Out of the weight pit and hitting the concrete: my fitness evolution.

Lifting weights has been part of my life for 15 years. The sound of weight stacks clanging, the music muffled by it’s own echo in a large room, the smell of sweat, rubber mats, and iron combined together always induce vivid flashbacks of the first gym I ever walked into as a teenager. My personal and professional development have been all closely interrelated with the weight pit. I go to the gym to de-stress, clear my head, and re-organize my mind. It was an obvious evolution when I decided to dedicate myself to bodybuilding as a profession for the past 2 years. I remember thinking a year ago:

“This is it, I’ve found something I really love and I’m not going to give it up come hell or high water.”

Things change, people change, we evolve through our life experience.

Picture from one of the November Project Hill Runs

Picture from one of the November Project Hill Runs

 

About a year ago I met the November Project over twitter and got to know their community since some of them come into Blitz. Their community vision is similar to that of Blitz’: it’s all about accepting everyone and it’s done in a way that encourages self improvement. They build community during a 30 minute workout on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and break out sessions during the week. So on a cold March morning I joined the tribe at the Royal Glenora stairs.  After the workout, hugs, and high fives, I fell in love running, and more importantly found a community that encourages me to push my limits every day.  As an example, some of the tribe members held each other, and myself, accountable to run a total of 40 km last week, and 60 km this week.  Fitness is a universal language that unites individuals, and groups through self improvement and interdependence so I look at both Blitz and November Project as all part of my community and vehicles for self expression.

The growth of my circle of friends also challenged my identity as a person. I was as a bodybuilder before.  Bodybuilders don’t run, heck HIIT classes are a stretch; we’re built to lift things up and put them down repeatedly. What I realized over time though is that segregating myself to one static word, bodybuilder, was limiting my personal development. It’s not that this is a wrong approach, I tell people to associate themselves to one specific goal or sport when they first start off in fitness because it provides structure and if that’s the only thing they do that’s perfectly fine. I know a lot of people who have been dedicated to a sport for their entire lives and I respect that. I just love challenging my body in different ways like parkour, running, bodybuilding, and even that pesky swimming (or, for me, sinking). I’m quite simply passionate about movement and at times it expresses itself in individual sports or sometimes multiple sports. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still lifting weights every day, and working out in HIIT classes; I just added a periodized running program to the mix and modified my nutrition to fit the added activity.

The body, much like the mind, and the soul, is built on self discovery and challenge; this ultimately leads to the evolution of the person, improvements in health, and finding fulfillment. When we to let go of static identities and past experiences we empower ourselves to move forward and accept what the future brings.

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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.

Comments

  1. Awesome post Chris. Welcome to the magical world of running!

  2. Love this Chris! … I’m with you. It’s all good: running, HIIT, yoga, etc. Really it’s about friends, fun, challenges and pushing limits. Let’s go for a run together soon!

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