We all have our own reasons, why we ended up being a runner and for most people - being addicted to it. All different personal stories that we would like to share with you. We went to Amsterdam and met with runner - Ben Clement.
- Ben Clement - @benclement_ - Born in New Zealand, moved from Melbourne, AU, now based in Amsterdam - Runner and founder AM:PM:RC in Melbourne - @am.pm.rc - Founder GOOD SPORT magazine - @good__sport
When did you start calling yourself a runner?
"In 2014 after founding AM:PM.RC, although it has been a conflicting word to call myself sometimes. For a while I didn't feel I had the right skills, knowledge or experience to call myself a runner and I also didn't relate to the outside running world. Running with a crew didn't feel like running, it's more hanging out. But over time I started to resonate more with calling myself a runner and now I am proud of that".
How does running effect your life?
"Running effects every single area of my life, and I mean every detail of it down to the tiniest detail. From how I think, to how I make decisions. It effects how I feel and respond to things. It effects my emotions and memory also. I could list every area of my life and somehow running would effect it. Usually in a positive way, even if I am injured".
What does the phrase "running culture" mean to you?
"For me I take it as 'a new wave of running' If I think about the word culture I personally relate to things I have been a part of like punk music, skateboarding, photography etc. It's combining your lifestyle and attitude to an interest or passion".
New running communities are popping around the world these years, why do you think this is happening?
"I think back to my early teen years and finding punk music. Somehow I met someone who showed me some music on a tape or vinyl and I fell in love with it. So from that point on, I did everything I could to source more of it and experience it in anyway I could. If you want something that bad you'll find it. I think today we're more aware of our bodies and health benefits and running is an easy thing to pick up without any gear. Plus we all want to be a part of something or feel accepted. So if we can be healthy and apart of a supportive community its a double win. Also due to globalisation and the homogenisation of cultures makes things spread quicker, the ability to travel cheaper than ever before and connect with old friends and new connections helps perpetuate things in ways we never used to be able to makes things spread and grow in new ways".
Do you have any specific core values for your AM:PM:RC crew?
"POSTIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE".
Describe your transition when moving from Down Under in Melbourne to Central Europe in Amsterdam?
"Things I thought would be easy were really hard and things I thought would be hard were really easy. I'm still transitioning I think, it's constant - there are always changes. One hard thing was basically leaving all my close friends and basically starting again with a few connections here and there. It's kind of like dating, you have to put yourself out there, get to know lots of new people all at once and then build and grow a friendship all while you are learning to navigate a new city, learn a language and find work. But the transition has been so important to me, without it, there is so much I would not have learnt. It's so important to me to put myself in new situations that allow transition or change because it brings so much new learning and growth".
A transition can be defined as a training program, where your mileage and speed are build to peak at race day. Have you experienced such a transitions or do you prefer to run with the flow?
"Before I moved to Amsterdam I was on a structured training plan to get a new 10km pb. It was a lot more running and effort than I was ever used to. After I got the PB I din't want to train like that again, (not at least for a while) something changed where I just wanted to go with the flow and not plan anything. But now after some time 'cruising' I feel the hunger to lock into a plan and set some goals. I think it is always an ebb and flow - up and down. If not, then it becomes very robotic".
One of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, wrote a book called: “What I talk about, when I talk about running” So let me ask you; what do you talk about, when you talk about running?
"I love detail and I love emotion. I talk about the small things you notice or feel out on a run, it might be the sun shining through a fence and creating a shadow. It might be the sound of your feet hitting the gravel in a really rhythmic sound or it might be the smell of certain trees or flowers in different areas. I believe running highlights every single emotion you have. Not all at once but at different times. I'm interested in how other people feel and I notice how I feel. If I was in a bad mood I ran a lot faster, if I was feeling anxious how did it effect my run. If I'm with other people did I feel more joy. Things like that make me more and more fascinated by running".