As we move into August I wonder if you’ve had a look back over the last month and counted up the number of times you have spent OneHourOutside in July? Did you manage one every single day? More? Get good chunks of time outdoors at the weekends?
Today I’m very happy to introduce the next Champion in this series The GetOutside Interviews, Nigel Vardy. Nigel’s outdoors story is super interesting, and he can teach us a lot about the trials and tribulations of pushing ourselves to the limit. Severe frostbite took his fingers and toes, but Nigel continues to explore not only the world around him, but his own body as he continues on life’s great adventure.
The GetOutside Interviews | Nigel Vardy
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where are you based? What do you do (the day job)? What’s for dinner tonight?
I’m a Derbyshire born and bred mountaineer, writer and speaker. I climb around the world, but always love coming home to the Peak District. As a day job I’m a Control Engineer in the Utility industry. I’ve worked in electrical engineering for over 30 years, and recently begun a job share and can spend more time outdoors. As for tea (dinner is midday in Derbyshire…), I treated myself to a pub meal in Castleton.
Where and how did you spend time outdoors today?
I was working with a group of youngsters on the National Citizen service (NCS) in the Hope Valley in Derbyshire. I spent the day with groups of teenagers, teaching them how to work together, solving problems and challenges. During the evening I walked across Mam Tor and watched the sun set after a scorching day.
Tell us about your favourite outdoor activities.
I enjoy walking, climbing, scrambling and cycling. I’ve recently taken up fly fishing, which without fingers is a real challenge. I spend a great deal of my outdoor time in the Peak District, North Wales and the Lakes. I also winter mountaineer and ski tour in Scotland when I can. I travel overseas too, and so far this year have skied in Italy, ice climbed in Norway, walked across the Jordanian Desert and have just returned from Western Canada. I love travelling in my 1977 VW Camper [ed – which is a gorgeous specimin!], and regularly see both sunrise and sunset in the same day.
As you are a GetOutside Champion it goes without saying that you want to encourage others to spend time in the great outdoors. Why do you feel this is important?
I’ve spoken in education and business for over 20 years, doing my best to inspire people to challenge themselves, get outside, breathe fresh air and relax. The modern world in an inward facing, insular place, where fitness demands an air conditioned health club and unwarranted stress seems inevitable. I set an example by writing about my battles with stress and depression and getting into the great outdoors.
Thanks Nigel. Your day job might be long shifts in a dark room, but you never cease to make the most of your spare time with some of the most incredible adventures I’ve seen. You are a real inspiration to me personally.
And for more information about the Ordnance Survey GetOutside campaign, you need to be here.
If you are feeling inspired by my friends, please drop us a line to let us know – sharing the love is always good.