I witnessed a master mind at work during my last filming expedition. His name is Ernst Bromeis and he is a free-ride swimmer on a mission. A man with buckets full of will-power, fighting for one of the world's most basic needs. This need kills more people than all the wars in the world combined. Ernst is driven to bring awareness that all humanity has the right towards clean drinking water. This guy gives a whole new meaning to the idea of not giving up, and it's necessary, since the task of nursing the world's water problems is kind of overwhelming.
Often we are facing disappointing situations where things do not always go as planned and we feel the urge to give up on that elusive dream. It looks so impossible. You are starting to think that, that Pipe dream is after all just a dream. Me, being kind of an emotional person, often falls victim to disappointment and land face down in this trap. I unwillingly loose a lot of speed during those moments and it takes a while to get one out of that dark hole you got yourself in. Then before giving up completely you still have the chance to pick yourself up again. That's where you need a strong mind…
This guy.. Ernst is not one to give up easily. I mean, swimming 130 km under 3 days sort of nonstop with a few hours of rest in-between is just mental. At times I could not look in his direction. It hurts just watching how he swings arm stroke by arm stroke.....over and over. We were not made to do this, I thought. But somehow he just keeps on going. 5km, 6km, 4,5km…. after day one with more than 18 hours in the water we were at 60 km. I cannot even run 60 km…. never mind swim it. Some of the crazy observations I recall is how specific his requests were during his quick eating breaks. It was like: warm pasta, risotto, white bread. He knew exactly what he wanted. That's amazing when you can listen to your body like that. Probably the only way to keep on going, is to be so finely tuned.
Maybe at times the crew was convinced that we could not go further. It's too challenging or too dangerous to swim at night... Then Ernst just calmly said: I am ready again. Let's swim. Then everybody without questioning followed his contagious will-power.
Drama we had plenty and now I have in the bag all the elements for a great story. It's now up to me to put method to what is conceived by most as utter madness. But if there is one lesson to learn, it is that no challenge is too great and that you can achieve your wildest dreams if you put your mind to it. Maybe we are naive to think we can change the world, however, imagine we all just don’t stop when it's starting to hurt and just try that one time more. How much better place the world would be. Imagine that. Now stop imagining and go and do it.
Thanks for the inspiration Ernst Bromeis.
For more on Ernst Bromeis visit www.dasblauewunder.ch
Photos by Andrea Badrutt. Visit his website at www.andreabadrutt.ch