Q: Was Byrd small for his age and wasn't he smaller than his younger brother
and how does that shape his character?
RG: Byrd was slender all his life, extremely athletic, very well coordinated
and this enabled him to compete very well, despite his size, with his brothers
and one suspects that this early athletic ability was an opportunity for Byrd
to move into areas that were distinctly his, as opposed to his brothers.
Q: Wasn't physical fitness kind of like a religion to Byrd? Didn't he
really push himself physically and was that for a need to be competitive or be
in control? What was that about?
RG: Well I believe that Byrd enjoyed athletic activity. He was a firm
believer in working his body and even in the desperate moments of his life
namely when he was alone at advance base, he still managed to drag himself
outside on a daily, almost a daily basis and created a little hurricane deck as
he called it , which was simply flags and ropes together that he could hang
onto while walking in blizzards.
Q: How competitive and driven was he and how much need did he have to be in
control? Where do you think that came from?
RG: Well, I think that Byrd's athleticism, his constant training, even
under the worst of conditions is evidence of a remarkable sense of
discipline, and regiment and plan. This is a man who excelled at planning
and making his ambitions come to reality and athletic ambition was part of
it. He was constantly training and in all likelihood, based on what we know
now, probably over-trained. So that at various critical moments in his life
he suffered severe injuries, especially to that right foot that caused him
to walk with a limp for much of his life.