Sports: Haven for the Heart
As everyone knows, group 2PM had suffered a lot since last autumn. The trials which their colleague went through were equally painful to other members as well. They had experienced their first crisis even though since their debut in 2008 everything they did – whether it was music or performance – became blockbuster hits. For the team’s youngest Chansung, who was only 19 years old at the time, this whole situation was even more confusing.
In addition, he usually thinks a lot when he’s alone, so everything seemed so complicated that he thought his head might explode. “It’s possible to forget everything while exercising”. Back then he realized that taking up sports supplied him with a form of freedom. “While exercising and breaking a sweat you concentrate on other things, so it helps to relieve stress. Actually I’ve been training since last year’s April, but I couldn’t do it properly because of a tight schedule. Also I didn’t have that much will to practice. However, I found a mental escape through exercising and suddenly my attitude changed from “I must train” to “I just go to train.” I keep on exercising for mental comfort rather than for building up my body.”
With the end of 1st album activities this year, he got immersed into training even more. With the exception of the time when he had schedule overseas, he could be found working at a fitness center for two hours a day. It didn’t matter whether it was a night or a day, holiday festivals or just a day off. “Chansung’s body is really problematic,” the trainer in charge Coach Hwang Jinho says so about him. “That shows 1000% effort,” adds JYP’s dedicated trainer Coach Hwang in reference to Chansung’s muscular body. “His muscle structure isn’t so good. To say in other words, the effect of training isn’t keen on showing fast on his body. When Taecyeon lifts a dumbbell once, Chansung has to do it 20 times to get the same effect. It’s easy to give up when the effects aren’t showing, but Chansung fills up that gap with working really hard.”
It is said that if a person decides to do something, even the world starts helping him. If someone works hard to become good at something, we often see that efforts precede talent. What is more, if the results of the hard work are successful, eventually it is hard to distinguish between talent and effort. Looking at Chansung right in front of the camera these thoughts become more real. With a tall height of 185cm and a perfect muscular body, one cannot but feel jealous of him and blame it on the genes. “It’s the first time I’m doing an exposed solo shoot, so I trained hard, I wonder if it’s going be ok?” he asks shyly, embarrassed that he has to reveal his body with many women around. “Ok? Probably all the men in here are going to start hating you right now.”
Slowly but assuredly moving forward
Chansung’s life changed with his participation in the “Superstar Survival” program back in 2006. Even though he was eliminated in the 2nd episode, he did capture Park Jinyoung’s attention and as he became a trainee at JYPE, his road in life changed into a more specific one. It was an important event for a boy skilled in taekwondo and sports who up till then lived a normal teenage life. “I’ve never dreamed of becoming a celebrity. Naturally, singer or actor’s occupations are respectable, but being tone-deaf, having no sense of rhythm or dancing skills I didn’t even dare to think about it. Compared to my older brother who excels in his studies (currently enrolled at Yonsei University**), I didn’t really have much interest in studying, and the only thing I was good at was taekwondo and kendo.”
Luckily he was chosen as a member of the so-called Park Jinyoung’s “pride” 2PM, but with that Chansung was more worried than glad. “Other members were a lot more outstanding. At first during dance practice, I could never keep up with the beat; I was the only one to stand up to soon or too late. In order not to harm the other members, I could only try and work a lot harder than others.” He spent lots of time alone in the training room. And there was none the other but Rain training in the room next to him. “Even though he’s one of the best artists of the nation, whenever he didn’t have any schedule, Rain-hyung always came to rehearse at the company, and just watching him I had nothing but a word “as expected” in my head. At a time with such willpower and attitude he was my role model.
If we were to use trainer Hwang Jinho’s words, Chansung “works hard so much it’s crazy”. People around him are scared that sometime he might make a wrong comment in order to protect even a false piece of information. Sleek and sculpted body, along with a shinny stage appearance – things like that are not gained just like that. “I hate repeating same thing over and over again to death,” says Chansung, but he has slowly tamed himself into fixing his attitude. And suddenly one remembers what Kang Hodong once said on an entertainment program. “I walk on slowly. But I never go back.”
Credits: Men’s Health (2010 May Issue). Reporter/editor: Jeong Hyewuk, Photos: Seong Gyun
* Description based on a saying derived from 4 Chinese characters 虎視牛步 (read in Korean as ho-shi-u-bo 호시우보). The saying is explained as “having sharp observing eyes of a tiger, and making prudent moves as a bull”.
** Yonsei is one of the top 3 universities in Seoul.
wow.. he's really a hard worker..
and seems like he kinda have a low self esteem? or is he just being humble? idk. but Chansung often says that he's not as good as other people. like he said about his envy of Taec's body, his lack of talent compared to other members, etc.
but hey~.. of course we don't think so, rite?? Chansung is the 'it' guy!