In the middle of the New York summer
As I was sitting here in the midst of an arctic New Zealand winter and complaining of the cold, I experienced a reality check when I envisioned what the 3100 mile runners must be going through in the heat of a New York summer. I guess being a little cold is not so bad after all.
Three years ago I ran in the Sri Chinmoy six day race. In comparison, six days sounds like a short stroll in the park, but it was a life transforming experience for me.
I remember one point very clearly, when I was past the half way point, and it dawned on me that I was feeling a happiness that I could never remember feeling before. I felt such lightness in my entire being, like anything negative in my consciousness had been totally taken away. An overwhelming sense of gratitude came over me as I so clearly felt that a higher being was doing all of the work. I was just an instrument. All I had to do was to put one foot in front of the other and stay happy, and everything was taken care of.
I would greatly encourage anyone who is inspired to do an ultra distance race to give it a go. It is truly a unique experience. Being a helper at a race is also an extremely rewarding experience. The whole atmosphere is charged with a radiant energy, and you feel that you are entering into a different world, far beyond the dry confines of the reasoning mind.
Sri Chinmoy has written prolifically on the metaphor of the inner and outer running. I saw the common links on so many occasions during the race I ran in, and in fact whenever I run I am reminded of the inner reality. I look forward to my next ultra race…
May my heart become
An inner long-distance
On God’s Perfection-flooded Road
To become the Heart of tomorrow’s God.
In all our inner races,
Love-power sets the remarkable pace
And gratitude-power helps us to win
The unforgettable race.
-two poems by Sri Chinmoy.