163 km – Run for Joel


When you die you take nothing with you. The only thing that’s left are the people you’ve impacted and the shared stories. Sit back for a moment and let that sink in.

When I first sat down and ruminated over this concept I got rid of everything that was unnecessary, and donating all the extra stuff in my life to others in need. Then I partnered up with Brett to open Blitz. I consider myself privileged. I have the ability to wake up every morning with the opportunity to pursue my passions. With the drop of a hat I can turn a mediocre feeling day into a pretty fantastic one just by doing a single act for someone else. We all have this ability but it can happen in different capacities; you may not need to quit your day job, you can direct your efforts towards your kids, to charities, community organizations, and a slew of other things.


So I started running and preparing for these 5 Peaks Races but I realized one thing: I hate competing. No… like really hate it. This may come as a surprise but I’m not very competitive with others; my self deprecative humour really points towards a raging internally competitive nature. Placing one toe across a man-made construct called a “finish line” a few milliseconds quicker than the next person, having a hunk of metal strapped over my neck, and forcing a smile while my quads are screaming in agony ultimately gives me little to no pleasure. I have a deep respect people who have that innate desire, and it makes me proud to assist them in achieving their goals, but it’s not in me and I have a problem performing any feat with that intent in mind. If there is one thing I know, it’s that I love to play. I perform the best in “competitions” when it looks like I’m about as focused as a 2 month old puppy; sometimes I’m surprised I cross the finish line face first. Being in the fitness industry I’ve also realized that many people have lost the joy of movement. We focus on numbers: weight gain, weight loss, fastest kilometer, heaviest clean and jerk, macronutrients, micronutrients… this list goes on. We live in a society in which we have so much data about our bodies but understand it the least in comparison to all of our ancestors.

Joel and Rebecca

Photo Cred goes to Rebecca Smilie

I needed to re-direct my attention for these races away from the finish line, the numerics, and all the fanfare, so dedicating my entire season to Joel felt like it was just the right thing to do. He’s thankfully out of the hospital and back hanging out with his friends at the Ronald McDonald House causing mayhem of course!

My training has led to a grand total of 163 km of trails and pavement in April. That brings the total raised for his family to over $500. I’ve had two people come along side me and match dollar for kilometer, thanks Caitlin and Craig, and our Thursday 7:00 pm runs at Blitz are also donation basis for the cause.  I’ve realized two things:

  • Every time I lace up I know I’m doing this for someone else and that gives me absolute joy and drives me to improve with every run; running has become on of my passions because this.
  • Runs are way better when I can head out with friends and special shout out to my wolf pack, Topher, Heather, Leah, and Jess for never saying no to my borderline insane ideas!


About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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