Early Stories of Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team

by: 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)

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.


originally posted on Sri Chinmoy Inspiration Group


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