > > Impossibility-Challenger, remembers the previous event
          > > back in 1990, when Ashrita broke a record for playing the
          > > most hopscotch games in 24 hours. At that same event,
          > > karate masters sliced blocks of ice, and one daredevil
          > > rode a bicycle backwards while playing the violin. The
          > > Impossibility-Challenger was nothing if not diverse.
          > > In bringing back the event, Anke wanted a return to the
          > > magic of that eccentric, but nonetheless inspiring meet.
          > > Obviously, the idea is to go beyond human limitations. But
          > > what makes this event different from most other sports
          > > festivals (including many other Guinnessport festivals) is
          > > the emphasis on something else: fun.
          > > "We can all find different ways to transcend ourselves,"
          > > says Anke. "It need not be something serious, but you can
          > > just try something in any field you choose. Not everybody
          > > can run as fast as Carl Lewis, for example, but some
          > > people can run backwards."
          > > As many of the events might suggest, endurance is often
          > > more important than speed. In fact, the
          > > Impossibility-Challenger includes one race where the
          > > winner is LAST across the finish line.
          > > It might sound (and even look) funny, but the race is not
          > > a joke. The event is "slow bicycling", which requires some
          > > skill. "You have to cycle 100 metres without touching the
          > > ground," Anke explains. "You have to stay in your lane.
          > > It's an exercise in concentration and patience." Qualities
          > > that, like endurance, can be practised and improved,
          > > whatever one's "natural" ability.
          > > This year's Impossibility-Challenger, to be held on
          > > November 9, already has an intriguing program, with many
          > > of last year's champions returning. Super-brain Rolf Laue,
          > > who last year memorised 96 binary numbers in one minute,
          > > will attempt something quite different: one-mile
          > > coin-tossing. Kosovan athlete Agim Agushi, who bounced a
          > > football on his head for 15 kilometers, will attempt to
          > > break another record for bouncing a ball, this time in a
          > > seated position. The indefatigable Ashrita is also
          > > expected to return.
          > > Anke says that, after a day of watching these events
          > > (even those which don't make the record books), one is
          > > inspired to transcend oneself, to do better in one's own
          > > chosen field of endeavour.
          > > So, as the director, will she be attempting her own
          > > records in the future?
          > > She laughs at the thought. Maybe later, but not for a
          > > while. "It's enough of a record to organise it!"
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