Driving to Ohio late one Friday night amidst the traffic-construction and fatigue setting in I decided I needed to pull over and sleep a couple of hours before I continue my trip. What is usually a 5-hour ride had gotten me only to my halfway point- in around 5 hours.

I crashed out in a Motel 6 - and believe me, I've been in prison cells cleaner than this joint- I plug in the C-pap and set my alarm for 6 am (3 hours and 7mins). I'd like to take this time to thank the crack heads next door for singing me a ghetto lullaby while fighting over drugs.

Alarm rings- 6 am, and my first thought is "fuck this"- I'll squat later- but I'm Irish, and I'm just as stubborn as I am ugly. I'm up- I brush my teeth- pack up my c-pap, and I hit the road. I stop at Speedway get a 20 oz. Cup of that wonderful burnt coffee, some nasty breakfast cakes, and I'm thinking man I need some calories -snatch a couple of Powerades, and I'm back heading east.

I set the cruise control and turn up the music, the suns coming up on the horizon. Man, I love the midwest and will forever stay here- that's the thought that was running through my head as I settle in for the last leg of my trip which unknown then -would take me a little more than 4 hours.

London Ohio, shower, change, eat a little something, and some more coffee- back in the car and headed to the S4 compound. I pull up- first thing I notice is there are fewer cars than normal- needing someone to wrap my knees first thought was "fuck"- second thought was "fuck it."

It was one of those humid mornings - you know where your windshield is foggy but you don't want the heat on, and everything has dew on it. I pop my earbuds in (the ghost talk to me in my head they said I'm already dead) slaine an Irish rapper from Boston blasting in my ears as I shoulder my bag and walk in.

I walk in and see Dave Tate and Ted Toalston, two guys that If you combined them at the moment, we might have one fully operating body- you know the saying live by the sword die by the sword. Point of this, getting my knees wrapped is going to be a fucking chore in the infirmary that the compound was that day.

Dave asks, "How's it going?" after listing my laundry list of excuses that I eloquently wrote out above. He just laughs and says, "Yeah, you're a powerlifter getting them excuses ready for having a bad day."  Well, that's it, I look right at him after he reiterated all my "excuses" in a mocking yet motivating voice and say, "You wrap my knees, and I'll show you I don't have bad days." I also said, "I don't make excuses, I make memories."

While warming up I'm thinking 800 for a triple, getting wrapped by a guy who's duct taped together - I'd list the old man's ailments, but I don't have that kind of time, we can settle with he is fucked up BUT he still squatted - so fuck your bullshit excuses. If he squatted today, I'm not missing my set, hell no, HELL FUCKING NO.

The first wrap was terrible, second- terrible- the third wrap? You guessed it. Daves riding my leg like some fleshy bike seat- nothing like a couple of big ass sweaty meatheads trying to get wraps together- seriously we had to look like a monkey fucking a football. 800 pounds loaded on the bar- Dave centers me and grabs a side and a guy (Ted) wearing his brand spanking new robocop issued arm brace - post triceps surgery pops the rack, and we're off.

Dave and I

It's one of those great moments where everything slows down- you hear the cues, but you aren't listening. That mechanical screech off the arm's on the mono swinging- the mind screaming what the hell are you doing- and you screaming back "shut the fuck up." Before you know it three reps later I'm in the rack, and I pop my belt, remove my wraps-- I did it, easy.

Now I know this may seem like a brag, and sure it partially is, but there are some hidden gems here. I learned when this shit is in your blood it's in your blood- two guys beat to shit, yet still at the gym on a Saturday morning - two guys who would call a tow truck to get their big asses up if they were too busted up to get there under their own power.

Those are the people who inspire me- I'll be that guy- and I'll take a lot of shit for it, but you know what IDGAF. I'm heading to Fucked Up Avenue full speed ahead- the breaks are bad- and I've got the pedal mashed.

When every set could be your last great set, you better go balls deep, cause it's coming- and it will smack the shit out of you from behind like some oversized high school bully. Next time you post your set with the laundry list of reason while you'll "take your five-pound PR" consider it was making a memory, and just stop with the bullshit excuses why it was only a 5-pound PR.

You overcame obstacles and did what you came to do- why isn't it good enough? If you had more than you should have taken more, nobody cares- in the end, it's a box of plastic trophies-heartache -hospital bills- and agony.

I just NEED a few more pounds on my final number before the wheels fall off and I'll be at the gym wrapping some kids knees hoping he will learn something from me. Live- learn- pass on.

I am #elitefts