INTESTINAL FORTITUDE


What does intestinal fortitude mean to you?

To me, Intestinal fortitude means courage and endurance to go on. As a result of a  little bit of research I have found there have been many cites indicating the term was first used in a lecture by John Woodworth Wilce in 1916. He was a football coach and professor at Ohio State Univeristy.

I have been thinking about the term intestinal fortitude for quite some time now.  It is the last stanza of the RANGER creed and I have heard it recited many times.  This stanza always stood out to me because of the term intestinal fortitude.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight onto the RANGER objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.  

I am not sure I was able to comprehend the magnitude of this term until I really started to dissect it and questioning myself on my very own fortitude. 

I suppose  you could exchange the term intestinal fortitude with guts. 
"Guts are a combination of confidence, courage, conviction, strength of character, stick-to-itiveness, pugnaciousness, backbone, and intestinal fortitude.  They are mandatory for anyone who wants to get and to stay at the top."  D.A Benton

I have always been one to be highly reflective.  I have always been the one to feel things and experience life at a very deep and genuine level.  Now, as I am starting to connect the dots with all the models, mentors, aspirations and disappointments in my life…..I am able to very clearly understand intestinal fortitude. 

With that understanding….I must ask myself….do I have it? Is fortitude an all or nothing deal?  Does one have fortitude…..or simply not have it?

I am not sure on these answers.  However, I am able to recognize fortitude when I see it.  Also, I have recognized that when I am confronted with a difficult situation, I play the same dialogue over and over in my mind:
“Push through it.  Suck it up. It hurts now, but you must push through the pain. Take a look around all your friends have it.  All the people you look up to is able to push past a difficult situation. They would not give up. ” 
That dialogue usually keeps me in the game.  In fact, I have often been called stubborn….
"Still I know of no higher fortitude than stubbornness in the face of overwhleming odds." Louis Nizer

From my vantage point we hear the same information time and time again.  Most of the folks that we have come to know as very successful have needed to endure and overcome hardships.  More than likely the relationships we acknowledge as ideal, in order to thrive, endured moments where both parties wanted to throw in the towel.

Is there ever a good time to give up?  If you do give up, does that mean you lack fortitude in every other area of your life?

I know, call me crazy, but these are the things I constantly think about J Help me out!!

Unfortunately, I am not sure I can claim to have intestinal fortitude.  My health ailments have physically limited me and my movements.  I believe I have reached a period where I am not willing to challenge those joints any longer and have accepted that I am physically challenged.  However it is relationships that are curious to me.  When is it fortitude to endure a relationship OR a smart decision to leave it behind? If I choose to leave a relationship behind.....have I just simply failed to have fortitude?
My personal thoughts and queries aside, I do agree with Mr. Butler quoted below.  I do think we are experiencing a point in time requiring stamina.
"The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost cirsumspection, deliberation, fortitude and stamina."  -- Samuel Butler
As a country, will we have what it takes?