4 Weeks Out to the Bodybuilding Competition: it all comes crashing to an end.


Dear friends, I thank you for all of the support you’ve given me in the past few months; all of the conversations, the pats on the back, and the messages that have been sent to me.  I’m honoured to have gotten to know you all and I find it amazing that I’ve been able to share my journey to competing in my first bodybuilding show.  Unfortunately due to medical concerns I have been advised to stop the preparations for the competition on May 11.  It’s amazing how something that I have placed so much time and energy on can come to a sudden halt, but that’s life.  We as humans in our limited wisdom create these grandiose plans and leap towards a goal or a vision with an innocence that everything is predictable, measurable, and defined.  At the end of it all, we are still left to roll the etherial dice and hope it all works out.  Plans succeed, but they also fall apart.  It’s how we pick ourselves back up that truly determines how we shape the situation and the rest of our lives.

I remember this quote from Bruce Lee:

“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water.  If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.  You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle.  You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.  Now, water can flow or it can crash.  Be water my friend.”

I’ve attempted to base my approach to life with the idea that we must adapt, and evolve with the environment and what life throws at us.  I prepare myself for anything by creating plans and pursuing whatever I do with an absolute passion.  I hone my craft as a bodybuilder, as a trainer, and as a human every day so that I am able to experience life to the fullest without limitations.  As I said in a previous blog, I made a choice to prepare to compete; it led to a path in which I was able to experience things that I would have never experienced if I chose not to do it.  I have never regretted a taking on a new challenge in life even if it doesn’t lead to the desired result.  I simply love to take on something new to explore how it changes my life and those around me.  My drive is to be the best that I can be every day in the context of my family, friends, and community.  I have an absolute lust for life because I know that what I do day-in and day-out creates a positive effect on others.

IMG_3346I was momentarily disappointed.  I went from feeling down for myself to feeling down because I felt as if I’ve dropped the ball for everyone I know.  If there’s one thing in life I hate it is letting other people down.  Instead of hanging my head in shame I chose to look at the positives.  I have gotten to know so many of you through this journey so far.  We shared amazing stories of physical and mental struggles through the universal language of health and fitness.  I’ve pushed my body, my mind, and my soul to points where I thought I would have to quit but I kept going.  I’ve found that life isn’t about finding balance between your profession and personal life, it’s a continuum where we cannot separate our passion of what we do and who we are around.

I don’t look at this as failure, it’s quite simply another event in my life.  I may trip when I decide to walk a certain path, but when I do I learn to pick myself back up, glance back, learn from the experience and to never look back.  There is no time to regret, only time to live in the now.  I’m still pursuing bodybuilding as a hobby.  I truly enjoy the sport, the lifestyle, and the structure that it has created in my life and I won’t give that up.  I will probably compete again when I’m given the ok by the doctors.   Health and fitness are a foundation in my life that, when times are tough, I can rely on for stability and consistency.  Fitness isn’t about losing weight or looking great; these are byproducts.  It is ultimately about a tool for mindfulness, a vehicle to create discipline in life, and ultimately it’s about surrounding ourselves with a community that pushes us to change ourselves every day.  When we can hold that concept closely in our minds it no longer becomes a chore, nor does it need “motivation”, it is simply a part of life and cannot be separated from it.

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.


  1. Wow Chris. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after reading this. I know after reading your posts that you will find the strength to move to the next challenge with determination and mindfulness.

  2. *hugs* my friend! you are an amazing individual! 🙂 Your determination alone is awe-inspiring!

  3. Katherine says:

    Chirs! You demand and deserve such respect 🙂 Such an inspiration!!!

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