COOL KL 2020: Adam Nizam Runs To Inspire
Text and Interview Aina Nur Sarah Photography Arifah Hadirah Styling Lim Lee Ann Art Direction Keisha Ryman Wardrobe Talent’s Own Videography Lucas Moujing
In this 2020 edition of COOL KL, we look to individuals making a change creatively and the youth who are impacting society in every way.
The youth are all about community and making things happen. An initiative that made waves in your community (and your Insta feed!), the Brand New Waves Running Club (BNWRC) is a running club that aims to bridge lifestyles and inspire.
BNWRC is the brainchild of Adam Nizam, a 23-year-old FAM-certified coach who believed it was time for him to carry the torch and inspire more people, with his own twist of course. The running club goes through multiple routes like in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Petaling Jaya and KLCC. If you think you’re going to be bored during the run, think again. The community blasts out music to keep you pumped and are constantly hyping each other up till they reach the finish line. His venture has even expanded into WMNS DVSN, which is for and led by women, and football clubs, Heaven Boys and Gyalchester United.
As someone that’s athletic, Adam’s vigour for BNWRC comes as no surprise. But the reason he started might.“I started running when I was coming out of a dark place, and also to replace my smoking habit,” Adam says, “Running was therapeutic for me because I had that carved-out alone time to work through my thoughts.”
Studies have shown that aerobic exercise has a positive effect on those struggling with mental health and improves one’s ability to cope with stress. In mild cases, it can even be as effective as antidepressants. Running releases endorphins that can relieve us from our stress. It changes the brain in ways that’ll make it more resistant. But running isn’t just an exercise — see it through the eyes of Adam, and you’ll find a sense of belonging and see it being more than just a sport.
What prompted you to start the Brand New Waves Running Club?
I had been part of a running crew before – We Be Thirsty. That was my first experience with community / group runs and I will forever be grateful to them for that introduction. However, I felt it was time for me to carry on the torch and inspire more people, with my own twist.
I wanted to cultivate a community of like-minded individuals, and bridge active lifestyles, music, fashion, art and networking together. And ultimately, to inspire and empower people through running.
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BNWRC TURNS ONE TODAY 🌐✨ . Our first ever run – 17th March 2019. An idea that sparked. We ran the ting. And the rest is history…. Thanks to you! We want thank each and every one of you for following this journey of ours, sharing our posters, group photos and participating in our runs. We appreciate you. We are really here to grow with you and nothing more. Nothing less. We want to inspire and empower the Malaysian community through running. We will continue down this road until the very end. Until the finish line. We’ll do this together. Thank you. From BNWRC. . Share your first ever run with BNWRC on your socials. Tell us how you felt on that day if you can remember it. Look back through a year of running with us. The growth in people, performance and community is something that we are proud of. Share it to everybody. Because that’s what its all about. . #BNWRCSETAHUN #BNWRC
Your venture has expanded into the BNWRC WMNS DVSN. What made you want to start a women’s division and is it different from BNWRC?
In October 2019, Zalora came to us with a proposal for ZaloraFit: a 5KM fundraiser race, in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We called it the WMNS DVSN SHAKE OUT. And since then, we’ve been doing women-only / women-led runs, once a month.
It’s different from BNWRC as the whole experience is curated and crafted by the women captains of BNWRC. From the location; to the warm-ups, circuit workouts and cool down stretches; the pace; the music; the theme of the poster, etc. Usually the WMNS DVSN group runs are for women only. Occasionally we open it up for anyone to join, but it is still led and curated by the ladies.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced?
Probably the COVID-19 pandemic right now. Up till then, it was the haze last year. Basically, anything that poses a grave threat to our runners. We have had to find alternative ways to keep our community connected and motivated. So in response to the MCO, we have come up with two online series: #VIRTUALWAVES and #KELINIKWAVY.
#VIRTUALWAVES is where people tag us in their workouts on their instastories, and together with the great alien minds and skills of WeAreKix and LightBeamProject, we create a weekly roundup video of those submissions. #KELINIKWAVY, which is launching soon, are running tutorial videos by the BNWRC captains. Each video will cover different topics like warm-ups, speed and agility, strength, cool-downs etc.
I would say it’s been a challenge to not be able to fulfil our original objective of community runs, but it has pushed us to explore other avenues to keep the BNWRC running + lifestyle culture alive.
Do you think running has any impact on our minds / mental health?
Of course. It’s been proven that exercise releases endorphins in your brain. And sometimes, whatever you are internalising in your head, just needs to be externalised in a healthy way.
I started running when I was coming out of a dark place, and also to replace my smoking habit. Running was therapeutic for me because I had that carved-out alone time to work through my thoughts. Additionally, you’re putting yourself in a position where you have to motivate yourself to keep going. And eventually when you notice improvements and set goals for yourself, that attitude transcends into all the other parts of your life.
What advice can you give someone who’s afraid to start?
The only person holding you back from making that change towards a better version of yourself, is you. Just show up. We have made it so that no one gets left behind, everyone starts, runs and finishes together.