Student: A lot of runners do weightlifting to enhance their running, specially elite runners.

Sri Chinmoy: True, but do they lift up 100-pound dumbbells?

Student: They probably just train with lower weights to develop a certain degree of strength.

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, this is something that athletes have done for the last fifteen years or so. It is a modern discovery. Before that, the theory was that if you had big muscles, your speed would go away. In my youth, I would not do weightlifting because I was afraid that my speed would decrease.

When I first saw one of our boys do the high jump, I was so shocked. In India I had never seen the style that he used. I first started with the scissor style, which is older than the oldest. Then I did eastern cut and western roll. But I had never before seen the flop. I could not believe that someone could go over the bar backwards.

Student: You cannot do the flop with a sand pit or sawdust pit. You need a big foam mat. So there has been progress in the equipment also.

Sri Chinmoy: In those days the pole vault sandpit, the high jump sandpit and the long jump sandpit were all of the same level, only they were at different places on the sportsground. We did not have this kind of foam mattress. When I did the pole vault, I had to drop from Heaven onto the hard sand. Now, the way high jumpers land on their backs, if they used our old-fashioned sandpits, they would have to be carried to a hospital!

To come back to the point, as soon as we think of running, we imagine someone running towards the goal. When we think of a goal, speed spontaneously comes into our mind. Whenever we say the word 'goal', our human mind immediately thinks of a journey, whether by boat or plane or car or even by walking. But weightlifting does not give us the feeling of a journey. True, our goal may be to increase the weight that we are lifting from 50 pounds to 100 pounds, but we are not going anywhere physically. With our mind we have created a certain goal, but the goal is inside. There is no forward movement.

When you are running, you are going forward towards your goal. You are starting at one point and your destination is somewhere else. But weightlifting does not give that image immediately. You are only increasing the weight. Your mind has created a goal, but you are at the same spot.

Life itself is a journey and that journey has a goal. We are running along Eternity's Road towards tomorrow's golden Sunrise.