“Celebrate yourself”: Get to know Aaron of the Fresh Patterns Collective 

A community centred around movement. 

By Staff

Aaron McCammon of the FPC shares some personal and collective values. 

Founder of the Fresh Patterns Collective, NIKE coach and host of the Monthly Pattern on Refuge Worldwide, Aaron is spreading good energy and championing self-expression one run at a time. He moved from the UK to Berlin and has since been forming a community of his own, bound by a shared love for running, yoga, or fitness - activities that Aaron would bundle under the umbrella of movement. As Aaron’s is the only residency on Refuge Worldwide dedicated to discussions of fitness and the surrounding topics - as well as always playing some great music - we decided to have a quick chat to hear more about himself and his inspiring community.

Aaron! What’s up? To begin, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Aaron, I’m from London. I’m a full-time coach - a NIKE running coach and fitness instructor - as well as the founder of a community called the Fresh Patterns Collective. We are a community of people who enjoy movement of different sorts, could be from running, to yoga, to strength, to creative sessions. I also enjoy being part of the sports community and industry here in Berlin. And I’m a radio host here, of course!

Why do you define the Fresh Patterns as a collective of people who enjoy movement, as opposed to sports?

Because some people could be apprehensive to take part in sport. Movement is just about moving your body and you don't pigeonhole yourself into one thing. Running isn’t all we do and we want people to be able to express themselves in different ways. It’s all about enjoying yourself and doing the best that you can do. We’re not Olympic athletes - even if you come “last place” in a race, you know that you’re being celebrated for taking part.

How do you balance your work as a coach with NIKE with leading the FPC.

Doing those two things side-by-side is a great balance for me professionally. It’s a nice opportunity to be able to influence so many people in fitness and help them move. The tougher balance for me is between coaching others and myself. With coaching, you need to give so much energy out and it’s important to not tire yourself out. 

Were you always a natural leader?

To a certain extent. I’ve always had the ability to bring people together, and in the past five years, I’ve come to realise how much of a skill this is - especially when it’s about bringing people from different walks of life together. 

I think everyone can agree that sport is generally good for our physical and mental health, but is there a point where it can go too far? 

For sure, when you have the intensity at 100% from Monday to Sunday, it’s draining on your mind as well as your body. It can affect your sleep, your appetite, and your happiness. You need breaks in between. If you’re running a lot, break it up with a swim, or yoga, a day in the park or just sitting around eating pizza, you know. Unless I’m training for a big race, I make sure to give myself time to relax and not think about sports at all. 

I’m curious about a couple of your proudest, and also hardest, moments as an athlete. 

One of the recent moments I’m most proud of was when 16 of us completed the 45km Zugspitze mountain running trail. I had done this race around five years ago and I wasn’t prepared so it ruined me - it took me 13 hours, and it was painful. To come back to this race again and be prepared, to go through it feeling good and with confidence was a great moment. 

The hardest moment was my first-ever marathon here in Berlin. I completely underestimated how hard the race would be, having never hit the wall beforehand in training. Everything was going great until the halfway point and from there it was all downhill. It was a struggle to the end and is up there with one of the toughest and hardest moments of being an athlete.

What do you listen to when you’re doing these runs?

It depends on the race. If I want to go for a long run, I need to keep it chilled so I listen to a podcast. Maybe a science or comedy podcast that keeps me relaxed. If I want to go super hard, I’ll listen to some house or drum & bass, and I’ll try to match the beats with my pace. 

When we do interviews as Refuge Worldwide, we often get asked what community means to us. I’d love to know what your answer to that question is.

Community is about people who are there for each other. To give to each other, to share skills, emotions and help. It’s about empowering others and having a sense of belonging in a place where you can feel comfortable enough to be yourself. 

How can people get involved with the Fresh Patterns Collective?

Hit me up with a message. We’re going to be opening up our long runs this month, and in September we will be opening applications for people to join the community.

I’ve got to ask about the fashion side of things. The FPC Collective are always looking so fresh!

Yeah we are! I know we’re in Berlin but we’re all about bright colours, we don’t just wanna wear black. We turn up to races in the pink singlets, the bright shoes, and it’s about letting people express themselves. Sometimes here in Berlin, people don’t want to express themselves in that way because it’s not cool, so I want to create a space where you can do that.

Lastly, what advice to give to people who want to get into running?

If you start running, don't worry about the speed. Just start and then celebrate yourself for that bit of movement. And celebrate yourself rather than trying to find other people to celebrate you - it means so much more when it comes from yourself.

Photos courtesy of Will Jivcoff and The Fresh Patterns Collective.