That Announcement You’ve Been Waiting For…

Brett Kirkland Erika Barootes Chris Tse

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.  

– John F. Kennedy

I’ve been told that partnerships are like marriages: in order for the relationship to grow you need to give it love, time, and a whole lot of effort. We started Blitz with the intent to focus on one thing: building a community that supports each other through changes in life. Blitz doesn’t focus on pounds dropped, weight gained, or personal bests – those are simply byproducts of people getting together and having a safe place to call their own.

This month has been one of the toughest points in my life and I’m pretty sure it’s the same for Brett and Erika. Life changes, goals change, people change. We have all decided to part ways in the partnership and I’m officially taking the helm as the sole owner of Blitz.

Erika has done an amazing job at creating systems and order out of the frat-like disorder that Brett and I were working in for the past few years. She implemented and championed for so many things that have streamlined our interaction with our members, and have assisted in helping create an environment that will guarantee the success of our trainers. Erika has decided to leave the ownership group but still teach SPIIT, HIIT, and Spin.

Brett has been instrumental in developing the fundamentals we see in our HIIT classes, and personal training. His high energy and passion have been things that our instructors and trainers have looked up to and mirrored. I still remember our long workouts eight years ago as we started formulate a vision of the great community we now call Blitz. Brett is still like a brother to me and someone I hold so close to my heart.

Ultimately we have all decided to part ways because life, and more especially, our priorities change. Whether it’s a decision to explore other career options or to put family first we had to respect that we need to put ourselves, and those we love the most, first.

“We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”

– Brene Brown

With a team of partners you have an in-built community of support to rely on. Business ownership is tough and stressful, at times pretty damn scary, and ultimately very rewarding. In a partnership I could rely on the fact that at least one other person was feeling the same things I was. Now, without partners, I’m confronting the fact that the proverbial buck stops with me and am feeling simultaneously overwhelmed and emboldened by that reality.

This shift in ownership will also correspond to a shift in responsibility and empowerment. I appreciate the incredible staff of trainers that we have here, and know that they are an intelligent, passionate, dynamic group. I want these people to take on more, learn more, and quite plainly do more. As if they weren’t already doing enough, we’ll be working as a team to expand portfolios and make sure that, as a result, each of you is receiving the best training experience possible when you come to Blitz.

Blitz is an organization that puts the muscle behind the community. Whether it is strengthening one person through a change in their life, or it is leading the charge to raise money for a cause, our people are, and will become, leaders in Edmonton. My passion has been in leadership, to lead both by example and through supporting the development of the greatest personal training team in Edmonton, I have learnt that the greatest leaders are the ones who facilitate the success of others.\

Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.

– Albert Camus

Perfection isn’t real and I expect to falter. I know that this will be a learning experience for myself and my team, and I’m okay with that – in fact, I embrace it. It’s through those hiccups and missteps that we are going to find our new rhythm and push past where we are now into something more exciting. It’s like Blitz reimagined just…less corny.

Blitz is still HIIT and spin and personal training; it’s still about crushing goals, and sharing our successes and struggles on the way to those goals with each other. And, like always, it’s about community. Through all the changes in ownership and management over the years it’s always been about community and I know that that is what will help us find our footing and our new stride.

I’m excited – I hope you are, too – and I can’t wait to see what this new adventure brings. Trust me, it’s gonna be great.

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. Jacqui Sundquist says:

    Change is good…Break a leg Chris! All the best Erika and Brett…break a leg on your future endeavours too… ~ Jacqui

  2. Jenni olson says:

    Well written and communicated Chris! I believe that Blitz is and will always be what you said in this following sentence. “Through all the changes in ownership and management over the years it’s always been about community and I know that, that is what will help us find our footing and our new stride!”
    Ryan and I from day one have felt right at home and apart of a community and that is a beautiful gift given to all those whom enter the doors of Blitz!
    Sencerly, Jenni Olson

  3. Congratulations Chris. All the best in the future to Brett and Erika.

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