That could be an example of a cross. You can deny yourself in many ways throughout the day. All of these of course are meaningless though unless your are doing them in and for Jesus. If you are at Macy’s and see a nice pair of jeans on sale for $50 that you really want, you could NOT buy them and instead give that $50 to charity. Simple things like that become meaningful when you tell Jesus that you are doing them in and for Him.
In a more general sense though, I think this passage (at least for me) has always pointed at the fact that we need to deny our sinful nature to follow Jesus. From my own experience, I struggle with many sinful desires such as spiritual sloth, lust, materialism, etc… So, to me, this passage is the Lord telling me that as much as I have a desire to do something besides pray, look lustfully at others, or spend excessive amounts on clothing, I really need to deny myself and go follow Jesus.
There is a meditation that I like to use sometimes to help me with this. I imagine myself seeing Jesus fall under the weight of the cross. Instead of turning away though, I imagine myself going over to our Lord and helping him pick up his cross. If I am to do this, I become the most privileged man on Earth because I am walking with Jesus under the cross. I then pray to the Lord that although I was not physically there to help him, to please accept my offering and my denial of self as a small sign of my love for him.
I hope this was somewhat useful to you. Peace and good.