I have this fascination with TOUGHNESS.
I think a lot of athletes and fitness fanatics do. We have to be tough to excel. We have to be tough to win. We test our toughness with longer and crazier events like ironman triathlons, ultramarathons, death races, etc.
I did a Spartan Ultra a few years ago – thinking it would be a good test of my toughness – kind of hoping I would get to that breaking point, overcome it, and have some sort of revelation or peak into my soul that would help define me (or something).
Problem was my whole definition of toughness was primitive. I thought it was all about testing your physical limits – pushing, pushing, pushing – grinding through something when others would quit.
There is something to that. But it wasn’t until I read “Tough” by Greg Everett that my definition of toughness expanded. Blown up really. And rebuilt.
He breaks up the idea of toughness into four elements:
- Character: Who are you?
- Capability: What are you able to do?
- Capacity: What are you able to withstand?
- Commitment: What are you willing to do?
And thus begins his journey into a very thoughtful and different way to explore toughness and how it’s so much more than grinding on the ball field.
I won’t get into the details here, but I hope this sparks an interest in exploring what toughness means to you.
I highly recommend the book – especially the first half, where he goes into great detail about the four elements and how they will truly reshape how you think about toughness.
Made me realize I wasn’t so tough after all – and have a lot of work to do to get there.