Single Dad Laughing by Dan Pearce http://www.danoah.com You! Keep being awesome! Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:32:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 My 10 Step Plan to Be Awesome Again http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/my-10-step-plan-to-be-awesome-again.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/my-10-step-plan-to-be-awesome-again.html#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:32:05 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47146 dan-pearce-single-dad-laughingSomehow I all but stopped being the way more awesome version of me that I usually am... Time to take matters into my own hands.]]> dan-pearce-single-dad-laughing

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If I could sum up the awesome aftermath of the last blog post (you know, the one where I confess to being stuck all depressed and not awesome in my sweatpants), it would be this…

I read a nice comment from one of you after I posted the blog entry.

Then, I mustered all the energy I had to think the best thought I could think in that moment.

BLEH.

I read another nice comment.

I mustered more energy.

MEH.

I read a different and really nice comment with some really good advice.

That deserved the most positive energy of all. For sure.

BARGH MAGOO POO.

Continue reading: My 10 Step Plan to Be Awesome Again

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These sweatpants. I can’t seem to take them off. http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/these-sweatpants-i-cant-seem-to-take-them-off.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/these-sweatpants-i-cant-seem-to-take-them-off.html#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:17:06 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47138 sweatpants-seasonal-depressionAbout the same time that the world loses its color, and its warmth, and its light... I put on my sweatpants. And I get sad. And I don't know what to do...]]> sweatpants-seasonal-depression

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As I write this entry, I am sitting like a blob of melted Silly Putty in a pair of really-need-to-be-washed sweatpants and a much-too-large-even-for-giants-like-me sweatshirt which I am wearing purely for comfort and laziness reasons.

These sweatpants.

I can’t seem to take them off.

I know I should take them off.

I know that if I take them off, toss them in the laundry basket, and put on actual grown-up pants, that I will feel much better and actually go do something with my day. And with my life.

But for some reason I don’t want to feel better. And these sweatpants make me feel somehow okay about that. Or at least somehow a little better.

Ugh. The winter blues.

Also known (by those who aren’t too lazy to get out of their sweatpants or call things what they really are) as “seasonal depression.

Continue reading: These sweatpants. I can’t seem to take them off.

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Our Little Sky Lantern Fiasco http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/our-little-sky-lantern-disaster.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/our-little-sky-lantern-disaster.html#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:11:05 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47123 sky-lantern-father-sonYou know how sometimes things just get out of control in a hurry? Yeah. This moment in time brought to you by this dad's sheer stupidity...]]> sky-lantern-father-son

sky-lantern-father-sonYou know that feeling when you realize that your actions are going to be personally responsible for the entire neighborhood burning down to the ground?

No? I do.

But do you at least know that feeling when you realize that your actions could very easily set the whole lawn on fire?

No? Really? Hm. I do.

But, come on. Do you at least know that feeling when you realize that your actions could very easily leave your most cherished loved ones maimed and charred for life?

No? Like, really? Weird. I thought everyone would know those feelings.

I sure do after our first massively failed attempt at sending a sky lantern high into the troposphere.

It all started with one excited seven year old. A company long ago had sent a box full of “flying stuff,” and it has been sitting in Noah’s closet for, oh, I don’t know… Two years?

He finally drug it out, bored to death on a day when he wasn’t allowed on his iPad, and cranked it open.

It was admittedly a very neat box of stuff. It had all sorts of things in it for him to build. Within a couple hours he had built his very own wooden catapult. He had built his very own helicopter. And, he had prepared this ginormous sky lantern for us to light and send into the sky once the sun went down.

Now, it should be known that I am an expert with fire. As in, I am as expert as they come.

When I was a teenager I burnt down a good portion of my parents’ basement after setting a cardboard box full of jam onto the stove. Oh, and did I mention that my delightfully chubby teenage belly bumped against the knob turning the thing to high right before I left the room to drop a twosie? That was a fun one.

Another time I decided to make creme brûlée for some of my friends at Christmastime. As I was torching the sugar on top, I mindlessly raised the flame torch right at the face of the girl I was dating. I missed her hair and her face by, oh, I don’t know. 4mm. I singed a nice hole into her collar though. That was a fun one.

When I was eight, my parents forbade me to chop wood for the campfire. I ignored them because campfires are awesome when you’re eight. I stole my uncle’s hatchet and headed into the woods to make the best campfire ever. Oh, and then I chopped straight through my thumbnail and nearly severed the top of my thumb. All in the name of awesome fire. That was a fun one.

Another time I was making yams. I put too many marshmallows on top. With the size of the fire which erupted in the oven, you’d have thought I was cremating a body in there. The neighbors thought that one was real fun since my smoke alarms didn’t go off for an hour straight.

That resulted in a giant glob of melted rubber and plastic all over the stove where my brand new salt and pepper grinders had just barely stood so proudly. So strongly.

Rest in peace Halle and Oliver (that’s what I named the grinders). You were awesome for the three days I had you.

So. Anyway. Yes. I am an expert with fire. Which is why nothing should have ever gone wrong with something so simple and fun as a sky lantern.

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Three Men with Guns & Shovels http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/three-men-with-guns-shovels.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/three-men-with-guns-shovels.html#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 19:55:22 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47115 Shovel and DirtJust saw this on Facebook, posted by my sister... Ummm... Yeah. Creepy.]]> Shovel and Dirt

Just saw this on Facebook, posted by my sister…

Continue reading: Three Men with Guns & Shovels

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“DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!” http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/daddy-daddy-daddy.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/daddy-daddy-daddy.html#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 00:54:30 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47104 campingParenting. It's *scary* sometimes. As is evidenced by this terrifying moment with my child. In the pitch black woods. With pants down. And danger approaching...]]> camping

campingWe all have fears. Some are more ridiculous than others. Like my legitimate fear of my kid’s backwash. Or my very real fear of boogers. Or my over-powering fear of excessive dandruff.

I also have a fear of the woods at night. And that crap is legit.

Have you ever stood in the blackness of a forest, on a moonless night, with no light to shine your way? I have.

In 2001, my Dad took me on a bear hunt with him. Our guides dropped us off at tree stands, and instructed us to head down to the dirt horse trail at a certain time each night to meet them there. I did as I was told, and they didn’t come.

I remember standing there, enjoying the giant and majestic pines that towered over me. I remember deeply inhaling the air where cars and buses and factories hadn’t yet dirtied it. It was humbling. And majestic. And then, it became scary as all get-up

Continue reading: “DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!”

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A Legitimate Case of the Crazies http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/a-legitimate-case-of-the-crazies.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/a-legitimate-case-of-the-crazies.html#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:06:27 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47092 dan-pearce-crazyThat moment. It happened. The one where I legitimately realize I am crazy. And no, this doesn't have an "oh, I'm not crazy after all" ending. Unfortunately...]]> dan-pearce-crazy

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That moment. It happened. The one where I legitimately realize I am crazy.

I stood with hands perched firmly against my cold and unfeeling granite countertops, baffled. Jerky doesn’t just disappear.

Sure, my kitchen was one step beyond cluttered and only half a step shy of mayhem. Things could easily get lost in there. But not jerky. Not a colossal feed-your-family-for-three-months size bag of jerky from Costco. The bag was almost as big as I was. A crane would have had to lift it out of the house and buried it in a piano box had it died. Er. You know. As bags of jerky go.

And… I had just barely had it in my hands. Not hours ago. Minutes ago.

I hadn’t left the kitchen. I hadn’t run for a quick trip to the loo. I hadn’t run out to check the mail, or to scrub my butt, or to check the Facebook. I never left the kitchen.

And it was gone.

Gone. Gone. Gone.

Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone.

That’s one “gone” for every all-inclusive, maniacal, ever-intensifying sweep through the kitchen I made trying to find the damn thing

Continue reading: A Legitimate Case of the Crazies

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18 Amazing, Hilarious, and Strange Thanksgiving Traditions http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/18-amazing-hilarious-and-strange-thanksgiving-traditions.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/18-amazing-hilarious-and-strange-thanksgiving-traditions.html#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:01:47 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47079 single-dad-laughing-thanksgivingThanksgiving is quickly approaching. These 18 family turkey-day traditions may just have you doing things a little bit differently this year!]]> single-dad-laughing-thanksgiving

single-dad-laughing-thanksgivingMy favorite Thanksgiving tradition is Pie Night. I’ve shared that with all of you in the past. It is AMAZING.

And that got me to wondering what all of your amazing, hilarious, and straight-up strange Thanksgiving traditions were. So, I asked over on the Single Dad Laughing Facebook page, “what is the weirdest (and/or coolest) tradition you have at Thanksgiving?” These were 18 of my favorite responses!

18 Amazing, Hilarious, and Strange Thanksgiving Traditions

  1. We host Misfits’ Thanksgiving, open to anyone who has no better place to go. The rule was, we provided ham, turkey, and chocolate-pecan pie. You brought whatever ‘makes’ Thanksgiving for you- whether that’s curry or goulash or green bean casserole.
  2. After our first round of eating all the ladies leave and go shopping at Walmart for comfy PJs and silly socks or slippers and come back and change into those before we eat round two.
  3. Before my Grandmother and her siblings passed, we always had huge gatherings for holidays. It had never failed that my Great Aunt Lou (she’s now gone due to Cancer) would start a food fight. After a few times it seemed like a tradition to us kids. We always knew one one start but we never knew when! Miss those days.
  4. A few years ago we started a tablecloth that each of the kids each year makes a hand turkey on it, decorate it and put their name and date on it….it is starting to fill up….fun to see their art skills develop and how big their hands are getting.
  5. My sister-in-law, a retired teacher, cuts out a construction paper turkey. Everyone is required to write one thing they are thankful for on colored feathers, which are then glued on the turkey. She laminates it, and keeps each year’s.
  6. We name and dance with our turkey when we clean it prior to stuffing it and cooking it. My parents did it when I was a kid and now I do it with my kids. Only my kids look at me like I am nuts.
  7. My ex’s family had a fork that looked like a regular fork but you could pull the end out of it to make it 4 times as long. In the middle of everyone eating, whoever was the new guest at the table, the uncle would extend the fork and grab some food from the person’s plate across the table and eat it.
  8. After dark on Thanksgiving, we play hide and go seek with cars. We break up in teams, decide who is driving which car…. we’d establish the game borders on a map of the town, and one car would be “it”. Everyone gets 15 minutes to find a hiding place, park and turn off their lights. Then the “It” car would drive around slowly looking for them. the last car not found is “It” next. It was a small town, where everyone knew them, so we never got shot or arrested for hiding in weird places in a car with our lights off.
  9. Our family pulls out all the old family videos and watches them after Thanksgiving dinner. There are some cringeworthy moments that we will rewind and watch over and over until we all are laughing/crying. We’ve been known to stay up till 2AM watching silly family videos.
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A Weird Place for Sure http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/a-weird-place-in-my-attempts-to-save-single-dad-laughing.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/a-weird-place-in-my-attempts-to-save-single-dad-laughing.html#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 07:01:58 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47057 dan-pearce-noah-pearceWow, am I ever finding myself in a weird place in my attempt to save Single Dad Laughing from all the forces trying to destroy blogging as a profession...]]> dan-pearce-noah-pearce

dan-pearce-noah-pearceWow, am I ever finding myself in a straight-up weird place right now in my attempt to save Single Dad Laughing from all the forces that have come together to destroy blogging as a profession.

About ten months ago, as I sat contemplating any way that I might save Single Dad Laughing (a situation which has not changed much at all), I had this thought… Make Single Dad Laughing available as an app instead of just as a webpage. At the time, I decided to do it without too much excitement because I thought it would help things, but I didn’t have too much vision of what the app could actually become outside of a vessel for the blog itself.

I hired a developer (in India since my savings account looked like it was something that I would probably be needing very soon), and his team got started on the app. It was supposed to be done in 30 days on iPhone and Android no problem. That was 10 months ago. The problem? I started realizing that I do not just have a blog. We have an entire community together here at Single Dad Laughing. It is an amazing and unique community at that. We are so individual yet we are so similar in the way we all view the world and the people in it. We laugh together. Not just at what I share, but at the things we all share. A good percentage of the blog posts I have shared have been blog posts created by all of you! Creepy Kids, The Truth Box, Weird Confessions, Bad Date Stories, Hilarious things said by old people, and so much more. On my side I have my blog posts, and I have my Wrong Numbers, my favorite videos, my Podcast (currently on hold) and so much more. And together, over on Facebook, we have our silly and sometimes intense fun. Selfie contests, contemplative questions whose answers are so thought-provoking to read through, and so much more.

And that got me to thinking… why not create one incredible app which let’s us all do that if and when we want to do it. Why only have creepy kid stories every couple months in one giant post? Why not share a bunch of my favorites every single day in an app section dedicated just to that? And why not give a place where we can all share our Truth Box posts and go read other people’s Truth Box posts every time we need a dose of humaning instead of only reading one giant list every couple months. My mind started spinning at the possibilities. Soon I had designed an app that would do it all and have it all. It would let us all choose our favorite parts of Single Dad Laughing and fill our app with only those sections. It would give readers easy access to my blog posts and the other things I share.

So far the plan for the SDL app has grown to more than 50 sections, some of which are fun and interactive and new. Oh, I can’t build them all now. It’s a process, for sure. But I’ll be launching the app with a bunch of them built and functional, and will be building the rest over the next several months. Ohmagoodness. I am so excited for the Single Dad Laughing app. I believe that it will save Single Dad Laughing. So much so that I did the hardest thing ever and dipped deep into my savings to build it. Well, it and three other apps.

Gosh. Things escalated quickly.

At the time Flappy Bird was such a big thing, I was neck deep in the development of the SDL App. Noah was so fascinated with the fact that Dad was building an app, and he said, “I wanna build an app with you Dad!” I asked him what he’d build and he said, “I’d build a Flappy Bird where you and me are the Flappy, and it has way cooler stuff to make the game more fun!” Hmmmm… I thought. Why not tinker with his idea for a moment? Noah and I sat down and started brainstorming together some crazy things that would make Flappy incredibly more fun. He had some ingenious ideas! Rocket ships, space warps, crazy obstacles, and so much more. And I thought, why not?

So, long story short, that has been in the work for four months now.

It is turning out so friggin’ fun. Noah and I have had a royal blast having it built, and he is so excited for you all to give it a spin. Every day he asks, “is it in the App Store yet, Dad?!”

It was supposed to take 30 days to build. And like I said. It’s been four months.

Then gosh. Things escalated quickly from there, too.

I had a certain really cool section planned out and designed for the Single Dad Laughing App’s initial launch. I can’t tell you just yet what that is, because I think a lot of people are going to say, “Wait. Why does this not exist yet?!” when they see the concept.

But the more I thought about that section of the app, the more I realized it was something that should be an app all on its own.

Do you all remember Tobi and AJ? Tobi is my dear friend, mother of seven with MS, and we all pitched in to help her and AJ in a moment of life that was too big for them and for which they would never have asked for help on their own.

Wow. I am still so floored by all of your generosity when we did that. Your contributions made them want to shrink into the proverbial corner forever with uneasiness, but those contributions also helped them start a new life. They helped AJ finally bring the ridiculous custody battle for his kids to a successful end. They helped Tobi quit the serving job which was crippling her more by the day. And those donations helped them move to Phoenix, a place where winter can no longer incapacitate her as she tries to raise her kids. The gift you all gave Tobi and AJ and their family was incredible. It gave them a new start at a new life. And for that I will always be thankful.

And so, as I got more excited about this third app and how incredible it would be, I thought… why not bring Tobi and AJ into it as partners and let’s build this one together. The thought of my friends possibly having what they needed in the future without donations and without killing themselves to survive just took over and without much thinking I started pitching them on it. They were sold on the idea of the app before I even finished explaining it. And for the first time in a long time I heard so much hope from Tobi and AJ about the brightness of their future when it came to their ability to give their family what their family needs financially long term.

The app we are building is going to be so good. You will love it. It was supposed to be done a month ago. It’s still not done.

And things escalated from there once more before I finally slapped myself upside the head and said enough! Finish these before you add on anything else!

That came after I started the fourth app and had to wonder what I was truly getting myself into.

Once again I designed an incredibly fun section for my SDL app and realized that it once again had to be its own app. You all know and love my “Big Fat Day of THAT” posts. But did you know I originally got that idea from my good friend Lilly? She sent me a text one day pointing at all these things saying “See THAT?!” and “See THOSE?!” Oh my gosh, I never laughed so hard, and from that the blog series was born. But see… what I wasn’t expecting was for so many of you to start sending me your own See THAT pictures in response. I have laughed with so many of you over your own little findings in this crazy world we live in.

So yes. That idea. On steroids. Times a thousand. That is the app we are building, Lilly and I. She anxiously partnered with me when I showed her the design. I’ll introduce Lilly more when I announce the app. Just know she is one awesome and hilarious single mother of four.

And that app was supposed to be done, by the way, last week.

Grrrr.

You know how I told you I am finding myself in a weird place? I am. With all of these apps and with all of you.

As I started each app, the timeline to share them with all of you was spread out over months! As you know, if you’ve followed me for long at all, I really hate feeling like I’m ever flooding you with marketing or sponsorships. I have always been so careful not to over commercialize Single Dad Laughing even though with the size of readership I have I probably should. It just never feels right to me. Yeah. I take on sponsorships once in a great while with brands that I really appreciate and want to work with. But for the most part my outbox is one giant flood of “NO” replies to businesses and companies who want me to use my platform to sell to all of you.

If you need further proof, look how many times since the first time I announced my first book four years ago that I have mentioned it to all of you or sent you the link to buy it. The answer is zero. BLAH! I just hate self-promotion so much.

And now… knowing all this… this is where things are getting weird for me. I don’t know what to do.

Three of the four apps are going to be finished up (by the looks of it, though we all know how that goes) in the next 14-21 days, and the fourth app will be right on its heels. Within a few weeks I will be launching all four apps to you guys.

It was not supposed to go this way. It was not supposed to be this way.

And I guess I am giving you a heads up that things are about to get way too commercially up in here for my tastes. Each app deserves its own blog post and at least a few shout-outs. They are all turning out SO awesome. I have worked so hard on them. And I have risked so much on a leap of faith. And my partners are all counting on me. And the future of Single Dad Laughing is riding on them. For sure.

So, I guess what I’m asking all of you is… can you be cool with that? Can you try not to think too much into the super fast timing of them all? I promise they’re not. Will you give me a pass for the next month or so in the “pitching my own stuff to you” department? Will you let me share these things with you as quickly as they all finish?

And gosh. Can you tell how worried I am about the timing of this? My superhero name is Captain Projection, I guess.

Grrr.

I am fighting every temptation to throw this entire blog post about it out. But being honest with you about what is going on has always been a formula that works around here, so I’ll share it. Gotta have faith in how awesome you all are. You have never been anything but supportive and awesome to me.

Single Dad Laughing will survive this scary time and it will thrive. The Single Dad Laughing App will change and enhance this community in such fantastic ways forever. I really believe that. These other three apps will be incredible. You will love them. Love, love, love them. I have banked everything on it.

It’s do or die time.

Thanks for having my back, super peeps.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

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Heart. Melted. Meet My New Nephew Grant. He Has Dwarfism. http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/heart-melted-meet-my-new-nephew-grant-he-has-dwarfism.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/heart-melted-meet-my-new-nephew-grant-he-has-dwarfism.html#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 07:01:06 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47051 grant-dwarfismMy nephew Grant is one of my favorite people in the world. Their family made this video about his dwarfism (and his heart). My heart... Melted. Please watch.]]> grant-dwarfism

My sister Amy recently married Nate, an amazing father with three fantastic kids. I inherited two nephews and a niece overnight!

One of them is six-year-old Grant, one of my favorite people in the world. Their family made this video.

Heart. Melted. Please watch

Continue reading: Heart. Melted. Meet My New Nephew Grant. He Has Dwarfism.

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The Weirdest Flight Probably EVER http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/all-this-happened-on-my-flight-hand-to-heart.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/11/all-this-happened-on-my-flight-hand-to-heart.html#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 17:38:16 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47036 Dan Pearce, Single Dad LaughingAny singular part of that plane ride would have made it a craptastic plane ride. For sure. But collectively? Gosh... Worst and funniest plane ride EVER.]]> Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

Dan Pearce, Single Dad LaughingI can’t decide if last week I took the most awesome airplane ride from London to Las Vegas ever, or if it was the absolute crappiest. Either way, it was chalk-full of extraordinariness.

Any singular part of that plane ride would have made it a craptastic plane ride. For sure. But collectively? Gosh. I think the whole how-to-look-at-it game changes.

I was seated in 31G (an aisle seat) right next to a short yet large statured man. He spent the entire 10 hour and 17 minute flight hanging halfway into my seat. This, in turn, made me have to hang out halfway into the aisle where every Tom, Bill, and Henrietta then spent said flight smacking into me as they passed. No fewer than half a dozen times my elbow was knocked clean off of my own single armrest. I’m sure I have a splendid neck injury from all the whiplash.

Now, I should be mad at the guy. He was hanging into my seat and hogging my space. But see, I couldn’t be mad because the guy next to him was hanging clear over into his seat. And I couldn’t even be mad at that guy because the woman on the other end, in the opposite aisle seat in our same row, was just so jolly and rotund that she couldn’t help but take up more than her fair share of sitting space. We were like a tower of tipped dominoes all the way to Vegas, and let me tell you… having the edge of your seat crammed into the middle of your back is not the most pleasant of things. I mean, it’s fairly pleasant, but not the most pleasant.

But, you see… The space encroachment played such a small role in the amazingness that took place on this flight.

There was also Chucky. I don’t know why I’m naming him that, some guys just have that “Chucky” look to them. He was the guy sitting across the aisle from me, and he was a special sort of guy with a special sort of wife. They both seemed like the types of people who would cry hysterically if I asked them for the time. So you can imagine that I certainly did not want to ask him to get his butt crack out of my face.

Yes, my friends, almost the entire duration of the flight, this man stood in the aisle with his exposed butt aimed straight at me. He didn’t have a cute butt crack by any means (do those exist?). No, he had one of those gaping Grand Canyon butt cracks that was dark, and deep, and hairy, and awful.

Now, you will be tempted to think that what I am about to tell you is a lie, but I assure you it is the 100% honest truth

Continue reading: The Weirdest Flight Probably EVER

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Defeating Defeated http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/defeating-defeated.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/defeating-defeated.html#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:31:11 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47022 tough-mudder-letterIn a state of defeat and discouragement for how Tough Mudder ended for me, this is what my girlfriend did to help me put things into major perspective...]]> tough-mudder-letter

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. CLICK HERE FOR ALL POSTS IN THIS SERIES.

tough-mudder-letterIn the end, it was a stupid mistake which snowballed into the ending it did for me at this London Tough Mudder.

I accidentally took too much sweating medication in the blackness of the night. That medication dried me out so badly that no amount of water could quench my thirst during the race. Consuming too much water in an attempt to quench that thirst depleted my body of salt which caused muscle cramps in my legs, made worse by the coldness of everything. I drank more water (so much more water) during the 12-mile course to try and help my cramps. My cramps got worse because water wasn’t the problem, salt deficiency was, and I was only making it worse by depleting my body of salt even further. The massive amounts of water in my system then chilled my body from the inside out each time I submerged into the icy cold waters of the different obstacles, causing hypothermia. The pain of the cramps was excruciating. Shock from that hypothermia as I got uncontrollably colder set in. And that is how I ended up in the situation I was in. Simple science.

It wasn’t lack of training. It wasn’t lack of physical ability. It wasn’t an inability to finish Tough Mudder with my brother the way I had intended. It was one stupid mistake and then a plethora of well-intentioned mistakes to follow which did me in. But, I didn’t really understand that until much later when a team of doctors laid it out for me.

What I do know is that, as I mentioned in the last blog post, I left the race feeling defeated. I had finished the Tough Mudder, sure. But it did not go as planned, at all. I didn’t get my glorious finish alongside my brother. For all intents and purposes, I had paid a crud-load of money to fly across an ocean and get my ass handed to me. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to remember it. I didn’t want to admit it to anyone or blog about it. I just wanted to get back to my brother’s home, FaceTime with my girlfriend, and try and find some sort of comfort in my defeat.

But, see, she wasn’t having it, and wow did I try to rally her to my defeated cause

Continue reading: Defeating Defeated

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Defeated http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/defeated.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/defeated.html#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:01:41 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=47006 dan-pearce-tough-mudderI don't know much of what happened at Tough Mudder after I finally just... lost it. My mind went. My body went. And I lost it. Here's the end of that story...]]> dan-pearce-tough-mudder

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. CLICK HERE FOR ALL POSTS IN THIS SERIES.

By the time I had begun army crawling through the trough of mud and water, doing my best to avoid the hundreds of hanging electrical wires within “Electric Eel,” my body was done, and we were only at mile 8 of 12. We had finished “Hold Your Wood” just half a mile earlier, an obstacle where we had to hoist and carry 100 lb. logs around a long beaten path, and my legs were charlie horsing from my toes all the way into my hips in gratitude for finishing it.

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I don’t know if mentally I was just checked out or if the current in the wires just wasn’t that strong, but every time a jolt went through my body, I noticed it as much as I would notice someone randomly tapping on my arm. I couldn’t use my crippled legs to get through, so I had to pull myself along with my forearms all the way to the end. The water in Electric Eel was frigid and penetrating, and it caused my muscles to cramp even further as I went. Once out the other side, all I could do was stand up against my body’s will, stretch quickly, and keep walking in such ways that the muscles alternated in their spasms.

It was at 9.5 miles when I first thought I was officially done for. In a new obstacle called “Pyramid Scheme,” Mudders had to get a running start and make their way up a convex and slippery pyramid. Nobody got to the top without help from others. I stood at the bottom for the longest time. My mind was leaving. My body was leaving. One hard cramp had left me faint and light-headed. But Eric was at the top, with his arm outstretched. I attempted to run. I attempted to jump. And I slammed into the side of the obstacle after all of my muscles in both legs seized completely and simultaneously.

“I’m done. I’m done. I’m done.” I murmured to myself as I hobble/crawled around the obstacle to the other side. I could no longer walk. I could go no further. I had just jacked up my legs to the point of no return. I wasn’t saying those words to Eric. He wasn’t there yet. I was saying them in a moment of panic, as fears of medical crews racing to the obstacle to carry me away set in as my unavoidable reality

Continue reading: Defeated

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When Things Started Going Really Wrong http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/when-things-started-going-really-wrong.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/when-things-started-going-really-wrong.html#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:01:47 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=46991 dan-eric-pearce-tough-mudder-8Things really started spiraling out of control after those first few miles. And I started making more mistakes which would put me in a dangerous situation...]]> dan-eric-pearce-tough-mudder-8

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. CLICK HERE FOR ALL POSTS IN THIS SERIES.

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

Continue reading: When Things Started Going Really Wrong

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This Was Not How It was Supposed to End http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/this-was-not-how-it-was-supposed-to-end.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/this-was-not-how-it-was-supposed-to-end.html#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 14:08:54 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=46983 dan-eric-pearce-tough-mudderHyperventilation, shock, dangerous electrolyte imbalance, and hypothermia. I flew to England expecting my next Tough Mudder to end SO much differently...]]> dan-eric-pearce-tough-mudder

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On Saturday, I learned that when a team of doctors, nurses, and paramedics are hovered around me demanding that I breathe and calm down, it is not the most calming of experiences whilst I am having a full-blown panic attack.

I had never had a panic attack like this before. I was discombobulated and mostly incoherent as I was forced to sit. Warmed blankets and space blankets were draped over me until they were so thick that my giant 240 lb. body disappeared within. The entire memory of that two hours or so is full of gaping holes and flashes of moments that I only think happened at the end of the London Tough Mudder. Hyperventilation, shock, dangerous electrolyte imbalance, and hypothermia.

This was not how I expected this race to end.

This was not how it was supposed to end

Continue reading: This Was Not How It was Supposed to End

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Wow. Look at the Sky Now. http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/wow-look-at-the-sky-now.html http://www.danoah.com/2014/10/wow-look-at-the-sky-now.html#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:15:53 +0000 http://www.danoah.com/?p=46972 dan-pearce-old-bedI'm in England, sitting on my old bed reading love letters from my girlfriend. It's such a different feeling vs. my hate and anger toward girls 18 years ago...]]> dan-pearce-old-bed

current-view

See that? That’s my current view.

I’m laying, propped against the cracked oak headboard of the same bed either my brother or I slept on as a teenager. Outside, the English fall is quickly turning to winter. This island is cold and wet and drab this time of year, yet there is something magical about it. Maybe it’s the moss covered rooftops. Maybe it’s the way the moisture makes all the blacks blacker and the whites whiter. Maybe it’s simply because it’s not like the place I come from, where everything is dry, boring, and seemingly the same.

Maybe it’s because being away from home makes home all the more incredible. Having a chance to miss my child and my girlfriend makes our relationships all the more powerful. Having a chance to miss my routines, and my places I go, and the stops I usually make has a way of making me realize just how fantastic my everyday has become. Maybe it’s because going without all the creature comforts and gadgets and unnecessary amenities I have afforded myself over the years makes me realize how blessed I am to have them all.

Hm.

Continue reading: Wow. Look at the Sky Now.

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