Wie sagt man ‘Chamber of Greatness’ auf Deutsch?
Die Kammer der Größe. Everyone has roommate wonder stories and roommate horror stories. When you live with people for the first time, no matter how well you believe you know them, you’re forced to learn about their idiosyncrasies and set ways. When four guys get together, anything can happen. When it turns out like the year I had in the Chamber of Greatness, you cherish it for the rest of your life.
Why was it the Chamber of Greatness you may ask? Well, I believe I surely had a little something to do with that. It was the end of the summer of 2012 and I was returning for my sophomore year at college in friendly St. Paul, MN. Something had clicked inside of me over the summer and I became obsessed with greatness. I was rearing to go. Round 2. I could take everything I learned during my freshman campaign and start anew, doing everything better than I had the first time around. Classes, baseball, friendships, romance. It was all going to be better. I was going to find my greatness.
In the 2nd half of every school year, students start to figure out where they’ll live during the following year. As a freshman, this means being able to decide who you’re going to live with, perhaps for the first time in your life! I was pumped to contemplate the possibility of creating my own dream living situation for the next year. As a sophomore, I would have to live on-campus. That meant, unless I got a super lucky lottery number, or paired up with an older student, I would have to be okay with the average two-person rooms usually assigned to sophomores. Fortunately, my best bud Tuts (King) and I worked out a little magic because we didn’t want to settle for average.
Two older guys we befriended through baseball, LaMike (People’s Hero formerly Hate Train) and Slambo (Bawse) happened to be looking for two extra guys in order to qualify for a deluxe four-person suite in a mostly upperclassman dorm known as GDD. The People’s Hero was initially revolted at the idea of living with the two of us, thinking we were too immature and prone to late night escapades to cope with. To the King and I’s relief, the People’s Hero was worn down by his girlfriend and took us onboard. At that point, there was one final problem to tackle: nabbing one of the coveted four-person suites.
On the day of the housing selection, the People’s Hero got out of practice early in order to be ready at his computer for a quick-click to grab our desired suite. To his dismay, he experienced some internet connectivity issues and wasn’t able to get the job done. We needed a miracle and the Bawse came through in the clutch. Despite being in Mexico for a study abroad semester, he was able to get into the housing selection application and make the click that would seal our fates. The three of us back in the states had told him we would take care of the selection, but the Bawse didn’t listen. Thank the powers of the universe for that. The odds had been overcome. The four of us, two sophomores, a junior, and a senior, would all be living together during the next school year.
Our suite was luxurious compared to my freshman room. It had three bedrooms (the King and I shared one), a large bathroom with two sinks (a gigantic upgrade over sharing one bathroom with an entire floor), and a sizeable common room area. We quickly made the place our own. A makeshift pong table became a fixture of our weekend social gatherings and epic three-inning games of MVP Baseball 2005 on Xbox was a ballplayer’s dream (AJ Burnett should be in the HOF based on that game lol). What made the suite so lively was that all four of us had different social circles so on any given night a wide variety of folks would show up to pre-game for a party, stop for a progressive, or just to chill out and vibe.
What really made it so great though, was how the four of got along as the year progressed. Four totally different personalities, with our own weird quirks and intricacies, but it all meshed together to weave an incredible atmosphere of brotherhood. We had our own traditions, like the weekly Sunday night fail video, our own house rules, and a common room couch that saw an ungodly amount of debauchery. Though I thought I’d have everything figured out the 2nd time around, I frequently went to the People’s Hero and the Bawse for sage wisdom and practical life advice. Even today, though life has taken us in wildly separate directions, I still love those guys, for all the times we had together and all that I learned from them. By the end of our year together, the four of us had created an environment where we could all be ourselves freely.
While the comradery we had in the entire suite was legendary, the bond the King and I shared in our Chamber of Greatness was unmatched. We both went through a lot that year, heartbreak and triumph, depression and exaltation, the full spectrum of human experience. Plus we incapacitated ourselves with laughter on the regular. We had each other’s back, unconditionally. Left side. Strong side. Oh, how I loved that humble abode and the King I shared it with.
That year was when I got into personal development. A confluence of energies arrived to drive my growth. A heartbreak made me angry, baseball made me inspired, and the environmental conditions were perfect. My routine was on point. Morning walks with Dreamchasers 2. Benefitting from caffeine for the first time. Intermittent fasting dedication. It felt like I was striking a mother lode of beginner gains in all areas of my life. At night, I looked up at the legends on my walls, knowing I was fully on my path towards greatness. Marcus Aurelius. Theodore Roosevelt. James Dean. Every quote from the Nike ‘Find you Greatness’ commercial campaign for the 2012 summer Olympics. The wall game MVP was a simple piece of paper though. It had three goals on it. 90. All A’s. 6 pack abs. Laying right next to my pillow and alarm clock, I could see what I was moving towards every night before I closed my eyes and every morning right after opening them. I only achieved one of those things in my first semester (All A’s). 6 pack abs came later. 90 is still on the way.
The relentless pursuit of greatness is why we all called it the Chamber of Greatness. Over the years my feelings about that living situation have probably become more romantic and idyllic. However, I assure you, ask any of the other three guys, my brothers, and they will tell you there was something there worth being romantic about. Hard to put into words, though I’ve done the best I can here. Maybe we didn’t find our individual greatness in its entirety that year. Instead, the four of us created something greater.