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Deck of Ben - In Praise of Trishakash

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  • adhiratha
    Recently I was requested to recall a few stories about some of my friends. What immediately came to mind at the time seemed too inappropriate or personal for
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 3, 2006
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      Recently I was requested to recall a few stories about some of my
      friends. What immediately came to mind at the time seemed too
      inappropriate or personal for the forum. Today as I was doing a walk-
      run out to Alley pond park in Queens the weather made me think of
      Dover mornings,

      Any way, just as I was starting by my outing by the Jamaica High
      School Track, I came across Trishakash, the former Royal Canadian
      Mounty and English Channel swimmer. I ceremoniously matched his race-
      walking stride and he pretended not to notice until he reached his
      goal. Then he announced with fanfare that he had completed four miles
      and raised his hands in triumph. I think he is around 75 this year.
      For the more than 20 years I have know him, he has taken (and given)
      joy in playing the role of the crusty "older codger" of our group.
      Now I am past the age when we first met and he still plays the role.
      So many people he has secretly helped with a ride to the airport at
      the last minute or in other ways. He can be tough on new people when
      they first receive an insult with a teethy smile. But they eventually
      smile too, when they realize his game. Recently we enjoyed singing
      impromptu together at a race in very "correctable" voices:."Keep
      smiling, Keep smiling, God will soon be arriving". We needed
      significant help from our passing friends to try to get the song
      closer to the original. Our enthusiasm exceeded our musical ability.

      Today, during the run I was thinking about the amount of time I have
      know Trishakash and joked with him. I remembered once when we were
      roommates during a long training stint in another country. I think
      there were three of us in the room. You learn about people in those
      situations. Some of us put our mattresses on the floor because the
      soft bed did not agree with us (1).

      One year, when Trishakash was NOT training for the Channel he came
      over to give encouragement to the other swimmers and the helpers on
      the beach. One day he came down and was very proud of the rubber
      sandals he had on . . If you left the shoes or sandals by waters edge
      the incoming tide would sometimes float them away, so swimmers would
      leave their gear high up next to the wall where other swimmers and
      helpers would generally keep an eye on things.

      Well this day Trishakash walked to the waters edge and kept right on
      going with his socks and sandals strapped to his feet. We thought it
      was his little joke as we watched but he stayed out in the harbor for
      about 2 hours as I recall. When he was finished he just got out and
      walked right out up across the rocks to where people left their gear
      high up by the wall.. Usually the swimmers hobble a bit coming out
      because the rocks are tough on tender feet. He was smiling ear to ear
      as he strode across the rocks with his saddles. I think he just
      said " I always hated those rocks".

      (1).Note: Another great and serious training roommate was Anugata I
      think originally from Chicago and then San Francisco where he trained
      in the cold Bay. We swam miles in Connecticut as well as various NY
      places before Dover each year. Another bunch of stories and at
      minimum would cover him walking around Dover with Tesco red and white
      shopping bags, leaving some old or "stealable" clothing hid in
      different part of the bushes when we swam in LI or under turned over
      boats in Dover Harbour when we did evening swim. The classic was
      waking up in the middle of the night to find your training roommate
      raiding his "boat stores" and having a picnic on the floor next to
      bed in the middle of the night – AHHhhh JamTarts and cheese
      sandwiches. You knew it was serious when the can opener had popped a
      tin of beans or veggies which planned to be for the helpers on the
      boat the day of the swim. Many a time one had to replace parts of the
      standard helpers "kit" the next morning……)

      - Adhiratha….
    • sharani_sharani
      Hi Adhiratha, Thanks for sharing some stories here. I ve never really heard many stories about your and Trishikash s days as a Channel swimmer. I must confess
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 7, 2006
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        Hi Adhiratha,
        Thanks for sharing some stories here. I've never really heard many
        stories about your and Trishikash's days as a Channel swimmer. I must
        confess you have me scratching my head though because I do not know
        what "Deck of Ben" means. Can you enlighten us?

        Sharani

        -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > Recently I was requested to recall a few stories about some of my
        > friends. What immediately came to mind at the time seemed too
        > inappropriate or personal for the forum. Today as I was doing a walk-
        > run out to Alley pond park in Queens the weather made me think of
        > Dover mornings,
        >
        > Any way, just as I was starting by my outing by the Jamaica High
        > School Track, I came across Trishakash, the former Royal Canadian
        > Mounty and English Channel swimmer. I ceremoniously matched his race-
        > walking stride and he pretended not to notice until he reached his
        > goal. Then he announced with fanfare that he had completed four miles
        > and raised his hands in triumph. I think he is around 75 this year.
        > For the more than 20 years I have know him, he has taken (and given)
        > joy in playing the role of the crusty "older codger" of our group.
        > Now I am past the age when we first met and he still plays the role.
        > So many people he has secretly helped with a ride to the airport at
        > the last minute or in other ways. He can be tough on new people when
        > they first receive an insult with a teethy smile. But they eventually
        > smile too, when they realize his game. Recently we enjoyed singing
        > impromptu together at a race in very "correctable" voices:."Keep
        > smiling, Keep smiling, God will soon be arriving". We needed
        > significant help from our passing friends to try to get the song
        > closer to the original. Our enthusiasm exceeded our musical ability.
        >
        > Today, during the run I was thinking about the amount of time I have
        > know Trishakash and joked with him. I remembered once when we were
        > roommates during a long training stint in another country. I think
        > there were three of us in the room. You learn about people in those
        > situations. Some of us put our mattresses on the floor because the
        > soft bed did not agree with us (1).
        >
        > One year, when Trishakash was NOT training for the Channel he came
        > over to give encouragement to the other swimmers and the helpers on
        > the beach. One day he came down and was very proud of the rubber
        > sandals he had on . . If you left the shoes or sandals by waters edge
        > the incoming tide would sometimes float them away, so swimmers would
        > leave their gear high up next to the wall where other swimmers and
        > helpers would generally keep an eye on things.
        >
        > Well this day Trishakash walked to the waters edge and kept right on
        > going with his socks and sandals strapped to his feet. We thought it
        > was his little joke as we watched but he stayed out in the harbor for
        > about 2 hours as I recall. When he was finished he just got out and
        > walked right out up across the rocks to where people left their gear
        > high up by the wall.. Usually the swimmers hobble a bit coming out
        > because the rocks are tough on tender feet. He was smiling ear to ear
        > as he strode across the rocks with his saddles. I think he just
        > said " I always hated those rocks".
        >
        > (1).Note: Another great and serious training roommate was Anugata I
        > think originally from Chicago and then San Francisco where he trained
        > in the cold Bay. We swam miles in Connecticut as well as various NY
        > places before Dover each year. Another bunch of stories and at
        > minimum would cover him walking around Dover with Tesco red and white
        > shopping bags, leaving some old or "stealable" clothing hid in
        > different part of the bushes when we swam in LI or under turned over
        > boats in Dover Harbour when we did evening swim. The classic was
        > waking up in the middle of the night to find your training roommate
        > raiding his "boat stores" and having a picnic on the floor next to
        > bed in the middle of the night – AHHhhh JamTarts and cheese
        > sandwiches. You knew it was serious when the can opener had popped a
        > tin of beans or veggies which planned to be for the helpers on the
        > boat the day of the swim. Many a time one had to replace parts of the
        > standard helpers "kit" the next morning……)
        >
        > - Adhiratha….
        >
      • adhiratha
        Hi Sharani, sorry for delay in responding to Deck of Ben, the real smiling–singing song and future swim stories... 1. From what I remember from my own deck
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 14, 2006
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          Hi Sharani, sorry for delay in responding to Deck of Ben, the real
          smiling–singing song and future swim stories...

          1. From what I remember from my own deck of Ben (first hint). The
          deck is similar to a deck of cards. That can be shuffled and reviewed.

          I first heard the phrase from around mid to late 1960's album by the
          Loving-Spoonful (another interesting phrase). I first experienced
          that group when I went to see a different band while away at school.
          The main band may have been the Beach Boys since I was weekend Long
          Island "recreational play" Surfer .(about 4 to 8 of us shared one old
          surfboard) And those first winters at college I was missing the
          Atlantic Ocean while attending University in landlocked Ohio

          The Loving-Spoonful were the surprise opening act. I loved a number
          of their songs including "What a day for Daydream" where the words
          were "custom made of a day dreaming boy.—"time is on my side" "take
          a roll on someone's new mowed lawn. ..tomorrow at breakfast you could
          pick up your ear or you could be daydreaming for a thousand years……"
          Then came "Hot town summer in city, back of my neck getting dirty and
          gritty. All around people looking half dead walking on sidewalks
          hotter than matches…." That one resonated with my NY city (think
          Manhattan visits) during summer.

          But anyway back to "deck of Ben"
          One of LS later albums referred to an older person "shuffling through
          his deck of Ben" and I too was curious. It seems (if my deck serves
          me). The reference (possibly explained on the album cover) was to the
          selection of memories that especially older people circle through
          when they are sitting in a rocking chairs or possibly on long runs in
          keeping with the changing times and styles… If anyone has a more
          authoritative source I would be glad to hear. I tried an initial
          search on www but didn't get much relevant. Not even the mention of
          the LS.

          2. And the real words to original song are
          "Keep singing, keep singing!
          God will soon be arriving" appears in:Enthusiasm, Part 6 (page 17)
          http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/songs/enthusiasm_part_6

          3. Another early swim story should be forth coming. I confirmed with
          Shraddha on way to Manhattan yesterday some details - for example a
          group relay swim in Connecticut for Guru's 50th birthday in 1981.

          keep singing and smiling - Adhiratha

          -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
          <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Adhiratha,
          > Thanks for sharing some stories here. I've never really heard many
          > stories about your and Trishikash's days as a Channel swimmer. I
          must
          > confess you have me scratching my head though because I do not know
          > what "Deck of Ben" means. Can you enlighten us?
          >
          > Sharani
          >
          > -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
          > <no_reply@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Recently I was requested to recall a few stories about some of my
          > > friends. What immediately came to mind at the time seemed too
          > > inappropriate or personal for the forum. Today as I was doing a
          walk-
          > > run out to Alley pond park in Queens the weather made me think of
          > > Dover mornings,
          > >
          > > Any way, just as I was starting by my outing by the Jamaica High
          > > School Track, I came across Trishakash, the former Royal Canadian
          > > Mounty and English Channel swimmer. I ceremoniously matched his
          race-
          > > walking stride and he pretended not to notice until he reached
          his
          > > goal. Then he announced with fanfare that he had completed four
          miles
          > > and raised his hands in triumph. I think he is around 75 this
          year.
          > > For the more than 20 years I have know him, he has taken (and
          given)
          > > joy in playing the role of the crusty "older codger" of our
          group.
          > > Now I am past the age when we first met and he still plays the
          role.
          > > So many people he has secretly helped with a ride to the airport
          at
          > > the last minute or in other ways. He can be tough on new people
          when
          > > they first receive an insult with a teethy smile. But they
          eventually
          > > smile too, when they realize his game. Recently we enjoyed
          singing
          > > impromptu together at a race in very "correctable" voices:."Keep
          > > smiling, Keep smiling, God will soon be arriving". We needed
          > > significant help from our passing friends to try to get the song
          > > closer to the original. Our enthusiasm exceeded our musical
          ability.
          > >
          > > Today, during the run I was thinking about the amount of time I
          have
          > > know Trishakash and joked with him. I remembered once when we
          were
          > > roommates during a long training stint in another country. I
          think
          > > there were three of us in the room. You learn about people in
          those
          > > situations. Some of us put our mattresses on the floor because
          the
          > > soft bed did not agree with us (1).
          > >
          > > One year, when Trishakash was NOT training for the Channel he
          came
          > > over to give encouragement to the other swimmers and the helpers
          on
          > > the beach. One day he came down and was very proud of the rubber
          > > sandals he had on . . If you left the shoes or sandals by waters
          edge
          > > the incoming tide would sometimes float them away, so swimmers
          would
          > > leave their gear high up next to the wall where other swimmers
          and
          > > helpers would generally keep an eye on things.
          > >
          > > Well this day Trishakash walked to the waters edge and kept right
          on
          > > going with his socks and sandals strapped to his feet. We thought
          it
          > > was his little joke as we watched but he stayed out in the harbor
          for
          > > about 2 hours as I recall. When he was finished he just got out
          and
          > > walked right out up across the rocks to where people left their
          gear
          > > high up by the wall.. Usually the swimmers hobble a bit coming
          out
          > > because the rocks are tough on tender feet. He was smiling ear to
          ear
          > > as he strode across the rocks with his saddles. I think he just
          > > said " I always hated those rocks".
          > >
          > > (1).Note: Another great and serious training roommate was Anugata
          I
          > > think originally from Chicago and then San Francisco where he
          trained
          > > in the cold Bay. We swam miles in Connecticut as well as various
          NY
          > > places before Dover each year. Another bunch of stories and at
          > > minimum would cover him walking around Dover with Tesco red and
          white
          > > shopping bags, leaving some old or "stealable" clothing hid in
          > > different part of the bushes when we swam in LI or under turned
          over
          > > boats in Dover Harbour when we did evening swim. The classic was
          > > waking up in the middle of the night to find your training
          roommate
          > > raiding his "boat stores" and having a picnic on the floor next
          to
          > > bed in the middle of the night – AHHhhh JamTarts and cheese
          > > sandwiches. You knew it was serious when the can opener had
          popped a
          > > tin of beans or veggies which planned to be for the helpers on
          the
          > > boat the day of the swim. Many a time one had to replace parts of
          the
          > > standard helpers "kit" the next morning……)
          > >
          > > - Adhiratha….
          > >
          >
        • sharani_sharani
          And to think that I thought it was some kind of insider s phrase related to swimming the English Channel! Thanks for the belated reply. I somewhat recognize
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 14, 2006
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            And to think that I thought it was some kind of insider's phrase
            related to swimming the English Channel! Thanks for the belated reply.
            I somewhat recognize the songs of the Lovin' Spoonful that you
            mention. And the closest I got to the Beach Boys and a surf board was
            to jump on a kid's size rocking chair and sing "let's go surfing now"
            while rocking on the chair standing up - pretending it was a surf
            board of course! I hope this is a hint as to my age in the sixties...

            Speaking of the sixties... Noivedya from Australia just wrote about
            missing out on this decade in his new blog at:
            http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/Members/noivedya/the-world-of-noivedya/archive/2006/10/11/history

            He is a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. He has
            published a book to acclaim, as well as an e-book and a screenplay.

            Learn more about this talented writer at:
            http://www.markjuddery.com/index.html

            How did deck of ben turn into Noivedya's writing career?
            I guess I just shuffled my own deck as I wrote this.

            Looking forward to more swimming stories from Adhiratha pulled out of
            the deck...

            Sharani


            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
            <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Sharani, sorry for delay in responding to Deck of Ben, the real
            > smiling–singing song and future swim stories...
            >
            > 1. From what I remember from my own deck of Ben (first hint). The
            > deck is similar to a deck of cards. That can be shuffled and reviewed.
            >
            > I first heard the phrase from around mid to late 1960's album by the
            > Loving-Spoonful (another interesting phrase). I first experienced
            > that group when I went to see a different band while away at school.
            > The main band may have been the Beach Boys since I was weekend Long
            > Island "recreational play" Surfer .(about 4 to 8 of us shared one old
            > surfboard) And those first winters at college I was missing the
            > Atlantic Ocean while attending University in landlocked Ohio
            >
            > The Loving-Spoonful were the surprise opening act. I loved a number
            > of their songs including "What a day for Daydream" where the words
            > were "custom made of a day dreaming boy.—"time is on my side" "take
            > a roll on someone's new mowed lawn. ..tomorrow at breakfast you could
            > pick up your ear or you could be daydreaming for a thousand years……"
            > Then came "Hot town summer in city, back of my neck getting dirty and
            > gritty. All around people looking half dead walking on sidewalks
            > hotter than matches…." That one resonated with my NY city (think
            > Manhattan visits) during summer.
            >
            > But anyway back to "deck of Ben"
            > One of LS later albums referred to an older person "shuffling through
            > his deck of Ben" and I too was curious. It seems (if my deck serves
            > me). The reference (possibly explained on the album cover) was to the
            > selection of memories that especially older people circle through
            > when they are sitting in a rocking chairs or possibly on long runs in
            > keeping with the changing times and styles… If anyone has a more
            > authoritative source I would be glad to hear. I tried an initial
            > search on www but didn't get much relevant. Not even the mention of
            > the LS.
            >
            > 2. And the real words to original song are
            > "Keep singing, keep singing!
            > God will soon be arriving" appears in:Enthusiasm, Part 6 (page 17)
            > http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/songs/enthusiasm_part_6
            >
            > 3. Another early swim story should be forth coming. I confirmed with
            > Shraddha on way to Manhattan yesterday some details - for example a
            > group relay swim in Connecticut for Guru's 50th birthday in 1981.
            >
            > keep singing and smiling - Adhiratha
            >
            > -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
            > <no_reply@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi Adhiratha,
            > > Thanks for sharing some stories here. I've never really heard many
            > > stories about your and Trishikash's days as a Channel swimmer. I
            > must
            > > confess you have me scratching my head though because I do not know
            > > what "Deck of Ben" means. Can you enlighten us?
            > >
            > > Sharani
            > >
            > > -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
            > > <no_reply@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Recently I was requested to recall a few stories about some of my
            > > > friends. What immediately came to mind at the time seemed too
            > > > inappropriate or personal for the forum. Today as I was doing a
            > walk-
            > > > run out to Alley pond park in Queens the weather made me think of
            > > > Dover mornings,
            > > >
            > > > Any way, just as I was starting by my outing by the Jamaica High
            > > > School Track, I came across Trishakash, the former Royal Canadian
            > > > Mounty and English Channel swimmer. I ceremoniously matched his
            > race-
            > > > walking stride and he pretended not to notice until he reached
            > his
            > > > goal. Then he announced with fanfare that he had completed four
            > miles
            > > > and raised his hands in triumph. I think he is around 75 this
            > year.
            > > > For the more than 20 years I have know him, he has taken (and
            > given)
            > > > joy in playing the role of the crusty "older codger" of our
            > group.
            > > > Now I am past the age when we first met and he still plays the
            > role.
            > > > So many people he has secretly helped with a ride to the airport
            > at
            > > > the last minute or in other ways. He can be tough on new people
            > when
            > > > they first receive an insult with a teethy smile. But they
            > eventually
            > > > smile too, when they realize his game. Recently we enjoyed
            > singing
            > > > impromptu together at a race in very "correctable" voices:."Keep
            > > > smiling, Keep smiling, God will soon be arriving". We needed
            > > > significant help from our passing friends to try to get the song
            > > > closer to the original. Our enthusiasm exceeded our musical
            > ability.
            > > >
            > > > Today, during the run I was thinking about the amount of time I
            > have
            > > > know Trishakash and joked with him. I remembered once when we
            > were
            > > > roommates during a long training stint in another country. I
            > think
            > > > there were three of us in the room. You learn about people in
            > those
            > > > situations. Some of us put our mattresses on the floor because
            > the
            > > > soft bed did not agree with us (1).
            > > >
            > > > One year, when Trishakash was NOT training for the Channel he
            > came
            > > > over to give encouragement to the other swimmers and the helpers
            > on
            > > > the beach. One day he came down and was very proud of the rubber
            > > > sandals he had on . . If you left the shoes or sandals by waters
            > edge
            > > > the incoming tide would sometimes float them away, so swimmers
            > would
            > > > leave their gear high up next to the wall where other swimmers
            > and
            > > > helpers would generally keep an eye on things.
            > > >
            > > > Well this day Trishakash walked to the waters edge and kept right
            > on
            > > > going with his socks and sandals strapped to his feet. We thought
            > it
            > > > was his little joke as we watched but he stayed out in the harbor
            > for
            > > > about 2 hours as I recall. When he was finished he just got out
            > and
            > > > walked right out up across the rocks to where people left their
            > gear
            > > > high up by the wall.. Usually the swimmers hobble a bit coming
            > out
            > > > because the rocks are tough on tender feet. He was smiling ear to
            > ear
            > > > as he strode across the rocks with his saddles. I think he just
            > > > said " I always hated those rocks".
            > > >
            > > > (1).Note: Another great and serious training roommate was Anugata
            > I
            > > > think originally from Chicago and then San Francisco where he
            > trained
            > > > in the cold Bay. We swam miles in Connecticut as well as various
            > NY
            > > > places before Dover each year. Another bunch of stories and at
            > > > minimum would cover him walking around Dover with Tesco red and
            > white
            > > > shopping bags, leaving some old or "stealable" clothing hid in
            > > > different part of the bushes when we swam in LI or under turned
            > over
            > > > boats in Dover Harbour when we did evening swim. The classic was
            > > > waking up in the middle of the night to find your training
            > roommate
            > > > raiding his "boat stores" and having a picnic on the floor next
            > to
            > > > bed in the middle of the night – AHHhhh JamTarts and cheese
            > > > sandwiches. You knew it was serious when the can opener had
            > popped a
            > > > tin of beans or veggies which planned to be for the helpers on
            > the
            > > > boat the day of the swim. Many a time one had to replace parts of
            > the
            > > > standard helpers "kit" the next morning……)
            > > >
            > > > - Adhiratha….
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • dharmaja
            ... prick* up your ears or you could be daydreaming for a thousand years…… ... and gritty*. All around people looking half dead walking on sidewalks
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 14, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              > of their songs including "What a day for Daydream" where the words
              > were "custom made *for* a day dreaming boy.—"time is on my side" "take
              > a roll on someone's new mowed lawn. ..tomorrow at breakfast you *may
              prick* up your ears or you could be daydreaming for a thousand years……"
              > Then came "Hot town summer in city, back of my neck getting *dirt
              and gritty*. All around people looking half dead walking on sidewalks
              *hotter than a match-head*. That one resonated with my NY city (think
              Manhattan visits) during summer.

              Deck of Ben: One of this country's famed statesmen, Benjamin
              Franklin, born in Boston in 1706, might be considered one of America's
              first playing card manufacturers. He learned the printer's trade
              through his early apprenticeship to his older brother James, and began
              his trade as early as 1732, not only as a manufacturer of wall paper,
              but also as a printer of stationary and "playing cards".

              From: http://www.casinocom.com/cardsshw.html
              __________________________________________________

              submitted by D.A.
            • adhiratha
              Wow- now we got a rif or something going with the big Ben involved. Dharmaja, good job on the LS words correction. Do you have these albums and what album was
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 21, 2006
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                Wow- now we got a rif or something going with the big Ben involved.
                Dharmaja, good job on the LS words correction. Do you have these
                albums and what album was the shuffling through his "deck of ben?"
                How do we link Ben Franklin's memories into the deck? Is that too
                much?

                Maybe if he had sent up a spoon (a loving spoonfull) on the string
                instead of key to attract the lightening we would have direct
                connection...to "day for daydream"...

                the spirit of this thread leads me to recall a recent un-official
                Sunday morning quote from Sri Chinmoy: "The happiness of my heart
                expedites my life's progress"
                warm regards - Adhiratha
                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, dharmaja
                <no_reply@...> wrote:
                >
                > > of their songs including "What a day for Daydream" where the words
                > > were "custom made *for* a day dreaming boy.—"time is on my
                side" "take
                > > a roll on someone's new mowed lawn. ..tomorrow at breakfast you
                *may
                > prick* up your ears or you could be daydreaming for a thousand
                years……"
                > > Then came "Hot town summer in city, back of my neck getting *dirt
                > and gritty*. All around people looking half dead walking on
                sidewalks
                > *hotter than a match-head*. That one resonated with my NY city
                (think
                > Manhattan visits) during summer.
                >
                > Deck of Ben: One of this country's famed statesmen, Benjamin
                > Franklin, born in Boston in 1706, might be considered one of
                America's
                > first playing card manufacturers. He learned the printer's trade
                > through his early apprenticeship to his older brother James, and
                began
                > his trade as early as 1732, not only as a manufacturer of wall
                paper,
                > but also as a printer of stationary and "playing cards".
                >
                > From: http://www.casinocom.com/cardsshw.html
                > __________________________________________________
                >
                > submitted by D.A.
                >
              • adhiratha
                As promised, Here is the start of some early swim stories of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team (SCMT)beginning in 1979. Parts A, B, C, D. (It might serve to
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 28, 2006
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                  As promised, Here is the start of some early swim stories of the Sri
                  Chinmoy Marathon Team (SCMT)beginning in 1979. Parts A, B, C, D.
                  (It might serve to trigger some other memories from that time.
                  Comments or more detail from others most welcome)

                  This Post covers: Part A Para 1 to 3 (1979-1981)

                  1. Small Triathlon –learning to swim short distance 1979:
                  The first SWIM-BIKE-RUN Triathlon in 1979 organized by the Sri
                  Chinmoy Marathon team was at Groton, Long Point CT. I remember going
                  with friends to Rockaway beach to try to prepare for the one mile
                  swim part of the Triathalon. We practiced every stroke we knew and
                  tried to gage if we had chance to complete the event. The time did
                  not concern us so much. Just to be able to complete seemed a
                  challenging enough goal.

                  After a few sessions of swimming around we started to believe if we
                  kept treading water at difficult times we could make it through the
                  mile which seemed like a heck of a long distance to swim... I think
                  by that time we had already completed the 24 hour bicycle marathon in
                  NYC central park and some 26 mile running marathons so we weren't too
                  worried about the running and cycling if we could just survive the
                  swim...

                  The day of the event I had to do all the strokes I knew from boy
                  scouts during the swim part to keep going - even the elementary back
                  stroke and the dog paddle! Just to catch my breath.

                  2. "Athletes" transcending
                  During the event one of the people cheering us on during the last run
                  section yelled out "Adhiratha you are an athlete" and it was the
                  first time I really thought I was, (not just a slow long distance
                  runner or bicycle rider) My uncle who was a good swimmer in his day
                  and had been a lifeguard at Jones beach had watched some running
                  events and later appreciated Sri Chinmoy's disciples running and leg
                  development but made jokes to me about not having enough upper body
                  strength and definition to be a fully balanced "Athlete"

                  3. Half mile contributions as part of team for 50 miles in 1981
                  Then someone organized a swim in Connecticut in the middle of summer
                  where I think we all swan abut a mile. It was a quarter of a mile
                  following markers across a pond somewhere. Each did a lap out and
                  back and then again some time later to make total of one mile for
                  each person. to make 5O miles to celebrate Sri Chinmoy's 50th
                  Birthday. Some may have only done part of a lap and some many have
                  taken more turns after a rest.. I think it went on for 24 + hours
                  until we covered the 50 miles. I remember swimming at night with a
                  small row boat beside me and following the flash light. Sri Chinmoy
                  came at some point (I think late evening) to support our event and as
                  he was leaving said sweetly to the organizers "what an adventure". I
                  realized that is what it was. It was something to come to Connecticut
                  in middle of the night to join with friends just to swim a small part
                  and experience the summer night the stars and the water. It reminded
                  me of summers as a kid when I was at boy scout camp or went to visit
                  my cousins in Alberta, Canada.

                  Part B to follow
                  - Adhiratha

                  --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
                  <no_reply@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > And to think that I thought it was some kind of insider's phrase
                  > related to swimming the English Channel! Thanks for the belated
                  reply.
                  > I somewhat recognize the songs of the Lovin' Spoonful that you
                  > mention. And the closest I got to the Beach Boys and a surf board
                  was
                  > to jump on a kid's size rocking chair and sing "let's go surfing
                  now"
                  > while rocking on the chair standing up - pretending it was a surf
                  > board of course! I hope this is a hint as to my age in the
                  sixties...
                  >
                  > Speaking of the sixties... Noivedya from Australia just wrote about
                  > missing out on this decade in his new blog at:
                  > http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/Members/noivedya/the-world-of-
                  noivedya/archive/2006/10/11/history
                  >
                  > He is a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. He has
                  > published a book to acclaim, as well as an e-book and a screenplay.
                  >
                  > Learn more about this talented writer at:
                  > http://www.markjuddery.com/index.html
                  >
                  > How did deck of ben turn into Noivedya's writing career?
                  > I guess I just shuffled my own deck as I wrote this.
                  >
                  > Looking forward to more swimming stories from Adhiratha pulled out
                  of
                  > the deck...
                  >
                  > Sharani
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
                  > <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi Sharani, sorry for delay in responding to Deck of Ben, the real
                  > > smiling–singing song and future swim stories...
                  > >
                  > > 1. From what I remember from my own deck of Ben (first hint). The
                  > > deck is similar to a deck of cards. That can be shuffled and
                  reviewed.
                  > >
                  > > I first heard the phrase from around mid to late 1960's album by
                  the
                  > > Loving-Spoonful (another interesting phrase). I first experienced
                  > > that group when I went to see a different band while away at
                  school.
                  > > The main band may have been the Beach Boys since I was weekend
                  Long
                  > > Island "recreational play" Surfer .(about 4 to 8 of us shared one
                  old
                  > > surfboard) And those first winters at college I was missing the
                  > > Atlantic Ocean while attending University in landlocked Ohio
                  > >
                  > > The Loving-Spoonful were the surprise opening act. I loved a
                  number
                  > > of their songs including "What a day for Daydream" where the words
                  > > were "custom made of a day dreaming boy.—"time is on my
                  side" "take
                  > > a roll on someone's new mowed lawn. ..tomorrow at breakfast you
                  could
                  > > pick up your ear or you could be daydreaming for a thousand
                  years……"
                  > > Then came "Hot town summer in city, back of my neck getting dirty
                  and
                  > > gritty. All around people looking half dead walking on sidewalks
                  > > hotter than matches…." That one resonated with my NY city (think
                  > > Manhattan visits) during summer.
                  > >
                  > > But anyway back to "deck of Ben"
                  > > One of LS later albums referred to an older person "shuffling
                  through
                  > > his deck of Ben" and I too was curious. It seems (if my deck
                  serves
                  > > me). The reference (possibly explained on the album cover) was to
                  the
                  > > selection of memories that especially older people circle through
                  > > when they are sitting in a rocking chairs or possibly on long
                  runs in
                  > > keeping with the changing times and styles… If anyone has a more
                  > > authoritative source I would be glad to hear. I tried an initial
                  > > search on www but didn't get much relevant. Not even the mention
                  of
                  > > the LS.
                  > >
                  > > 2. And the real words to original song are
                  > > "Keep singing, keep singing!
                  > > God will soon be arriving" appears in:Enthusiasm, Part 6 (page 17)
                  > > http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/songs/enthusiasm_part_6
                  > >
                  > > 3. Another early swim story should be forth coming. I confirmed
                  with
                  > > Shraddha on way to Manhattan yesterday some details - for example
                  a
                  > > group relay swim in Connecticut for Guru's 50th birthday in 1981.
                  > >
                  > > keep singing and smiling - Adhiratha
                  > >
                  > > -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
                  > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Hi Adhiratha,
                  > > > Thanks for sharing some stories here. I've never really heard
                  many
                  > > > stories about your and Trishikash's days as a Channel swimmer. I
                  > > must
                  > > > confess you have me scratching my head though because I do not
                  know
                  > > > what "Deck of Ben" means. Can you enlighten us?
                  > > >
                  > > > Sharani
                  > > >
                  > > > -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
                  > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Recently I was requested to recall a few stories about some
                  of my
                  > > > > friends. What immediately came to mind at the time seemed too
                  > > > > inappropriate or personal for the forum. Today as I was doing
                  a
                  > > walk-
                  > > > > run out to Alley pond park in Queens the weather made me
                  think of
                  > > > > Dover mornings,
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Any way, just as I was starting by my outing by the Jamaica
                  High
                  > > > > School Track, I came across Trishakash, the former Royal
                  Canadian
                  > > > > Mounty and English Channel swimmer. I ceremoniously matched
                  his
                  > > race-
                  > > > > walking stride and he pretended not to notice until he reached
                  > > his
                  > > > > goal. Then he announced with fanfare that he had completed
                  four
                  > > miles
                  > > > > and raised his hands in triumph. I think he is around 75 this
                  > > year.
                  > > > > For the more than 20 years I have know him, he has taken (and
                  > > given)
                  > > > > joy in playing the role of the crusty "older codger" of our
                  > > group.
                  > > > > Now I am past the age when we first met and he still plays the
                  > > role.
                  > > > > So many people he has secretly helped with a ride to the
                  airport
                  > > at
                  > > > > the last minute or in other ways. He can be tough on new
                  people
                  > > when
                  > > > > they first receive an insult with a teethy smile. But they
                  > > eventually
                  > > > > smile too, when they realize his game. Recently we enjoyed
                  > > singing
                  > > > > impromptu together at a race in very "correctable"
                  voices:."Keep
                  > > > > smiling, Keep smiling, God will soon be arriving". We needed
                  > > > > significant help from our passing friends to try to get the
                  song
                  > > > > closer to the original. Our enthusiasm exceeded our musical
                  > > ability.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Today, during the run I was thinking about the amount of time
                  I
                  > > have
                  > > > > know Trishakash and joked with him. I remembered once when we
                  > > were
                  > > > > roommates during a long training stint in another country. I
                  > > think
                  > > > > there were three of us in the room. You learn about people in
                  > > those
                  > > > > situations. Some of us put our mattresses on the floor
                  because
                  > > the
                  > > > > soft bed did not agree with us (1).
                  > > > >
                  > > > > One year, when Trishakash was NOT training for the Channel he
                  > > came
                  > > > > over to give encouragement to the other swimmers and the
                  helpers
                  > > on
                  > > > > the beach. One day he came down and was very proud of the
                  rubber
                  > > > > sandals he had on . . If you left the shoes or sandals by
                  waters
                  > > edge
                  > > > > the incoming tide would sometimes float them away, so swimmers
                  > > would
                  > > > > leave their gear high up next to the wall where other swimmers
                  > > and
                  > > > > helpers would generally keep an eye on things.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Well this day Trishakash walked to the waters edge and kept
                  right
                  > > on
                  > > > > going with his socks and sandals strapped to his feet. We
                  thought
                  > > it
                  > > > > was his little joke as we watched but he stayed out in the
                  harbor
                  > > for
                  > > > > about 2 hours as I recall. When he was finished he just got
                  out
                  > > and
                  > > > > walked right out up across the rocks to where people left
                  their
                  > > gear
                  > > > > high up by the wall.. Usually the swimmers hobble a bit coming
                  > > out
                  > > > > because the rocks are tough on tender feet. He was smiling
                  ear to
                  > > ear
                  > > > > as he strode across the rocks with his saddles. I think he
                  just
                  > > > > said " I always hated those rocks".
                  > > > >
                  > > > > (1).Note: Another great and serious training roommate was
                  Anugata
                  > > I
                  > > > > think originally from Chicago and then San Francisco where he
                  > > trained
                  > > > > in the cold Bay. We swam miles in Connecticut as well as
                  various
                  > > NY
                  > > > > places before Dover each year. Another bunch of stories and at
                  > > > > minimum would cover him walking around Dover with Tesco red
                  and
                  > > white
                  > > > > shopping bags, leaving some old or "stealable" clothing hid in
                  > > > > different part of the bushes when we swam in LI or under
                  turned
                  > > over
                  > > > > boats in Dover Harbour when we did evening swim. The classic
                  was
                  > > > > waking up in the middle of the night to find your training
                  > > roommate
                  > > > > raiding his "boat stores" and having a picnic on the floor
                  next
                  > > to
                  > > > > bed in the middle of the night – AHHhhh JamTarts and cheese
                  > > > > sandwiches. You knew it was serious when the can opener had
                  > > popped a
                  > > > > tin of beans or veggies which planned to be for the helpers on
                  > > the
                  > > > > boat the day of the swim. Many a time one had to replace
                  parts of
                  > > the
                  > > > > standard helpers "kit" the next morning……)
                  > > > >
                  > > > > - Adhiratha….
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • adhiratha
                  Below are some early swim stories of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team (SCMT)beginning in 1979. Parts A, B, C, D. This Post covers: Part B Para 4 to 6 (1983-1985)
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 2, 2006
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                    Below are some early swim stories of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
                    (SCMT)beginning in 1979. Parts A, B, C, D.

                    This Post covers: Part B Para 4 to 6 (1983-1985)

                    4. 6 mile slow swims - celebrate 10,000 Flower flames 1983
                    A few years later Shraddha who worked at UN organized a swim. It was
                    agreed that we would all do 6.2 miles (10K) within an eight hour
                    period to celebrate completion of Sri Chinmoy's 10,000 poems
                    called "Flower Flames". There was a line stretched out across a water
                    filled old rock query that the swimmer followed out and back for a
                    lap. Counters were on the beach ( some big rocks and trees). It
                    wasn't competitive but we knew about how far each had completed when
                    we took breaks. We were all quite slow but because of our other
                    distance training we all were mildly confident because we knew how to
                    pace ourselves. I think I was the best time with over 5 hours to do
                    six miles (which in the swimmers world is very, very slow). Most very
                    good swimmers can knock off a mile in less than twenty minutes. I
                    passed the person ahead of me with a few laps to go. When he got out
                    to get a drink I didn't get out to rest. So I was able to finish the
                    distance first. We all felt great, when in a little more time many of
                    us had completed the distance. 6 miles was not a joke especially for
                    us recreationally swimmers. We were feeling sore in different parts
                    from the usual leg, knee and feet pains of running and biking, but we
                    were all quite happy .

                    5. Why not the Channel for a fast, trained swimmer 1984
                    A few summers later one of the European students of Sri Chinmoy who
                    had been a fast speed swimmer in school requested Sri Chinmoy's
                    Guidance on training to possibly try to be swimming in the Olympics.
                    Sri Chinmoy encouraged him to try the English Channel crossing. The
                    swimmer did not really train so much for distance and found the cold
                    too difficult without allowing for aclimitatization. He tried at end
                    of season in October of 1984. He did a very quick few miles (The
                    captain that piloted the boat who also escorted many swimmers, years
                    later still remembered this swimmer because he was so fast but
                    unprepared for the cold).

                    6. Who else will try the channel? 1985
                    The following March and April Sri Chinmoy mentioned that he felt some
                    of his students could succeed if they trained properly. Some of the
                    those who had done the 6 mile swim in the the earlier year stood up
                    at a function to say they would try, I was not present but had a
                    healthy respect for the channel and didn't want to volunteer, I was
                    very afraid both of that sort of distance and the cold. It seemed
                    like a monumental undertaking. (My father had been a very good
                    swimmer and an excellent national water-polo competitor before the
                    second WW.. When we were growing up, any time some one swam the
                    channel and it was reported in the NY times he would read it out to
                    all the family with tremendous admiration because of the difficulty
                    and the cold water)

                    At the same time when I heard about Sri Chinmoy's statement and
                    confidence I was sweetly inspired that some of his students would
                    even think of attempting this feat and just for the sake for self
                    transcendence. My admiration led me to (secretly at first start) go
                    to the pool. I wanted to see how much I could improve if I went
                    regularly. I began to read some articles and speak to those who were
                    seriously training.

                    Adhiratha
                  • adhiratha
                    This is Part C, Paragraph 7 - 9 of Some early swim stories of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team. 7. 13 Mile test swim – encouraging result -1985 At some point
                    Message 9 of 11 , Nov 11, 2006
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                      This is Part C, Paragraph 7 - 9 of Some early swim stories of the Sri
                      Chinmoy Marathon Team.

                      7. 13 Mile test swim – encouraging result -1985

                      At some point Sri Chinmoy suggested that anyone who was going to
                      attempt to swim the channel should first do a 13 mile and then an 18
                      mile swim to have experience of this distance before going over to
                      Dover England to try.

                      So I signed up for the fist 13 mile test swim. I believe it was
                      scheduled before end of May which was organized for Lake Ronkonkoma
                      on Long Island. There were helpers in Canoes of each of the swimmers.
                      My
                      supportive childhood friend from grade school and college arranged
                      for a camper recruitment van from a local college to be on the shore
                      where we could change our clothes. Sri Chinmoy came to the start and
                      meditated with us before the swim.

                      About 8 or more people completed the swim (I think it took between 7
                      and 11 hours). I gave all us a sense of how difficult it could be to
                      swim the channel since it provided a taste or sampling of the many
                      challenges (physical and mental) that can come forward during a
                      longer swim. I think a few swimmers after the event decided that was
                      the longest swim they wanted to attempt.. But many were most
                      encouraged by the experience. We began to think that just possibily
                      someone from the SCMT might be able to actually swim across the
                      channel in 1985.

                      8. Team Sharing inspiration from many sources

                      After the successful 13 mile swim an informal group of swimmers and
                      helpers began to form. I is what some might call in the digital era
                      a "community of practice". Questions like what is your mileage today
                      or this week and "how many times a day" didn't just mean running or
                      biking. Strong Shoulders and backs became more important.

                      "Are you considering it?" would elicit some circumspect answers as
                      each was weighing this new reality. Those "considering"
                      or "supporting" began to read and share anything we could find. This
                      included anything about long distance swimmers and previous channel
                      attempts. Information on pilot boats, weather, what people ate etc
                      were all topics of conversations and re-told ( and sometimes
                      embellished) stories or jokes.. Dog eared books and photocopies of
                      articles were passed hand to hand. (Remember this was way before
                      great inspiration forums like this site on yahoo exited. There was no
                      shared access to things like wikis, blogs and not even much email)

                      New physical exercises to stretch or strengthen different muscles and
                      various types of goggles were shared. It was all quite unknown and
                      there were many new things to experiment with. It was exciting, a bit
                      scary (especially the potential cold) and fun. It was like being 7
                      and 13 again Or preparing for the first camp away from home. The
                      limits of the possible seemed to move further away as our
                      concentrated training progressed.

                      9. 18 mile test = Milford Massacre 1985

                      Now some of us were ready for the 18 mil swim. It seemed like good
                      idea to some of those planning to get us some salt water experience.
                      Most had appeared reasonably comfortable with fresh water and warmer
                      temperature of the lake. So preparations were made for a swim in the
                      relatively calm Long Island Sound with some seasonably cold water.
                      This colder water seemed like good indication of channel "readiness".
                      The English channel was notoriously cold during the swim season where
                      it only gets to between 57 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit.

                      The 18 mile (qualifying type) swim was then scheduled for a few weeks
                      later at Milford Connecticut on Long Island Sound. The start was near
                      a yacht club. There were a number of small craft races scheduled for
                      the day. It was cold and wet at the start with no sun expected.

                      We had by this time started to read about swimmers using grease as an
                      outer later to keep in heat retention. A few days before the 18 mile
                      swim some had tried using "winter green oil. It had a warm feeling
                      right after it was applied. So the wintergreen became part of the
                      grease formula for the day.

                      None of us could complete more than 6 miles of the 18 mile swim. We
                      called it the "Milford Massacre". We had to consider why if at least
                      8 people had previously completed a 13 mile swim a why not even one
                      could complete half that distance a few weeks later. Sri Chinmoy
                      himself asked us this question. We all learned a number of very
                      useful lessons from the experience. (more to come) that helped us get
                      us ready for the next attempts. For example, we began to look closer
                      at what was necessary or reasonable to do to train or testing for
                      longer distance swim capacity. How was this different from strategy
                      to acclimatize to cold water a few weeks before the event. There was
                      further evaluation of the immediate and long term temperature effect
                      on the whole system (a few hours later) of adding something
                      like "wintergreen" to the outer layer of skin.

                      After the 13 mile encouraging result a few weeks before some
                      confidence had started to sweetly sneak into our thoughts. We were
                      beginning to get our minds around this possible task.. However, after
                      the Milford experience the task seemed to have grown bigger again. We
                      were humbled. However, each swimmer made adjustments to their own
                      approach or focus. The inner discipline, outer training and sharing
                      experiences and encouragement with close mates continued. Having the
                      shared community and encouragement of Sri Chinmoy and the members of
                      the Marathon Team at the time was a big benefit.


                      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
                      <no_reply@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Below are some early swim stories of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
                      > (SCMT)beginning in 1979. Parts A, B, C, D.
                      >
                      > This Post covers: Part B Para 4 to 6 (1983-1985)
                      >
                      > 4. 6 mile slow swims - celebrate 10,000 Flower flames 1983

                      > A few years later Shraddha who worked at UN organized a swim. It was
                      > agreed that we would all do 6.2 miles (10K) within an eight hour
                      > period to celebrate completion of Sri Chinmoy's 10,000 poems
                      > called "Flower Flames". There was a line stretched out across a
                      water
                      > filled old rock query that the swimmer followed out and back for a
                      > lap. Counters were on the beach ( some big rocks and trees). It
                      > wasn't competitive but we knew about how far each had completed when
                      > we took breaks. We were all quite slow but because of our other
                      > distance training we all were mildly confident because we knew how
                      to
                      > pace ourselves. I think I was the best time with over 5 hours to do
                      > six miles (which in the swimmers world is very, very slow). Most
                      very
                      > good swimmers can knock off a mile in less than twenty minutes. I
                      > passed the person ahead of me with a few laps to go. When he got out
                      > to get a drink I didn't get out to rest. So I was able to finish the
                      > distance first. We all felt great, when in a little more time many
                      of
                      > us had completed the distance. 6 miles was not a joke especially for
                      > us recreationally swimmers. We were feeling sore in different parts
                      > from the usual leg, knee and feet pains of running and biking, but
                      we
                      > were all quite happy .
                      >
                      > 5. Why not the Channel for a fast, trained swimmer 1984

                      > A few summers later one of the European students of Sri Chinmoy who
                      > had been a fast speed swimmer in school requested Sri Chinmoy's
                      > Guidance on training to possibly try to be swimming in the Olympics.
                      > Sri Chinmoy encouraged him to try the English Channel crossing. The
                      > swimmer did not really train so much for distance and found the cold
                      > too difficult without allowing for aclimitatization. He tried at end
                      > of season in October of 1984. He did a very quick few miles (The
                      > captain that piloted the boat who also escorted many swimmers, years
                      > later still remembered this swimmer because he was so fast but
                      > unprepared for the cold).
                      >
                      > 6. Who else will try the channel? 1985

                      > The following March and April Sri Chinmoy mentioned that he felt
                      some
                      > of his students could succeed if they trained properly. Some of the
                      > those who had done the 6 mile swim in the the earlier year stood up
                      > at a function to say they would try, I was not present but had a
                      > healthy respect for the channel and didn't want to volunteer, I was
                      > very afraid both of that sort of distance and the cold. It seemed
                      > like a monumental undertaking. (My father had been a very good
                      > swimmer and an excellent national water-polo competitor before the
                      > second WW.. When we were growing up, any time some one swam the
                      > channel and it was reported in the NY times he would read it out to
                      > all the family with tremendous admiration because of the difficulty
                      > and the cold water)
                      >
                      > At the same time when I heard about Sri Chinmoy's statement and
                      > confidence I was sweetly inspired that some of his students would
                      > even think of attempting this feat and just for the sake for self
                      > transcendence. My admiration led me to (secretly at first start) go
                      > to the pool. I wanted to see how much I could improve if I went
                      > regularly. I began to read some articles and speak to those who were
                      > seriously training.
                      >
                      > Adhiratha
                      >
                    • richard13_oxford
                      Thanks for sharing these stories Adhiratha. regards, richard
                      Message 10 of 11 , Nov 12, 2006
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                        Thanks for sharing these stories Adhiratha.


                        regards,

                        richard


                        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
                        <no_reply@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > This is Part C, Paragraph 7 - 9 of Some early swim stories of the Sri
                        > Chinmoy Marathon Team.
                        >
                        > 7. 13 Mile test swim – encouraging result -1985
                        >
                        > At some point Sri Chinmoy suggested that anyone who was going to
                        > attempt to swim the channel should first do a 13 mile and then an 18
                        > mile swim to have experience of this distance before going over to
                        > Dover England to try.
                        >
                        > So I signed up for the fist 13 mile test swim. I believe it was
                        > scheduled before end of May which was organized for Lake Ronkonkoma
                        > on Long Island. There were helpers in Canoes of each of the swimmers.
                        > My
                        > supportive childhood friend from grade school and college arranged
                        > for a camper recruitment van from a local college to be on the shore
                        > where we could change our clothes. Sri Chinmoy came to the start and
                        > meditated with us before the swim.
                        >
                        > About 8 or more people completed the swim (I think it took between 7
                        > and 11 hours). I gave all us a sense of how difficult it could be to
                        > swim the channel since it provided a taste or sampling of the many
                        > challenges (physical and mental) that can come forward during a
                        > longer swim. I think a few swimmers after the event decided that was
                        > the longest swim they wanted to attempt.. But many were most
                        > encouraged by the experience. We began to think that just possibily
                        > someone from the SCMT might be able to actually swim across the
                        > channel in 1985.
                        >
                        > 8. Team Sharing inspiration from many sources
                        >
                        > After the successful 13 mile swim an informal group of swimmers and
                        > helpers began to form. I is what some might call in the digital era
                        > a "community of practice". Questions like what is your mileage today
                        > or this week and "how many times a day" didn't just mean running or
                        > biking. Strong Shoulders and backs became more important.
                        >
                        > "Are you considering it?" would elicit some circumspect answers as
                        > each was weighing this new reality. Those "considering"
                        > or "supporting" began to read and share anything we could find. This
                        > included anything about long distance swimmers and previous channel
                        > attempts. Information on pilot boats, weather, what people ate etc
                        > were all topics of conversations and re-told ( and sometimes
                        > embellished) stories or jokes.. Dog eared books and photocopies of
                        > articles were passed hand to hand. (Remember this was way before
                        > great inspiration forums like this site on yahoo exited. There was no
                        > shared access to things like wikis, blogs and not even much email)
                        >
                        > New physical exercises to stretch or strengthen different muscles and
                        > various types of goggles were shared. It was all quite unknown and
                        > there were many new things to experiment with. It was exciting, a bit
                        > scary (especially the potential cold) and fun. It was like being 7
                        > and 13 again Or preparing for the first camp away from home. The
                        > limits of the possible seemed to move further away as our
                        > concentrated training progressed.
                        >
                        > 9. 18 mile test = Milford Massacre 1985
                        >
                        > Now some of us were ready for the 18 mil swim. It seemed like good
                        > idea to some of those planning to get us some salt water experience.
                        > Most had appeared reasonably comfortable with fresh water and warmer
                        > temperature of the lake. So preparations were made for a swim in the
                        > relatively calm Long Island Sound with some seasonably cold water.
                        > This colder water seemed like good indication of channel "readiness".
                        > The English channel was notoriously cold during the swim season where
                        > it only gets to between 57 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit.
                        >
                        > The 18 mile (qualifying type) swim was then scheduled for a few weeks
                        > later at Milford Connecticut on Long Island Sound. The start was near
                        > a yacht club. There were a number of small craft races scheduled for
                        > the day. It was cold and wet at the start with no sun expected.
                        >
                        > We had by this time started to read about swimmers using grease as an
                        > outer later to keep in heat retention. A few days before the 18 mile
                        > swim some had tried using "winter green oil. It had a warm feeling
                        > right after it was applied. So the wintergreen became part of the
                        > grease formula for the day.
                        >
                        > None of us could complete more than 6 miles of the 18 mile swim. We
                        > called it the "Milford Massacre". We had to consider why if at least
                        > 8 people had previously completed a 13 mile swim a why not even one
                        > could complete half that distance a few weeks later. Sri Chinmoy
                        > himself asked us this question. We all learned a number of very
                        > useful lessons from the experience. (more to come) that helped us get
                        > us ready for the next attempts. For example, we began to look closer
                        > at what was necessary or reasonable to do to train or testing for
                        > longer distance swim capacity. How was this different from strategy
                        > to acclimatize to cold water a few weeks before the event. There was
                        > further evaluation of the immediate and long term temperature effect
                        > on the whole system (a few hours later) of adding something
                        > like "wintergreen" to the outer layer of skin.
                        >
                        > After the 13 mile encouraging result a few weeks before some
                        > confidence had started to sweetly sneak into our thoughts. We were
                        > beginning to get our minds around this possible task.. However, after
                        > the Milford experience the task seemed to have grown bigger again. We
                        > were humbled. However, each swimmer made adjustments to their own
                        > approach or focus. The inner discipline, outer training and sharing
                        > experiences and encouragement with close mates continued. Having the
                        > shared community and encouragement of Sri Chinmoy and the members of
                        > the Marathon Team at the time was a big benefit.
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
                        > <no_reply@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Below are some early swim stories of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
                        > > (SCMT)beginning in 1979. Parts A, B, C, D.
                        > >
                        > > This Post covers: Part B Para 4 to 6 (1983-1985)
                        > >
                        > > 4. 6 mile slow swims - celebrate 10,000 Flower flames 1983
                        >
                        > > A few years later Shraddha who worked at UN organized a swim. It was
                        > > agreed that we would all do 6.2 miles (10K) within an eight hour
                        > > period to celebrate completion of Sri Chinmoy's 10,000 poems
                        > > called "Flower Flames". There was a line stretched out across a
                        > water
                        > > filled old rock query that the swimmer followed out and back for a
                        > > lap. Counters were on the beach ( some big rocks and trees). It
                        > > wasn't competitive but we knew about how far each had completed when
                        > > we took breaks. We were all quite slow but because of our other
                        > > distance training we all were mildly confident because we knew how
                        > to
                        > > pace ourselves. I think I was the best time with over 5 hours to do
                        > > six miles (which in the swimmers world is very, very slow). Most
                        > very
                        > > good swimmers can knock off a mile in less than twenty minutes. I
                        > > passed the person ahead of me with a few laps to go. When he got out
                        > > to get a drink I didn't get out to rest. So I was able to finish the
                        > > distance first. We all felt great, when in a little more time many
                        > of
                        > > us had completed the distance. 6 miles was not a joke especially for
                        > > us recreationally swimmers. We were feeling sore in different parts
                        > > from the usual leg, knee and feet pains of running and biking, but
                        > we
                        > > were all quite happy .
                        > >
                        > > 5. Why not the Channel for a fast, trained swimmer 1984
                        >
                        > > A few summers later one of the European students of Sri Chinmoy who
                        > > had been a fast speed swimmer in school requested Sri Chinmoy's
                        > > Guidance on training to possibly try to be swimming in the Olympics.
                        > > Sri Chinmoy encouraged him to try the English Channel crossing. The
                        > > swimmer did not really train so much for distance and found the cold
                        > > too difficult without allowing for aclimitatization. He tried at end
                        > > of season in October of 1984. He did a very quick few miles (The
                        > > captain that piloted the boat who also escorted many swimmers, years
                        > > later still remembered this swimmer because he was so fast but
                        > > unprepared for the cold).
                        > >
                        > > 6. Who else will try the channel? 1985
                        >
                        > > The following March and April Sri Chinmoy mentioned that he felt
                        > some
                        > > of his students could succeed if they trained properly. Some of the
                        > > those who had done the 6 mile swim in the the earlier year stood up
                        > > at a function to say they would try, I was not present but had a
                        > > healthy respect for the channel and didn't want to volunteer, I was
                        > > very afraid both of that sort of distance and the cold. It seemed
                        > > like a monumental undertaking. (My father had been a very good
                        > > swimmer and an excellent national water-polo competitor before the
                        > > second WW.. When we were growing up, any time some one swam the
                        > > channel and it was reported in the NY times he would read it out to
                        > > all the family with tremendous admiration because of the difficulty
                        > > and the cold water)
                        > >
                        > > At the same time when I heard about Sri Chinmoy's statement and
                        > > confidence I was sweetly inspired that some of his students would
                        > > even think of attempting this feat and just for the sake for self
                        > > transcendence. My admiration led me to (secretly at first start) go
                        > > to the pool. I wanted to see how much I could improve if I went
                        > > regularly. I began to read some articles and speak to those who were
                        > > seriously training.
                        > >
                        > > Adhiratha
                        > >
                        >
                      • purna_samarpan
                        Thank you Adhiratha for the inspiring stories, it is always wonderful to here stories from the time, when I was not yet in the centre. I like swiming a lot,
                        Message 11 of 11 , Nov 13, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Thank you Adhiratha for the inspiring stories, it is always wonderful
                          to here stories from the time, when I was not yet in the centre.
                          I like swiming a lot, although I did not do to many miles this year.

                          Greetings from the seaside of Germany.
                          Purna-Samarpan




                          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
                          <no_reply@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > This is Part C, Paragraph 7 - 9 of Some early swim stories of the
                          Sri
                          > Chinmoy Marathon Team.
                          >
                          > 7. 13 Mile test swim – encouraging result -1985
                          >
                          > At some point Sri Chinmoy suggested that anyone who was going to
                          > attempt to swim the channel should first do a 13 mile and then an
                          18
                          > mile swim to have experience of this distance before going over to
                          > Dover England to try.
                          >
                          > So I signed up for the fist 13 mile test swim. I believe it was
                          > scheduled before end of May which was organized for Lake Ronkonkoma
                          > on Long Island. There were helpers in Canoes of each of the
                          swimmers.
                          > My
                          > supportive childhood friend from grade school and college arranged
                          > for a camper recruitment van from a local college to be on the
                          shore
                          > where we could change our clothes. Sri Chinmoy came to the start
                          and
                          > meditated with us before the swim.
                          >
                          > About 8 or more people completed the swim (I think it took between
                          7
                          > and 11 hours). I gave all us a sense of how difficult it could be
                          to
                          > swim the channel since it provided a taste or sampling of the many
                          > challenges (physical and mental) that can come forward during a
                          > longer swim. I think a few swimmers after the event decided that
                          was
                          > the longest swim they wanted to attempt.. But many were most
                          > encouraged by the experience. We began to think that just possibily
                          > someone from the SCMT might be able to actually swim across the
                          > channel in 1985.
                          >
                          > 8. Team Sharing inspiration from many sources
                          >
                          > After the successful 13 mile swim an informal group of swimmers
                          and
                          > helpers began to form. I is what some might call in the digital era
                          > a "community of practice". Questions like what is your mileage
                          today
                          > or this week and "how many times a day" didn't just mean running or
                          > biking. Strong Shoulders and backs became more important.
                          >
                          > "Are you considering it?" would elicit some circumspect answers as
                          > each was weighing this new reality. Those "considering"
                          > or "supporting" began to read and share anything we could find.
                          This
                          > included anything about long distance swimmers and previous channel
                          > attempts. Information on pilot boats, weather, what people ate etc
                          > were all topics of conversations and re-told ( and sometimes
                          > embellished) stories or jokes.. Dog eared books and photocopies of
                          > articles were passed hand to hand. (Remember this was way before
                          > great inspiration forums like this site on yahoo exited. There was
                          no
                          > shared access to things like wikis, blogs and not even much email)
                          >
                          > New physical exercises to stretch or strengthen different muscles
                          and
                          > various types of goggles were shared. It was all quite unknown and
                          > there were many new things to experiment with. It was exciting, a
                          bit
                          > scary (especially the potential cold) and fun. It was like being 7
                          > and 13 again Or preparing for the first camp away from home. The
                          > limits of the possible seemed to move further away as our
                          > concentrated training progressed.
                          >
                          > 9. 18 mile test = Milford Massacre 1985
                          >
                          > Now some of us were ready for the 18 mil swim. It seemed like good
                          > idea to some of those planning to get us some salt water
                          experience.
                          > Most had appeared reasonably comfortable with fresh water and
                          warmer
                          > temperature of the lake. So preparations were made for a swim in
                          the
                          > relatively calm Long Island Sound with some seasonably cold water.
                          > This colder water seemed like good indication of
                          channel "readiness".
                          > The English channel was notoriously cold during the swim season
                          where
                          > it only gets to between 57 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit.
                          >
                          > The 18 mile (qualifying type) swim was then scheduled for a few
                          weeks
                          > later at Milford Connecticut on Long Island Sound. The start was
                          near
                          > a yacht club. There were a number of small craft races scheduled
                          for
                          > the day. It was cold and wet at the start with no sun expected.
                          >
                          > We had by this time started to read about swimmers using grease as
                          an
                          > outer later to keep in heat retention. A few days before the 18
                          mile
                          > swim some had tried using "winter green oil. It had a warm feeling
                          > right after it was applied. So the wintergreen became part of the
                          > grease formula for the day.
                          >
                          > None of us could complete more than 6 miles of the 18 mile swim. We
                          > called it the "Milford Massacre". We had to consider why if at
                          least
                          > 8 people had previously completed a 13 mile swim a why not even one
                          > could complete half that distance a few weeks later. Sri Chinmoy
                          > himself asked us this question. We all learned a number of very
                          > useful lessons from the experience. (more to come) that helped us
                          get
                          > us ready for the next attempts. For example, we began to look
                          closer
                          > at what was necessary or reasonable to do to train or testing for
                          > longer distance swim capacity. How was this different from strategy
                          > to acclimatize to cold water a few weeks before the event. There
                          was
                          > further evaluation of the immediate and long term temperature
                          effect
                          > on the whole system (a few hours later) of adding something
                          > like "wintergreen" to the outer layer of skin.
                          >
                          > After the 13 mile encouraging result a few weeks before some
                          > confidence had started to sweetly sneak into our thoughts. We were
                          > beginning to get our minds around this possible task.. However,
                          after
                          > the Milford experience the task seemed to have grown bigger again.
                          We
                          > were humbled. However, each swimmer made adjustments to their own
                          > approach or focus. The inner discipline, outer training and sharing
                          > experiences and encouragement with close mates continued. Having
                          the
                          > shared community and encouragement of Sri Chinmoy and the members
                          of
                          > the Marathon Team at the time was a big benefit.
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adhiratha
                          > <no_reply@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Below are some early swim stories of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
                          > > (SCMT)beginning in 1979. Parts A, B, C, D.
                          > >
                          > > This Post covers: Part B Para 4 to 6 (1983-1985)
                          > >
                          > > 4. 6 mile slow swims - celebrate 10,000 Flower flames 1983
                          >
                          > > A few years later Shraddha who worked at UN organized a swim. It
                          was
                          > > agreed that we would all do 6.2 miles (10K) within an eight hour
                          > > period to celebrate completion of Sri Chinmoy's 10,000 poems
                          > > called "Flower Flames". There was a line stretched out across a
                          > water
                          > > filled old rock query that the swimmer followed out and back for a
                          > > lap. Counters were on the beach ( some big rocks and trees). It
                          > > wasn't competitive but we knew about how far each had completed
                          when
                          > > we took breaks. We were all quite slow but because of our other
                          > > distance training we all were mildly confident because we knew
                          how
                          > to
                          > > pace ourselves. I think I was the best time with over 5 hours to
                          do
                          > > six miles (which in the swimmers world is very, very slow). Most
                          > very
                          > > good swimmers can knock off a mile in less than twenty minutes. I
                          > > passed the person ahead of me with a few laps to go. When he got
                          out
                          > > to get a drink I didn't get out to rest. So I was able to finish
                          the
                          > > distance first. We all felt great, when in a little more time
                          many
                          > of
                          > > us had completed the distance. 6 miles was not a joke especially
                          for
                          > > us recreationally swimmers. We were feeling sore in different
                          parts
                          > > from the usual leg, knee and feet pains of running and biking,
                          but
                          > we
                          > > were all quite happy .
                          > >
                          > > 5. Why not the Channel for a fast, trained swimmer 1984
                          >
                          > > A few summers later one of the European students of Sri Chinmoy
                          who
                          > > had been a fast speed swimmer in school requested Sri Chinmoy's
                          > > Guidance on training to possibly try to be swimming in the
                          Olympics.
                          > > Sri Chinmoy encouraged him to try the English Channel crossing.
                          The
                          > > swimmer did not really train so much for distance and found the
                          cold
                          > > too difficult without allowing for aclimitatization. He tried at
                          end
                          > > of season in October of 1984. He did a very quick few miles (The
                          > > captain that piloted the boat who also escorted many swimmers,
                          years
                          > > later still remembered this swimmer because he was so fast but
                          > > unprepared for the cold).
                          > >
                          > > 6. Who else will try the channel? 1985
                          >
                          > > The following March and April Sri Chinmoy mentioned that he felt
                          > some
                          > > of his students could succeed if they trained properly. Some of
                          the
                          > > those who had done the 6 mile swim in the the earlier year stood
                          up
                          > > at a function to say they would try, I was not present but had a
                          > > healthy respect for the channel and didn't want to volunteer, I
                          was
                          > > very afraid both of that sort of distance and the cold. It seemed
                          > > like a monumental undertaking. (My father had been a very good
                          > > swimmer and an excellent national water-polo competitor before the
                          > > second WW.. When we were growing up, any time some one swam the
                          > > channel and it was reported in the NY times he would read it out
                          to
                          > > all the family with tremendous admiration because of the
                          difficulty
                          > > and the cold water)
                          > >
                          > > At the same time when I heard about Sri Chinmoy's statement and
                          > > confidence I was sweetly inspired that some of his students would
                          > > even think of attempting this feat and just for the sake for self
                          > > transcendence. My admiration led me to (secretly at first start)
                          go
                          > > to the pool. I wanted to see how much I could improve if I went
                          > > regularly. I began to read some articles and speak to those who
                          were
                          > > seriously training.
                          > >
                          > > Adhiratha
                          > >
                          >
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