Wherever it stems from – his upbringing in rural Australia, or perhaps the need for temporary escape from the fast and unrelenting lifestyle of a top flight professional driver – it’s no secret Mark Webber has always been passionate about the great outdoors.
Off the back of one of the busiest six months he’s had (his office wall planner with its many colour-coded stickers appears as though it’s been attacked by a confetti bomb), Mark reflects on reconnecting with nature and his failsafe way to recharge the batteries.
“2017 has been an extremely rewarding yet incredibly busy year for me so far. I’ve been very fortunate that my time has been in high demand, and the nature of my new roles outside of the cockpit have, somewhat ironically, I suppose, seen me travelling even more with less down-time.
“While I was competing, fitness and recovery were factored in to my schedule by necessity – you simply can’t perform if you haven’t prepared properly and in the high-stakes world of motorsport you can’t afford to run on little sleep or not adjust to time-zones. It wasn’t always much, but at the very least, the minimum amounts of time for training and rest were taken into consideration around the various team, sponsor and media commitments during the racing season.
I’M NOT ONE TO SIT STILL FOR LONG!
“Now though, like for so many others, fitness is not as crucial to my day job so those moments are less frequent and it can be easy to forget how important it is to reconnect. For me, that means getting outdoors – I’ve always gravitated towards this, for training, relaxing (I’m not one to sit still for long!) and generally recharging mentally and physically.
“This was bought home to me recently, when immediately after a particularly busy three-week period that included 12 flights and 10 back-to-back events I touched down in the Colorado Rockies for a mid-year break. My ‘neighbour’ out there, Jimmie Johnson loaned me a mountain bike and I took every opportunity to bike, run, hike and explore the stunning mountain trails, lake paths and woodland tracks that crisscross the terrain that spreads from my doorstep for miles in every direction (avoiding the black bears when I could…)
“I am always humbled by the simple pleasure of hard work with a good view at the end. It grounds you and fuels you simultaneously. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat-race and neglect that for a while, but when you rediscover that feeling after a short absence, it’s addictive and very hard to let go of.”