Challenging Impossibility chronicles the weightlifting odyssey of an unlikely strength athlete, the Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy. From his arrival in the West in 1964, he quickly developed a large following of people from all faiths and all walks of life who were eager to learn meditation and unlock their own deepest potential. A multifaceted savant, Sri Chinmoy lectured at all the major universities, wrote hundreds of books, exhibited his paintings in galleries worldwide, offered meditations regularly for United Nations staff and delegates, performed free concerts of his own music for inner peace at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the Sydney Opera House, and sponsored a variety of marathons and ultramarathons.
Sri Chinmoy received numerous awards for his landmark and often ground-breaking programs for peace and goodwill.
In 1985, at the age of 53, he took up weightlifting. His friends and followers assumed it to be a supplement to his own love for running and tennis and a way for him to improve in those sports. Within 18 months, however, he had shocked and amazed hundreds of top caliber athletes and experts with the incredible speed with which he progressed in the weightlifting world. Always a believer in the power of inner peace, he translated this inner energy into a true source of outer power, attempting and succeeding in lifting poundage that seemed beyond comprehension.
For Sri Chinmoy, weightlifting was yet another channel to exhibit the true potential man possess. Perhaps more striking than all his other achievements in art, music and philosophy, his weightlifting exploits provided undeniable visual proof of the true power we all hold within. Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting captivated millions and was featured on thousands of news broadcasts worldwide.
Challenging Impossibility tells Sri Chinmoy’s story through the recounting of one particular night, a public exhibition of strength during which Sri Chinmoy lifted a total of over 200,000 pounds in various fashions. Witnessed by legendary bodybuilders like Bill Pearl, Frank Zane and Mike Katz, this exhibition demonstrated that neither age (Sri Chinmoy was 73) nor stature (Sri Chinmoy stood 5’8″ and weighed 165 pounds) could limit one’s strength and power.
Challenging Impossibility features these bodybuilding legends as well as Olympic athlete Carl Lewis and appearances by President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Susan Sarandon.