March 7, 2015
Do you know how many steps you make each day? I do thanks to our Jawbone UP bands that we wear to collect data for Jocelyn’s personal research project. The idea is really neat, when you’re awake it measures how active you are in terms of “steps”. You input your weight, height and age and apparently they have a formula that can approximate how long one of your steps is. Then when you go to sleep you put it in sleep mode with the press of a button and it measures how still you are and correlates that to deep or light sleep. its gotten to the point that whenever you ask anyone how they slept in the morning you’ll get back one of two responses: “Good, I think, but I haven’t checked my UP yet” or they’ll recite their sleep stats and show you their graphs. On a particularly good night Neil came rushing into the kitchen brandishing his iPad with the UP app open excitedly showing off a rather impressive 4 hour solid block of dark blue deep sleep and saying “Look what I did!”. I’m a roller so here’s my data from last night. It may look rough but three hours of sound sleep is actually pretty good for me, and considering my accidental glutening it wasn’t a terrible night.
But enough with sleep, that’s boring! STEPS! now here is where we come to a bit of a controversy, Martha is able to do over 10,000 steps almost EVERY DAY! its a bit crazy to be honest. The rest of the crew and I average between three and six thousand steps a day which I feel is normal considering that we can only go about 30 feet before having to turn around. It is kind of a running joke within the group that you have to really be trying to beat Martha in order to actually do it and yesterday I proved that right, it took an hour of biking with my Jawbone UP band strapped to my shoe instead of being on my wrist (I wanted every step to count!) followed by a P90X workout where I made sure to do more reps than Martha but check it out!
The thing is, I got almost nothing of real value done yesterday. I fiddled around with some problem hardware and did some research but thats it, not super productive, so the next step will be actually beating Martha while having a productive day. There are things to take into account with this goal: Martha on a cardio workout day can hit up to 18,000 steps, I don’t think I’ve EVER done so much while in the dome so I have to choose a non-cardio day to challenge her again, maybe a yoga day. The other thing is, Martha gets up at like 7:30 am and stays up until around 11 pm, I on the other hand wake up at a more leisurely 10 am and go to sleep around 1 am. So I’m gonna have to start my day off a bit earlier if I want a fair shot at it. Finally, my work is all computer based whereas Martha has a garden she must tend. Sure, its a small garden but it requires work and that work requires moving things around lifting watering cans, climbing ladders, and generally being in motion. I totally wish I had Martha’s project sometimes. So I have to schedule time to bike or walk (if we have power) but I also have to have enough time sitting quietly at my desk to get stuff done.
Remember we don’t get steps for walking from our house to the train to catch into work, we can’t take the elevator instead of the stairs, and a leisurely stroll at lunchtime to a cafe is out of the question. Our steps are hard fought, so next time you have to park an extra block away from your office and you’re about to angrily speed walk remember that there are nerds in a dome somewhere who would mosey along that block with a smile on their face if only they could.
You may be thinking, “Dang this girl is competitive” and yeah you’re right, but also, we actively find things to compete in, we have a big white board with our high and low scores from one of the research activities we do and under that is the current “Game Master” who is the last person to have won a board game where at least four crew members were playing. The time that I took the research game high score from Neil by two points (from his 60 to my 62) was a time of great jubilation possibly accompanied by a bit of neener neener NEEner. However while working in my room during the activity on Tuesday I was greeted with the sonic boom of Neil’s voice saying “TAKE THAT IT SOPHIE, 72!” and instantly knew my reign was over.
Its an odd sort of friendly competition where we like to keep track of things, as our dearly beloved Pete said in training week: “Its all data!”. I tend to think of it along the same lines as our PI telling us to celebrate every holiday we can. Its something to mark the passing of time, the days when someone is really on a roll and their title gets extended from the original. For example Jocelyn won a couple games of Rummikub and became the Sultana of Series and Sets, after that she dominated a game of Carcassonne and was then the Sultana of Series, Sets, and Serfs. Quite the title, but then in a brilliant move she and the Cyber Bunny massacred us all in the game King of Tokyo and she became the Sultana of Series, Sets, Serfs, and Savagery. Her final title ended up being Sultana of Series, Sets, Serfs, Savagery and soon to be Scarves due to her taking up knitting that same week but it was a great way to honor someone while at the same time instilling a friendly sense of rivalry that makes it more fun to be playing the games.
As of this week everyone has made it onto the board for something, Zak, the Duke of Destruction, Development, and Domestication and Chief Engineer for King of Tokyo, a couple round of Catan and Ticket to Ride, Martha has held so many titles it is ridiculous but my favorite was Number Set Ninja when she spent a whole game of Rummikub gathering tiles only to lay every single one down at once completely destroying us in points. Jocelyn was our Sultana, and Neil got his name up for King of Tokyo making him the Shogun of Savagery. Allen was able to become the Master of Citadels for the similarly named card based game and I have held several titles as well for the multitude of games we play but rarely do I win more than one in a row. Also, the need to have four people playing in order to change the winner board is a bit of a hindrance because Martha, Neil and I play tons of games.
So there you have it the only bit of rivalry within the dome and its over Meeples, dice rolls, and the inability to sit still We’re not a reality TV show, we’re people who want to get along and whose biggest prize will be our last dome party on June 11 celebrating the fact that we all made it through 8 months of sMars as a cohesive and effective space family.
Love from sMars