New Balance Foundation Fitness Friday: In Balance

Fur seals are fabulous swimmers, and they're pretty athletic all around, but what happens when they compete against humans on dry land? Some Aquarium staff members and friends took the fur seals on in a series of athletic challenges, most of which included some swimming—at which the fur seals excel. But in the event where everyone had to balance on the deck on one hand (flipper) with feet together, bodies forming a sideways T, the humans had the advantage. The last man (or woman or seal) standing would win for his or her team. See what happened in the video below.

Want to see some more great competitions? Check out the collecting race, triathalon, speed swimming and the obstacle course.


Happy 30th Lana!

We recently celebrated an exciting day at New England Aquarium -- one that is cause for much celebration...it was Lana (the Atlantic harbor seal)'s 30th birthday! To celebrate this occasion we gave her a one of a kind birthday "fish cake," made specially by two of our volunteers, Marie and Marissa.

Fish cake for the birthday girl!

Our seals normally get hand fed a few fish at a time, so imagine Lana's excitement when I set down this platter of fish and let her dig in!

Happy Birthday, Lana!!

Birthdays are a big deal for our harbor seal families. Look back at one of Lana's previous birthday celebrations, and see how she helped others celebrate birthdays, too.

Even when they're not celebrating birthdays, our harbor seals get lots of attention and stimulation from their trainers. We'd love it if you wanted to join us for a free training session one of these days. Get to know our family of harbor seals in their exhibit on the front plaza at the Aquarium!


New Balance Foundation Fitness Friday: Cleaning Up

It seems that everyone wants to challenge the Northern fur seals! After seeing some staff members and supporters go toe to flipper with Isaac, Cordova and Ursula in some Fitness Friday challenges, several of our VPs and our president and CEO decided to get in on the action.

Our President and CEO, Bud Ris, battled Isaac to see who could beautify the water in the New Balance Marine Mammal Center faster by pulling more toys out of the water and placing them on the deck.

Patty introduces (left to right) Bud Ris; Walter Flaherty, Executive Vice President and COO; Joe Zani, Vice President of Finance and Operations; and Billy Spitzer,Vice President of Planning, Programs and Exhibits.

Although Bud did his best to distract Isaac with his splashy dive into the pool, he was hampered by having to wear a bulky wetsuit. Isaac, on the other hand, has the advantage of his sleek fur, which allows him to glide through the water.

 Watch the video below to see who won.

As you can see, the fur seals and sea lions in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center are inspiring athletes. Get inspired for your upcoming weekend and learn more about these active marine mammals by looking back at some previous Fitness Friday posts: Compare "landlubbing" harbor seals and fur seals. Ever wonder how well a sea lion plays soccer? Wonder no more. Check out Isaac's feats of strength in this post about learning new skills.


New Balance Foundation Fitness Friday: Obstacle Course

Would you challenge a Northern fur seal to a race? If you've been reading the Fitness Friday posts, you know that a team of Aquarium staffers and friends did. This team is training for the Tough Mudder competition, and they challenged the Northern fur seals to various races and tests of coordination and endurance.

In last week's post, a staffer went up against Cordova the fur seal in a triathlon of crawling, swimming and climbing.

In the video below, you can watch another team member compete against Ursula the fur seal in an obstacle course race that includes water, hoops and limbo poles.

The Tough Mudder team posts updates about their training and you can donate to help them raise money for the Aquarium here.


New Balance Foundation Fitness Friday: Triathlon Triumph

If you read last week's Fitness Friday post, you know that a group of Aquarium staffers and friends are training for the Tough Mudder competition (they're blogging and raising money for the Aquarium here). They challenged the Northern fur seals to various races and tests of coordination and endurance, and  last week Isaac the fur seal won a swimming race against Tough Mudder team member Chrys, even though Isaac gave Chrys quite a head start.

A snippet from last week's Fitness Friday video

This week Tough Mudder team member Lion (all the Tough Mudder competitors chose competition pseudonyms related to ocean animals) goes up against Cordova the fur seal in a triathlon of crawling, swimming and climbing. As you can see in the video below, Cordova gave Lion too much of a head start in the swimming part of the race!