You gotta fight for Tough

This week has been a challenging week.  In the last 7 days, a whole host of things have popped up around me that just seem hard, frustrating, anger invoking and just plain saddening.

So in the midst of this week, I have tried to stay consistent at the gym.  This heavy wave of stuff has challenged my determination to still go in, simply because I am emotionally, spiritually, and mentally exhausted.  On Wednesday, after an especially ‘weird’ afternoon, I found myself at the gym at 7:30 pm.

We were in the middle of the workout and I remember having this distinct train of thoughts.

1. I want to be tough.  

2.  I am not as tough as I want to be.

3.  Tough is something that you have to fight for.

Tough by definition:  1.  strong and durable, not easily broken or cut.  2.  not brittle or tender

I have always seen tough as a category that either we’re in or we’re not.  No half way.  So those days that I felt less than, I gave my self the stamp of ‘Not Tough’, and on those days I felt brave or bold, I got to wear the approving stamp of ‘Tough’.

But in that moment, during the workout, the phrase “tough is something you have to fight for” rang through my head and made me realize this deeper truth.

Tough is not a category, it is a direction.

Like a lot of things in life, it is more about heading in that direction, than it is arriving one day.  It is about making small choices that are tough more than it is about waking up one day, looking in the mirror and declaring, “Wow, now I am tough”.

If tough is a direction you move towards, then it must be fought for. 

In daily decisions, in daily actions, you have to choose the tough.  It means choosing the good and the right.  And a lot of time the good and the right also come with a bit of the uncomfortable and “Can I really do that?”

Stamping yourself with the ‘Not Tough’ stamp will not not move you towards your goal.

Choosing to move towards tough means not avoiding the hard, uncomfortable or the unknown.  Instead choosing to move towards tough means seeing the challenge and doing it anyway because you should or must.

I am strong and durable.  Not easily broken.  Not easily cut.  I will fight to stay that way. 

Tough is an active direction- not a destination.

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