Are you looking to try a fitness trend that requires minimal effort, zero dollars, and is virtually slower than walking? Then do I have the fad for you! It’s called Gojjing (no it’s not) and it’s literally just jogging backwards. That’s it.
Gojjing (not what it’s called at all) is supposed to treat your body with the gentle touch it deserves from a rigorous fitness routine. It’s easy on the joints and tough on the glutes. What the fans don’t tell you about Gojjing (is literally everything because the word Gojjing is ungoogle-able) is that it’s mainly for those impermeable to gawking stares and pot-holes.
The first (and last) time I saw the term Gojjing was in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald (I will not apologize for being so worldly) called “The Six Weirdest Fitness Trends of 2014”. I tried googling the word, excited about doing something so silly for no money (usually I pay top dollar to humiliate myself) and couldn’t find a damn thing!
But the gods wouldn’t let such a good trend go untried by a faddist like myself, and soon enough I stumbled upon a new fitness trend mainly in the UK called Retro Running or Reverse Running. Honestly, most people are just calling it “running backwards” but I am not going to let an incredible term like Gojjing go unused in this society! This article is for you, Australia. You’re welcome.
Gojjing (every time I type it I feel like a revolutionary!) sprang onto the scene out of nowhere in 2006. It has peaked in the public’s eye over the last year on the heels (feet joke. runners get it.) of Barefoot Running. From what I gather through my research, people thought, “I know that Barefoot Running is super weird and painful, but how can we really maximize the emotional and physical risks of running?!” and then one genius Australian yelled “GOJJING IS THE ANSWER!” and everybody laughed because Gojjing is a hilarious word and Australian accents are fun.
The benefits of Gojjing are touted to be a more complete workout, a gentler exercise, and a good story for your friends. If you want to read some more documentation on Gojjing, might I recommend its bustling Wikipedia page, which describes the fad with the following gem of a sentence: “the act of running in reverse, so that one travels in the direction one’s back is facing rather than one’s front.”
Gojjing is here to stay, dummies, so put on your knee pads and get on board.
Lucky for you (and the aesthetic pleasure of this post) I had my delightful roommate Sara take delightful photos of me Gojjing down the block. Surprisingly, the act of being photographed mid-Goj is hilarious and one of the best times I’ve had in a while! For a good time, Goj. Evidence below:
“LOLZ! HILARIOUS GOJJING!” I seem to say.
Before I begin with my recount of the party that is running backwards- let me add that I do not run. One time my Superhero Dad told me it may be hard on my joints and I’ve never looked back! That was all I had to hear to get me off the hook from a lifetime of health, happiness and hot bod-edry.
Whenever I try the “fad” that is running now, it is simply because all my friends are doing it and I like dressing up in fancy workout clothes. I would swear to you that I’m not a sheep but unfortunately this blog is actually based on the fact that I am. So I sheepishly (double-meaning much?! GOD, this article is nailing it!) put on my cutest American Apparel sweatshirt and my sneakers with a price tag only an actual runner could love and hit the streets.
I Gojjed out of the gate, I Gojjed across the street, I Gojjed past the beloved fruit stand man on my corner who smiled and laughed with me, and I felt like a million bucks. I felt not only like an exercise-loving woman of the fitness world, but also like a weirdo innovator that is so in tune with her running routine that she feels confident enough to do what runners do best: alienate the whole fucking world. It wasn’t long before I realized I was moving hilariously slow and that my once beloved fruit man may in fact be laughing at me.
Perhaps it was the constant fear of running into a bump in the road (talk about a metaphor for life!) but I couldn’t bring myself to move faster than a Carly-on-a-brisk-walk. It only took me 20 minutes to get to the end of one block when I decided to add some science to this process. I found a relatively flat and quiet stretch of sidewalk in the bowels of Echo Park to put Gojjing to the ultimate test: The .1 Mile Stride.
The numbers don’t lie, folks! My Gojjing was not only vastly slower than my running, but also embarrassingly slower than my walking. Other highlights of The .1 Mile Stride include the fact that I was on a street corner near a Korean church and had a bench full of old women as an audience. They were not amused. Even when I tripped they were not amused! I won’t lie to you and pretend the trip was at least in part a trick to amuse them…but the crowd was as rough as an Echo Park sidewalk. To them, I leave this gif sent to me in an email from Laura S, subject line: “GIF FEST ’15.”
As far as benefits go, I will certainly say a whole different part of my legs were getting a workout. While I was running forward, I felt out of breath and strained mostly on my calves (am I doing this wrong?). While Gojjing, I didn’t feel breathless at all (again, glacial pace) but I did fell a mega workout in my outer thighs from running delicately on my toes. The other strain I felt was a HELLA (justified usage) crank in my neck from constantly looking out for pedestrians and pot-holes. I can see why people are adding this to their stupid workouts as a way to hit more muscles on their path to total body domination.
I think I can safely say that this fad isn’t for me. I couldn’t find a stretch of land secluded enough to do this for more than .1 miles. BUT I guess if you’re one of those freaks who loves to run (am I hiding this jealousy well?!) I can see that adding a few laps of Gojjing might really help you hit some untapped muscles.
My suggestion? Find a flat, virtually abandoned place to do it. A middle-school track at the strike of midnight sounds just about right. I’ll see you there- not to run, but just because that’s the type of place I like to hang.