The Kate Walker Project, Part 5 - Things get perso
This is the final instalment of The Kate Walker Project.
I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it or at the very least, learned something new about what it takes to be a Formula One journalist.
In this final piece, I sit down and get personal with this lovely lady as she opens up on matters of the heart, the future and happiness.
Part 5 - Things Get PERSONAL
Living out of a suitcase for many months out of the year must be difficult. What do you miss most about being on the road the most aside from your bed? 'Mostly itís my bed. When Iím not travelling, Iíll get up in the morning, put some clothes on, and then get back into bed to do my work for the day. I try not to move when Iím not on the road, to the extent that I text my flatmates and ask them to bring me cups of coffee. If itís not my bed, then the thing I miss most is my kitchen. I find cooking really soothing, and last year I went from Monaco to Interlagos without cooking a single meal. (In terms of the season, I mean. I didnít hop on a plane from Nice to Sao Paulo.)
How does Kate achieve Work-Life balance? Or does that even exist for someone who covers Formula One? 'Yeah, that doesnít exist. At least, not for me. Some people might have figured out a way, but I havenít.
How difficult are relationships? 'They donít happen. I was in a relationship when I started in F1, but had to end it because I never saw him. When we were in the same country, I was glued to my laptop, to the extent that he used to joke that he associated my presence with the sound of keys clacking.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working? How do you clear your head and keep fit? 'There isnít really any time when Iím not working. I usually work from the moment I wake up to around midnight, seven days a week, and thatís when Iím at home. The hours are much longer when youíre at the track Ė I often work till 2/3am and then have the alarm set for 6am so I can get back to the circuit.
'When I do have time off Ė I have to force myself so I donít burn out Ė then I do a lot of cooking (especially baking). I like watching cartoons like South Park, Family Guy, and American Dad, and Iím a voracious reader. Itís one of the things I like about the travel Ė I can burn through a couple of books on a flight, and itís the main time Ďoffí that I get.
'Keeping fit is something other people do. I walk a lot and live on strong coffee, which is why Iím not fat. Given the amount of crap I eat on the road I should be the size of a house. Fortunately, I canít afford to eat much, crap or otherwise.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? What happens after F1? 'After F1? There is no after F1! I canít imagine myself doing anything different. If, for some reason, F1 stopped as a sport, then Iíd do my best to get involved in either MotoGP or WRC. I like travelling the world listening to engines and smelling motor oil.
'As for in ten years, Iíd love to be an F1 commentator. Not that Iím on the right career path, as Iím not involved in TV or radio, but itís a fantasy of mine. Plus I donít know if TV viewers could handle my style of potty-mouthed commentatingÖ If I canít do commentary, then Iíd just like to be doing what Iím doing now, but with more respect and more money (both of which are earned in time).
Ultimately, what would make Kate Walker happy/happier/happiest? 'Iím pretty satisfied with my lot as it is, really. I mean, if I found a bag with several million dollars in unmarked, non-sequential bills by the side of the road, it would be great to know that all of my travel expenses were covered for the rest of my life, but thereís nothing better than doing what I do.
'I get to travel the world doing something Iím passionate about, hanging out with a group of passionate and inspiring people who are the best in the world at what they do. Life doesnít get any better. Because while I work an insane number of hours for very little money, it doesnít feel like working. At least, not in the way that my previously secure but very boring decently-paid job did. I often have to pinch myself to make sure this isnít the worldís most complicated dream Ė how on earth did I wind up getting to spend my life doing something this amazing?
Thank you all for following me through this incredible journey. I have always had much respect for F1 journalists that sacrifice so much to bring us the stories about our beloved sport, and now have much more.
Thank you to Kate for taking the time out to answer my questions.
Kate, you are an inspiration to many of us. Keep up the great work! I for one, wish you much success and happiness in life and F1.
Author: Ernie Black
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