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: March, 2018
Mar 27, 2018

After receiving the sudden news of losing her father whilst on the other side of the world backpacking, Lindsey threw herself into adventure to deal with the grief. Having not ridden a bike since at school, she decided to cycle to Paris.

She liked it. So, she cycled the length of Britain. She liked that too and then scaled the African continent. But, she didn’t just stick to adventuring on two wheels.

She ran from her home in London to Manchester, carrying a ukulele to busk on arrival. Hearing the absurdity of her latest challenge, the local radio station got her to sing and play each night live. The only problem was that she couldn’t play or sing.

She then turned to eight wheels, and roller skated to Paris, whilst learning en route. And, having been inspired by the story she read ten years earlier, she trekked for ten weeks on her own, across the Australian outback, following the Rabbit Proof Fence, retracing the amazing journey of three young sisters.

Past Adventures

2017 - Truck Tales - circumnavigating Australia with Truck Drivers

2016 - Walking the Rabbit Proof Fence

2013 - To Bude in the Nude- 150 mile roller-skate to Bude in a nude suit, because it rhymed!

2013 - Je Parle Franglais en skates - Rollerskating to Paris whilst learning French

2013 - Running with Kenyans - Turned 30 and wanted to run a sub 3.0hr marathon. It didn't happen! 

2012 - Runkule - 250 mile run to Manchester playing the ukulele

2012 - Running to Wales - Ran from London to see a friend for a cup of tea

Show notes

  • Living in France and writing a book
  • How she would describe herself
  • Growing up in London
  • Where her love of travel came from
  • Finishing university and taking a year out…
  • One gap year turned into a 6 year adventure
  • Doing a Masters in journalism
  • Living in a boot room of a chalet at 35! 
  • Any pressure to settle down? Not knowing what she wants to do!
  • Dealing with rejection and how she got into adventure
  • Learning about the death of her father and dealing with it at 24 years old
  • Signing up to the London to Paris Cycle ride and why it helped her with her grief
  • A break down of her different challenges
  • Being average but still managing to surprise herself
  • The thing she finds the hardest! 
  • Researching the Rabbit Proof Fence and getting permission from the daughters of Daisy
  • Doing survival training in preparation for the trip
  • The number one tip in survival - DON’T PANIC
  • Trevor the Trolly (named after her dad)
  • Dealing with the wildlife in Australia.. snakes…spiders…
  • Wanting to do the challenge on her own
  • Not wanting the challenge to end
  • Learning more about Molly 
  • Hitching a ride around Australia with Truck Drivers
  • Normality and not fitting in
  • Plans for 2018?!
  • The Book/Boyfriend
  • Learning how to roller-skate!
  • Not announcing her next challenge until she knows it’s going to happen
  • Final words of advice

Social Media

Website & Blog -

Twitter - @LindseyCole  

Instagram - @Stompycole 


Mar 20, 2018

Cal is a stand up paddle boarder, surfer, ocean lover and vet. Increasingly upset by the amount of plastic waste she was finding in the ocean, she wanted to connect people to the harm that it was causing, but moreover to empower people to make positive changes to help prevent it.

So she turned to adventure in 2016 she stand up paddle boarded the entire Cornish coast in a bid to demonstrate the problems surrounding single use plastic water bottles; a 260 mile epic ocean voyage. In 2017 she circumnavigated the Isle of Skye’s 400 miles of coastline on a paddle board! Cal also shares with us, what she has got planned in 2018! It's EPIC!!! 

Show notes

  • Living by the sea and why it is everything to Cal
  • Being a surfer and a paddle boarder
  • Paddle against Plastic
  • Working as a vet part time
  • Spending time in Australia and where she learnt to surf
  • Falling in love with the sea
  • Why surfing is so frustrating & why you have to persevere 
  • Being a budding surfer and why it’s doesn't matter if you’re good or not
  • Why she loves fell running over road running
  • Why she started stand up paddle boarding
  • Plastic pollution and how it impacted her personally
  • What she decided to do about it!
  • Dealing with the forces of nature and the challenges from the sea
  • The mental challenge and doing her first ever expedition
  • Deciding to paddle around the Isle of Skye in Scotland
  • Spending time alone on the water, but being alone
  • Dealing with a challenging situation while on expedition
  • Eating flapjacks in an emergency situation
  • The impact plastic has on the animals
  • Why the problems are not unique to Skye
  • Preparing for the trip, managing supplies such as food and water
  • What she learns from going on these expeditions
  • Adventuring with a purpose
  • What individuals can do to change their own personal behaviour in the battle against plastic
  • The ways to tackle plastic pollution
  • Why you should switch it out
  • The challenge in 2018!

Twitter @major_cal 

Paddle Against Plastic 

Paddle Against Plastic was set up by Cal Major in 2016 as a way to reach people and talk about the issue of plastic pollution.

Paddle Against Plastic uses epic stand up paddle boarding adventures to capture peoples’ imagination, highlight the issue of plastic pollution so close to home, and to promote positive change by proposing simple solutions that we can all be proud and excited to be a part of.

Cal was unable to stand the amount of plastic washing up on her favourite surfing beaches any more without doing something about it, and so Paddle Against Plastic: Cornwall 2016 was born as a way to reach out to people.

Mar 13, 2018

Katie-Jane L’Herpiniere has a passion for adventure, challenging her limits both physically and mentally, and exploring this wonderful world in which we live. 

After university Katie had the opportunity to build a career as a commercial model, on fashion shows for household names such as Marks and Spencer’s, Tony & Guy and Alexander McQueen, photo shoots and a number of Film and TV projects including having body-doubled for Cameron Diaz. 

Then in 2005, Katie met polar explorer Tarka L'Herpiniere,  and they were quick to find they had little in common. Tarka was less than impressed with her manicured nails and face full of makeup, likewise, Katie did not see Tarka as the ‘all-action hero’ that his accolades suggest, more a really ‘odd’ Frenchman who seemed to find enjoyment in throwing himself into frozen lakes! It wasn’t long before the facades were broken and by 2006 Katie had left behind her life as a model and made the gigantic leap from exhibitionist to expeditionist.

In 2007, after 167 days and 4500km Katie & Tarka, in an incredible feat of determination, became the first recognised people to walk unsupported the entire length of the Great Wall of China, from its western most terminus to its eastern most. 

From the completion of this challenge, Katie realised that any feeling of accomplishment, achievement or success is directly proportional to the effort, commitment and hardship put into achieving it. 

Having discovered this newfound inner strength, she has since gone on to fill her life with many more adventures. Including; the longest crossing of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap by a woman, cycling across Africa on a vintage African bicycle with no brakes or gears unsupported, raced in the Transcontinental unsupported single stage 4000km bike race across Europe, lived in a floating tent in -50C on the Arctic Ocean, and has nearly lost her life on many numbers of occasions.

Show notes

  • Living in France in a ski resort 
  • Growing up in Devon, spending time outside and riding horses
  • Being lazy by nature
  • Meeting a polar explorer…. Tarka
  • Being invited to walk to the North Pole!
  • Deciding to walk the Great Wall of China!
  • How her confidence evolved
  • Being open to new challenges
  • The conditions over in China
  • Dealing with the 40 degree heat and having to be rescued
  • Not being cut out for the expedition life
  • Dealing with compression of the spine and shrinking by an inch
  • Dealing with the biggest snow storm China had ever seen!
  • Why she kept going, even though she cried every day of the journey
  • What was it like finishing her first massive challenge
  • 2 showers in 6 months….
  • Reflecting back on the journey which was completed over 10 years ago
  • Their relationship while on expedition
  • Starting to plan the next adventure, almost straight away!
  • Being disheartened by adventure, and struggling to make a living from being an adventurer
  • No adventure for 5 years…
  • Discussing money…
  • Living at home with parents to cover the day to day living costs
  • Playing favourites with challenges
  • Why she is happy to say no 
  • Heading over to the Patagonia Ice Cap even having a fear of snow & ice…
  • Stopping breathing & dying on the ice
  • Waiting for a weather window to make a crossing, while living on half rations
  • Making a plan to get off the icecap
  • Mental tips and tricks to keep calm and to be resilient
  • Working with a sports psychologist 
  • Type 2 fun and not enjoying the experiences while she does them
  • Making the transition to solo adventure
  • Signing up for the Transcontinental Bike Race in Europe
  • What a typical day was like while on the road - riding, eating & tears!
  • When it all went wrong…
  • Recovering from challenges
  • Plans for 2018….The Silk Road Mountain Race (August 18th 2018)
  • Advice for women and girls who want to lead a more adventurous life


Social Media


Instagram: @katielherpiniere 

Facebook: @katiesenduranceadventures  

Mar 8, 2018

Jane was born in Edinburgh and brought up in North Yorkshire. After reading English at Somerville College, Oxford, she became an antiquarian book dealer, and later a writer. Her ten books to date have been critically acclaimed, and have confirmed her as one of our most engaging and original social historians.

Jane lives near Oxford with her husband and - during university holidays - her two sons. She writes full time, apart from when she's happily travelling to give talks or broadcasts about her books, or working one day a week at Somerville College as an assistant archivist.

Her most recent book came out in January 2018 - Hearts And Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women Won the Vote. This is a story of ordinary people effecting extraordinary change. By turns dangerous, exhausting and exhilarating, the Great Pilgrimage transformed the personal and political lives of women in Britain for ever. Jane Robinson has drawn from diaries, letters and unpublished accounts to tell the inside story of the march, against the colourful background of the entire suffrage campaign.

Show notes

  • Growing up in Yorkshire
  • Her passion and love for books
  • Getting interested in women travellers and women adventurers
  • Meeting a collector from America and how her life changed
  • Creating the first bibliography of women travellers
  • “Wayward Women" - First hand travel accounts written by women
  • Finding women, whose voices need to be heard
  • Being inspired by these incredible women’s spirit
  • Doing the research, one year to research and one year to write 
  • Common themes of her work - looking at social history through women’s lives
  • Women who headed out to the unknown, who wanted to see what was over the horizon 
  • Being naive… 
  • Dr Susie Rijnhart- a missionary based in China - travelling to Tibet
  • Getting personally involved in the stories being researched 
  • What she’s learnt from doing this research and writing the stories 
  • 2018 and writing the story of women and getting the vote
  • Not being able to identify with the suffragettes 
  • 1913 - The Great Pilgrimage
  • What is the definition of a suffragette?
  • The Marches and the narrative behind it
  • What was being shared in the women’s diaries 
  • Dealing with the real fear of violence from being on the pilgrimage 
  • Which women got the vote
  • Reading newspaper accounts when women got the vote
  • Her next book!


Visit her blog and website -

Mar 6, 2018

Hélène  has just come back to the UK after 18 months adventuring in her VW camper-van travelling with her bikes, and finding the best places to triathlon train in Europe!

In 2016 Hélène represented Great Britain at Age Group level for the European ironman and half ironman championships in Poland and Austria, in 2017, it was Ironman Austria, where she qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii!

Show notes

  • Deciding to go on an adventure
  • Heading to Europe to do triathlon
  • Her introduction into road cycling and swimming
  • Her first triathlon in 2004
  • How her love for triathlon evolved
  • Getting to explore the countryside
  • Joining a running club to make it more social
  • Where are all the women?
  • Why you don’t have to be amazing at it all
  • Working and training and trying to get the balance in your life
  • Deciding to do an Ironman…. with 3 months to train for it
  • Dealing with anxiety and fear before a race and why self confidence is so important
  • Being on the start line for Ironman Wales
  • Learning to not worry about the things you can’t control
  • When the gun goes off & the mass entry of 2,000 people into the water!
  • The hills on the bike and why you need to pace yourself
  • Being Celiac and how it impacts on her nutrition and training
  • #VanLife
  • Buying her van in a car auction… (Victor the van!)
  • Planning and organised and why you don’t need to play your life to have an amazing time!
  • Being a female solo traveller
  • Leaving just before Brexit! July 2016
  • Expectations verses reality
  • Getting through the tough days
  • Racing triathlon in Poland
  • Qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona!
  • 3 months…. training… and why it wasn’t all plain sailing…
  • Learning to control her emotions
  • Why the only person who is putting pressure on you is you
  • The training plan
  • Heading over to Hawaii! Feeling serene on the day
  • The aggressive start in the swim
  • Transition… and dealing with the wind
  • The mental side of triathlon
  • Plans for 2018
  • Advice for women and girls and why it wasn’t an easy decision to make
  • Being Selfish and why you should go for it!

Social Media

Twitter - @WhereWheelsGo  

Instagram - @WhereWheelsGo  

Blog  -