Rest

Sri Chinmoy: Your body does not sometimes tell you that you are doing more than you need to do or that you are not doing as much as you are supposed to do? What kind of message do you get from your body?

Robert Zmelick: I feel that all year I worked very hard in San Diego with no rest, just working and working. Now I feel my body is telling me, "Robert, you must now be smart because it is getting very close to the Olympics and you need a special programme."

Sri Chinmoy: But does that special programme include a little more rest?

Robert Zmelick: I have a special tape of Carl Lewis on training, and I like his programme — one day hard training, the next medium, the third easy and the fourth rest. For me, it is very hard because I feel that a rest day is much harder than a hard workout.

Sri Chinmoy: Do not allow your mind to be your boss. You be the boss of your mind. Suppose one day you have taken rest. Then the mind will tell you that you have not practised for many days. All kinds of worries and anxieties will come to you and make you feel that you have taken many days' rest. The mind may tell you that you have lost a little capacity or that you are not eager any more, you are not sincere any more, you are not serious any more. This roguish mind can tell you the following day that had you been very sincere, had you been very serious, then you would have practised yesterday as well. By saying that you are not serious and you are insincere, the mind is weakening you.

At that time you have to become the boss of your mind. You have to tell the mind, "My body is like a machine. In a factory, after a few hours, a big machine needs refueling. Everything needs rest, and rest brings energy. Yesterday I took rest; I needed it desperately. I cannot do anything for twenty-four hours a day. Even though I like to eat, can I eat for twenty-four hours? Impossible. When we eat, we are satisfied. Similarly, after taking exercise for a few days, if the muscles get rest, they get nourishment. So when the mind is telling you that you are no longer serious, no longer sincere, no longer disciplined, challenge your mind by saying, "O mind, I am wiser than you are. Why should I have to be in the battlefield every day, every hour? I have to come back home to rest."

The day you did not practise, you did not go to the battlefield. Why? Not because you are a coward, not because you are weak, but because you wanted to regain more strength. Then the following day you will go to the battlefield and defeat everybody. You were wise to take rest so that you could get more strength and defeat your rivals. But your mind can play a trick on you by convincing you that because for one day you took rest, your whole world has collapsed — you are no longer disciplined, you are no longer serious in your sports. This is what happens with some athletes. Always the mind is playing tricks. Again, if you have practised hard one day, and the following day you are quite satisfied, the mind can tell you, "This is not enough. You should have done more." You have done more than enough; you are satisfied. But the clever mind is taking your joy away from you by telling you that you have not practised enough.

Perhaps you will go home and lie down, saying, "Oh, I have done so well in javelin." Then your mind takes away all your joy by saying, "It was not enough. If I had thrown once more, I would have thrown two metres more." The mind all the time makes a fool out of us, always takes our joy away. At that time your heart has to be the judge. Your heart will say, "No, I did as much as I wanted to do. I wanted to do fifteen throws, and I did fifteen throws. It is enough for me."

The final judge has to be the heart. Whatever you do, the heart will say you did the right thing. If you stop after fifteen throws, the heart will say you did absolutely the right thing. The mind will say, "No, I should have done two or three more. Then I would have done better." But if you had done more, perhaps you would have injured yourself instead of doing better. So do not listen to the mind at all. Whatever you do, do happily and cheerfully. The day you are taking rest, feel that that is absolutely the right thing for you. The day you practise, feel that you are doing absolutely the right thing. Whatever you do, feel that you are doing absolutely the right thing. While you are doing something, if you think that you are not doing the right thing, the mind will take away all your joy, enthusiasm, eagerness and readiness.

When you are throwing the shot, please feel that you are doing the right thing. Do not say, "I should be doing something else. Yesterday my 400 metres was so bad! I should practise it a little more." When you are doing shot-put, your heart is telling you, "This is the time for me to do the shot-put." At that time, do not think that yesterday you did not do well in the 400 metres. Your heart has to be the judge, from the very beginning.

You said that you are your own coach. That is excellent. But the real coach has to be your heart. This means that you have to do everything cheerfully. Each time you do something happily — whether you are throwing, jumping, doing hurdles or anything else — you have to feel that you are doing the right thing. When you are not happy in what you are doing, it is the mind that is making you miserable.

How many hours rest do you get at night?

Robert Zmelick: Now I am sleeping nine hours a night. It is very good for me, and after lunch I sleep one and a half or two hours.