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Let me tell you why I love this wall.

This one.

Right here.

tough-mudder-starting-first-wall

I love it because if you’ve never done a Tough Mudder, that wall messes with you. Big time.

And like so many of the obstacles at this thing, it holds incredibly powerful parallels to real life. So many parts of the courses are setup that way.

It was no accident that Tough Mudder strategically placed one of the shortest and easiest walls that participants (Mudders) have to get over before they could even pass the starting line.

Many Mudders show up to their first event harboring all sorts of anxieties and fears unique to those who have never done a Tough Mudder before. They have usually trained as hard as they possibly could to get there. Even so, there are so many unknowns about what it will take to finish that they usually show up wondering, sincerely, if they will be able to do it at all. They worry that that they’ll hold back their team. They worry that they’ll fail miserably or have emotional seize-ups once they get to the obstacles they know are coming. They worry about a lot of things.

And then… BAM.

“HEY! Glad you showed up. There’s the starting line, right over there. All you have to do is get over this itty bitty teeny weenie GINORMOUS FRIGGIN’ WALL before you can even get started.

That right there… is life.

So perfectly.

In every person’s life, opportunities for accomplishments or greatness are presented to us all at different times. But here’s the thing… Actually accomplishing those things, and actually getting ourselves to those moments of greatness… is a really tough thing to do.

Greatness exists at the end of whatever course we each have to take to get there, and those courses in our lives always consist of so many obstacles, time, a lot of distance between pitstops, not a whole lot of rest along the way, and usually having no idea which way the road will bend as we go. There are always so many unknowns. we just have to trust that the paths we’re on will take us to our moments of greatness, or to our big accomplishments, or to our true happiness, or to our own authenticity, or to our ___________.

And those roads and those courses that can lead us to the greatness of our lives are scary. The journeys usually involve sacrifice. They involve risk. They often involve the willingness to look stupid or incapable in front of others if it comes down to that. They involve jumping into the unknown with nothing but hope that it will go as they planned. They involve incredible leaps of faith.

Why so much faith? Because as humans we know the potential of where we can end up if we just start the journey. We see those starting lines up ahead which we know we must cross. We know where we have to go just to start. We usually want to start. We are excited to start.

But there is always that dang wall we must get over first.

For some that wall is leaving an unhealthy relationship. For some it’s risking financial security. For others maybe it’s just full-heartedly admitting something to themselves that they really don’t want to have to admit. Each person will have her own wall. And each person will have to acknowledge that wall, stand face to face that wall, and get over that wall so that they can get started on whatever greatness lies ahead.

As I yelled those words to my teammates at Tough Mudder six days ago…

“What do you all say we just do this thing!”

And as the entire team started heading toward the warm-up area…

I was smiling because I knew that the wall was coming, and I remembered just how powerful it was for everyone who was doing the Tough Mudder for the first time last September.

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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!