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I was literally unable to acknowledge to myself the miracle it was that I had still crossed the finish line even in the state I was in. I was unable to appreciate how far beyond my own limits I had actually pushed myself.

I simply saw that I was not where I believed I had finally worked to be, and I saw only what my limits actually were, and I let what I saw destroy me.

After that, everything else seemingly went to shit. My relationship, which I thought would last for life. My app launches, which I thought would be the lifeline from the near-impossible blogging atmosphere that has crept-in during recent years. My mind, which I thought was solid, and unbreakable, and sound… Life chipped away at all of it. Endlessly and without mercy. And it kept doing so until a week and a half ago when, in a bit of subconscious desperation I suppose, I let too much of my inner struggles be known to all of you. And I let life win a round.

But see, there was already our next Tough Mudder approaching. The ground in Arizona was already being bulldozed. The obstacles were already being built. My 41 teammates from around North America had already gotten their time off of work, and had already purchased their airline tickets, and had already put their trust in me to be the man who I was seven months ago when they all signed-up for this thing.

And four days ago, which was only two days before the Tough Mudder, I was not that man.

Not even close.

And any of my teammates who followed my blog knew it. And anyone who knew about my personal life knew it. And perhaps worst of all, I knew it. To my core, I knew that I probably should not be going to lead that team in the mental and emotional state I was currently in.

Dear friends. I searched for any other valid reason to simply not go. I would have given anything to just forfeit my plane ticket money. And forfeit my hotel money. And my car rental money. And my Tough Mudder registration money. And just stay home and not fail again.

All the way up until an hour or so before my friend Lisa would meet me for a ride to the airport, I searched for whatever I intrinsically needed to feel at least semi-okay about not going through with it.

The excuses were thick and deep.

I couldn’t do it. I really couldn’t. Things were still in a state of mayhem with my developers. I hadn’t done even a fraction of what I had on my to-do lists just to catch up to life. There were personal relationships which needed mending because they had been neglected. I would almost certainly make a physical ass of myself, just as I had with the London Mudder. And the list got deeper. And I looked some more. And I searched some more. And I tried to find any reason at all to bail.

But in the end, there was this tiny little voice deep in my stomach, taunting me. I’m talking teeny tiny. So small, in fact, that I could barely make out what it was saying at all through the heavy and difficult thoughts I was purposefully pouring on to drown that voice out.

But, oh that damn voice. That stupid, fucking, voice. It wouldn’t be silenced. And it wouldn’t die. And it just kept whispering the same thing on repeat…

“You have to do this. You need to do this. You cannot miss this.”

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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!