Last year I ran the Myrtle Beach Marathon and while it was a great experience it was also a crappy experience, literally. I got stuck in a port-a-potty.
No, it wasn’t a lock error or any issue with the port-a-potty. My body got me stuck in the temporary toilet and my mind kept me there.
What happened was when I was about 75% done with the race I had to pee. So as soon as I saw the next resting area with toilets I didn’t even give it a second thought - I was stopping. The second I bent down I knew I had made a dire mistake. The act of stopping and then bending caused a sudden rush of painful lactic acid to flood my legs leaving me on the toilet, with legs that felt like bricks and wouldn’t move.
To make the whole thing worse the weather was extremely windy. So here I am, frozen on a portable toilet while the whole structure shakes and blows, howling like a wolf. I went into full blown panic mode. My mind raced, while my legs wouldn’t. Was this thing going to blow over? How was I going to get up? This day was going from a moment to be proud of all my hard work and training to a day I have to be rescued from a blown over toilet, covered in crap and frozen solid like a block of ice.
A large part of running a marathon is putting mind over matter. I was letting my mind control the situation. My mind was increasing my anxiety. My MIND was strapping me to that toilet. I was so tired and exhausted that I had been hit by a meltdown wave that I could not beat, but I had to or else things would be very bad.
So, I had to will myself up. I had to push past the pain. Stop freaking out. Stop worrying that the toilet was going to tip over. Stop panicking and start moving. I put my mind over the physical pain and my mind over the panic and I got out of the port-a-potty.
I got out and I finished the race. The reason I’m telling this story to all my followers on their health journey is because we are all going to have moments where the toxins in our brains and bodies stop us from functioning. Anything from a night out drinking to a day spent eating poorly will alter the functionality of our brains and bodies.
You have two options when you feel that alteration. In the moment you can fight past it, you can just keep drinking or eating, feel sorry for yourself and let your mind race with negative thoughts. Or you can say STOP. Stop beating yourself up, stop panicking about worst case scenarios and take ACTION. It may not happen in that moment that you can instantly make ourselves feel better, but you can step outside of your comfort zone and acknowledge that you feel like hell. Be mindful of the fact that a specific action (eating, drinking, smoking) led to this specific feeling. If you put your mind over matter you can make better decisions, but it won’t come easy and it won’t come naturally.
You will feel stuck, frozen and completely tied to your desires, cravings and appetite, but I promise you that when you put mind over matter you will emerge successful. You will swell with pride and glow with accomplishment. Sometimes, you just gotta push yourself off the toilet and away from a crappy feeling.