Student: For people who do not like running or have some kind of injury, is it better to work out with weights than not to do anything?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly! It is very important to do something. Perhaps you are unable to walk or run. But what is wrong with your lungs or your arms? There are bound to be some other parts of your body that are still functioning well. So you can develop those parts. You may be limited by your injury, but in that limited world you can do something.

Look at the wheelchair athletes who do the New York City Marathon. I get such joy when I see them. I have such pride in them. In spite of their limitations, they are going on for twenty-six miles. Each metre is such hardship for them. Although their capacity is very limited, they are giving joy to themselves and to the spectators. They are challenging impossibility.

When you run, it is just you and your own body, but when you are doing lifting, it is not just a question of you and your body. You are trying to increase your body strength, plus you are fighting against inconscient metal plates. You are not inconscient, but the plates are inconscient. There is no light there. You have to inject light into them by praying to God to help you lift up this heavy weight.

So there is a great difference between running and weightlifting. In running, whatever your standard is, good or bad, you know. But in weightlifting, you have to challenge something — these iron plates. You have to keep them under control.

Number-wise, there is a tremendous difference between those who practise running and those who practise weightlifting. If you go to a marathon, there may be 20,000 people. But if you go to any weightlifting or bodybuilding competition, there will not be 20,000 participants. So you can see people's love for running.