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Thread: You may be strong but are you tough? page 4

  1. #31
    Iron Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    Here's the thing though. I am tired of being tough. Just for a while I want to be warm and comfortable. So if hardship is supposed to make us tougher and stronger, why am I just getting less and less toleranct of it?

    This I can relate to. I was at first kind of regretting posting about myself on this thread but after reading this paragraph I felt I could really relate. How many times do we have to "dig a little deeper"? How many times do we have to pick ourselves up.

    Then came your next comment about your dogs and I remembered that next year I'm moving into the same neighbourhood that the trust fund babies and perfect parent's kids live in. And I'll be able to sit in my comfy chair on my comfy deck with the knowledge that I earned my reward. Then I'll go up to my big comfy bed and sleep like a dog too.

  2. #32
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    For me, the situation is what you can handle without complaint.

    One of my friends is in cancer treatment. She just goes through it. No moaning about her fate. No "pity me" language. No neediness.

    She goes and gets her treatments. She efficiently asks for the help that she needs. She's not ashamed to admit she's in pain, to cry in pain, etc. But, she does this *without* complaining all "woe is me!" and "no one understands!" and all that drama. she's just getting on with it with grace and grit.

    So, really, grit is the ability to take on what is in front of you without drama. You look at the situation in hand and get on with what needs to be gettin' on with.

    I find that when a lot of people face any level of hardship in their lives -- even the most modest -- they whine, bitch, and moan about it ad infinitum, seeking all kinds of assurance and "help" and what not.

    I find that incredibly frustrating and annoying.

    Shit happens. You accept and adapt. And eventually, you'll find a comfortable spot and have your rest. Or make due with whatever is comfortable enough.

  3. #33
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    Couldn't we frame the issue as a question of physical strength vs. mental & emotional strength, rather than trying to call out "toughness" as a wholly separate quality? That's what we're talking about here, isn't it?

  4. #34
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    Bat with handle rocks it again.

    Physically, I'm not that strong. I don't know where I'd fall in comparison to women my own age, but I'm not breaking my figurative balls to lift stuff. I did that in the 80s and 90s (and not like a Shape gurl). It was cool; I really liked it a lot. I can walk many miles. A fast moving zombie could probably catch me. But I could probably out walk one distance wise.

    Mentally I can be tough. I just don't give much of a rat's ass anymore to prove it. Take up the mantle those of youth - make the world a better place! I will be your cheering section.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Couldn't we frame the issue as a question of physical strength vs. mental & emotional strength, rather than trying to call out "toughness" as a wholly separate quality? That's what we're talking about here, isn't it?
    Yes, I guess those can be separate qualities. I am physically not very strong, however I can tolerate situations that other people hate. I can tolerate being cold, wet, in pain and miserable for very long periods of time! I am sometimes quite surprised when people can't go on during a hike because their shoes got wet, or the go to the doctor because they have a stuffy nose.

    Mentally....I used to be a superhero. Invincible to all pain!! I could "accept" anything that happened. Then one day, it all vanished. I feel much more fragile now. But I'm not sure I would go back to that way. It feels more "real" than being zen and calm every minute of every fucking day. But it sure was nice living with that buffer around me.
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    This I can relate to. I was at first kind of regretting posting about myself on this thread but after reading this paragraph I felt I could really relate. How many times do we have to "dig a little deeper"? How many times do we have to pick ourselves up.

    Then came your next comment about your dogs and I remembered that next year I'm moving into the same neighbourhood that the trust fund babies and perfect parent's kids live in. And I'll be able to sit in my comfy chair on my comfy deck with the knowledge that I earned my reward. Then I'll go up to my big comfy bed and sleep like a dog too.
    I think there is great value is taking joy in those comforts. I love that visual! However, I'm pretty sure you'll quickly find that the perfect parents and trust fund babies are pretty damaged too once you get up close and personal.
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
    Well, at least I know a woman to message to beat people up for me. Tough as old boots there
    Nah, I'm pretty ordinary actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    I'm happy for some anonymity on this site. Today I work with people that 20 years ago would have kicked dirt in my face. I had a childhood I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I've lived in drug houses and when that got rough in my car with nothing but dry ichiban and dinner rolls. I didn't want that life and I always knew that I would have to do 1-1/2 times what anyone else did just to get through. That's why I chose the screen name Iron Will.
    Now this is toughness right here.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

  8. #38
    Iron Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    I think there is great value is taking joy in those comforts. I love that visual! However, I'm pretty sure you'll quickly find that the perfect parents and trust fund babies are pretty damaged too once you get up close and personal.
    You may be right. I don't know how it feels like for my body to fight against me so to me, you and others like you, are the tough ones. I had a client for a while who has Crones disease. He dealt with it every day and it wasted him but he was one of the kindest people I have ever met.

    Jammies, I hope you find your proverbial comfy pillow for times of rest.

  9. #39
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    I guess that I have a general definition of toughness that fits for most aspects:

    Toughness is when you intentionally withstand discomfort, inconvenience, or emotional upheaval in the pursuit of something larger than the right now.

    In most real life cases, toughness is really about deferring gratification, or accepting current hardship on behalf of something worth having....in the case of someone very sick, it is the hope that one day they will get better. In the case of someone that came from nothing to grow into being successful, it was the belief that one day their work, their sacrifice, would pay off. In the case of a guy deciding to deadlift 450 instead of an hour on an elliptical, it is the belief that it will make them stronger, look better naked, etc....the point is that there is a common thread.

    I have told people how some of the toughest people I have ever met were in med school....the stereotype that they are legacy kids is exactly that, and a false one. Some of them had grown up very poor, were not really the most intelligent people one would ever meet, but HOLY hell were they relentless. I always say that when I think of doctors, I don't think "smart", I think "tough". For them, it was their way of saying that they made it out, that they had made something of themselves no one could argue with. A lot of academic pursuits do this for people, and it doesn't get as much credit as it should....the toughest person I ever met went from being essentially homeless to having a computer engineering degree from Purdue. He was unshakable with everything he did. It spills over into everything.

    For my people, tt was 6+ years of often 16-18 hour days, no such thing as a weekend, usually with finals right after the holidays. Saturday night meant you simply got to study a little later than normal. No sleep, bad food, and it just never ends. No breaks, no "taking a long weekend", often not a single night off for months on end.

    I remember having a calender that I got as a Christmas gift one year....I took New Years off, and was about to head into the toughest semester we had (2nd of 2nd year). I wrote across the whole calender, with a Sharpie, until May when finals came: "Every day is war"

    Now it all feels like a million years ago with my life now. I at least had the luxury of getting my mettle truly tested. I am fortunate enough for that. It does something to you....

    A friend of mine had a song lyric that she would write on the top of her final's study guides that I still remember. It said: "I swim for brighter days, despite the absence of sun." That is toughness for me, in many of its forms.
    "Man is born free.....but everywhere he is in chains."

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
    Toughness is when you intentionally withstand discomfort, inconvenience, or emotional upheaval in the pursuit of something larger than the right now.
    I think for me this pretty much nails it. Having worked in emergency medical services, firefighting and law enforcement, I have seen people, myself included, work under conditions that a lot of people just would not have been able to handle.

    It was not a matter of physical strength, not that having good strength didn't help, but an attitude of the challenge of the call, that you had a job to do and do it you will. There are no choices, peoples' lives are in the balance and nothing, physically or emotionally, could hold you back from doing your job.

    2 hour vehicle extrications in sub-zero temperatures, full cardiac arrest in 100 degree weather, 9 hours working a fully involved fire in Suez or working a full cardiac arrest on a 3 years old child (my first arrest as a paramedic), it had to be done.

    Melt down later, rage against the causes of these calls, whatever you need to do to cope but in the here and now, you tough it out and do you job.

    And we welcomed the challenges. Not that we wanted anyone to get sick or hurt but we rationalized that it was going to happen anyway, we just wanted to be the EMS unit that responded. Working a multiple vehicle accident with several critical patients was the next best thing to sex. Yes, we were all trauma junkies.

    Good times, good times.

    Next time you see a fat and out of shape paramedic out there, remember that mentally that person is likely way tougher than the bulked up hulk benching in the gym.
    Randal
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