The Running Girls, Chuu & Hyunjin
The brave girls who still want to do all these many things together, running, straining, sweating.
Words by Lee Ma-roo for Elle Korea October 2021.
We saw you two are considered standouts among the 12 Loona members in athleticism. Tell us about your athletic experience.
Hyunjin: I must have inherited athleticism from my parents, because I was born with good fitness. I grew up in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do, and in fifth grade I won first place in the city's shot put competition, and also played a lot of sports at school like table tennis, basketball, soccer, and badminton.
Chuu: I did taekwondo starting at a young age. I was smaller than other kids, so my mom had me do sports. As for running I did it from second grade through middle school. Always went up for relay races.
How have you been exercising after debut?
Chuu: These days I mainly end up doing home training, and on nice days I go running by myself at Hangang. Setting up days to go with the members is nice too, but I like to go on a whim when I want to run.
Chuu also appeared on Running Girls with Sunmi, Hani, Chungha, and YooA, right.
Chuu: While running with the unnies, I realized running is related to life and routine, to identity. It was also great to run through an unfamiliar land, rather than where I always run.
Hyunjin: As I watched that show I wanted a crew that I could run with like that. You can rely on each other when you're together, right.
What was a moment that empowered you lately?
Hyunjin: Tokyo Olympics! The sport climbing especially looked fun. I have long arms and big hands so I think I'd be good.
Chuu: I often feel like I can't focus, and watching the archery national team I thought they were amazing. I also thought how they have to focus within a given time period is similar to when we go up on stage.
What do you tell yourself before you go on stage?
Hyunjin: "I can do it!" "I am the best!"
Chuu: There was a time when I lost confidence in whether I was handling powerful performances as well as the other members. At that time it helped to tell myself "I am the best!"
The attractive thing about running is that you definitely feel that you're moving forward. As Loona, when have you felt confirmation that you are moving well, step by step?
Hyunjin: When we won our first music show with "So What", and when I see us randomly on the TV at places like restaurants!
Chuu: When we do outdoor shoots nowadays, there are more people who recognize us like "Wait! Isn't that Loona?" People also post to social media about seeing us. Whenever I see changes like that, I feel pride that we are growing.
For Chuu and Hyunjin right now, what is life's core?
Hyunjin: I think our fans, Orbits. It was not easy preparing for "PTT" last time, but I got through it by thinking "The fans are waiting with high expectations, I need to be tenacious to show them an even better myself!"
Chuu: I imagine myself on a stage that I'd like to be on in the future. 10 years ago I imagined myself attending Hanlim Arts, and five years ago I imagined myself performing on stage, and that's how I got here. I think we and Orbits have become a big community now. If I imagine us on an even bigger stage together, I think my dreams might keep coming true.
Your workout playlist?
Chuu: I listen to Chungha unnie's "Chica" a lot. When I met her on Running Girls I proved it to her by showing her my music app screen. (Laughs)
Hyunjin: For me, Max's "Acid Dreams". It's even my phone ring-back tone, my favorite song.
What sport would you like to play together?
Hyunjin: How about badminton?
Chuu: Hey, let's go! I want to play catch too! I've always wanted to exercise together with Hyunjin. I told her "Let's go to a gym together" several times, too. I also really like team jump rope, and if we do another Chuu Can Do It Athletics Competition with the members, I want to be on Hyunjin's team.