I remember my first encounter with the iron. It was in my uncle’s dusty ass basement gym back in Ohio in 2006. I remember being a kid and fed up with being weak. I remember telling myself that today is the day you’re going to do it. I remember walking down the stairs with a clear mind, but it was racing at a million mph, a sense of uncertain, certainty if there is such a thing. I remember grabbing that old 45lb plate and sliding it on that beat-up barbell. I remember wiping the rust off on to my white t-shirt as I laid back on to the cold bench. I remember this feeling of rage, like a switch of insanity that was just flipped on by Zeus himself, something I’ve felt before, but not unprovoked like this. I mean shit, it’s a piece of metal, why am I so angry at it? I remember gripping the cold bar with absolute confidence. Huffing and puffing as I get closer and closer to the edge of taking my first rep. My heart is fucking pounding out of my chest, my eyes focused on this bar as if it had just slapped me in the damn mouth and said do something about it, little guy. I remember closing my eyes and in that moment it was like reaching the eye of the storm, the rage, the tantrum, the breathing, the pounding..it all stopped. Pure silence, not a single thought ran through my mind as I lay. Then the count. 1…2…LIFT, as I open my eyes and regain myself, the bar comes off the rack. I remember holding it above my chest. As I come to, I still couldn’t hear anything, I couldn’t think of anything, I couldn’t feel the freezing metal tearing into my hands as I bear the weight that is more than anything I’d ever held. Deep breath in…..and start. As I begin my decent the bar is getting closer and closer and closer, until I feet it happen. The overwhelming feeling of impending failure. It comes crashing down on my chest like the weight of the world. I can’t breathe, I begin to hear, see, and feel everything, fighting and kicking and screaming, I finally tip the bar to my left and slid underneath it, letting the weight slam on the hard cement floor. I have failed. I REMEMBER FAILING. I remember the feeling of failure and everything it entails. I remember hating this feeling. I wasn’t sad, I was fucking pissed. I wanted to punch my hand through the brick wall. I remember wanting to quit. I remember the feeling of anger. I remember feeling angry with myself because I knew at the point that it would drive me to stop at absolutely nothing until I achieve this. I remember forming an obsession from failure. I remember failure, as it consistently fuels my success.