I sprinted toward the wall alongside the rest of my team. Some members were already scurrying over the top before I could even get halfway there. These people, it seemed, were born as monkeys.

I was not born as a monkey. I was born as a rhino. Barreling right through that wall seemed easier than going over the top of it to me.

I reached the wall alongside Rick (our five-time Tough Mudder), Bodhi (an undeniably anxious and helpful spirit), Troy (a bad ass biker dude with earrings and long hair), Jerilee (a marathon runner who just qualified for Boston) and others.

This is when everything changed.

There was no thinking. There was no planning or plotting. Everything just clicked in and we all took on our roles as if we had been practicing them together for years.

The bigger and stronger members of our group immediately squatted. We held out our hands to create living platforms for other members to launch from. One by one, teammates began hurling over this wall which moments before seemed so impossible. Last to go over with assistance was Kenny, who I am guessing was a thousand times more worried about that wall than I even was. I never saw how he got down the other side. I only saw that brief look in his eyes when he was atop the wall, and he felt the same thing I would feel moments later. The look that said, I’m going to be able to do this. All of this.

Once everyone else was over, there was only Bodhi, me, and Rick left to get over. Rick offered me his hands to launch me the way we had done others. But something inside me told me no. This wall was mine.

I eyed the top edge of the wall. I squatted. I lunged up. I started pushing myself up. And… I realized my elbow, along with all 245 lbs. of me was smashing the hand of Bodhi who had leapt at the same time I had. I immediately dropped, horrified at the thought of injuring him from the get-go. He just laughed and said he was fine. Then he disappeared to the other side of the wall.

Just me and Rick left.

Again I squatted. Again I lunged up. And with almost no effort and almost no thinking, I was on top of that wall. I had done it, all by myself. It happened so quickly, I’m not even completely sure how I got up there.

I paused for the briefest moment up top, and let a very real thought sink in.

My training for this event was enough. I was going to be able to do this.

You see, my real biggest fear coming into it, was that my training wasn’t enough. I never felt like I was ready. I had worked and worked and worked for this day, and I never felt like it was enough until I was on top of that wall.

Before I could reach a hand down for Rick, he was already flying over the top with the speed and grace of a chipmunk up a pine tree.

The entire team made it to the other side. It didn’t matter if people could pull themselves up or not. It didn’t matter how tall or short, or small or big, or young or old any of us were. We all made it over. And I think everyone knew in that moment just how possible this whole thing was.


After some group warm-up, the Mudder vow, and safety instructions, we were set loose on the course. We jogged for a hundred feet, and then we huddled together as the wave of people behind us passed by. We had team members who couldn’t run, and we were doing this at their pace because… how else do you get an entire team across a finish line together if you don’t stick together from the beginning?


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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!