Jul 28, 2010

What Iron Phi Means to Me

GHQ Staff Blogger Philanthropy/Service/ALS
What Iron Phi Means to Me

By Jacob Ternes – Senior Leadership Consultant

When I was in High School I was an athlete, a multiple sport letterman and was in great shape. I ran on occasion and really enjoyed working out and getting a good sweat. Throughout my college years I played sports a little less, only intramurals and rec sports, ate a lot more than I should have, and didn’t work out nearly as often as I could have. By the time I graduated last year I was well over my playing weight (my Wii Fit mii was a tubby little guy), didn’t feel motivated to do anything, and was just tired all of the time.

Running by myself had never really been my thing.  I didn’t have a team around me to go work out with, so I had no motivation to get out there and get into shape. Iron Phi gave me the push that I needed to get back into a fitness routine. When Steve Good first brought up the idea to the staff I jumped on it. I thought that this was a chance to set a personal goal that would keep me motivated and was an opportunity to do charity fundraising like I never have before. Even though I was out of shape, I still considered myself to be an athletic person so I set my sights high.  I was going to complete the full marathon during the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon weekend. Twenty six point two miles can’t really be that bad, can it? I mean, I had five months to train for it.

Out on the road, I quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be much fun. Running by myself through places that I was not familiar with wasn’t my idea of a good time.  I had to spend money on new shoes because the shin splints were killing me, I was sore in muscles that I didn’t even know I had, and the laundry basket that I traveled with always reeked of sweaty workout clothing. I was not enjoying this running thing, but because I had made a commitment to myself and (more importantly) to others in the office I pushed through and kept up with my daily runs.

In the end it paid off.  On May 2nd 2010 I completed the Flying Pig Marathon in 4 hours and 38 minutes. Not too shabby for a guy who had never run a competitive race longer than 2 miles. The encouragement and congratulations that I received during my training and after the race (it appears all my friends thought I was crazy and wouldn’t make it) was great and now I’m actually enjoying the time that I spend running. I’m seriously considering running the half marathon in Dallas this year with other Iron Phis and the full again next year in Cincinnati. On a health note, I am 25 lbs lighter than I was 6 months ago, drink much less coffee because I have more energy, and I just all around feel better about myself.

Iron Phi has definitely helped me to get back to where I want to be fitness-wise and I am so proud of the $1,020.00 that I raised to support ALS and the Phi Delta Theta Foundation! Becoming an Iron Phi may not pile on the tangible incentives that we often greedily expect but the personal benefits that I received are extremely important to me.  I challenge everyone to set an Iron Phi goal and strive to achieve it.

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