Advice from the Racewalking Expert

Sri Chinmoy recounts his experience at a racewalk in Central Park


Howard* is the great authority in New York on racewalking. He has written a book about it. When I had walked 800 metres, Howard came over to me and said, “You are in pain, I can see. Do you want to walk?”

I said, “Still I will try to walk a little.”

After I walked two and a half miles, he came up to me again and grabbed me in a very kind, affectionate way. He said, “Can you do me a big favour? I want to speak to you.”

Then he took me off of the course and told me, “When you are in pain, never walk. It is hurting me to watch you.”

I said, “I was in pain. That’s why I gave up running.”

He said, “Now you should give up walking.”

I said, “I have read your book. I have learned so much from it.”

He said, “Thank you. Do you have a chiropractor?”

I answered, “I have four or five, but they cannot cure me.”

“I had the same experience,” he said. “But at last I went to a chiropractor who is so good that she cured me. If you go to her, she will cure you. Where is your pain?”

I explained where my pain was and he said, “I had exactly the same thing. Do you know the source? This doctor found the source: right under the shoulder, near the right side of the spine.”

Then he sat on the ground and straightened my leg, and then pulled it. I was in such pain! He said, “I had the same pain. You should go to my chiropractor.”

After that he said, “I won’t allow you to walk anymore. First you have to be cured.”

I asked him about breathing. In his book he had mentioned inhaling for two counts and exhaling for two counts. He demonstrated this, going two or three metres from this side to that side. He was breathing in and out: “Hoo! Hoo!”

He asked me, “Can you hear me?”

Then he ran away to give advice to some of the other walkers.

Later I sent Bipin to talk to him and get his chiropractor’s name. Her name is Dr. Kirk. I have asked Laurajean to learn from her, and then teach her husband, Avery. Then Avery will treat me.

Published in Run and Become, Become and Run, part 17


* Sri Chinmoy is very likely referring to the New York-based walking coach and author Howard Jacobson. His best-selling book ‘Racewalk to Fitness: The sensible alternative to jogging and running' was published in 1980.


Photo by Adarini Inkei


Sri Chinmoy (3rd from left, back row) lifts eight of the world’s strongest men, including IFSA world cham­pion Zydrunas Savickas (centre, front row), as part of a three-day strongman competition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Seventy-five-year-old Sri Chinmoy, himself weighing just 173 pounds, lifts the strongmen who weigh between 293 and 385 pounds, with one arm and also in groups of three or four using a standing calf raise machine.

Five-time Mr. Universe and ‘Best Built Man of the 20th Century’ Mahasamrat Bill Pearl (2nd from right, back row), introduces the lifts, which Sri Chinmoy calls “one of the highlights of my weightlifting career.”