Inspirational record-breaking athlete Zion Clark has the words "NO EXCUSES" tattooed on his back.
To the world it may be nothing more than some cool ink or a common phrase, but for Zion it represents a mantra that he lives by.
That's because Zion has had to push himself beyond his limits to obtain his goals.
On 13 October 2022, he more than lived up to his motto when he achieved record titles for the highest box jump with the hands and the most diamond push ups in three minutes at elite Los Angeles, California, US, based gym The Dogpound.
With a minimum required height of 24 inches (0.61 metres) to beat, Zion effortlessly jumped from the ground onto a box, using nothing but his own two hands, and achieved this height.
Knowing he was capable of jumping even higher, the height of the box was increased to 30 inches (0.76 metres), which Zion once again seamlessly achieved on his first try.
When asked if he wanted to attempt to jump even higher, there wasn't a doubt in his mind.
He went on to achieve an unbelievable height of 33 inches (0.83 metres).
Zion followed his successful record attempt with an advanced form of classic push ups, known as diamond push ups.
Rather than spreading the hands far apart, the exercise requires them to be kept next to one another in a diamond shape, as the body is pressed up.
Prior to smashing the record, Zion failed his first attempt with 48 seconds and 54 push ups remaining.
But in an attempt to show the world that he refused to be defeated, he came back even stronger during his second round, accomplishing an outstanding 248 diamond push ups in under three minutes.
When asked which record title posed more of a challenge, Zion shared that between the two, the most diamond push ups in three minutes (male) was by far the hardest.
"[The push ups] was definitely a mind game, it is definitely mind over matter."
"Doing these push ups, you cap 100, 150, 200, that is when real pain sets in [and] one of two things is going to happen, you are going to fold and stop, or you are going to say screw it and keep pushing until you achieve that goal," said Zion.
Proving that he's as strong mentally as he is physically, Zion attempted the record a second time, demonstrating that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
Zion also attempted two additional record titles for the most parallel bar dips in one minute with a 40 Ib pack and the fastest 5m rope climb carrying a 40 Ib pack (male), but both proved to be too challenging.
Originally drawing global attention after setting the record for the fastest 20m walking on hands, Zion has inspired the world with his tenacity, courage and resilience.
Although he’s now found fame in sports, Zion’s road to success was especially difficult to navigate.
Zion was born without legs, as a result of a disorder known as Caudal Regression Syndrome, a rare condition characterised by abnormal development of the lower (caudal) end of the spine.
His birth mother was unable to care for him, which landed him in the Ohio foster care system. He was between foster homes until he was adopted by Kimberly Clark Hawkins at almost 17 years old.
"I grew up in the foster care system for the first 17 years of my life, and in that there’s a lot of pain and a lot of abuse," he said.
"In turn it made my life really rough. I didn’t get adopted until I was almost homeless. That’s what it took for me to be adopted was being almost put out in the street.
"My mom took me in and gave me a purpose. A lot of people passed me by and wrote me off as a problem child, and she took a chance on me and gave me the stability I needed so I could focus on my athletics."
Zion did not disappoint, going on to build successful professional careers in track and field and wrestling.
It was first being recognised as an athlete which opened the doors for other things, including motivational speaking, writing and influencing the world.
"I had a rough life, and I had a lot of trials and tribulations, but it’s really helped shape who I am as a person and what my motives are",” said Zion.
"I’m trying to change the foster care system, I’m trying to inspire people to be the better parts of themselves, and on top of that I’m trying to be the most badass athlete on the planet."
Zion’s newfound record titles mark two more victories added to his growing list of achievements, including: All-American Wrestler at Kent State University, two-time state track champion, and 3x Guinness World Records title holder.
"There’s nobody faster on their hands than me in the world. Now, nobody can do more push-ups than me in under three minutes, and nobody can jump off their hands higher than me," said Zion.
"This means that I am number one. Out of the seven billion people on the planet, I am number one in those three categories."
Zion has big plans for the future and hopes to use his success and unique celebrity status to reach his goals.
Aside from training with his manager Craig Levinson in preparation to be the first-ever Olympian and Paralympian athlete at the same Olympic Games in Paris 2024, Zion plans to put his talents to use in the wrestling ring, and is preparing for an upcoming fight at the end of the year.
"I fight on December 17 and I’m going to knock the dude out and that’s just how it’s going to go," said Zion.
"Once it comes out, buy my pay per view and watch me knock somebody out. That’s what’s next."
Zion also offered some words of encouragement to those individuals facing their own battles.
"The sun is going to come up tomorrow and it’s going to come up the day after that."
"Find what makes you happy and keep being yourself, and one day you could be beating my records."