Lifting in Germany and Switzerland

Comments by Sri Chinmoy


My record lifting in Germany and Switzerland

I was in Switzerland and Germany for three days — October 3rd to the 5th. On the second day, in Zurich, I lifted 57 people in one day. For me, it was a new record. From 34 people it went up to 57. Then the following day, we went to Munich and there I lifted again. This time it was 43 people. So altogether I lifted 100 people on this trip.

Among them were quite a few very important people. One of them was a great bodybuilder from Los Angeles. His name was Tony Pearson. He was Mr. Universe in 1980, and claimed he got his inspiration from Arnold Schwarzenegger. He told me that he has read much about me and also heard much about me. He was full of appreciation and very kind-hearted. We took seven or eight pictures together.

I also lifted a bodybuilder from Haiti — Paul-Jean Guillaume. He was Mr. Universe in 1986 in a lighter weight category. He was extremely nice. He told me that right from his childhood, he was dead against drugs. Right after he told me this, Tony came and said, “I am not as clean as he is. He is very strict, disciplined. I am not as clean, as pure, as this fellow.” Indirectly he was confessing.

Then a few runners came who are eminent in Switzerland. In Munich one tennis player came. His name is Max Wunschig. He was the German tennis champion for 22 years. He defeated Becker also. Now he no longer plays internationally. He is extremely, extremely nice.

Mental power

When Tony Pearson saw a photo of my 7,000-pound lift, he immediately believed it. In front of so many people, he said, “I believe it. It is all mental power.”

Many bodybuilders say that they have heard so much about me, but they call me an old man. In Korea, Arnold Schwarzenegger also called me an old man.

Biceps comparison

When I lifted the German tennis champion, Max Wunschig, he was very happy. Afterwards, he was examining my biceps. Then I started examining his biceps. His biceps were larger than mine.

Then he was saying, “No, no, it is not your biceps that are doing this but your mental power, mental power.”

A marathon champion

We also had Germany’s number one marathon runner, Christophe Herle. His timing is 2:09. Before I lifted him, I was talking to him. He is very, very nice. I said that my best timing is 3:55. He did not laugh. He was smiling.

Then he asked me how many times I had run a marathon. I told him that I have run 22 marathons.

He has run only four marathons.

Praying for lightness

In Germany I lifted a bodybuilder called Peter Hensel. He was previously a weightlifter in East Germany. Now he lives in West Germany. In 1985 he was Mr. Universe. His bodyweight was 250 pounds. When we added 13 pounds for the apparatus, it came to 263 pounds—much more than I had lifted before.

Then a very beautiful incident took place. Disciples were sitting on the ground around the apparatus praying. He was extremely moved to see so many people praying and meditating in a soulful consciousness. So he also started praying to God, he said, to make him lighter. He has done weightlifting all his life, so he knows what a heavy weight 263 pounds is. He was deeply moved that I wanted to lift him. So when he saw so many disciples praying and meditating for me to lift him, he was praying to God to make him lighter. He has such a good heart.

A most difficult lift

Many, many pictures were taken of me lifting Peter Hensel. With my left hand, first I lifted him a little and quickly brought him down. Then immediately I lifted him properly with my left hand. He is the heaviest person I have ever lifted. This became my new record.

Since my left hand was successful, I wanted to try with my right hand. Then my right hand gave me trouble. At first, I lifted it just a little, but I was not satisfied, so I brought it down. The second time I lifted, the result was the same. I lifted a little, but my arm was not fully extended, so again I brought it down. Then I got disgusted. For everything we get three chances. So I said to myself, “I have one more chance. This time I have to lift.”

I told Peter, “I am taking two minutes’ time.” He knows what I mean. I am sure he also used to take time between lifts when he was weightlifting. Sometimes two minutes’ rest is absolutely necessary. So I took rest and then I took off my tracksuit jacket and in my T-shirt I approached the apparatus for the third time. This time it immediately went up. Then it was all over. I was so happy.

Was it not stupidity on my part? When I had done so well with my left hand, it was not enough. Why did I want to show off? Such a heavy weight! One hand was not enough?

The weightlifter's dream

Peter Hensel told us a story that one time he was supposed to be in a weightlifting competition the following day. That night, in a dream, he saw a kind of light and he felt that the weight was very light. Then the following day he had the competition and with no difficulty he lifted up the heavy weight. So that was his inner experience.

Anyway, these are some of the happy and fulfilling experiences from our trip to Switzerland and Germany.

The German magazine

Just three days ago in a German magazine there was an article about the ultra-runner Yiannis Kouros. There it showed me lifting Yiannis after his victory at our 1,000-mile race. Then in the same magazine, on the cover, was a picture of Peter Hensel taking exercise. At that time I had not yet lifted him. When I lifted Yiannis, the weight was 165 and when I lifted Peter, the weight was 263—practically 100 pounds difference!

Published in My Weightlifting Tears and Smiles, part 3



Sri Chinmoy competes in the Sri Chinmoy Cup held at Slavia Praha Sports Stadium in Prague, Czech Republic. His results in the field events are — 8.38m for the 4kg shot put; 21.04m for the 1kg discus; and 23.58m for the 600 gm javelin. He records a time of 16.60 sec. for the 100-metre race, which he runs with current Olympic decathlon champion Robert Zmelik.