by Brad Beskin
Since the turn of the calendar year, I have had a very difficult time finding a parking spot at the gym. Now, I’m not the walking paradox that needs a front door parking spot before my hour of cardio…but it’s cold outside. My assumption, based on who I see in the gym once I find a place to park, is that hoards of Nashvillians have undertaken a physical overhaul as some sort of New Year’s resolution.
Personally, I’ve always disliked this concept. If you have a goal, there’s no better time than 5 and a half minutes ago to start pursuing it. However, I can’t help but feel happy for these people who have committed time and a portion of their disposable income to bettering themselves. Who am I to judge the motivational techniques they need to employ?
Back to parking. This happens every year. If the trend continues, in about two weeks my parking spot will become easier and easier to find until, in about April, I’ll get that coveted front door spot more often than not. Why? Because New Year’s resolutions are fleeting. Most individuals, if not motivated to start down a path of improvement today, are not going to sustain a program of self-improvement because society tells them that January 1 is a trendy time to do so. In 6 weeks, they’re done.
Guess what?! It’s a metaphor for fraternity. In Faster Better Stronger, Dr. Eric Heiden tells us that a comprehensive program is necessary to achieve true physical fitness, the union of strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and coordination. These traits, when we think about them from the standpoint of “Alpha Fitness,” are the things we want for our Alpha. Strength in numbers, dedication, and a sense of Brotherhood. Endurance, perseverance, and “long-termability.” Balance between respect for tradition and the need for progression. Coordination of the many types of activities that must take place for an Alpha to be successful (AHEM Program for Excellence AHEM!).
Dr. Heiden also tells us that one needs to work within a fitness program for 12 weeks before he can effectively evaluate results. How often do we run through an AMR, develop a detailed action plan, fire up the motivation…and then let it fizzle after a few short weeks? For true Alpha fitness, we need to work within our plans long enough to be able to evaluate results clearly. Only then can we know if an idea works or a method succeeds.
So, If your Alpha needs an overhaul…needs to bulk up, shed a few pounds of fat, improve the ways things move and work together, increase its flexibility, or just get up off its rear end and do something…get in the Alpha Gym and employ a comprehensive program that will lead to “Alpha Fitness.” Schedule an AMR through the Central Office. Talk to your Greek Life Advisor about their motivational programming. Take your entire Alpha to next months’ Rowe Regional Leadership Conferences or meet us in Ann Arbor in August for Convention. We just want to pump [clap, point] you up! In the meantime, work with your Alumni to schedule a fun, engaging event with local Chi Psis.
Once you start your Alpha’s routine, you can’t stop. Work the program for a full semester. Don’t give up! Unlike the gym, I want your Alpha’s parking spaces filled! Don’t worry about me…I’ll walk.