How tough are you? How well do you respond to hardship? Are you strong or weak?
I know the answer about myself. I'm tough. I'm stoic. I endure pain, suffering and mental stress better than most people. Compared to your average overfed, lazy, middle-aged suburban man, I'm tough.
Let me give you an example. Six weeks ago, I had a motorcycle accident. I didn't tell you (or anyone else) the full extent of my injuries. I fell on my right arm and twisted it badly under the weight of my body. For a month after the accident, I had excruciating pain every time I touched something or simply put my hand in my pocket. Since I'm right-handed, searing pain occurred about every hour. I couldn't write or type without suffering.
Yet I didn't miss a day of work. I even conducted a trial a week after the accident. I can't shake hands without wincing in pain, but showed up for battle regularly.
My blogging barely slowed down. I conceived creative, fun posts about a variety of subjects. I learned to eat with my left hand. I drove Gina with my left hand reaching across my body to move the stick-shift.
Despite this daily misery, I refrained from complaining online. I didn't whine about my situation. I didn't ask for sympathy. I just pushed forward.
A week or two ago, my right arm started to heal. I can move my wrist and forearm again. There's still pain but I'm back to doing things. Yesterday, I got on my motorcycle and rode for an hour. It hurts to twist the throttle but I can bear that. It feels good to be flying in the wind again.
An article in the new issue of The New Yorker describes how the best cave-explorers in the world climb miles underground, in the dark, for up to 14 days. Without knowing what's in front of them, they squeeze through tiny spaces, fall down tall heights, wrestle with animal-life and bacteria, injure themselves -- and push forward on their mission. They endure almost-constant suffering to do what they set out to do. These guys are tough. Compared to them, I'm a wimp.
How tough are you? How well do you climb back from adversity?