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David Goggins’ Pledge Diary: The Puzzle

I might seem hard on the outside, but the physical feats I accomplish on a daily basis couldn’t possibly demonstrate my real strength. To normal pledges, holding the tornado position for hours or scooping vomit out of a urinal with bare hands would be considered “impossible” or “inhumane”. But for me, I’ll bathe in sorority girl puke before I complain or show weakness. You see, I don’t derive my strength from repetitive calisthenics like the rest of my pledge class. No, I gain strength from being fucking uncomfortable. After many sleepless nights recording “Good Morning” videos for all of the sororities on campus – and some of the pussy fraternities too – my mind has been molded into a lethal weapon that will demolish anything that stands in its path. I often face smaller mental challenges on a daily basis, but last night I encountered a task that brought me the most intense pain I’ve ever experienced. 

I sat on the cold and disgusting basement floor beside my thirty or so pledge brothers, waiting anxiously for instructions from our pledge master. When I say “anxiously”, I’m referring to the rest of my pledge class. I welcomed the darkness of the basement, knowing that I would leave that night a stronger pledge so long as I suppressed my inner-bitch. The silence was broken abruptly by the sound of tiny pieces of something being spilled across the floor. Was it food? Legos? No one could tell. As soon as the room fell silent again, our pledge master screamed at all of us, “SOCKS ON YOUR HANDS…YOU ALL SHOULD HAVE LIGHTERS IN YOUR PLEDGE PACKS…YOU MAY LEAVE ONCE YOU FINISH”. The basement door was slammed shut and locked, trapping us all inside. With our hands now enclosed in vile sweaty socks, each of us flicked on our lighters, slowly illuminating the nightmare that was laid out before us: A fucking 1000-piece puzzle. 

Before we even began, the weaklings of the pledge class threw their hands (and socks) up in defeat and began to suck on their fruity vaporizing sticks, hiding from their insecurities with nicotine. If I was pledge master – which I will be someday – these pathetic little bitches would be dropped on the spot. Rather than whine, I went straight to work. Could there be any mental challenge greater than attempting to solve a puzzle in nearly complete darkness without a guiding picture? This would only sharpen my mind further. I worked on this puzzle as if I was trying to diffuse a bomb. Complete focus and utter precision slowly but surely allowed me and the other “mentally strong” pledges to make some progress, but the pace was horrendous. With no concept of time in the windowless basement, many of my pledge brothers began to fall asleep. This meant fewer and fewer hands as the hours went on until finally, I was the only one left. Sleep deprivation was beginning to set in and I had already pissed myself twice (the “bathroom bucket” was full), but I couldn’t let my brothers down. I worked on that puzzle until every single lighter in that basement had died. However, the darkness was inevitable. 

I’m currently writing this diary entry from the hospital bed in which I woke up this morning. Apparently, I did complete the puzzle, but it took 17 hours and I blacked out from severe malnutrition (I have only consumed Skittles and Casamigos in the last three days). Although I now have diabetes, all that matters to me is that I completed that goddamn puzzle. After last night, I know wholeheartedly that nothing can – or ever will – break me. Once I’m out of this hospital, I might even try a 2000-piece. Stay hard.

Written by the godfather

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