by John Huston
In conversation, once a person finds out that Tyler and I are headed to the North Pole the next question often is, “So, what do you do now, during the summer?” This entry gives a window into my daily life and in part answers that question. Tyler will give his version in the coming weeks.
Basically, when not on the ice, Tyler and I are entrepreneurs running a small business focused on growing the expedition project, physical training, networking, marketing, PR and fundraising. Like a lot of people we sit behind the computer, email, use the phone and pretty much have a normal work schedule. On the expedition we are very careful to adhere to strict routines, in order to break the day down into easily consumable pieces. The same is true for our away-from-expedition routines, although at home we consume a bit less (food that is).
5:30AM The alarm wakes me up. Unlike my habit on expedition, where I wake up like a rocket, I then lay there for a few minutes enjoying the comfort. Then into the kitchen where I down at least a pint of water, on expedition it is almost twice that amount. Water helps get the circulation going in the cold.
6:00AM Out the door for two hours of training in the beautiful Chicago morning. All mornings are beautiful when I'm working out! Biking, lifting weights at the gym, pulling tires or once in a while running. Without my morning workout I feel I a bit restless and fidgety all day.
8:00 - 9:00AM Breakfast time. BIG TIME. My standard: 2 potatoes sliced and fried in butter with onions (I dearly miss my morning potatoes on the ice), 2 eggs scrambled with cheese, 4 pieces of bacon, 2 english muffin halves with a generous application of butter, coffee once in a while and I top the big plate with whatever hot sauce or avocado fixing is around. More on our diet (and butter) in the future, but I will say that I'm happily up 15 pounds from this time last summer. I peruse the online sports sections while eating.
Around Noon: Lunch, another high calorie plate. I mostly eat whole foods.
12:30PM - 6:00PM I continue work from the morning. More work on the website (this will wrap up soon), phone conversations with our sponsors, working on pitch documents, preparing for an upcoming public presentation, talking with the wonderful people at our charity partner CaringBridge and receiving marketing and fundraising advice from various expedition consultants. Working from home allows me to be flexible and efficient, but I miss the social interaction of working with other people in an office. However, I feel our expedition project team is growing all the time and I really enjoy my interaction with those who have joined the project via partnership and supporting roles.
Evening: Big dinner, often fish on the grill with rice and veggies, I often I eat with my roommate or a friend. I feel my body craving protein when the work out schedule is heavy. Dinner is followed by some social gathering, softball (part of Chicago culture), meeting friends or sometimes I just do more work (light-on-the-brain work the that is normally accompanied by the White Sox game on tv or the radio). I am going to find a way to listen to baseball games on the ice, I love the easy-going cadence of basebal on the radio. Then a bit of reading and I'm in bed by 10:30PM or so.
All in all it's a fairly normal existence, but with a singleness of purpose. For the most part I enjoy the administrative side of expeditions, it challenges many parts of my brain and builds skills that will be applied to future non-expedition endeavors.