Back in athletics

Sri Chinmoy: After so many years you have come back to athletics. There was a big gap.

Mr. Jordan: Yes, I was somewhat like Jesse Owens. At the peak of my career I went into my profession, to work for others in a sport that I loved. I felt it would be selfish of me to continue doing what I did just because I wanted to do it. I wanted to impart what I felt was good about my sport to other people. I spent thirty or forty years doing that, which was very satisfying. Then one day I was asked, "Why don't you come and run too?" At first I said, "Well, I think it might interfere," but later I became convinced that it wouldn't. So after thirty years I started again. I found that the joys of participation, the challenges of competition and the different kinds of activity were exciting, rewarding and fulfilling. So I started again and found that I had not lost the courage, the desire or the ability to put things together as I once did in my youth. I've said sometimes jokingly, "Youth isn't the only vital thing in the world. Older people should be dynamic too, because when we lose that, we lose a lot of the things that are very, very much a part of being alive in this big world of ours." So my participation has been part of a growth, a realisation that perhaps I can give something again as an athlete, at age sixty-five, that maybe someone at age twenty-one can't give, because I've had the experience and perhaps I have a little more wisdom. There are many things I don't know yet, but I'm not too old to team. And I do feel it has been a worthwhile venture for me. I've enjoyed it. I've been thrilled and rewarded and fulfilled.

Sri Chinmoy: In your case, age has surrendered to you. As wisdom has been increasing, even so age has been surrendering to you. After thirty years to come back to the track is a rare achievement. Nobody has done it. Nobody, after thirty years, has broken the kinds of records that you have broken. Will you be participating next year in the Masters Olympics that will be held in Puerto Rico?

Mr. Jordan: I probably will compete in most of the coming meets this year, but I don't know exactly which ones I will be at. Some personal things involving family and some things involving business will probably preclude my being in every one I would like to be in. But I hope to be in almost all of them. I'll be in the Western Regional Championships this next weekend. I'm supposed to go to Eugene, Oregon, for an invitational meet two weeks from now. Then probably the national championships in Los Angeles in July. The international Masters Games will be next.

Sri Chinmoy: I'll be so happy to see you there. They have invited me to open the starting ceremonies. I will meditate for five minutes there before it starts.

Mr. Jordan: Wonderful! That will be a great inspiration, a great help. I'm thrilled to hear that.

Sri Chinmoy: Two years ago when they held the Pan American Masters Games, they invited me to begin it with a meditation. Now this time it is an international competition.

Mr. Jordan: I think this will be a very impressive moment for everybody and it will be a wonderful thing to be a part of.

Sri Chinmoy: I have quite a few students in Puerto Rico, and I would be very happy and honoured if there is any service that my students and I can offer. I'm sure some of my American students will also be there to watch the Olympics, so I would be extremely happy and honoured if I could be of any service to you.

Mr. Jordan: Thank you. I appreciate that. You are here for the marathon this week. Are you going to run? No? You are just going to inspire them. You've run a lot of marathons lately, so I thought maybe you'd plan to run again, but you are going to inspire them this time.