They say the hardest part of being a Formula 1 mechanic is the travel and thereby the jet lag.
Obviously, travelling to 21 countries in 9 months is a busy lifestyle and will take its toll on you! So far I have only done 3 races, all of them with big time differences though. Australia, Bahrain and China. In the beginning I thought I could cheat it by planning my sleep so it would fit the different time zones. I can tell you already, that doesn’t work!
It’s weird with jetlag, I’m sure alot of you have experienced it and know what I’m talking about, It’s like it comes creeping up on you and hits you with a big sleepy hammer in the middle of your forhead at 2 o’clock in the afternoon! Or keeps you wide awake eventhough its 2 o’clock im the morning. Worse though, is when we did back to back race – So from Bahrain to China and then I went directly to Denmark. I had no idea what time it was, what day it was or what was happening in the real world. When you have been working for 2 weeks straight in such foreign countries with such a huge time difference, you lose track of the real world, you lose track of yourself a little bit. For me it was really weird being pulled out of the F1 bubble after 2 weeks. Imagine, you work between 12-18 hours a day and don’t really notice it, you hardly speaks with family or friends because of the time difference and in China you can hardly go on the internet because everything is restricted. Suddenly. BOOM, back in Denmark, hitting the ‘normal’ worlds treadmill that runs on a decent 8 km/hour. You have been use to, for two weeks, to be in a room, no windows, no real contact to the outside world, being super focused and running on a treadmill that goes 20 km/h. You can feel that you are a bit tired after a week but as running goes, you really first realise how done you are when you stop, when your body get’s a second to tell your brain it’s tired and in pain. After two weeks of constant running high tempo in the dark room you get moved to a treadmill outside, 8 km/h, you can breath, you have energy and time to take a breath and observe everything around you – but due to the slightly lower and different tempo you can feel your tiredness even more than when you were in the dark room. It’s a little shock to your body and mind to suddenly be out of the bubble. When you then finally is gotten use to it, BOOM, back to the dark room on the high speed treadmill for another week.
I tried my best to get over the jet lag when I was back in Denmark but at the same time, you wanna be up and going and spend time with your family. My favorite moment was being on my dad’s boat. One of those days where the sun is out, it’s a bit cold in the weather but the sun is just strong enough to warm your face up. I was laying on the deck, my eyes closed and all I could feel was the warmth from the sun, hitting my face and warming it up and the vibration from the diesel engine, all I could hear was the waves gently hitting the side of the boat and the seagulls getting excited over something in the background and last, all I could smell was the early spring flowers and the newly oiled wood from the neighbor boat. That moment, right there calmed me down, energized me and even though it was only for 10 mins it completely made me ready for another week on the treadmill. Absolutely amazing. It’s small things like that you have to remember to notice, appreciate and enjoy. I love my work, I love to travel and I love the bubble! Formula 1 is everything that I wanted but if you don’t remember to acknowledge the small moments it can very easily go by quickly and you´re gonna wake up a year later, coming out of your bubble not realising what happened the last 365 days.
Keep smilling x