November 24, 2014
It has been a month, a eighth of this mission is gone and I feel like I’ve really learned things so I’d like to share it with you, my dear and faithful readers, those vicariously with me on my journey to Mars, those who… well… are probably just my mom. Hi Mom!
Anyways, things I’ve learned to do:
Be clean taking only 2 showers a week: If you had asked me about this 6 months ago I would have told you yeah sure that would be fine, as long as weeks were only 2 days long and there was no cap on the hot water I could get. Well, even on sMars weeks are still 7 days and while the hot water will run until you do, out of the shower scalded and pruney (yeah Casey, its even too hot for me), you only get 8 minutes a week unless you wanna stop drinking. No, my commander will not make me ration my drinking water with my shower water, I am totally exaggerating, the real reason for the limited usage and my strict maintenance of it is actually more strange: I want to. Every time I watch the timer count down from 2 minutes, every week that goes by that I neither smell nor use more than my last week’s water I feel good, like I’m making a difference. Like I’m closer to a real Mars habitat. Either that or I’m a tad bit masochistic but I tend to go positive.
Work out at least 5 days a week for over an hour: I happen to have a metabolism that keeps my shape from ballooning out if I decide I want to feed it any and everything it wants for a few years, unfortunately this does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that I am in good shape. I am now in good shape, and through constant motivation from the team and myself I have really managed to get into a groove with the workout thing. You may be saying “Sophie, how do you stay clean working out so much but only taking a shower twice a week?” or something more like “Her crew mates probably just don’t tell her how much she stinks, poor girl” or maybe you haven’t stopped going “eeeeeewwwwww” and rocking back and forth. Either way, I do have a method for dealing with this. When we came into the dome we all noticed a fairly ridiculous amount of baby wipes in all the bedrooms and bathrooms, thoroughly puzzled we figured it out quickly enough and now everyday after I workout I take a baby-wipe shower. You can quit your rantings of “unclean, uncleeeeaaaan” I promise I am properly hygienic. I still need to take more walks on the treadmill, it is right in front of our only window so the view is actually quite nice, and I should probably try to avoid eating all the random Fruit by the Foot our resupply gave us but the point is I’m on the right path. I may not be in Oz yet but my path sure is bright and I got the right footwear.
Ask everyone if they want to talk: This goes for so many people, authors (you gotta wait for my next blog post I’m super stoked about it), teammates, writers, family, friends you haven’t spoken to in far too long, people whose villages no longer need protecting, random unlikely friends with motor bikes, amazing Greek intellectuals, EVERYONE. I love chatting with people and I’m managing to stay in much better touch with my own family. Everyone is so kind and thinks the world of what I’m doing and I feel so proud to be carrying those good feelings and hopes that it absolutely lifts me up when I’m down.
Play games ALWAYS: we play so many board games that we’re making up our own. Watch for our kick-starter page 😉 Not only board games though, just anything fun, I got Zak to two step around the common area with me and he did so well I couldn’t help but but give him a big ol’ hug! Watch out ladies, by the time he gets out hes gonna be a whirling twirling machine … should he ever pick a honky-tonk over a mosh pit … sooooooo maybe its not the mostly likely thing but hey, never once heard a guy who knows how to dance say that learning was a waste of time.
Stay calm within the storm: This is something Tony keeps yelling at us when we do P90X yoga but it totally applies to all walks of life. When I wake up, I have 15 emails, by the time I’m through with those I have another 20. I seriously go through about 50 emails a day normally. In addition to that I’m writing a paper that will get me a Master’s degree, I’m also keeping an eye on our toilets so we don’t have an overflow of vileness that will make your guts disgusted with themselves, I take at least 4 surveys a day (speaking of which, hold on a sec), I’m also doing outreach activities every week, and my to-do list for today has about 13 items on it not including our hour and half workout. Life is busy, I’ve never been bored here and I’ve certainly never lacked stuff to do. I have completely put things off for a day or two and that was pretty magical, but all of us here in the dome have to learn to prioritize and work through all of the things we need to do. My body may be shaking doing twisted half moon pose but you’ll never know it from my face.
Readers, this month I’ve been scared, I’ve pushed myself and found new limits I never knew were there, I’ve made and eaten amazing food I’ve never tried before, I’ve cried a little for friends and family I miss but I’ve laughed a hundred times more with the new friends and family I’ve made here, I’ve walked a spatter rampart on sMars in a 30lbs suit, I’ve helped develop a board game, and the whole time I’ve been adding data to a system that will hopefully pick the first Mars crew in the future. I
So I’m gonna make myself a cup of hot Tang (sexy, I know) sit in our garden for a bit, and then get my increasingly pastey booty back to work.
Love from Mars,
The palest Martian you know ;)probably…