Sri Chinmoy: Before you start your run-up for the triple jump, you have to feel that you are going to win the event. Then right before you take off, just imagine that when you are about to land, your husband and your child are running towards you to embrace you. In this way, you will go forward instead of backward when you land.
This you have to imagine once or twice before you jump, not while you are jumping. At present, you are falling backward. I am seeing that you are losing so much distance when you land. Not the feet, but some other part of the body is touching the sand — either your buttock or your shoulder or your hand. But if you fall forward, you will not lose distance.
If you can imagine your husband and your daughter running towards you to embrace you, you will be so happy that you will fall forward. In this way, you will be able to save so much distance, since the officials take the last break in the sand when they measure. That is the international rule, to take the last mark.
You are so great; in sports I am no match for you. But when I was young, I used to practise long jump as well as triple jump, which we call hop, skip and jump in India. True, your long jump is eight metres and mine was six metres, but the thing is I did not lose distance when I landed on the sand. As soon as my feet landed, I controlled the movement. I used to go forward on my knee deliberately. My best was 6m 10cm or 6m 15cm in practice, but actually 5m 83cm I used to do in competition. No matter how far I jumped, I used to go forward and be on my knee in the pit.
So whichever way is easier for you: either to think of your husband and child or to go forward on one knee. Otherwise, how much distance you are losing!
Now I wish to ask you, are you taking allround exercise or are you doing specific exercises for a few parts of the body? Do you take exercises with weights or do you do free exercise?
Sarvottama: I do free exercise and I use weights also.
Sri Chinmoy: What is the heaviest weight you use?
Sarvottama: 250 pounds.
(Then, while watching another video of a recent track meet, she explains that she became injured during the competition and did not want to continue jumping. She finally took one more jump because the crowd stood up and started clapping and she did not want to refuse them.)
Sri Chinmoy: Do you take specific, separate exercises for toes and calves and quadriceps?
Sarvottama: I used to do them, but for about a year I have not done them. The exercises for the foot have to be done at the end of the workout. By the time I get to them, I am too lazy and I finish without them. For the same reason, my stretching is not as good as before.
Sri Chinmoy: I am a third class athlete, but I would like to show you the stretches and also the leg exercises that I take. These are exercises that isolate the toes, ankles, heels, calves and quadriceps. The most important is the calf. Tomorrow I will take a video of all the exercises that I do and perhaps one of them will help you. If you add something to your workout, no harm. Then if you find that it is ruining your performance, you can give up that exercise. You will do everything that you have already been doing, but I would like you, if possible, to add two or three exercises. You will immediately be able to know whether they are helping you or not. Perhaps you already do some of the exercises, but I use machines. That is why I am telling you to try.
In your case, the most important thing is to fall properly. Now you are winning the competitions. But because of your landing, you are losing so much distance. Even when you are performing your best, you are losing considerable distance. For the landing, you do not need my exercises. Only think that your husband and child are running towards you.
You can also do something else. Before you jump, you can feel that you have no bodyweight. Mentally you have to think that you are like a feather, or think of yourself as an angel—whichever is easier for you. Angels, we know, are so light.
Sarvottama: We are taught to imagine that we are flying; so I do this.
Sri Chinmoy: That is absolutely the right thing — to feel that you have no weight.
Sarvottama: My coach says that I fall backward because I put my legs way up when I jump.
Sri Chinmoy: If you do not move your legs up, you will not be able to get longer distance! It is because you are bringing your knees up that you are able to jump so far.
Sarvottama: Because my legs are going way up, I cannot resist the pull backward. My coach says that I have to find a balance so that my legs are up in front and my spine is parallel to the ground.
Sri Chinmoy: That is why I am saying to imagine your dearest ones coming towards you. Your joy will not allow you to go backward when you see them coming. You will also try to face them, to be there to embrace them. These things are in the imagination-world. Before you start, you have to collect everything in your mind: I will do this, I will do this.
There is something else you can try. If it is difficult for you to imagine that Mahavikram and Hiyakanta are coming, there is another way you can solve this problem. You have to imagine that after your jump, everything is not over. Pretend there is a new rule that in front of you there is a bar and you have to touch it. Then only the triple jump is over. In that way you will not fall backwards because you will try to complete the event. Let us say you have made the rule for yourself. For others it is all right to finish after the jump, but for you it is not complete. Your triple jump will only be over if you can touch the bar as quickly as possible. Of course, this is all in the mind. But I feel that it will help you to go forward. Then easily you will become world champion.
Sarvottama: Mentally I am ready to break the world record, but because of my injury, technically I will not be able to do it. When I was younger, it was the opposite: physically my body could have done it, but mentally I was not ready. Now I have to put everything together and do it.
Sri Chinmoy: Before you compete, you should feel that your entire body is here, in your hands. Your entire body is under your control. People will think that you are praying or meditating, but you have to feel that your whole body has become like a tiny ball in your hands.
Now you are saying that your mind is ready, but the body is not cooperating. Before, your mind was not cooperating with the body. But now your mind is ready. Mentally you know that you can do it, but the physical is not responding.
Sarvottama: I know what my mistakes are. I got some new spikes from a new sponsor and they do not fit me properly. I have to practise a lot in my new spikes. Also, I feel I was not training enough and I did not pay enough attention to proper stretching and exercising.
Sri Chinmoy: It is with your mental preparation that you will be able to do better and not lose the distance. If you do more mental preparation, then you will win. Physically, wherever you are right now, you are bound to make your performance better. Even in your present condition, with your injury, if your mental preparation is very strong, you are going to break the record. So physically your injury has to get better, but mentally you have to be prepared.
Mahavikram is a coach and I am playing his role. I was also once upon a time a coach, and I was a champion in sprinting and decathlon events. Tomorrow I will make a video and show you exercises for the feet and ankles. You should do these exercises five days a week. It is because the tendons in my toes and ankles are so strong that I can do 1,400 pounds in the seated calf raise. And when I do the standing calf raise, I can lift over 2,000 pounds. Then also you can do other exercises, like bench press, for your shoulder muscles.