Valerjan Romanovski, last year’s winner of the Mazovia Marathon MTB 24H Marathon, struggled with his own possibilities for patients with leukemia and other cancers. On Friday, July 25th, he will attempt to beat the Guinness record for uninterrupted mountain biking for 48 hours. At this time, he wants to drive nearly 800km off the road! The DKMS Poland Foundation is a partner of this extraordinary event.
DKMS: Mr. Valerian, already on Friday 25.07 will try to face you a challenge. You will try to drive nearly 800km on a MTB bike in 48h and thus break the Guinness record. It makes an impression … What will change in your life if you beat this record?
VR: I have a Guinness record, it’s a tough opponent, so I have respect for him. After that fight, they always get scars, not only on the body. After the victory man becomes stronger, he sees that hard work and murderous workouts have resulted.
DKMS: And for whom and why do you want this record to beat?
VR: Maybe to show yourself and the world that you are worth working on yourself, that if you really want to achieve a goal, then you should strive for it. The biggest restriction and obstacle to the pursuit of purpose, dreams are we alone. If we are not able to do something today, then we have to try to do it in a few years, but we have to go to the target in small steps and we will succeed.
DKMS: Do not you think that it depends on our temperament, which shapes our character, and this often hampers such a way to life? What is your character?
VR: Difficult (laughs). Many factors influenced my personality: origin, departure, different situations of life. A hybrid was born. I invite you to beat the Guinness record to face “him” must use not only physical strength, but all the characteristics of character. With some sensitivity you will be able to look at what character traits I use and at which point.
DKMS: But why did you choose a bike for this “sculpture” of your own character? How did this bike adventure start?
VR: I am convinced that in many sports I could check (laughs). I mean more about sports, discipline does not matter much. Cycling? Maybe because it’s a difficult sport. I was born near Vilnius, in a Polish family. I have always been physically active, living in Lithuania practicing athletics: running, long jump, cross-country skis. I attended a Polish school and always represented my school at sporting events. I felt uncomfortable when I was not first in the competition (laughs), unless my first twin was my brother. I wanted to bring the pride of our national minority. While living in Lithuania I was always proud to be a Pole and my parents actively participated in the Union of Poles in Lithuania, so from the very beginning we helped our parents in all activities related to the spread of Polishness in Lithuania. I started cycling in Poland already. At 26, I won my first medal at the Masters in Poland. However, after this success I was told that I was too old for a professional rider, so I changed the type of races and started racing in ultramarrayon in Mazovia 24 H.
DKMS: So you like long distances?
VR: I think distance does not matter much, I feel good on short races and long ones. Medals at the Polish Championships I won on “timepieces”. Now I am taking long distances, because they require constant cooperation with your body, character, fighting with weaknesses.
DKMS: Are you going to the sport as a feat or a passion?
VR: Sport is my life style, I am like a shark, which must be constantly moving, stillness for me is tiring, it is an unbearable punishment (laughs). So in my case, the sport can be described as passion and even addiction. Sport was always with me, I could count on him at any time. Sport allows me to maintain a mental balance, people often fail, and sport never.
DKMS: Ok, you convinced me for this approach, and now tell me what does DKMS have to do with all this?
VR: Looking human at the Guinness record, you can conclude that it is not possible to cross the distance of nearly 800 km in just 48 hours, in a non-stop on a cross-country route. If we only use physical strength at the time of the record, we will not be able to even get close to the record, because the person has limited physical capabilities. So where to get strength? From the inner decks, from within. The DKMS Foundation is, in my opinion, a source that complements internal stores. With the foundation’s support, I realize that I am going not only for myself, to satisfy my own ambition, but for those who are waiting for help. I can not let them down, I have to show that it is always worth fighting, even when it seems that makes no sense because success is unrealistic.
DKMS: So, is such a symbolic journey, showing that much depends on our attitude, approach and the will to fight, also in illness? Do you think that maintaining good shape through sport gives you a guarantee for your health?
VR: A few years ago, after a detailed medical examination, I was diagnosed with a spine in my spine, doctors forbid me to practice hard, reserving that I could end up in a wheelchair. So I had the choice either to go sport leisurely, or in spite of the doctors still running in the 24 H race. The spine strengthened my muscle corset and I’m about to face the Guinness record (laughs). Preparing for these types of professions is obligatory to maintain strict rigor, the challenge is more difficult, it requires more discipline in preparation. The athlete, while preparing to follow a strict, healthy diet, regularly exercise and sleep. Does the average person meet these conditions? Man has much more physical abilities than he thinks he has neglected himself through laziness, vanity, and has been disabled at his own request. Let’s look at the streets how many men are “pregnant”. Unfortunately, many of us are making waste from the body.
DKMS: What will be your most cheering in this ride?
VR: Aware that there are people who care about me to succeed. People in need of help in overcoming the disease, starting with finding their genetic twin. I would certainly like to have a Guinness record for a non-stop ride for 48 hours belonged to a Pole, in addition to Vilnius. And at the end of the race, I’ll finally relax (laughs)
DKMS: And yet, you dream of resting? What does your typical day look like?
VR: Each day is different, it depends on the preparation period and the day of the week. One day a week I’m free from training, then I try to make a bad profit (laughs) to catch up on other areas of my life. On Saturday and Sunday all day I have workouts from 8 to 15 hours a day, before training you need to plan and prepare the right diet and nutritional supplements. In “normal” day, I only have 4-6 hours of workout. And every day I start in the evening, because the quality of sleep will depend on how I plan to day. Yes, so: from 22:30 to 6:00 time for sleep. Part of every day I devote my daughter to my own education, 1 or 2 workouts, about 8 meals, several hours to work, several hours of study (now I study). Sometimes the day is too short, I stretch it (laughs), sometimes I get a few hours combining duties: with my daughter go to the swimming pool or gym, to the customer for a meeting I ride a bicycle, etc.
DKMS: In fact your life is a continuous marathon, 365 days a year. Does your body have any limits on endurance? Guinness record will be nothing new.
VR: Yes, the body after such effort will be exhausted, exhausted. But I can not compare to the average 40-year-old Kowalski who, sitting most of his life in a comfortable couch, decides to beat the record (laughs). My body is accustomed and well trained for long-haul, after 10 hours I’m just getting well and I can start driving properly. Besides, I have wonderful fans in my daughter and family, it commits and adds strength.
DKMS: Finally, please tell us how long ago you registered in DKMS Polska database and why?
VR: I registered to the database of potential donors of bone marrow and stem cells of DKMS Polska Foundation just a few years ago, in my village Busko Zdrój. There was an organized gathering for my acquaintance. I did it because it is obvious to me, I am more worried about why others do not.
DKMS: Well, nothing to add. We are convinced that the fans of DKMS Poland, and they are on their own Fanpage over 240 thousand will also keep your fingers crossed and hot support. We only wish weather!
At the time of Guinness record, you will be able to register as a potential donor of stem cells in the DKMS Polska Foundation. However, if you do not have the opportunity to participate in this unique event in person, please register at www.dkms.pl