Little did we know that when we were discussing with Ordnance Survey which jackets and trousers would be most suitable for the 2020 GetOutside Champions, what would be round the corner for us all? A change for all of us in the way we can access the Great Outdoors. Thankfully these guys are inspirational in their ways of getting the most from the outdoors and happy to share it with us.
We asked four of the OS GetOutside Champions how they are coping with the new norm and what challenges they may have set themselves to get through it
I’ve used these times as an opportunity to get creative, utilise aspects of my home and connect with the outdoor community more than ever before. I’ve used home challenges as a way to remain active and give me a focus. I started with solo challenges, scaling the height of the three highest peaks in the UK from my back door. First running the height of Scafell Pike (985m) on the hill at the back of my house, then Ben Nevis (1345m) on my back 7 steps down to my garden and Snowdon on just the bottom step (1085m). This idea led me to then go on and lead a virtual expedition to Everest Base Camp with 30 others through Instagram, sharing our updates as we ascended the height to the camp spots over 5 days just using our stairs at home.
In these times of uncertainty and trying to keep our families safe at home has brought it’s challenges to families that love spending time in the outdoors. We have embraced the Government Guidelines and making full use of our local hour a day exercise allowance. We have been going bike rides, rediscovering our local forest and building dens in our back garden. It has taught us to slow down and really enjoy what we have around us. We also raised money for the amazing staff at the NHS, by encouraging people last weekend to take part in “The Big Lockdown Garden Campout” by joining us in their own garden/den in the house.
We are coping with isolation by keeping a routine close to that of pre-isolation at the moment, as we are both lucky enough to be able to work from home. But we are also making sure we keep our minds and bodies active during this period, in particular doing things like finishing off work on our van conversion (and then camping out on the drive for a night!), getting our garden ready to grow lots of delicious fruit and vegetables, and getting creative with exercise. This includes indoor workouts like stretching and using the turbo trainer, but also making the use of our hour outside once a day, by responsibly exploring our local green spaces through running and walking.
I know that I won’t be the only person feeling isolated right now and coping with mental health. I ask people, who know people who might be struggling, just to give them a call and see how they are doing. You’ll be surprised what a difference your call will make. If you are feeling a bit low, please call someone for a chat. It will make you feel so much better.
Do try as well to make yourself get outside for just ten minutes – even on days when the sun isn’t shining. It does make you feel so much better. It’s good for the mind, body and spirit. It’s easy to become switched off and get hooked on binge-watching box sets on TV than to make the effort to go outside for some fresh air. I’m guilty, I’ve done it. But from now on I will make the effort.
You might be isolated, but you are not alone.
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