Running with an Elite Mindset
When Dave Spandorfer was running in college, social entrepreneurship was just stepping into the big scene. Brands like Toms were finding ways to give back to the community, and care about something other than their shareholders wallets, while still staying a successful, for-profit company.
Since that time, we have seen a multitude of companies who’ve had success making a profit, while focusing on a cause. Today, it’s almost expected that every big company have a story and a purpose—something more than just pure profit.
For Dave, it was all centered around running. He wanted to create a community within the running world that used running as a way to explore the world. He also wanted to give back to those parts of the world he explored. And of course, he wanted a pair of running shorts that weren’t the exact same as everyone else.
Together with his running teammate Mike, Dave began the journey of creating Janji, a new running-attire company, with the goal of inspiring people to understand the world more, connecting runners with others, and providing life’s most precious commodity to more people everywhere.
Run to Learn
We have recently discussed how running is a great way to travel and explore. Whether you are running down newly-paved neighborhoods, taking in breath-taking views in nature, learning about a new city on foot, or dedicating a trip to a race, running provides a unique perspective on the world. Something about seeing buildings, people, and landscapes while running brings you closer to the world than a television, a phone or a car can. The smells, the sounds, and the sights become much more real.
Running is a wonderful way to learn about the world, and Dave’s goal was to share that truth with the world in an even bigger way. At Janji, each clothing line is paired with a country. Twice a year, they find local artists to help create new designs for their shorts and tops. These artists then have a chance to share a little bit about their country and culture in the design of the clothing.
Run to Connect
We all know how close knit the running world is. Try going for a morning run in a new city, a place where you don’t know anyone, and it will be a challenge to not get a few smiles, waves, or good mornings from runners headed the opposite direction. Something about this global sport connects people before they really even meet.
At Janji, they work to connect others through running by organizing travel expeditions and teaching their customers about new parts of the world. If finding a smiling runner who was willing to talk about their run with you wasn’t easy enough, they literally put you on a path with like-minded runner/travelers.
Next time you run in a new spot, or see a new runner, give them a wave and a hello. They will love it and so will you. And hey, you just might meet a new best friend.
Run to Give Back
Janji, which means promise in Malay, works with each of the countries it creates product lines with to create more access to clean water. Water is the most important resource, and is often on the mind of the runner. When Dave and Mike ran on a blisteringly hot day during a college championship race, they knew that water had to be their choice for how to give back.
Each of us have daily decisions about how we can support social causes. Luckily for the majority of us, it doesn’t have to come by learning how to create clean water for others. Simply doing a little bit of research on the products we purchase and spreading the word when we find people involved in good causes can make a difference. Our small voices and simple decisions are powerful as they spread.
What Can Running Do For YOU?
So, here’s the never-ending pitch for why you should run: Running will give more to you than you can ever give to it. Sure, you may sweat, stink, get sore, and run out of breath, but the rewards are endless. A community, a healthy body, and vehicle for learning and exploring, a way to give back. These are just a few reasons to get out the door and run.
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JANJI is an official sponsor of the Running 4 Real podcast, I am so excited about this! They visit designers in countries all around the world to help with their upcoming clothing lines and any profit they make off of that design 5% goes right back to that country to supply for their clean water supply. The materials they use are recycled which I LOVE.
Thanks for Listening! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.
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Thank you to Dave, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.