See.Think.Do with Andre Coggins
Hey Andre! Whereabouts are you right now?
In my room, somewhere in North London, currently trying to manage the balance of being a full time teacher and also being a runner, coach and creative. Man, what a year it has been (and it's not even over yet).
What (if anything) is getting you excited right now?
I have just entered the ballet to run the London marathon in 2022. I know it is a long shot but it would be a huge dream to take part in such a life shifting event. I am also really excited about the amazing blessings that have come my way. From meeting inspirational innovators, to working with some of the biggest brands in the world.
Tell us about your journey into Mafia Moves . What inspired you and when did you take that first big / small step?
Growing up as a young budding athlete from Edmonton, running distance was never a 'popular' thing and to see a young black teenager jogging for leisure seemed very unusual to the public eye. After years of waking up at 5am to train and running down the A406, I went to university and was later introduced to the social running communities of Run Dem crew and Track Mafia. Immediately I fell in love. I was a good runner on the track but within these two running crews, I felt a new sense of purpose and belonging. I unlocked a new found confidence in myself. Cut a long story short, Track mafia showed me that I had the potential to help others. I was so inspired by Cory, the CEO of TM to try something in North London.
The name is called Mafia Moves. I have taken the Mafia aspect as I am still very much bound to Track Mafia but within the North London area, I am attempting to make positive movements, whether that be through fitness, experiences, opportunities, mentoring and many more avenues to create a safe space for like minded individuals. We are now in our 2nd year and we cannot wait to see what the future will bring,
What’s been your highlight to date?
I have had a few highlights to date. From being a kit carrier for the greatest sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt to being part of a historical virtual panel with the GOAT Eliud Kipchoge with Nike. Another one of my highlights was seeing my face in the local Nike and Sports Direct stores.
What have you learnt in the last 12 months, that you could apply to your next challenge/goal?
I have learnt to believe in myself and never be put off by the word "No". If you don't ask, you don't get. If you don't put yourself in those uncomfortable situations, you will never learn or grow as an individual. This can be applied in my job as an educator but also as a creator.
What's been inspiring you recently?
My community is inspiring me to provide for the younger generation and also to show people that you don’t have to be a pro athlete to be exposed to opportunities and experiences that one wouldn’t normally experience growing up. I am also inspired to change the face of running to rate to people who ‘look like me’.
How do you think about mental health and what helps you manage it?
I believe that every single person has dips in their emotional well being and I feel it is our responsibility as members of our respective communities to check in on each other from time to time. As well as doing this, creating social events such as meeting up to train, eat or do a fun and engaging activity will help an individual deal with their emotions.
Any bad habits you’d like to kick?
I would like to kick out procrastinating.
How will you measure success in 10 years time?
I would like to have a private community hub, where individuals can feel safe and express themselves without having to worry about the cost and travelling far to access facilities.
What’s the next adventure?
I have a number of juicy things lined up but you will have to follow my journey and see!
Top Local Spot: Cinnamon Leaf food store! For the community, by the community!
Watch out for: Mafia Moves and the big moves we are about to make in London
Best new thing: Nike's 'Trained' Podcast
Smallest change/ biggest impact: Resting more often
Your message in a bottle: Trust your journey. Learn, grow, evolve and become the best version of yourself.
What's doing at Days
Doing: Sober October
Listening to: James Blake
Watching: Squid Game
Reading: 100 Things We've Lost to the Internet