After a hectic summer which left me at probably the lightest weight I've been in my adult life I, like the others, was determined not to let the winter be a time of piling on the pounds while lazing in my dressing gown in front of the TV. Or, more likely, in front of a pile of krill.
The weekly weigh-in
So we re-instigated the 'Fat Knacker' award for the person who puts on the most weight. Consistency being key to any good science, every Wednesday we dress up in our special costumes for the weigh-in. I've fluctuated each week since late March, but while I'm still significantly less than my pre-Bird Island weight I appear to have put on more than the others. Disappointingly no one has got anywhere near actual fat though and we're more like models worrying about half a kilogram because someone ate more cake than was recommended.
We started off following the set of fitness DVDs left by the previous winterers. A 45-minute routine of being shouted at by an over-enthusiastic American while jumping about ridiculously. Unfortunately, without the complete set of exercises and stretches we started injuring ourselves and had to call a stop to the stupidity.
Race Across Antarctica
Following the midwinter week we took part in the Race Across Antarctica, put together by the Halley doc, James. He'd measured out the following distances; Bird Island to King Edward Point (102km), KEP to Rothera (2222km) and Rothera to Halley (1668km). This gave a daunting total of 3992km. So it was halved to a target distance of 1996km.
|Race route: BI --> KEP --> R --> Z.|
All the bases have a variety of gym equipment and different scales were attached to different activities so that rowing was worth more than running or x-country skiing, which were worth more than cycling or walking.
|Hannah and Steph working out the distances of daily walking routes. Every little counts (although we didn't include walking up and down the corridor and trips to the toilet).|
As an act of fairness to us at the tiny base, only 4 people's distances could be entered per day. This still left us at a disadvantage as we couldn't afford to have any days off. But with that handicap came the incentive to win, or at least push the bigger bases all the way. And guess what... we won! It was close, but some monumental cycle and rowing sessions, particularly from Craig, saw us over the imaginary line.
|Keeping track of daily distances.|
It's now about a month until I have to start regular checks of the penguin nesting beaches all over the island so I just need to keep the fitness levels up so it's not too much of a shock to the system.