Running Wherever I Can - AMORE STORIES - ENGLISH
#Exploring New Beauty
2024.06.19
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Running Wherever I Can

 

Interviewee

Park Ho-kyung Trainer

 

 

In an era where beauty comes from ‘being oneself,’ Amorepacific’s fresh content series, “Exploring New Beauty,” seeks to engage individuals across generations, diving into their personal narratives of their own beauty. Episode nine introduces Park Ho-kyung, a notable interviewee among the 1,300 participants from the ‘New Beauty Story’ series who shares how exercise transformed his life and how he found his own beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

Passionately treading a path brimming with conviction, Park Ho-kyung, the protagonist of this ‘Exploring New Beauty,’ transformed his life through running. How could one not love what has the power to change one’s life? He never hesitates to challenge himself, no matter the starting line. He strides forward with his head held high and shoulders squared, driven by the power of transformation through challenges.

 

 

 

From Exercise to a Dream


Could you please introduce yourselves briefly?

I am a stretching coach specializing in running and track and field lessons. However, I prefer to use the more comprehensive term ‘exercise specialist.’ A trainer guides you through the exercises that are precisely right for your body. Though people often refer to us as trainers, I believe the term ‘exercise specialist’ is more accurate.

 

What does an exercise specialist do?

An exercise specialist doesn't just teach exercises well; they assess an individual’s physical condition, ailments, and overall fitness to prescribe the appropriate exercises. Hence, they need to study a range of disciplines, from physiology to anatomy and clinical pathology. My focus is alleviating discomfort through stretching, offering pain management with accurate and effective techniques, and ensuring more stability than self-stretching.

 

What inspired you to start this career?

Initially, my decision to guide others in exercise stemmed from my physical issues. Frequent visits to the hospital didn’t resolve the root problems, prompting me to study and experiment with my body. Through this process, I realized the importance of exercise and stretching in healing. My journey of extensive study and personal trial led me to become an exercise specialist concentrating on stretching.

 

 

 

 

You’ve practiced various forms of exercise. Why did you choose to focus on running lessons and rehabilitation?

After immersing myself in running and even reading related books, my passion and experience grew. Sharing my knowledge with others began organically with acquaintances and expanded from there. Witnessing their transformations was immensely fulfilling. While I hadn’t initially intended to teach, I discovered the profound significance of guiding others. Consequently, running lessons and stretching coaching gradually reshaped my life.

 

How did you start running?

At 24, I weighed 100 kg despite being 168 cm tall. Realizing the health risks, I decided to start exercising. With no particular talent or interest in sports like soccer or fitness training, running was the most accessible option. Coupled with dietary adjustments, I lost about 10 kg per month and have maintained a weight of 60 kg for the past decade. This personal success makes me confident as a diet coach; if I could do it, anyone can.

 

 

 

 

I've heard you initially worked in a STEM field. Was it challenging to decide to switch careers?

Transitioning to a completely different field certainly brought its share of concerns. Given my age, the instability worried me. However, I found myself dedicating every spare moment outside my eight-hour workday to exercise and studying human anatomy, even drifting into these thoughts during work hours. It dawned on me that I needed to immerse myself in what I loved. Once I decisively chose to change careers, my mind felt more apparent, and my anxieties eased. This focus allowed me to study diligently and achieve good results without significant difficulties.

 

Have there been any particularly fulfilling or memorable moments in your work as an exercise specialist?

Seeing people who suffer from pain lead healthier, more energetic lives after training with me is incredibly rewarding. I recall a patient during my part-time job at a hospital who experienced persistent back pain for a month post-surgery. After just a 30-minute session with me, he felt significantly better and even brought me a lot of food as a thank you. Witnessing such immediate improvement after a long period of suffering was deeply gratifying.

 

 

Embracing Challenges with Courage


In a previous New Beauty interview, you described your own beauty as 'challenge.' Can you elaborate on this?

The word 'challenge' inherently carries a sense of unease. Embracing a new challenge often means letting go of something in the present, which requires courage. It's not that I'm fearless, but I had little to lose, which reduced my anxiety and enabled me to challenge myself more boldly, leading to my current achievements.

 

 

 

 

Many people in the New Beauty interviews have described their own beauty as confidence. What does confidence mean to you, and when do you feel most confident?

Confidence, to me, is a means of expressing oneself. It's a fundamental virtue everyone should possess. I feel most confident when running. Running has transformed my life—changing not only my physical appearance but also my career. Initially introverted and reserved, I gained courage and confidence from the positive feedback I received from others. This newfound confidence even led me to meet my wife. Her bucket list included completing her first marathon with her boyfriend, and despite the difficulty of matching her pace, seeing her happiness made me proud. While I'm not exceptionally talented in sports, running is when I feel most energetic and self-assured.

 

Running has become incredibly popular. What do you think makes it so appealing?

Running isn't inherently enjoyable like baseball or soccer, with immediate rewards and exciting moments. It's often monotonous and challenging. Yet, people persist because the results directly correlate with their efforts. Even briefly, the sense of achievement from seeing tangible results is immensely satisfying. This satisfaction fosters a desire to improve further. Preparing for marathons requires rigorous training and lifestyle adjustments, promoting a healthy and disciplined routine. For instance, I usually enjoy drinking, but when training for a competition, I avoid alcohol for months, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

 

You also coach running crews. What tips would you give to beginners?

Start with very low intensity and gradually increase it. Sudden, intense running can lead to injuries. A gradual, step-by-step approach is essential. Beginners should focus on time rather than distance or pace. Some days, a seven-minute pace might feel easy, while an eight-minute pace might be challenging on others. Avoid setting fixed distances or weekly goals initially, as this can feel like a chore. Instead, aim for short, manageable sessions of 10 to 20 minutes. As your stamina improves, you can begin more structured training. The key is to start with a light, enjoyable approach.

 

 

One Step Closer to the Dream

 

 

 

Could you introduce an item or place that best represents your authentic self?

Given that exercise has transformed my life, the place that best represents me is the track field. It's a space where I conduct lessons, engage in personal training, and do stretching exercises. The track is imbued with significance for me. Essential to this space are my running shoes; with them, I can run anywhere. When running, I am filled with confidence, free from worries, and fully immersed in myself.

 

Has your perception of your unique beauty changed after this interview?

I’ve never had the chance to reflect on my unique beauty before deeply. It’s possible that I didn't fully know myself, and even if I had thought about it, others wouldn't have known. This interview allowed me to articulate and express my thoughts, giving me a clearer understanding of myself. It was an opportunity to take a step further in the direction I envision for myself. I believe it would be beneficial to have more campaigns that help people understand themselves better and find their direction. This interview was a meaningful and valuable experience for me.

 

Do you have any plans to maintain your unique beauty in the future?

I plan to continue embracing new challenges. Recently, I opened a stretching shop, which was a new venture for me, and I’ve already embarked on another. I recently completed a test shoot to become an online instructor for the Korea Institute on Promotion of Private Certification's lifestyle exercise program. Filming starts next week, marking the beginning of my journey as an instructor. I hope to maintain the mindset to keep challenging myself, even when faced with moments of loss or the need to give something up.

 

What do you envision for yourself in ten years?

On a personal level, I hope to be a good father and husband. Professionally, I aspire to be an influential educator, teaching and spreading the concept of stretching. Currently, I teach stretching to individual members, but my broader goal is to popularize the idea of stretching. There aren’t many professionals specializing in stretching in hospitals or PT shops, and educational institutions for this are still lacking. Hence, there is a substantial need for such education. I aim to establish a center to train high-quality stretching instructors and create conditions where I can give my utmost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Exploring New Beauty’ introduces the stories of individuals across different generations as they discover ‘their own beauty’ within various lifestyles.

 

Photo Lee Sun Kwon

Directing LR Seoul

Planning Amorepacific Communications Team

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