We are up and running in Moscow now... a week late but full of energy. Dale Cupido and Karl Prince arrived on Saturday, to coordinate the payload and science programs. They will be here until the project is finished in May, so they brought plenty of reminders of home and lots of warm clothes for the duration. What a huge relief to finally have strong logistical support in this crazy environment! We're also hosting Karen Sharwood at Star City for a two-week stay. Karen is from the UCT Sports Science Institute, responsible for the cardiology experiment) and is also charged with beating me into shape for the flight. She's also been a real hit with the Russians, as have all of our scientists.
So the fitness program got off to a riotous start over the weekend with Karen cracking the whip for baseline data collection and general fitness work. She literally had me cycle until I couldn't cycle any more, to test basic stamina. 'Cycle till you die or can't cycle any longer' was how she described the test. This relationship isn't working well for me. We have to sync with the Russian fitness program, but Karen and Yuri Tsukanov (my Russian fitness coach) seem to have quickly reached agreement on the proper way to get rid of any signs of Christmas fitness in their specimen.
We have finally received the two pieces of gym equipment that we bought in Moscow ages ago... but the treadmill doesn't work because there's no power adapter. Doh. Par for the course over here. Dale is jumping on that problem. The equipment is just standing in the corridor at the Prophy since there doesn't seem to be any other place to put it. Seems as good as any place to start a gym! The NASA folks said their treadmill stood in the corridor one floor down for three years until they finally built themselves a house in Star City, so at least there's some precedent.