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  • 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 1 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!

      --- 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,
      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > by Mark Juddery
      > >
      > > Advertisements for comedy shows and movies often
      > > "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
      > > 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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