Exciting news all — the Outdoor Chics team is growing and I’m ridiculously excited to have documentary filmmaker and adventurer extraordinaire, Kate Williams, joining me as a regular writer! You may recognise her from blogs she’s already written on Outdoor Chics, including Tips from a trail running expert and How not to look a dweeb on a SUP. Kate is one of my favourite adventure buddies and I just know you’re going to love reading her blogs! I visited her for a chat while she was doing some work on her boat — a recent addition to a growing list of outdoor toys!
I’m an outdoor nut with an uncontrollable need to eat cake and chocolate! (chuckles) I mean I would describe myself as quite an energetic person, I love packing as much into a day as I can. I think I’m only really happy when I’m physically fit and able to get out and about, exercising or going on adventures. The days I don’t exercise, I’m really tetchy at work. I get really itchy legs and can get a bit irritable. I’m also quite passionate about stuff and easily get fired up about things — I’m not afraid to share my opinion!
I’m in love with the mountains, anywhere wild. When I’m in them I feel completely connected, even though I’m wonderfully disconnected — like this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. I love the sea, but I’m also scared of it in a way that I’m not in the mountains. Saying that, there’s nothing like a cold stormy day and getting beaten up by the waves.
In terms of actual hobbies, I love anything that means I’m moving in the mountains — whether that’s running, climbing, walking, anything that gets me into that landscape. I also love surfing (when it’s good). When it’s bad it’s just infuriating. I also love my friends. I couldn’t do the stuff I love without them — and I’ve got a group of really good girls I just love getting out with.
My husband Joe and I have also recently started sailing. We rent a boat from my best friend Sarah who over the past year has been teaching us the ropes. So far we’ve been on several trips across the Bristol Channel to Bristol and back, and this year we hope to complete our first solo voyage to the Gower. It’s a whole new world of skills and things to learn, but we love it and it’ll hopefully lead to some incredible adventures.
Guilty pleasures — eating! I think I’m actually a fat person trying to get out! I love chocolate, cake and all things bad for me. I have no will power when it comes to sweet treats.
I work as a documentary filmmaker and produce programmes for BBC, Channel 4, Discovery — anyone who wants to make interesting stuff really. Within this I try to specialise in adventure, travel and environmental documentaries.
Every job I do is different, so I’m always learning something new and working with different people. In one particular year I spent about six months abroad making films in Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal and Northern Siberia. So I’ve been able to go to some really cool places and meet some amazing people.
I have many passions. In my work I’m passionate about telling stories that show a changing planet, whether that’s making a film about reindeer herders in Siberia and how climate change is affecting their way of life, or following fisherman in Cambodia whose livelihoods are threatened by damning.
This carries over to my personal life. I love encouraging others to experience wild places, so they too can be inspired to look after the planet for future generations. I don’t think I do as much as I could though, so that’s something to work on.
I’m especially interested in educating young people about these issues. They’re so surrounded by technology these days, they’re so plugged in, that they forget we actually live on a living, breathing planet. In fact I’m yet to meet someone who goes into the mountains or hills and isn’t changed by it a little bit. So I think it’s really important the younger generation is aware of that and is inspired and encouraged to protect it.
What’s been your favourite adventure to date?
I think my favourite adventure to date was when I was out filming with the nomads in Mongolia — about two years ago. We did a series about nomadic herders around the world and visited Mongolia, Nepal and Siberia. Often shoots can be quite stressful and pressured, but this time everything was going right. We had a great crew, the family we lived with were amazing and the setting was incredible
The family lived out in the Gobi Desert and we basically followed their lives for three weeks. We went out herding with them, went to festivals, followed their spring migration and learned about how they were adapting to environmental and social changes. We lived in a little yurt next to theirs and if there was ever a break in filming we just joined in with whatever they were doing, such as having dinner, etc. It was just such a privilege to be a part of that.
So, working 9-5ish, how do you fit fitness and outdoor time into your busy life?
Um… Mornings! I get up at 5.30am most days, though I’ve only been doing that the last couple of years. I used to think I was in shape, but realised I wasn’t. So I decided to make a change and started doing the Kayla Itsines programme. That got me in a routine of doing three gym sessions a week.
Now every morning I get up at 5.30 and exercise until about 8 o’clock. I do three gym sessions a week and the other two days I go for a run. Normally that’ll be like a 10km or a hills session. At the gym I do a kettlebells class, a circuit class and the other session I do a Kayla workout. I also do a sprint session before or after classes. If you do your exercise in the morning, it’s done. If your usual routine is to do it in the evenings, it’s easy to get distracted by other more appealing options, like going for a meal or meeting your friends — that’s what I find anyway.
Read part two here…