Standing at only 4′ 10″, Choon Tan is one of the shortest, if not the shortest, Bodybuilders to grace us with his Physique – And he’s sure making quite the name for himself.
You can imagine the troubles he’s dealt growing up, in particular the depression he has dealt with while growing up. He’s been bullied and called all sorts of names throughout his youth. As many of us can atest, bullying is still rampant throughout grade school and high school – more than most would like to admit.
Choon was was born with a genetic birth defect that is called X-Linked Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Tarda, which according to NIH.gov is a “condition that impairs bone growth and occurs almost exclusively in males”.
Essentially what this defect means is that it “affects the bones of the spine (spondylo-) and the ends (epiphyses) of long bones in the arms and legs”. Furthermore, the “Tarda” portion means that that this defect isn’t usually caught at birth, nor is it noticed then either, but may appear later in childhood, usually between the ages 6 and 10.
The average height for Males with this genectic defect can range “from 4 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 6 inches”.
“Finding out that I had a genetic defect and that I would not be the same as everyone else confused me as a child. I didn’t feel that I was as good or the same as everyone else. I got bullied and tormented because of it. Those several years were undoubtedly the worst of my life but it is what let me to an incredible eye-opening journey.”
When you get bullied so much and have genetic defects, you can imagine the pain and turmoil people endure.
“Everything started to get to me and I just wanted it all to end.”
Over the years, he started to get frustrated with the way he was and decided to do something about it. Regardless of his height and stature, he was ready to make a change in his life.
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“I was fed up of feeling skinny, feeling like I could be better. So I decided to do something about it.”
He goes onto say that life isn’t all it seems even after you’ve gotten some media and stardom, saying….
“You occasionally get people making stupid remarks, but you brush it off and appreciate the abundance of positive feedback.”.
Suffice it to say, his life has been change and he goes onto saying,
…”My main ambition now is to inspire people to believe in themselves. And to know that they too can change their lives, no matter what the situation.”