Getting lost in a corn maze and calling 911 is the antithesis of mental toughness?
That we can surely all agree on!
I still feel that when you're doing something you truly love, then it isn't truly mentally tough, but I also understand what ppine is getting at. I can't think of any good word to nail it down with though.
I would agree that most people that truly love hiking and backpacking, and all that comes with it, the bugs, rain, cold, heat, achey muscles, scrapes and bruises, all of that, are of a different character than those that don't.
Ringtail said "I am safer and more comfortable in the backcountry than I would be in downtown Detroit." He's right, no doubt about it, and it takes a certain kind of mental toughness to take a walk along Eight Mile, especially if you've never done it before, or do it everyday.
So we can't say that hikers and backpackers, as a rule, are mentally tougher that those who've never stepped foot in a wilderness.
The term, "Mental Toughness", is too broad to apply to any individual in all situations. We are all tough, and we are all weak. We can be tough one day, or even for one hundred, yet break in the same situation the next.
For me to "Push my limits", I'd almost have to endanger myself by doing something I know better than to do. In other words, something stupid. I've tried all my life not to do stupid things, and to be prepared for what I might encounter. so I find it hard to see how I would push my limits.
But ppine is not really suggesting I do something stupid. I know what he's getting at, and what that "something" is he looks for in hiking partners, and yet we've all found it hard to nail down.
I think we need a new word for it