If you had all the energy in the world, how would you spend it?

And is it really spending it? Energy is transferrable for sure, but do you really lose it when you give it out? We think not.

The more you give, the more you receive, and what you give, you get back tenfold.

Give energy? Receive. Give love? Receive. Give gratitude? Receive!

It seems to be the way this universe works, yet we so easily forget it as we fall into a negative spiral of expectation from others and ourselves…. I’ll come back to this later.

When we met Nanna Munnecke, a runner from Copenhagen and Co-founder of Volt Women, we were reminded of this amazing gift of energy. You get what you give. And that is what life is all about.

Nanna, 42, is from Denmark and has lived in Copenhagen since she was 18. She now lives there with her two sons Elliot, 14 and Sixten, 10.

“I had a lot of energy and I needed to use it on me.” She says as she explains her entry into the running scene.

“I started with 3-5K, then I met the international running community and quickly got into half marathons and marathons – I’ve run 4 full and a 100k race.”

Nanna works as a visual communications director for a strategy consultancy called ReD Associates, and works with consultants on how to communicate complex thinking in simple ways.

“When I started running, I’d been studying and was a mother of two – everything pivoted around thinking about life and I Instinctively knew that I needed to move focus from my head to my body”

“Running is, and has been a big part of my adult life, so I fit running in when I can. – Mornings after my son leaves for school, evenings or weekends. I’m trying to prioritise it more because I miss it.”

As life fills up with things that need doing, we so often forget that ‘me time’ is sometimes meant to be nourishing. Cleansing for our body, our mind, our soul. When you have as much going on as Nanna, running can sometimes be the best ‘me time’ she can get – a means of supplying energy, almost like a battery re-charge – a reminder that your body is strong, and your mind can be quiet for a while.

With Nanna’s hectic schedule changing week to week – from savouring time with her sons, to spending the weeks apart from them, working hard and often travelling at weekends to see friends – the opportunity during her brief trip to London to finally meet was seized!

Sitting on a large sofa mid meeting in the midst of a Moorgate high rise in London, wearing a large Camo jacket and sporting messy hair, big metal earrings and awesome shoes, it’s strange to perceive how Nanna thinks of herself…

“I’m the type who falls when there’s a lot of people around, sits in a piece of gum, laughs at the wrong time – I always really wanted to be cool but it just was not for me – it took me a long time to realise that leaning in to being a goofball might be the closest thing I’ll ever come to coolness”

All we knew was that we couldn’t think of a better person to test out our running clothes. Real, down to earth, honest and friendly.

Above: Nanna testing out our most recent League Collective running prototypes.

Nanna’s opinion of women’s running and her mutual dis-taste for it being associated with the colour pink made us jump at the thought of working with her. She, and what she has helped build through Volt women, brings out the essence of what running really is all about – or in our shared opinion – should be about.

At this point she stops to give us an insight into Volt Women and we get a glimpse of what it was built on:

“After I started running I was more and more aware of how the industry still boxed women as these happy go lucky runners. It was not what I saw or felt. I felt running unlocking something that I had mistreated for years. A fierce and powerful strength to do something, in my own life and in others.”

Together with Julie Hyld from Copenhagen and Clemence Cornac from Paris they expanded this conversation and gave it a platform.

“That’s VoltWomen – it’s not a crew or a membership – it’s in all of us 🙂 and so many women and men relate to this.

The idea of unlocking strength does not mean it’s easy or a given – it’s about challenging yourself and pushing your limits.

You do this alone – but there’s a beauty in helping others and it seems like women are really good at this – helping each other grow.

It’s also a bit rough – when I read the women who take over our Instagram [@VoltWomen], their stories are far from rosy red (yes that’s a comment to all the pink stuff the fitness industry keeps pushing. Salmon … is that for unlocking what?)”

Volt Women began as a blog – a news feed where brilliant stories behind real runners, the grit, the hard bits, the injuries – sweat blood and tears are exposed and told in truth.

At League Collective, understanding this statement is important to our brand ethos – why we do what we do. There isn’t an easy way round crossing the marathon finish line first… in fact it is quite the contrary. Prancing around in the latest gear isn’t what Mo Farrah and Usain Bolt were doing before winning the races that made them the well-known runners they are today, and we doubt Jessica Ennis was either..(the Vitality sponsors and pink ribbons came after all the hard work… and are they really her choice of colours?…) They were wearing what worked best for them in a technical way; clothes that didn’t disrupt their focus. Clothes that were there for the purpose of supporting their practice rather than hindering a distraction toward the task in hand.

Above: Nanna testing out our most recent League Collective running prototypes.

Nanna, explains her opinion of the current state of running and peoples motivation towards doing it

“I think it’s interesting to see so many brands on the scene – interesting and a bit boring. It makes me want to close down my ‘window’ to the world and make sure I feel the running and not the communication around it.”

We want to create clothes that support this idea, of re-identifying with the fact that running is about you. That inner strength, that cognitive focus that breathes energy and moves you forward… no one really cares what we’re wearing, and if we think they do, then we’re missing the point; the experience. So long as you feel like you, it becomes easier to zone out and re-connect with the important process in hand: running.

Equally, there isn’t an easy way of tackling a big bad fashion industry and turning it into a good, sustainable, environmentally friendly one. It take steps. Lots of little steps, many big ones, a lot of practice, and most of all, a considerable amount of effort. It all looks great from the outside, and what makes Volt Women so great is how they have captured the inside. The realtime heroes, not the pre- workout selfie Insta posts that took 20 minutes to take with the right lighting…

“If you want to grow, as a runner or a person, you have to consistently work on the change. To me running is not racing – I mean it is, but it’s the training that is the meat so to speak.

I struggle with this. I want it to be easy. It’s not – so I work at it.”

Greatness is never rushed. Like the motion of forward movement, in a race or otherwise, everything has a direction. We spoke more about Volt Women’s vision, goals for the future and why the brand came about.

“VoltWomen grows organically – we just ran the global #IWDRUN that we started four years ago – it’s reaching a lot of new shores. My vision right now is to have women feel the excitement to challenge them selves.

Last year Nanna completed a 200k Paddle board trip and her aims for herself this year include biking from Copenhagen to Berlin. Her heart is set on qualifying for Boston marathon. But “per usual just getting my ass out regularly and grow my running despite a busy life often proves my greatest challenge”.

“VoltWomen is an independent force – a goal for me is to have people challenge us. In a way I think the autonomy of the platform is its greatest strength. We still want it to be driven by excitement and love for pushing boundaries.”

Above: Nanna Munnecke.

To find out more about Nanna, visit her Instagram: @NannaMunnecke

Or visit Volt Women to learn even more about this amazing movement: @VoltWomen, Volt Women Community

All photos from Nanna’s and Volt Women Social Media sites.

We hope you enjoyed this post! For more information on League Collective, get in touch via our email: [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you! and we will get back to you as soon as we can.