“Gilbert you’re up!” yelled one of the Alpha Epsilon Phi girls. As I approached the stage my heart was pounding like crazy. All I heard was “Gil IS Greek God! Gil IS Greek God!”
I’ll never forget the deafening noise and the blinding lights as I walked up the stairs on to the stage. I had my pose down memorized inside and out. I was focused.
Just the night before, I was prancing around, in one of the gross third floor bathrooms of Newing’s Broome Hall, trying to figure out the best way to shave my legs. Apparently, all of the contestants shaved their legs. Too bad I had no idea how to. I called up the girl that was running Greek God and asked her how. She was absolutely meticulous in how she ran the event.
After all, the real purpose of the event is to raise money for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation. Not to have college fraternity guys pose in their underwear.
But when I called her it didn’t go over as well as I had hoped. Although she laughed hysterically – she didn’t really appreciate my lack of preparation. I was on my own.
So, I was kneeling down ready to begin my pose down staring at my tanned feet with all eyes on me. As if being thrown into Greek God 3 weeks prior, competing against juniors and seniors as a sophomore, having an awful experience shaving my legs the night before and building all the sets that morning wasn’t enough – the wrong music started playing!
To say my one and only Greek God outing was underwhelming is an understatement or was it?
Flash forward to my junior year of college. My boys and I came back from the summer extremely excited for the year to come. We were now upperclassmen living in the fraternity house feeling pretty confident.
Until, 4 weeks before Greek God when my boys and I were talking about how fun it would be if we had a contestant. Before you know it, we were on the phone with every fraternity president and contestant asking if they had a problem if I competed again. Apparently, competing 2 years in a row is not allowed. Like Bloomberg though, I was in business. Again.
The diet, the exercise, the tanning, the rumors and the procrastination all started once more. Evidently some fraternities take Greek God extremely seriously. Which, I’m sure, puts a lot of pressure on the actual contestant to look good. After all, it’s expensive to participate. It’s also a chance for lesser known fraternities to make a name for themselves. But c’mon – it’s also only one freakin’ night!
As a lifelong fitness freak (not safe for work – watch the last 5 seconds of the clip), I’ve gradually added muscle throughout the years.
However, it wasn’t until my junior and senior year of high school when I became absolutely obsessed because I finally had access to a gym whenever I wanted being that I was able to drive. My mom always wondered why I ate the way I did and I’d always have to explain to her that I didn’t want to take drugs. For her own peace of mind, she had me tested for any and all steroids which I was totally cool with because I no longer had to explain my eating.
I always knew, somehow, I’d end up doing something in health and fitness so I’ve had her or my sister take pictures of me once a year to document my progress. As ridiculous as that sounds (and believe me they let me know) I only did it because I take great pride in being able to say the only things I’ve ever taken were protein shakes and protein bars. And not that I think I’m this (Greek) God because I certainly don’t. However, I always laugh when I see people who gain 35 pounds of muscle very quickly. Sure, that’s natural bro!
So, I took it as a compliment when in the weeks before Greek God both my sophomore and junior year, people would ask me if I was taking steroids. And although it was slightly annoying it made me laugh because I’ve truly been a fitness freak since I was in 4th grade. How would they know that though? While most kids were getting ready for school in the mornings probably eating Fruity Pebbles, I was working out in my room, a make shift gym.
Although my life is way more than protein shakes and protein bars now, it’s still a part of me. In college, steroids were certainly available. It’s pretty obvious who took them. But the good stuff – the stuff that sticks – takes the longest to gain but is actually sustainable and always lasts.
In the end, Greek God my junior year turned out to be awesome. My toga skit was fun as was my formal wear skit. And, as always, the part I trained the most for was the pose down (see picture above).
Unfortunately, no one in my fraternity has competed since my junior year of college. That’s like 5 years!
But a few months ago I got an email from Petar (yes, Petar) that he is doing it for SAE this year and that he’d love some help.
Petar has been an extremely gracious student and a lot of fun to work with.
I’ll say no more. Except:
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