Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 25, 2016

Jill changed the direction of her life when she decided to move to Alaska to follow her heart. After have her heart broken she recovered while riding in the 2009 Tour Divide — a 2,745-mile mountain bike race along the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

In 2014 Jill completed in the Freedom Challenge, a 1,400-mile mountain bike race across South Africa. Following on from that race, Jill went on to set a new women's fastest human-powered time while riding her bike across Alaska in the 2016 Iditarod Trail Invitational. 

During the podcast we discuss the why, we discuss the motivation and we discuss her fears and how she still battles them everyday.

Show notes

  • Getting to know Jill
  • Why she moved to Alaska
  • Finding out about the Iditarod trail - 350-mile winter bike race from Knik, Alaska
  • 100-mile winter bike race
  • What she learned while racing and how she found it empowering
  • Growing up timid, being cautious and not wanting to take risk
  • How she changed the direction of her life after her race
  • Being more confident and more being more willing to take on bigger challenges
  • The next big challenge!
  • Learning how to be self reliant
  • Being constantly scared and having to talk herself down and how she uses the power of mantra! 


“Be Brave - Be Strong”


  • The 2009 Tour Divide — a 2,745-mile mountain bike race along the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico
  • Dealing with a break-up, being demotivated before the start
  • Dealing with bad weather, mud and facing near death experiences
  • What drove her and why she had to keep on going
  • Getting herself physically ready and why she took leave from her job to prepare
  • Day to day life on the trail from cycling for 14 to 18 hr days, and camping at night
  • Having doubts she would finish the race
  • Her top tips for recovery
  • Rediscovering who she was and what she was capable of
  • Racing the Freedom Trail and how it came about
  • Seeing what this whole running thing was about!
  • Meeting a new man and the special races they’ve done together
  • Why really successful people are drawn to endurance sports
  • Goals for the future and taking on a 1000 mile race!
  • Starting weight lifting and how its helps her in training and in the race
  • Struggling with confidence and self belief and trying to understand where that comes from
  • Why its ok to have fear
  • Her goals and plans for the future

Learn more about Jill be visiting her blog or follow her on twitter @AlaskaJill


Oct 18, 2016

Corey is an American living the expat lifestyle in London. She started blogging in 2011 “Learning Patience” and has documented her adventures in cooking, running, traveling, and all things expat. 

I’ll also be giving an update about the Tough Girl Tribe and what’s in store for 2017!

Show notes

  • Struggling to deal with patience
  • Learning a little more about Corey
  • Dealing with a foot injury
  • Being diagnosed as a diabetic
  • Differences between the types of diabetics
  • Growing up and hating running
  • How running has changed her life
  • Starting with virtual races and moving onto trail marathons to relay races
  • Being diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and how it impacted on her life
  • Why her goal was to just get running again
  • Trying to learn patience!
  • Recovery from injury and not taking no for an answer
  • Dealing with the worst year of her life and why she tries to be as positive as she can
  • Top tips for patience
  • How meeting her husband taught her about positivity and why she only hangs out with positive people
  • Her plans for the future
  • Getting into climbing and heading over to Austria!
  • Travelling
  • Final words of advice and why you should soak up all the happiness you can

Learn more about Corey by visiting her website and following her on twitter @CoreyLearn

To see more episodes of the tough girl podcast check out - 

Oct 11, 2016

Cathy grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a child she was not sporty and labelled herself as an academic. As a shy person, she embraced rock climbing at university and during this podcast we learn more about Cathy, her drive, and how she went onto become the fist women to climb Mount Everest from both sides.

Show notes

  • What it was like growing up in South Africa
  • Being terrible at sport at young age and labelling herself as “academic & square”
  • Why she loved rock climbing and how her passion progressed
  • As an introvert and shy girl growing up, rock climbing allowed her to develop her social skills while also using her mind to solve climbing problems 
  • How she ended up getting on the South African Team to go and climb Everest & why it was never a goal for her
  • Being inspired by Arlene Blum - Annapurna: A Woman's Place
  • Trying to find the opportunity to climb big mountains!
  • What she learnt whilst being on and around Mount Everest
  • Knowing she was going to make it to the top and the boost it gave to her confidence
  • Why she has always been careful on the mountains and why you can be to careful
  • What she learnt about failure from the expedition
  • Dealing with the negative media coverage and coming home to people who had opinions about her and every decision she made while on the mountain
  • Finding the opportunity in the mess
  • Being more prepared to try things
  • Being process driven, rather than goal driven
  • Attempting a new route on one of the world’s top 10 mountains – the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat
  • The different challenges and adventures that have impacted her the most
  • Dealing with risk - in high stress environments and how’s she applied what she’s learned in the mountains to every day life
  • Why she likes to try new things! From skiing down 6,000 metre peaks, to dog sledding in the Arctic!
  • Waiting for the stars to align & having patience!
  • Shout out to Alistair Humphrys and his Micro Adventures
  • Money, finding the right partners & serendipity! 
  • Why she thinks of life like a journey
  • Her next challenge!


Visit her website!

Cathy is on twitter @CathyODowd - I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL


Oct 6, 2016

Here is a raw and unedited interview I did with Ali, where we discuss some of the big challenges I’ve faced in my life, from deciding to leave my job, coping with summit night on Mount Kilimanjaro, to training for and running the Marathon des Sables this April.

Ali will also be writing a blog post about our interview and this will be available on

Helping to raise awareness for Women’s Sport Week - organised by Women in Sport#WSW2016


Show notes

  • Discussing the challenges of writing a book!
  • More about me, my background and how I ended up leaving my job
  • Why I decided to leave my job
  • Having to deal with change
  • Why I felt so lost when I didn’t have a job
  • How I decided on what I wanted to do next
  • Why I needed to get away from friends and family to help me decide what I wanted to do next
  • Coming up with Tough Girl Challenge and what it’s goal is
  • Where my mental strength comes from
  • Summit night on Kilimanjaro
  • Why you have a choice over your attitude
  • The power of “self-talk” - "you can either be your own best coach, or your own worst enemy"
  • How the Marathon des Sables came about
  • The responses of friends and family when I told them about the race.
  • Why you have to be careful of who you spend time with
  • Dealing with fear before the race
  • How I took training to an extreme level
  • Thinking I was mentally weak!
  • Being told by a Doctor that I couldn’t do the MDS in 2015
  • What I learned from all the negative experiences
  • Building my physical strength and mental strength up
  • Trying to get balance in training
  • The power of visualisation, and why I always thought about crossing the finish line
  • Creating my own certificate of achievement!
  • Being overwhelmed by trying to pack everything
  • Trying to stay calm and why yoga helped me
  • Dealing with the long stage during the marathon. Running 52 miles in a day.
  • The benefits of breaking down challenges into smaller chunks
  • Why the final stretch on the long day was so, so hard!
  • Why I thought I could keep on going
  • Coping with pain
  • The final day, and just being over the whole race
  • Why gratitude can play an important part of mental strength 
  • Seeing the finish line and how I was feeling!
  • The anti climax of finishing the race
  • Why it was all about the journey and what I learned along on the way
  • Crying at Euston Train Station
  • What’s next for me and why I struggle when I don’t have a goal
  • Stepping into the boxing ring
  • Why you have to know your reason


Learn more about 

Learn more about - Women’s Sport Week

Follow along on twitter #WSW2016


Oct 4, 2016

Kat is originally from Melbourne, she spent 7 years living in Tokyo before moving to London. After a knee operation she was forced to forget about running and sports and walking was the only activity she could do. So far her quest has taken her all over the world, on epic walks, from the Camino’s, the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage, as well as numerous short walks in the UK. Most recently she has completed the Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Mexico to Canada!

During the podcast Kat shares her story, she shares top tips and advice and why she believes anyone can get out there and go for a walk!

Show notes

  • Kat introduces herself and shares more of her story
  • Moving from Melbourne, to Japan, to Toronto to London
  • Why she became a walker
  • What is was like making the decision to move to Japan
  • Falling in love with Japan and living there for 7 years!
  • Climbing Mount Fuji and why she did it every year 
  • The meaning of “Henro" 
  • Deciding to quit her job in 2013 and head off to do the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage
  • Dealing with typhoons, snakes & centipedes
  • The reason she started her blog - Following the Arrows
  • Why you don’t need to speak Japanese to do the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage
  • The enlightenment, prayers and ritual you could choose to follow at each temple
  • Doing it on a budget
  • The highlights and the challenges she faced
  • Getting to the final temple number 88 and the final challenge she had to overcome
  • The Camino Route and why it’s such a special pilgrimage
  • Walking the PCT - Pacific Crest Trail in 2015
  • How it came about and how she had to face her fears
  • Doing the research and getting mentally prepared
  • Dealing with injury just months before the PCT
  • Advice and tips for planning and preparation
  • Getting through the low points while on the PCT
  • How she copes when she finishes a challenge
  • Why her trail name was, “Hummingbird”
  • What future walks she would like to do
  • Words of advice for wannabe walkers


Read more on Kat’s Blog - Following the Arrows 

Check out for more info!