Interview by: Dami Fawehinmi
Interviewing: Tomi Adedeji of Ardent
As a brand, Ardent is about constantly going to the next level, breaking barriers and defying limitations. They want everyone to experience the joy of breaking their own records and setting the next even bigger goal, whether that is in the sporting realm or general life. Their goal is to see you do what is impossible and to inspire happiness.
Tell us about the journey of Ardent.
We started Ardent because I, Tomi Adedeji – a co-founder of Ardent- was inspired to run by the Jamaican sprinter and former 100m world record holder, Asafa Powell in 2005 when he broke the world record and ran 9.77 seconds. I’ve been a runner since then and continue to run to this day. I did some research and found out that in the last century, the world record has come down by over a second and since 1968 – when Jim Hines ran the first sub 10 second 100m – more than 120 athletes have broken the once terms ‘sub-10 barrier’. Once I found this out, I began to believe and understand the concept of being able to achieve anything, because if we, as humans, can continuously do what was previously seen as impossible then we have no limits.
This is also seen in the mile. Until one-man Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4-minute mile in 1954, it was 'impossible'. Since then, the world record has decreased another 18 times and running sub-4 is a normality. It took one man to prove the impossible wrong. It's a mindset thing. Once you believe - in fact - once you know that everything is possible, then you can start to break your own barriers and the world's limitations. Limits are suggestions, that we at Ardent do not take, so with everything that we do, with every design we make and with every shoe we release, we aspire to spread this message. We want everyone to know that everything can be done. So, when you put on Ardent trainers or any future Ardent apparel, you are making a choice to adopt this mindset and do what it takes to reach those massive goals that you set. Our mission statement is Influence, Impact, Inspire and vaguely, the main goal is to show the world that there are no such things as limitations. We want to inspire you to go and break records and we want to reach as many people as possible. If you do what you love, you'll be happy. I started the brand because I love sports. I love sports, in particular, athletics because Asafa Powell inspired me to be a runner when he broke the 100m world record in 2005. This inspired me because it shows that humans can continuously do what we think of as impossible. It means there are no limitations and it shows we can break barriers. I want my brand to be affiliated with that mindset.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Get out of your comfort zone as often as possible. Don’t care about what people think about you, take advantage of every opportunity, allocate time and energy wisely and don’t try to do it all yourself. Also trust people.
What are your views of the BYP network?
It’s cool to see something like that, I love it.
What is your biggest failure and successes?
Haven’t really failed or at least considered anything as a failure and the ‘successes’ are just all from just following the process.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future?
More gear and more initiatives on the way! It’s just a matter of time now.
Anything you’d like to add?
Pay attention to our social media, @ThisIsArdent on all platforms, we’re going on a journey and want you to be a part of it, so make sure you don’t miss it.