So you wanna get in shape eh!?
It’s tough to keep fit on Mars. The real Mars that is, here we still have a full Earth gravity so those weights can be annoyingly heavy! But even so, part of living here entails daily workouts. This is partially to get in shape (some of us have lost 20lbs or more!) but also is something of a psychological catharsis. Moving, sweating, jumping, music going. Such things make confinement easier to bear.
One of the most prevalent forms of exercise in the dome involves our poor poor treadmill, which we pretty much have stomped into an early retirement. The motherboard on it gave out once already, which needed to be replaced before it’d go again, but at this point we’re kind of waiting for it to snap in half. Carmel is, far and away, the most run-loving person in here. It’s even money at any hour of the day that she’s on that thing, watching a show while putting the miles behind her. If we didn’t have a prohibition against running at night (crazy loud) she probably wouldn’t sleep either.
Due to her constant running, and then her training for (and finishing) a marathon, I thought it’d be fun to do something like that myself. She is quite the enabler when it comes to exercise, so in addition to every inside secret of the shoe or stride that she knows, she found this neat little schedule for me some months back.
Basically, you try to follow this as close as you can. Some miles you don’t run on say..a Tuesday due to clouds (and hence no solar power) you can add to another day, whatever you like. As long as for each week, you get those miles! In about 4 months, if all goes to plan, marathon! I should forewarn you that this is a lot harder than it looks. Toes get blisters, you get rashes in goofy places, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got a toenail that’s going to fall off one of these days. But man, the calories you burn! And the runners high (endorphins!) is well worth the effort.
Then, if you’ve tried really hard to keep to your schedule, and/or have a Carmel that will chase you around with a wooden spoon till you get on that treadmill like you promised, you’ll be ready for a marathon! When I started that day, I had Hammer Gel (from Montana, Huckleberry flavor!) a camelback hanging from the ceiling that needed to be refilled partway through, three fans, a tablet full of movies, and a spray bottle with a note that encouraged people to mist me if they happened to be walking by. There was also some Tosca cake that Carmel made, and sour patch kids for fast sugar. And over 5hrs later….
I managed to do it! I was actually only going to run to 20 miles, then taper for three weeks before shooting for the marathon (look at the training schedule!) but it was so close…and 6.2 miles isn’t THAT much, and I just went for it. Good times! I think I’ll do this again someday, but REALLY want to do it outside. Treadmills suck!
To date, that makes Carmel, Cyprien, and me the crazy Martians who’ve managed to run a marathon…in Space! Sort of. We have many other workouts, from squats while a backpack full of spam and another crew member sit on your back as weight, to running up and down the stairs, but long story short, if you’re going to another planet, or live there already, keeping fit and shooting for lofty goals is one of the best ways to keep yourself sane. And come back to Earth in great shape! After all, I live in Hawai’i normally, so it’s always swimsuit season, so much pressure!
Thanks to Mars, ready for the beach again!