THE GETOUTSIDE INTERVIEWS | DEBS BUTLER

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Have you spent One Hour Outside today? Where? How? Did you enjoy it? Tell me! Use #OneHourOutside on twitter and let’s chat about our favourite ways to be outdoors… 

For this week’s GetOutside Interview, I want to introduce you to Debs. Debs is a teacher from Leicestershire who just loves multi-day trips…

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Don’t forget to join me for my National GetOutside Day picnic on 30 September… details here.

The GetOutside Interviews | Debs Butler

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?

Hello, I’m Debs Butler, a secondary school teacher in Leicestershire. I mainly teach PE and love sports and the outdoors. I’m enjoying packing lots of fun stuff into the summer holidays, including a few events for the Ride Leicester cycling festival – today i’ll be preparing some photos and kit for a presentation this evening.

Splodz Blogz | GetOutside Interviews | Debs Butler

Where and how did you spend time outdoors today?

Today I’ll be cycling into the city for this evening’s presentation. It’ll be a steady ride and even though it’s a busy city almost all the the ride is on bike paths and half is fully away from roads on the Great Central Way, and old train line. Definitely the best way to arrive, for some of the ride you can’t even hear traffic, and at the moment there’s blackberries on the route!

Splodz Blogz | GetOutside Interviews | Debs Butler

Tell us about your favourite outdoor activities.

I’ve always played for sports teams which usually means being outdoors in the cold for training. Since starting to cycle to work in 2010/11 cycling has become a big part of my life. I ride almost everyday, either to get around or just to have fun. I’ve never been in a cycling club, and I don’t wear clippy shoes, but having ridden a lot over a period of time I have good stamina for cycling now. I also do quite a lot of walking – this year we did our longest overnight walking trip – eight days from Salisbury to Tring via the Ridgeway National Trail. Coming up it’s a totally new one for us – this bank holiday weekend we’re doing an overnight SUP trip along the Soar and Trent. We’ll have bivvys etc strapped to the front of the SUPs!

Splodz Blogz | GetOutside Interviews | Debs Butler

With all the pressures of normal life, how do you make sure you find the time for outdoors adventure?

The easiest way for anyone to get outside more is to think this when going somewhere: 1. Can I walk? If yes, enjoy a stroll, if it’s too far for the time then… 2. Can I cycle? If yes, enjoy your ride. 3. Can I get there on public transport? (This usually involves a bit of walking too). If no, then 4I. Okay, I’ll have to drive then. If you apply this, you find you do a lot of walking and cycling to get around, which means you feel better, and it fits into your normal life with not much extra effort.

We also plan weekends away, and until this year a longer bike trip in the school holidays. In 2015/17 I left my job to complete a long distance cycle trip. We had saved for three years to not work for two, but the trip didn’t cost as much as we thought. Taking time away from work isn’t an option for everyone and there has probably been a career impact, though not one that I would change my decision for. I would recommend a trip of at least four weeks to everyone, whether by bike, foot or water craft. The first two weeks you spend getting comfortable with the lifestyle, then you really start to enjoy it!

Splodz Blogz | GetOutside Interviews | Debs Butler

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?

There are so many health benefits to being active, and in particular being active outdoors. As a PE teacher who has seen children become increasingly attached to screens increasing physical activity time is extremely important to me. It also gives opportunities to make lasting memories – no one remembers the time they didn’t go for a walk or bike ride – even if things don’t go to plan outdoor adventures are often those you look back on fondly.

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If you’d like to read more about Debs’ long distance cycle trips check out www.brakesandcakes.org and give her a follow on twitter and instagram.

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.

READ ALL THE INTERVIEWS

  1. Shybiker

    I like her ideas and attitude. Especially about looking for ways to be physically active in ordinary life. I often squeeze walks into trips where most people drive their cars. Great profile!

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