Best of the Blog #1

Step away from the Chunky Monkey

 

Just rewarding yourself? NO! Stay on track!

by Brad Beskin

 

 

originally posted March 24, 2011

 

I’ve observed a distressing trend in many of my friends prepping for swimsuit season by shedding a few winter pounds.  They commit to a strict regimen (some of which involves blended meat products and that’s…well, that’s just nasty) of spirit-crushing starvation.  After two weeks, they step on the scale and jump for joy as the needle balances a full five pounds less than when they began.  And what do they do?  They hit the fridge for a celebratory pint of Chunky Monkey.  No, no, Friend…we have a lot more work to do.   

We see this kind of behavior in our Alphas, especially when it comes to recruitment.  I’ve seen Alphas blow recruitment out of the water…doubling if not tripling their previous term’s performance.  To celebrate, they back off, and their complacency leads to subsequent recruitment terms highlighted by sub par performance.  When the huge class graduates, it makes up for more than half of the active Alpha and those men leave their peers underfunded, undermanned, and completely overwhelmed by the daunting recovery action now required of them.  Or take the Alpha whose leaders take charge, motivate, and inspire.  Whose ranks contribute, pitch in, and carry their weight to the finish line.  Who lands a coveted spot as a Thayer finalist and woos the committee to a win.  We know what happens next…the dreaded Thayer Curse…and via complacency and arrogance the Alpha places dead last 12 months later.  

Again, we tie physical fitness to Alpha fitness.  Just as reward Chunky Monkey translates to zero weight loss, undeserved breaks from the plan translate to decreased performance.  

So, how do we prevent this?  First, we have to eliminate undeserved breaks from our pursuit of success.  For Chi Psis, one can argue that there are no breaks from this pursuit.  

In Faster Better Stronger, Dr. Eric Heiden warns us against the “entitlement meal” in stating that “your after-workout meal should not be an engorgement.  In fact, this is why many people fail to lose weight when they begin to exercise.  Ever had one?  This meal consists of everything you want, because you deserve it.  You’re working out, you feel entitled.  But this will negate your weight-loss efforts.”  What’s your Alpha’s “entitlement meal?”  Is it recruitment complacency?  Social introversion?  These aren’t doing anything for your progress! 

So put down the Wii remote.  Turn off Sports Center.  Strap your work boots back on and get back to it!  You don’t deserve a break.  You haven’t earned a break.  Brothers, there are no breaks!  You’ve only got 4 years (Sorry tech schools, I mean “~4 years”).  Make the most of them.  Your 20-man pledge class has no bearing on the effort you will contribute to the development of the next.  Identify your Alpha’s undeserved Chunky Monkey and nip it…IN THE BUD!  Better yet, figure out a way to leverage the activities that your men crash into for a break as recruitment activities.

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