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The hills were alive with the sound of Tough Mudders. And when I say hills, I mean hills. The location they chose for this Tough Mudder was set on an English Countryside with steep and tall rolling hills all the way through, most many hundreds of feet from summit to base; the biggest of which was 1,000 feet tall. It was a very different landscape than Utah’s perfectly flat Tough Mudder with its one solid mountain at the end.

My body was doing well enough given my medication mistake the night before. In fact, things were good. We were happy. Life was awesome…

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Until, that was, we jumped from the “Walk the Plank” obstacle into ice cold water below. I was expecting it to be so much warmer. Utah’s Walk the Plank was practically a heated swimming pool in comparison. Immediately when I hit the water, my muscles all tightened. The back of my head felt like it was going to spit my brain out.

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“Let’s get moving!” I told my brother after taking a big swig from the water bottle my sister in law was carrying. It was the first obstacle spectators got to watch us complete. I knew if we waited around too long, our bodies would not want to move at all.

Not too far in front of us was a monster of a hill which we had to go down and then up. It was halfway up the other side when my right calf suddenly seized. I stopped and stretched. Other Mudders were doing the same thing all the way up the hill. The cold water and chilly breeze obviously had affected many of us in not so fabulous ways. At the top, Mudders in all directions began holding their arms up in a giant “X”, the signal that medical help is needed. Mudder down. A young, fit looking man was collapsed on the ground, pounding at the dirt in front of him with a fist. He cursed and muttered, angry that his day at Tough Mudder was over. At the top of the hill I had to stretch once more, and we carried on. My calf was bothering me, but it wasn’t threatening to take me down. Yet.

Mud Mile was so much different at this Tough Mudder, too.In Utah the obstacle was giant trenches filled with water, and a small layer of mud at the bottom. This time, there were much taller and wider trenches with thick, sludgy, entrapping mud at the bottom. Mudders had to leap and if they didn’t clear the trench, they would be stuck worse than a fly to fly paper. My brother and I both cleared most of them. On one leap, I came up just short and my foot sunk deep in the mud. With all the effort I had in me I could not pull it out. It took my brother and one other Mudder pulling me with all their might for me to finally break free. My hip was extremely unhappy about what had just happened.

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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 1.4 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!