As most of you know, I have been rehabbing a tear in my triceps tendon and haven’t been training. But I still am focused on my clients, my show promotion and being part of the sport itself. Toronto is about 3.5hrs from Windsor, so on Thursday morning I packed up my car with some meals, some clothes and my training partner and hit the road. We got to Toronto around 8pm Thursday night and from then on it was on! I had a few clients in the show in Figure, Amateur BBing and the IFBB 202 class so I was doing my best to keep them all moving in the right direction. Whoever thinks coaches like Hany Rambod, Neil Hill or Chris Aceto have it easy have to think again. In three days I think I had about 9 meals and slept about 3-4 hrs a night…definitely not good for a bodybuilder and the only reason I was able to justify it was I’m not training hard right now since I’m rehabbing. My clients did well, including Lou Joseph who took 4th in the 202 class. The show as a whole had some great quality and well conditioned athletes. I haven’t seen a 202 class that big and that deep in a long time; everyone in the class was awesome! In the open guys like Craig Richardson and Frank McGrath brought back old school conditioning to the stage. I couldn’t believe it, at one point I could see striations on Craig in between his oblique’s and his abdominals and I’ve never seen that before. Being there made me want to hit the stage again and not wait for anything. I could see how hard some of these guys were sacrificing for a win or an Olympia qualification. I talked to Craig Richardson backstage; I asked him what he did to get so shredded. He told me he worked with Jason Arntz and he had him eating 6-8oz portions of meat with very little carbs. For a guy like Craig who weighs about 225lbs solid, that’s not a lot of food. He mentally challenged himself to fight through hunger pains and he was rewarded for it with his first pro win. Hearing that made me realize that I’m still not working hard enough. One of the privileges of being friends with a lot of these guys is I get to see and ask them what they did to get to the top. When you hear the stories you are able to re-evaluate how hard your actually working. Are you giving it everything you got or are you just training the hardest in your own gym. I know it’s not too hard to be the hardest training guy in most gyms, that’s not enough for me. Having the praise of the guys in your gym is nothing, the guy that’s competing against you might be training in a basement somewhere all by himself knowing he’s gonna destroy you. Next time your doing a set of squats, your thinking of leaving because you’ve had it, you slow down because you might puke or you are just plain slacking, think about that other guy. I know a lot of you reading this have shows coming up and I promise you if you aren’t thinking about the other guy and how hard he’s working, he will blow right by you. Being the best in your circle is not enough; you have to think bigger to become a champion. Don’t think like a small fish in a big pond or else when you get to the ocean you’ll be eaten alive. Sacrifice Without Regret, Fouad ‘Hoss’ Abiad