I believe in the ability to put your mind over matter
When I was still new to the Army, I quickly realized that it’s what you put your mind to that you will be able to achieve. This is especially true when it comes to physical challenges like fitness, road marches, and training events. No matter how hard it was or how much pain I was in, as long as I could convince my mind to continue I never had a problem completing the task. This is why I believe that if you can put your mind over matter you will succeed.
A few short months after being in my unit, my philosophy of mind over matter shined through. My buddy Jake and I were going to stick together on an Expert Infantry Mans badge (EIB) qualification road march. Our goal was to road march twelve miles in two hours and thirty minutes. We both had stress fractures in our feet, and right around the seven mile point, I heard a snap. I could see the horrendous pain in his face; his foot finally broke with five miles still to go. After making sure he was ok, we continued on, a little slower at first until his foot went numb and then the running began. All it took was a little bit of pumping him up and he put the pain behind him. After the road march Jake went to the doctors. He ended getting a cast put on his leg. This was not the only one he would get; however, he broke this cast while we were finishing up EIB testing and eventually got a walking cast put on. In the end Jake was standing right next to me getting pinned his EIB. His mind was determined even though his broken foot continued to protest.
Almost two years later I tore a tendon in my wrist doing an obstacle course. I had to wear a soft cast with a metal bar in it to stabilize, and prevent mobility. Two weeks later, I was going to a leadership school that didn’t allow injured soldiers. Needless to say, the cast came off and I went to the school. One of the first things we had to do was a physical fitness test that consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run. I couldn’t use my wrist as a support; however, I still had to have it at least touching the ground. Let’s just say mind over matter took over. I only did 53 pushups, but when you’re only using one hand that’s a lot of strain on your body. I had to convince myself to put the pain out of my mind and overcoming the 42 push-up minimum.
So when it comes down to it, if you want it bad enough you need to learn how to belittle the challenge your faced with and put mind over matter, especially when the odds are up and you are down. Now that I’m a civilian mind over matter is less physical, but it still pertains to everyday life such as stress with college and dealing with the pressure that comes with it.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.