Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Get Tough.

Tough means that you are willing to stand tall and persevere. Even when your mind and body signal perfectly good reasons for giving up, you go on. This tough is obvious. But tough can be seen every day if we choose to look. Tough may be a patient undergoing cancer treatments or a single mother struggling to raise children. Tough can be an alcoholic ready to face rehab or an athlete living in a wheelchair. Tough can be rejecting false praise and honestly accepting you and your children for who and what you are. Tough is an ability to make the best from what you are given. Tough is making the decision to replace self-pity, complaints and dependence with self-reliance, independence and action.
You’ve got to be tough to do the big things in life like taking risks, admitting mistakes, and changing bad habits. You’ve got to be tough to do the little things like biting your tongue, waiting your turn and putting up with fools. Self-reliance and self-confidence will demand your toughness. Then, you must temper toughness with kindness, realizing that many times it will be tough to be kind. Be kind anyway.

Tough! Yeah! when I think of tough, I remember the hard sessions of sweat at the dojang where I trained about 4 times a week for about an hour and 15 minutes a crack.
Sometimes it was so strainning that had to stop the session to gasp for breath and prevent choking on vomit!
I remember leaving the training hall to get dressed again and my face would still be red from all the blood pumped as a result of the extreme cardiovascular and aerobic workout. I remember the dobak uniform being completely saturated wet with sweat, including the whole belt…I remember the slabs of wood under my feet slowly begin to feel very slipery as a result of drips of sweat thru the entire session.
Did that teach me anything? You bet! It taught me to work hard for what I want, It taught me to understand that nothing in life comes easy, not even health of mind and body, and that if I want something, I better keep my focus on the goal, work towards the goal the best I can, and practice, practice, practice…
As Bill from also said, there are other aspects of toughness out there for you and me to see: tough can be the homeless dude waiting for a coin or two middle of a sunny and hot day, amidst the red light waiting traffic, tough also is having a birth defect that prevents you from swallowing properly and having to have a handkerchief at hand at all times because you cannot contain your saliva or swalllow it if it becomes excess in your mouth, tough can be being told you have cancer and that your time left to live is limited, tough is having to tell your child that he is going to have to go to bed because there is no more food in the house (if there is still a house), tough is being wheelchair bound for life, having cerebral palsy, tough is facing a world that can be so mean and cruel to people that are perfectly normal otherwise, but are hard of hearing, or have a muscular defect that makes them look as if they have a mental disability…... so many other tough definitions, I could spend the entire night writing…

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