Yesterday I gave a talk about toughness and how easily it can slip into nihilism. I'm not at all sure I succeeded in communicating my thesis. But the ferment of discussion that followed rang with success. People talked about toughness versus endurance and toughness versus strength. Physical and mental anguish fell into contrast. Further anxieties appeared as we viewed toughness through the prism of gender. Toughness as a subject has emotional depths shadowy and difficult for us to plumb, and many of these lie hidden behind shallow images both projected and assumed. A tricky place! And worth exploring.