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Nicky Button - #BlindGirlWalking - Walking from the Orkney Islands to the Scilly Isles.

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Nicky Button was born in Gloucester and grew up in Worcester. Having a very happy childhood.

Nicky was always last to be picked for any teams at school and was the most uncoordinated and non sporty child being told to go and swim after a term of tennis when she still hadn’t hit a ball. Her teens and twenties removed around horses and children , whilst she ran a yard starting and schooling young horses and teaching people to ride alongside being a foster mother.

In 2000 with an eight year old daughter she moved to Surrey where she spotted a group of people kayaking on a local canal, she went along to the club and heard only two parts of the sentence, Wednesday nights are adults only, whitewater training and we go to the pub afterwards. Six months later she was staring at her first White water river in Wales. Several swims later and at the end of the river she was hooked.

The kayaking totally changed her life and she soon realised that whilst she certainly wasn’t the most proficient, she had found her tribe. Through the kayaking she was invited to help on set on Midsummer Murders and the rest as they say is history, she retrained learning swift water and rope rescue, working at heights and confined spaces, with fire and setting up stunts and rigging. There then followed some incredible years where she felt that she was being paid to have the best time in life.

In 2013 after going away skiing she returned and was unable to see her daughter across the room. Four months later she’d had her driving license removed which knocked onto no job and then no home. Her life felt as though it was falling apart.

She moved to South Devon and stormed along the South West Coast path. A few years on and she was part of walking groups for people with Visual Impairment and encouraging people to get out walking.

On moving to Worcester in 2021 she met an amazing group of strangers who became friends, a trip up Ben Nevis was followed by entering her first Ultra challenge a 50km over Exmoor. When she completed that she looked for her next challenge.

During lockdown she’d dreamed she’d walked from Scotland to Devon, she decided to make this a reality and so Nicky’s most marvellous ridiculous adventure was born. Walking from the Orkney Islands to the Scilly Isles. Solo and unsupported.

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Show notes

  • 54 year old mum of 1

  • Walking from the Orkney Islands to the Scilly Isles

  • Starting the challenge on April 1st (April fools day!)

  • Not being into team sports and not enjoying the outdoors

  • Preferring reading about adventure

  • Discovering individual sports

  • Her passion for horses and riding

  • Joining The Pony Club

  • Training to be a nanny

  • Running away to work with horses

  • Teaching riding at Pony Club and Riding for the Disabled

  • Bringing up her daughter

  • Moving to Surrey

  • How joining a Canoe Club changed her life

  • How her views on fear changed

  • The link between fear and excitement

  • Starting to work in tv production

  • Making her career change at 38

  • Over coming the limiting beliefs of other people’s thoughts

  • Learning how to run and getting fit for search and rescue

  • If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way

  • How her life changed in 2013

  • Being diagnosed with a rare genetic eye disease called Stargardts

  • Now being registered as Severely Visually impaired S.V.I /blind

  • Losing her driving licence, her job, and her home in the space of 4 months

  • Dealing with the trauma

  • Moving back home to Devon and spending time on the South West Coast Path

  • Action for Blind People - now connected to RNIB

  • Joining a local walking group and how that helped process her thoughts and feelings

  • Getting to a place of acceptance?

  • How her life is different now

  • What she can see through her eyes

  • Completing her first ultra challenge 50km over Exmoor

  • How it changed her self confidence

  • Navigation

  • The idea for - Nicky’s most marvellous ridiculous adventure

  • Sharing the adventure and making it a reality

  • The route

  • Talking with people along the way about sight loss

  • Self funding and working on a tight budget

  • Hoping that people will come and join her

  • Starting in the Orkney Islands

  • Fears and concerns before the start of the trip

  • Wanting to prove to herself that she can still do big thing

  • Having a sense of purpose

  • Final words of advice for women

  • What do you actually want to do?


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