Although you'd never hear Body-building and Tai Chi mentioned in the same sentence (except to illustrate the opposites of cultivating "muscle tension" against "muscle relaxation"), I began to notice things that we two groups share. The serious body builders I saw were all (I estimate) past their mid-thirties & some quite a deal older. The same of most Tai Chi practitioners, mature aged adults who have left their youth behind and were looking for something more satisfying. We are both serious and dedicated about our "arts", so much so that there is an "insider" culture to both of them. We have our Idols/inspirations, diet, terms, dedicated practice (hours and hours, years and years of it). And it struck me that we (many of us) are both pursuing something similar yet in very different ways. That is, we are consciously or subconsciously looking for: "the elixir of immortality", or at least to feel good about ourselves. Our methods differ, Body-builders' try to achieve it "externally" & Tai Chi people "internally". I imagine most body-builders would probably say the goal is to look their best through developing their muscles & sculpting their bodies to perfection, hence derive satisfaction from looking great defying the ageing process and maybe get respect from how other people would consequently treat them. Whereas we Tai Chi people would aim to feel good about ourselves from cultivating our "chi" and the consequent rejuvenating feelings it brings us. It's probably fair enough to say that both of us want to stay young and vital as long as we can even if it is through very different methods.
Authour - Lee Chang Tye