Music helped me swim 24 hours non-stop!

Music helped me swim 24 hours non-stop!

Written By:

Dragos Rusu


March 5, 2014

1. Let's run

I’m not really a professional sports guy, even though my record for running a semi-marathon (consisting in 21 kilometers straight) was exactly 2 hours. Before this event and after it, I continued to run weekly, but didn’t really got past the distance of 9, maybe 10 kilometers. Right. Absolutely every time I run, I listen to music, with my headphones on my ears, soaked from the sweat. This is how I changed two pair of headphones in about a year. Before each run, I carefully prepare a playlist or a few albums that I want to listen to, while running. Sometimes I forget to change the playlist, or to add new songs, mixes, podcasts or albums on it, so I blame myself for being such an idiot to run over and over on the same music. But I never ran more than three times in a row with the same tracks.

So when I heard about my old time fellow Remus Miron that he swam non-stop for 24 hours, I couldn’t believe it. I knew he’s a professional sportsman, but didn’t know too many things about his background in this sport. For me, he was (and still is) one of the most technical Romanian DJs around (by the name of Lektronikumuz), a vinyl freak and a connoisseur with a solid opinion when it comes to the real deal in music. So was this actually possible? How could this be? I tracked him down to find out how intense this experience was for him and to discover how powerful a connection between music and sports can become for a music enthusiast.

You can feel your eyes overreacting; you can feel that you could start crying instantly, if you think again at those people with health problems, people that don’t leave your mind for a second when you swim.

2. Music vs Sport

Remus started swimming from an early age. He recalls he was around 5 or 6 years old. He was selected to perform at local and national competitions, training daily, even two times per day, and swimming from 8 to 10 km every day. Then, at some point, things went bad with the local swimming club, so at that age he couldn't do anything else besides swimming. Since there was no future in that, Remus decided he’d better leave it and take a different path in his life. ”I started gathering information about electronic music. At that age, I was listening to some 'crazy music', so I started focusing more on that and in a few years (2000-2001), I was collecting vinyl records, then organizing first parties, and first gigs, first bookings, first artists invited here, etc. So from that moment, I went on with my life without sport, without trainings, without healthy food and lifestyle; white nights in clubs, and especially a very sedentary way of life, working at the office every day, etc. So for a big part of my life I wasn't an athlete anymore.”

Maybe it was from some odd back-pains, that in 2012 Remus decided to return to swimming and promised himself never to give up sports again.

”I think that athletes - most of them – spend a big part of their lives training, and most of them are not so much into real music. They are not so deep into complex things about music… I think they use some easy-going and less elaborate music for motivation in sports; some known songs, some hit music, things like that... things that everybody knows and can easily relate to”.

I remember that I ran very fast when I was listening to something that I can connect to very deeply, no matter the style or approach, as long as it had that magic sparkle that was reaching straight to my soul. It could be afro-beat, Indian music, psychedelic rock, jazz, obscure avant-garde, experimental stuff, techno, acid house or any other electronic music hybrid, ambient, love songs. Didn’t really matter; as long as it was on my favorites list, it could act as a great fuel for my body.

For Remus it was different than the other athletes as well. ”The more difficult to understand music is, the more energy I feel inside my body when I perform some races. But in some ways, these things make you feel happy and see the race as a fantastic happy journey so in fact you will not be focused on winning the race anymore, but instead you will enjoy the race as a free man that lives on this planet!”

”Now, being a master athlete again, I use music in some other ways, I stopped spinning records, mixing, improvising with cuts, edits and things like that.” Remus is now more interested in orchestrations and mixing instruments, in compositions, in the technical aspects of music making. ”This is why I also collect rare vinyl records with "library music", "surf-beat-art-progressive-psychedelic-rock", "jazzy" sounds, especially future-jazz, acid-jazz, funk-soul-disco bands, etc. I was too deep into techno & house music, for so many years. I think I understand it very well now, but world music is more challenging, and it needs to be discovered by all of us. Somehow, we learn more as time passes. With music it’s the same - never stop learning new things and discovering new music!”

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3. 24h of swimming

In February 2014, Remus swam 55,7 km. for 24 hours non-stop, burned 15000 calories, and earned more than 2000 euro for a hospital in Bucharest. They said this is the first national record performance ever made.

”I can't explain in words what I felt after swimming 24hrs. I can't even explain what I felt while swimming. It was a massive experience for my body, I learned new things about how I react in this kind of situations, I learned how to manage the element of surprise that comes with this kind of long races, when the human body can’t expect from the beginning exactly what would come next. You can feel your eyes overreacting; you can feel that you could start crying instantly, if you think again at those people with health problems, people that don’t leave your mind for a second when you swim.

Imagine for example, if you calculate the number of seconds that are in 24hrs, and then you compare it with the number of peasants that need palliative care, only in Romania, you will know that 1 second is not enough to think of each of them, and this hurts if you understand that if you are healthy, you are privileged. You can help them now, because later, when you can't do it anymore, it is possible that you will have to wait for others to help you (I hope there’s no need for that in my case!)”

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