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Re: Early Swim Stories SCMT Part A, 1979 - 1981

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 of 11 , Nov 13, 2006
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              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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