Little known fact: In college, I was a sorority girl. Ohhhh, yes I was. Zeta Tau Alpha. Any sisters out there?
That feels like a lifetime ago. I was a whole different person – I cared about things like tanning, drinking, smoking (yes, I was a smoker!), bar hopping, frat parties, and anything else your typical college sorority girl was into. I was *that* girl. In my “spare” time (oh, the difference between “spare” time as a college student versus an adult), I spent my days doing things like “canning” (raising funds for our philanthropy, Susan G. Komen), hazing pledges, planning homecoming/Greek week festivities, occasionally studying, and going to meetings associated with Greek life. I look at pictures and don’t even recognize the person in the photos. I don’t regret a single second of it, but it’s certainly something I’d prefer to leave in the past 🙂
All of the frats/sororities out there say they don’t condone hazing. You know what I think about that?
There’s this thing that happens to most pledges called Hell Week. The brothers and sisters of your respective organization sort of torture you for an entire week with hazing rituals and activities. We are the sister’s bitches for a week and got run into the ground.
Here I am, in my peak week of training. I don’t reflect back on my experience with Greek life too often, but I keep thinking about it this week. Particularly about Hell Week. Peak Week. Hell Week.
- Instead of hydrating with Gatorade after a night of binge drinking so I can sober up for Bio, I’m sucking back Nuun tablets to nail speed workouts.
- Instead of waking up and mowing an egg bagel with cream cheese from Country Bagel on High Street in hopes of preventing dry heaving and absorbing the alcohol, I’m eating things like almond flour flatbreads and sweet potato waffles to prevent shitting my pants during workouts.
- Instead of fetching the older sisters cheesesteaks from Philly in the middle of the night because they’re drunk and hungry, I’m preparing weird Paleo-ish meals and don’t know what life is like past 9pm.
- Instead of being sore and tired from scrubbing the houses of the older sisters after a huge rager that we weren’t invited to, I’m sore from track workouts, marathon paced miles, and existing in general.
- My own chores are being completely neglected, and I’m wishing for a pledge of my own to fold my growing laundry pile and do the dishes in the sink.
- Instead of making sure all of the sister’s needs are met before bed, I make sure I do my abs, MYRTLS, and pay homage to my foam roller.
- Instead of looking forward to the next frat party and $1 well drinks at the bar, I’m looking forward to the workout where I will reward myself with the new Caramelized Honey Latte from Starbucks.
- Instead of funneling beer, I’m funneling coffee (in theory).
- Instead of answering to a bunch of bitchy sisters, I answer to the Hanson boys and Luke Humphrey.
But even though Hell Week as a pledge was hellish, I never hated it. It might not be a part of my life that I wish to relive, but it’s a fun memory to look back on. I could chalk it up good character building experience and move on. In a sorority, Hell Week does actually serve a purpose: to tie together all of the activities/experiences you completed during the period you are considered a pledge. Some say it’s degrading, but we used to say it builds trust and confidence in the people you are going to call your sisters.
Peak week in marathon training is also a good character building experience. It’s meant to tie everything together that you’ve developed during training. It’s meant to put your speed to the test with long track workouts and tempo runs, and take you to your maximum weekly mileage. It builds mental grit and tenacity and for some, it takes you almost to your breaking point. It builds trust and confidence in the work you’ve done to get you to the starting line. Much like hell week, peak week is challenging and tiring….but I also don’t hate it.
Any brothers and sisters out there? Anyone else in the height of their race training this week?