Monday, October 15, 2007

Getting Ripped in the Antarctic!

Ask questions. I can't stress that enough. If you guys keep asking questions via comments on the blog or e-mail, I'll answer them the best that I can.

In honor of the most crowded yoga workout that I have ever done, I am showing pictures of the facilities around base to help you stay in shape. There are quite a few. Sam, you’ll be happy to know there is even a sauna just across the hall from my room. It might not be as beautiful as Deer Creek, but the walk sure beats the drive.

I didn’t take a picture of my yoga class, but I should have. It was in the Chapel of the Snow and it was so crowded I did most of the class in a closet. Every mat was within two feet of every other mat. I got there on time, which apparently means late, even though I arrived with the instructor. The only place I could find was against a back wall which was fine when we were standing with our feet together. However, when we did lunges of any sort, I had to back into a closet to make room. Ridiculous and kind of fun.

These first pictures are from a trip I made down to the helipad today to install some GPS software. Unfortunately, I wasn’t flying anywhere, but I did find out that my flight weight is probably 175 lbs. After that, I headed over to the gymnasium which is right next door. The gymnasium has what I believe to be a full size basketball court, plenty of balls, and a climbing wall. Yes, a climbing wall in Antarctica.

The gymnasium and ball racks.

The climbing wall.

On my way back from the helipad, I swung by the weight room building. I’ve been in there a couple times, but today was a little different. There were about twenty buckets on the ground to collect leaking water. As a loose rule, it doesn’t ever rain here. I guess it is from the melting ice. The three people working out didn’t seem to mind at all. Upstairs from the weight room are a couple recreational rooms and a full climbing room. So we not only have a climbing wall, but a full room as well. Antarctica is a very harsh continent.

The weight room

The climbing room

The final workout facility we have, and the one I know the best, is the Cardio Gym. It is about 50 yards from my dorm. Because it is so close, I always put on my gym clothes in my room, wind pants, my Big Red jacket and dash for it. My current running shoes are ventilated so my feet can breath. Normally, that is good. When I am running over, it lets in a ton of cold air. Not good.

The Cardio Gym

Not too much really went on today. I worked and got to run all over base again. I really appreciate being able to walk around. While I am out, I usually only see 1-2 other walkers and 2-3 vehicles driving around. I guess that most people are stuck in their offices and that just won’t do when I want to explore.

My last call of the day was down to the power plant. They have a computer clock that runs slow every day even when they fix it. This computer controls the DDC(?) which can digitally control all the power on base. I wasn’t assigned this task. I just grabbed it from the queue because it had been sitting there a few days. I now know why it had been left there. If I can locate a battery for this old machine still running Windows 98 then we’ll shut it down, change batteries, and boot it back up. If all goes well, they have a clock that keeps time. If not, maybe the power goes down and we all freeze to death. Keep an eye on CNN for that one. The workshop manager assures me that the computer can stay down for twenty minutes and it won’t matter. OK, maybe it isn’t that dramatic, but I’d watch CNN just to be sure.

Tonight, I’m off to a lecture on outdoor safety. You aren’t allowed to wander off the main part of town without a guide unless you have attended. I’d like to head out and explore some of the surrounding areas eventually so I’m off to do that tonight. Kind of boring, but it will lead to kind of exciting.

One last picture of a bust of Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd on the porch of the Chalet (where the important people on base work). He was a famous American polar explorer. I believe he was the first person to ever fly to the South Pole. He flew from a base near here called ‘Little America.’

View from the back of the Chalet


  1. So Brody, what do most of the people on base do? I'm guessing research, but do you know what kind of stuff they're researching?

  2. Hi Brody,

    I am Becki's mom and am intrigued by the conditions and experiences you will face while in Antarctica. I envy you those, but know there is no way I could visit there. So, I will just tag along through your blog. You create the sense of being there in your writing.

  3. Heh. I had that same problem with the running shoes while training for a marathon (in Feb.) when I lived in MN. I ended up switching to "trail" running shoes, because they usually are set up to keep water (and hence cold) out.

    For what it's worth, I trained outside unless the temp was less than -20F, and it really wasn't that terrible (no exposed skin, obviously). We didn't have a ton of wind, though, so the windchill wasn't much colder than the air temp. (I hate long runs on the treadmill...)