Toronto’s Bond Running
Can your passion change you? For Steven Artemiw the answer is a definitive yes. “Running legitimately saved my life,” says the founder of Toronto’s Bond Running. And he knows exactly how many days ago it occurred. The day I interviewed Artemiw, it’d been nine years and 364 days since he had a cocaine overdose. Three days after leaving the hospital, he started running. In 2012, Artemiw and friends formed Parkdale Roadrunners. It grew organically from two friends going out for a run to welcoming runners of all levels and ages from the neighbourhood. Before he knew it, his love of running and the community bond provided the catalyst for Artemiw to make his passion a bigger part of his life.
Why Bond Running?
Twelve months ago, my business partner Adrian Ravinsky knew that I was depressed in my current job and was aware of my retail background and my love of running, and he said, “Let’s open a running store.” We’re just over a year into this venture, and now my driving force is to leave a really positive mark and running is helping me build that bridge.
How has running helped you?
The best thing I ever did was deciding to go for a run. Running has helped me physically, but really it’s the mental component. I don’t feel like myself when I don’t run, and what I’ve learned over the years is running actually makes us more human.
What is your vision?
To create a store environment where new runners can come in and not be intimidated. Being a runner today is different. It’s a part of who you are and it’s about embracing the culture, the camaraderie and, yes, being part of a larger community.
Biggest career achievement?
When you’re into drugs, you lose all your “real” friends. The only phone number I kept was my business partner because he was the only person that was real about me and my addiction. I shed my old life and turned my life around. What made the difference was starting Parkdale Roadrunners. It’s here where I found my extended family – my chosen family. So it was a turning point in my life – that’s for sure.
What does success look like for you?
Describe Bond Running in 140 characters or less.
Bond Running is a hub for running culture in the heart of Toronto’ s Chinatown.
Does Bond Running support any charities and why?
We are working on an effort that I think will have a very positive impact on our community and those who are in need in our community. More news to come.
Why Bond Running?
It’s the store’s promise to carry products that will help you in your running pursuits, and I also see it as a promise to our community to be present. That’s important.— CR