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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 - www.toughgirlchallenges.com and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: 2021
Dec 30, 2021
Born the youngest of 6 children and raised in small town in Northern B.C. Canada, Julie never expected she would end up in Mongolia, feeding, caring for and educating hundreds of Mongolian children in need at her two Children of the Peak Sanctuary or Narnii Huuhduud charity kindergartens. She and her husband, Chelvan, a Mining Engineer and the President of Veloo Foundation, have lived and worked in Indonesia, Australia and The United States before settling in Mongolia.
 
During her 10 years here, Julie has taken up horse back riding and now, every year, with Saraa and Baagii of Horse Trek Mongolia hosts and rides the longest annual charity ride on the planet – The Gobi Gallop – along with a suite of other charity rides across Mongolia. 
 
In 2022 she will ride the record breaking 3,600 km / 84 day Blue Wolf Totem Expedition to raise funds for her charity project projects. 
 
All of the money the people pay for these rides stays in Mongolia and helps the children, local businesses, artists and artisans and local herders. Julie, herself, works running these rides and the charity projects on a volunteer bases. Since first riding here at the age of 50 Julie has logged in excess of 35,000 km on horseback across the wilds of Mongolia and all of it to help the children.
 
Julie is passionate about Mongolia and all things Mongolian and is committed to sustainable and fiscally transparent philanthropy. She is thrilled to be able to incorporate her love of Mongolian culture and history into Veloo Foundation’s Soaring Crane Summer Camp out in the countryside of Sonjin Boldog. 
 
The camp is a traditional Mongolian themed camp experience in English and Mongolian alike and offers 3 paying camps a year in English to fund the remaining camps for 250 Mongolian children in need. In addition to the two Narnii Huuhduud Kindergartens and the Soaring Crane Summer Camp, Veloo Foundation also operates the Fran London Centre for the Fabric Arts.
 
Now 60, Julie expects to continue her epic long distance riding her in Mongolia and will continue making a difference in the lives of children in need as long as she is able.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
 
  • Who is Julia
  • Being based in Mongolia, Central Asia for the past 10 years
  • Growing up in a small town in Northern Canada
  • Being the youngest of 6
  • Being fascinated with the idea of travel
  • Being stuck in hospital for 4 years as a child
  • The plight of the children in the garbage dump
  • Being terrified of horses growing up
  • Sitting on a horse for the first time at 50 and falling in love
  • Her life before Mongolia 
  • The work the Veloo Foundation does in Mongolia
  • Moving to Mongolia in 2010
  • Dealing with harsh winters due to over grazing and climate change
  • Magical moments and how the idea for the Gobi Gallop came about 
  • Using the Gobi Gallop as a fundraiser for the Veloo Foundation
  • Working with Horse Trek Mongolia 
  • Taking on a solo challenge…
  • Riding 700km in 8 days
  • The Blue Wolf Totem Expedition happening in 2022 - 3,600 km challenge in Mongolia 
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • Training with Sarah Cuthbertson - Ride Like an Athlete Program 
  • Get back on the horse
  • Riding with a rockstar…
  • Having a weak moment in your endurance adventure doesn’t mean it’s over
  • Life in Mongolia and what it’s like
  • Starting a new project 
  • Eating traditional Mongolian food
  • Learning the language 
  • How to connect with Julie
  • #AdventurerForGood
 
Social Media
 
Veloo Foundation - Helping Mongolian children and families in serious need through a series of educational, health and vocational programs.
 
 
Instagram: @VelooFoundation 
 
Horse Trek Mongolia - Ride. Explore. Help Children. We connect travellers to authentic Mongolian adventure . Home of the #gobigallop - 700 km / 10 days for charity!
 
 
Instagram: @HorseTrekMongolia 
 
Personal IG: @JulieVeloo 
 
Mongolist, Sharing horseback & other adventures with you all.  LIFE PLAN= DO Good. HELP Children. KEEP going. No plans to stop… #AdventurerForGood
 
Dec 28, 2021
Gowri is a naturalist and environmental educator who loves finding an excuse to be outdoors in nature—and climbing is one of her favourite excuses. 
 
Gowri grew up climbing trees and scrambling on rocks in India, she went on to become an outdoor guide in the Peruvian Amazon. 
 
Gowri currently teaches nature connection to kids in Upstate NY and India and also teaches Indian women climbing. 
 
A few years ago she received the Live your Dream Grant given by American Alpine Club and the North Face to climb her hardest project to date, called French Indian Masala (7b+/5.12c), in India.
 
In 2018 she initiated the first-ever Indian women's climbing meet up in India to mentor and teach women climbing, called CLAW or Climb Like A Woman. She hopes to keep teach climbing, inspire more women to climb, and teach nature connection to the larger outdoor community through her new initiative Wilderness Ways. 
 
Listen to Gowri now!!!
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Gowri
  • Her passions and her work
  • Growing up in India
  • Going to a non conventional school
  • Being obsessed with snakes 
  • Getting into nature and wildlife from a young age
  • Her dreams as a little girl
  • Going to college over in America
  • Her journey into climbing
  • Working in Peru as a guide
  • Going to an indoor rock climbing gym in the US
  • Her first climb outdoors
  • Climbing the French Indian Masala route
  • Applying for a grant
  • CLAW - Climb Like A Woman 
  • Wanting to teach Indian women how to climb
  • Holding the first event in 2018
  • Going against gender norms
  • Climbing in Hampi
  • Women teaching women
  • The false stories we tell ourselves
  • Dealing with fears when climbing
  • The women who have inspired Gowri in climbing and nature
  • Being inspired by Flash Foxy
  • Planning a climb and starting a new project
  • Producing a film of the French Indian Masala route climb
  • Starting training 2 months before
  • Figuring out your weaknesses and strengths
  • The importance of rest 
  • Taking on a new challenge every 2 years
  • The next project…..
  • Training for one move 
  • The move….
  • Watch the video on Youtube - French Indian Masala - Gowri Varanashi
  • Wilderness Ways
  • Teaching children - Nature connection
  • How to connect with Gowri
  • Final words of advice 
  • Be curious, observe and ask questions!
 
 
Social Media
 
 
Women's Climbing Meet Up in India. 
 
CLAW <<Climb Like A Woman>> 
 
Breaking barriers through rock climbing
 
www.climblikeawoman.com 
 
Instagram:
 
@gowrivaranashi 
 
@climblikeawoman 
 
Wilderness Ways - reconnects you to the power of nature through unique experiences in the outdoors promoting love & care for the natural world. 
 
Website - www.wildernessways.org 
 
Instagram: @wilderness__ways. 
 
Dec 25, 2021
Anna is an up and coming British trad climber based in the Lake District. She has multiple climbs in the E6-E8 range on her CV and favours bold and often unprotectable climbs
 
Anna started climbing at age 10. 
 
Competitions didn't really suit her, and she quit the sport in her teens for a while before getting into outdoor bouldering age 17. 
 
At 19, on a family holiday, she discovered she had a taste for hard trad and hasn't looked back.
 
Anna has lived in the Lake District all her life and works as a route-setter at Kendal Wall.  
 
Anna's 2019 climbing spree*
Lake District climbs
 
8 July, Disorderly Conduct E8 6c, lead, Reecastle Crag, Cumbria
26 June, Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow E5 6b, solo onsight, Hare Crags, Cumbria
27 May, Right Hare, Right Now E7 6c, lead, Hare Crags, Cumbria
22 May, Scrogbank Ravers E7 6c, lead, White Mines, Rusty Wall, Cumbria
20 May, No Nuts (Just Balls) E7 6b solo, Harrop Tarn Crag, Cumbria
4 May, Relentless Rage E7 6a, lead, Gouther Crags, Cumbria
29 April, Hang the Gallows High E6 6b, lead, Black Crag (Wrynose), Cumbria
17 April, Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid E6 6b, lead, Tilberthwaite Quarry, Cumbria
21 April, Big Tree Corner, E1 5b, lead, Tilberthwaite Quarry, Cumbria
 
Notable climbs from trips away
 
22 June, Bad Life Choices E7 6b solo, Polldubh Crags, Glen Nevis
17 May, My Halo E7 6b, lead, Serengeti, North Wales slate
13 April, Nosferatu E6 6b, lead, Burbage South, Peak District
 
 
Commenting on Instagram, Anna wrote about her challenge: 
 
'Well that's that. Two months ago I set off from Penzance with the intention of linking all of the Classic Rock routes together by bike. I didn't have a clue how to cycle tour, or how I was going to get all the climbs done if the weather crapped out, but bit by bit I learned, and here we are. So that's just over 1,500 miles on the bike, and 83 out of 83 climbs (68 of which were solos, either free or with rope), in a mostly continuous round (I did have to duck out for a work trip at one point).
 
'Big thanks to @neil.gresham for coming up to do the last few climbs with me in appalling conditions. The weather has often been unkind throughout this trip, and because of this things were difficult and pretty treacherous right up until the very last second. Still, we had a fun, mildly epic adventure sliding around on the Cioch, and the Cuillin Ridge was, to put it frankly, f**king grim. It wasn't quite the scenic finale I had in mind, but was quite a fitting ending in the sense that virtually nothing about this trip has ever gone according to plan.

'There's been some good and very memorable moments though. Climbing The Long Climb on the Ben in a bubble of mist feeling like I was the only person in the world was ace, as was the watery fight to get out of The Chasm (though that was perhaps more of a type 2 fun sort of day). Routes like The Devils Slide on Lundy and The Clean Sweep on Hells Lum were also highlights, and all that definitely made up for the times I was frozen, wet and off-route, or regretting my life choices cycling up endless hills. It's not been a perfect trip by any means, but I've learnt a lot (mostly about soloing), and I'm looking forward to putting some of that knowledge to good use on future projects. For now however, I'm just appreciating being warm and dry, and I'm pretty relived to have got this over with before it starts snowing.'
 
Anna was also part of a large expedition in 2019 to climb the prow of Mount Roraima (a giant Tepui deep in the Amazon rainforest).
 
Take a listen to Anna now!
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Anna
  • Just finishing the classic rock tour
  • Her childhood growing up in Windermere
  • Where the idea for the challenge came from
  • Wanting to try cycle touring
  • Telling her friends and family about the challenge
  • Wanting to start in April 2021 but having to push it back to August 
  • Working as a full time climber
  • Figuring out how to take 2 months off
  • How much would it cost and paying for the challenge
  • Why it wasn’t an expensive trip
  • Figuring out how to keep costs down
  • Filming the challenge and getting pictures of the climbs
  • Getting to the start of the challenge
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the challenge
  • Dealing with the reality of the situation 
  • Taking it one day at a time
  • The biggest challenge on the trip
  • Why the Scottish climbs were so challenging
  • Being solo on a rock face
  • What’s going on inside her head while climbing
  • Magical moments from the experience 
  • The physicality of the challenge
  • The challenges of going with someone else
  • The rough route throughout the UK
  • Finishing in the Isle of Skye
  • Celebrating the end of the challenge and settling back into normal life
  • What’s next?!
  • Advice for women who want to get into climbing
  • Working on improving her skills
  • What type of climbing Anna does
  • Follow and connect with Anna on Instagram
  • Her first big expedition to South America
  • Connecting with Leo Houlding
  • Lesson learned from taking on climbing challenges
  • Final words of advice and why you should go and do it!
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @anna_taylor_98 
 
Dec 23, 2021
Annie in her own words:
 
“My adventure career began with climbing, when I ticked off nearly every single box of "Mistakes to Avoid While Trad Climbing Outside" on my first ever outdoor trad climb. I survived and went on to see what other mistakes I could make that would not kill me. 
 
I took my bike on the 3000KM solo ride to the Nordkapp at age of 26. 
 
My latest adventure feat is successfully running a solo 1000KM Ultramarathon from the Lowest to Highest point of Germany, after having started running only six months prior. 
 
I am also the comic artist for BotsAndBrainz, and have set my base camp in Berlin, Germany, where I’m working on my PhD in neuroscience on the mechanics of learning and memory.
 
And here's something a little more personal on me (and my book): The Nordkapp trip changed my life not because I actually physically managed to cycle 3000K. It changed my life because it was something I did entirely on my own, dependent on only myself, after coming out of years of abusive relationships. I thought I was scarred and broken beyond repair when I set out on that trip - but I should have known from the start that there was a part of me that had stayed intact, all of these years, because no drive like the one I felt going for the Kap had ever been as strong in my life before as this one had been. I cried so much on that trip, for what I lost, for what I had allowed to be done to me, and out of plain gratitude - that I was still here, still alive and kicking and still, somehow, so, so in love with life. 
 
I wish I could have had someone tell me that a bike ride to a place I hadn't even heard of just 5 days before I left for it, would change my life as it did. That's why I want to publish my book and share my story. So whoever needs to hear it knows that they are not alone, they can survive and they will make their life their own again - if only they dare take the first steps on that path.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Annie
  • Starting out in climbing and moving into running and cycling
  • Becoming an endurance athlete
  • Being based in Berlin
  • Moving to Georgia, USA at age 6
  • Studying for her PHD in learning and memory 
  • Spending time in the outdoors
  • Her academic life and growing up around scientists
  • PHD update…
  • PHDs and ultra challenges
  • Deciding on a 1,000km ultramarathon
  • Getting into running
  • 16 weeks to run a marathon..
  • Running from the lowest point in Germany to the highest point 
  • Feeling excited and intimidated at the same time
  • How much strain is an ultra marathon on the body…
  • Vo2 Max results
  • The mental side of taking on a 1000km ultramarathon
  • Hating running and trying to avoid it
  • Preparation for the challenge
  • Getting the runners high
  • Wanting to quit on day 4
  • Figuring out where to sleep
  • Getting back into running and arranging the King Snail Race
  • Taking on a 3,000km bike ride
  • Leaving a negative relationship which wasn’t serving her anymore
  • Being made to feel small and starting to doubt herself
  • Wanting to get out and discover the world
  • Wanting to see what she was capable off 
  • What is Nordkapp?
  • Being terrified and the lead up to the start
  • When everything started to go wrong
  • Being supported by her brother 
  • Figuring out where she belonged
  • Working on herself and processes the lessons learned
  • Writing a book about her experience
  • Speaking to Chris Fagan
  • Learning to appreciate the small moments in life
  • Follow Annie online and visit her website (links below)
  • Final words of advice for women who have been made to feel small
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.thebotbeyondthebrainz.com 
 
Instagram: Personal - @thebotbeyondthebrainz 
 
Art -  Tales of a Traveling Scientist in doodles, scribbles & dad jokes: @botsandbrainz
 
Dec 21, 2021
About Pammy:
 
Born in the 60’s in inner city Coventry to a Sikh immigrant family. At 16, a school trip introduced her to the mountains where she experienced the WOW moment that changed her life. A force much bigger than her took her to explore wild landscapes of the world! Not something her parents or community were keen on. “It’s not what our girls do!.. what will everyone say??!!” Her drive was so strong she did it anyway at the risk of totally losing her world.
 
She encountered many complex and painful challenges with people of all backgrounds including her own family/community. Through these emotional and physical challenges, she discovered her own core values. This was a journey of self-discovery, understanding and respecting differences and a passion for environmental protection.
 
Pammy has been an outdoor/environmental practitioner since 1979 and in 1995 it struck her hard as she noticed the lack of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic role models in the sector, at every level, from service users to Board level and felt very strongly this had to change.
 
In 1995 she laid the foundation for what is now Backbone..
 
Backbone is a leading Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic outdoor environmental education organisation acknowledged on a national and global platform for successfully addressing diversity and inclusion in the sector. 
 
The key to their success is partnership working based on the values of:
  • Genuine Intention
  • Trust and Integrity
  • Direct Benefit of All Communities
 
They provide a safe and comfortable space for people and organisations to grow in their uniqueness.  
 
Together with their partners they are making a difference in the sector and to the communities they serve.
 
‘Adventure’… For some is climbing an unknown peak and for others it is leaving the City. The commonality is leaving the comfort of YOUR home and entering the unknown.. a journey of discovery to magical places!
 
Learn more about Pammy and the work that Backbone is doing. Listen now via the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Pammy and what she does
  • Being an outdoor practitioner for over 40 years
  • Working in America and all over the world
  • Coming back to the UK in 1995
  • Growing up in Coventry, UK
  • Getting exposed to the outdoors
  • Going against family expectations
  • Living up in the highlands of Scotlands
  • Having to have difficult conversations with her family
  • Entering the outdoors in the 70s and what is was like being a female
  • The struggle of being taken seriously
  • Leaving America and headed back to the UK
  • What Backbone is about
  • Why the name Backbone
  • Why change is happening so slowly
  • Competitive Research Syndrome
  • The excuses for inactivity
  • Changing Landscapes - Actioning Change 
  • Being fed up of talking 
  • FREE OPPORTUNITIES
  • FREE TRAINING
  • Going national
  • Handling frustration and what can be done to make change happen faster
  • Why the sector is a service industry 
  • Why organisations need to change
  • Why groups need funding and money
  • What does adventure mean to Pammy
  • Helping to break barriers down
  • Wanting to inform on policy 
  • What training is offered
  • The unethical behaviours 
  • Dealing with the mental and emotional toll 
  • Going on the big challenges and expeditions
  • The power of spending time in the mountains
  • Getting into skiing
  • Advice for women who want to spend more time in the outdoors
  • Why aren’t you doing it?
  • The pleasure of building up your skills
  • Go and learn how to read a map
  • Connect with Pammy on the socials (See below)
  • FREE TRAINING
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why - Life is too short to wear tight shoes
  • Listen to your internal soul
  • Why you need to be doing it. 
 
Social Media
 
 
 
Facebook: @backbone.cic 
 
Twitter: @BackboneCIC 
 
Dec 18, 2021
Minnesota native. Earned a teaching degree from the University of Oregon and taught a short few years before joining a team to dogsled to the North Pole. 
 
As first known woman to travel across the ice to the top of the world, I made a promise to not only follow my dreams but create something bigger than my own personal ambitions. 
 
All my expeditions since have education with them - thus inspiring millions of kids. One focus always is helping girls and women find their voice and potential in whatever they do. 
 
This theme traveled as I became first women to ski to both poles, lead the first all women's expedition to the South Pole in 1992/93 - Lead a team of all women across Greenland 1992 and later cross Antarctica with Liv Arnesen. 2000/01. Many wonderful trips in between on rock and snow, or on water - frozen and liquid. 
 
I started the Ann Bancroft Foundation in Minnesota that gives small monetary grants to girls to try an experience to find courage to find their way in the world as strong and confident and engaged humans.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Ann
  • Going to college to become a teacher
  • Following her childhood dream
  • 65, years young 
  • Spending the past 20+ years working with Liv Arnesen
  • Feeling very blessed about her life
  • How her life diverted and changed into the adventure and expedition world at 29 years old
  • Wanting to go to the South Pole
  • How the opportunity came about 
  • Finding herself on the team and how it changed her life
  • Why you have to just go for it
  • Lessons learned from the South Pole
  • The moments of truth 
  • Her love of long expeditions
  • How have polar expeditions changed over the years
  • Wanting to do something for women and girls
  • Being a teacher outside of the classroom
  • Do challenges get easier….
  • Why you can not short cut preparation
  • Going back to focus on the basics
  • Dealing with setbacks and failure 
  • Why it takes courage to put yourself out there
  • Being able to learn from past mistakes
  • Wanting to cross all of Antarctica in 1992 
  • Having no money and no sponsors
  • What is the legacy they wanted to leave behind
  • Making the most painful decision in her life
  • Connecting with Liv Arnesen
  • Tent life….
  • Focusing on raising the voices of girls and women
  • Bancroft Arnesen Explore - Access Water 
  • The next challenge on the Mississippi 
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Honesty - Integrity - Courage
  • Final words of advise for women and girls who want to divert to a different path
  • “I can because she did”
  • The power of living your potential.
 
Social Media
 
The Ann Bancroft Foundation empowers girls to imagine something bigger through grants, mentorship, and ongoing development opportunities. The Ann Bancroft Foundation is giving Minnesota girls the strength to achieve their full potential.
 
 
Instagram: @abfdreamers
 
 
Twitter: @ABFdreamers 
 
Dec 16, 2021
As she approached middle age, Marcia discovered a love for getting on her bike and riding a long way. In fact, when things got tough cycling regularly saved her sanity. 
 
In 2020 she had her sights on riding the Race around the Netherlands, but Covid put an end to that, at least for that year. 
 
But feeling the fittest she had ever been, and not wanting to waste a winter of hard training she cooked up a domestic adventure instead, and because the first woman to have attempted cycling the 1,725 miles from Lands End to John o’Groats and back!
 
By completing this long distance challenge, Marcia raise £'000's for her local branch of mental health charity MIND and bagged herself a Guinness World Record!
 
Learn all about Marcia, her passion for cycling and what she’s learned from taking on this challenge. 
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Marcia Roberts
  • Working a full time job in IT
  • Discovering her love of riding bikes
  • Encouraging other people to ride their bikes
  • Getting into cycling 10/12 years ago
  • Going through a divorce in 2000
  • Moving to Hampshire 
  • Looking for a new challenge
  • Having time to herself
  • Entering a charity challenge to ride across Vietnam
  • Avoiding the hills!
  • 9 months to train and get ready
  • Wanting to do a bigger challenge
  • Lessons from Vietnam 
  • Cycling over to the Alps
  • Dealing with “bonking”
  • Wanting to do a challenge in the UK
  • Managing her cycling while working full time
  • Cycling around main coast Britain
  • Breaking down big trips into smaller chunks
  • Loving the simplicity of cycling 
  • Setting up a local women’s riding group
  • The planning and preparation for cycling LEJOG (there and back)
  • Going back to March 2020
  • Breaking it down into blocks…. 4 hrs, 3hrs, 3.5 hrs
  • Planning on 12 days…
  • Looking for a Guinness World Record
  • Support crew, nutrition and meeting points
  • Dealing with the wet, windy and stormy weather!
  • Behind schedule all the time
  • Being stubborn and setting her mind to the challenge
  • Mental resilience and determination and not stopping
  • Tricks to stay awake
  • Sleeping
  • The bike setup for cycling LEJOG
  • Figuring out nutrition and being able to eat
  • Magical moments
  • Adventure blues and having a foolproof plan to avoid it
  • Dealing with lockdown and feeling very low
  • The Great British Escapades
  • The evidence needed for a Guinness World Record
  • Blogging and sharing content online especially around problems and how she overcame them
  • “Why you can do incredible things, if you just put your mind to it”
  • Final words of advice for middle aged women
  • Find a friend who you can go cycling with
  • Don’t focus on speed or millage - just get on your bike
 
Social Media
 
Blog: https://mawonavelo.com/blog/  
 
Instagram: @Mawonavelo 
 
Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/marcia-roberts to donate.
 
Dec 14, 2021
Preeti in her own words:
 
“I come from the land of beyuls, the sacred valleys according to Himalayan Buddhism, where the physical and spiritual world connect with each other. 
 
Running through some of the most spectacular landscapes and remote regions of Nepal has made me experience that the health and wellbeing of people largely depend on the natural environment around them and vice versa. 
 
Through my work as both an engineering consultant and trail run organizer, I try to present this experience to both Nepali and international diaspora that I get to work with. 
 
While my company, Nepal Trail Series is at the very early stage of its operation, but it is moving ahead intentionally to bring forward both physical and spiritual experiences of my country in a running package. 
 
The company is female-run and provides professional opportunities for rare talented strong female athletes of Nepal."
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Preeti
  • Being based in Nepal
  • Her childhood and growing up in India
  • How she ended up in Nepal
  • Working as an engineer in rural areas
  • Getting into running 
  • Becoming a race director for trail races
  • Being pushed into fitness at a young age
  • Seeing running in a different way
  • Getting into running events in 2012
  • Just wanting to finish races and enjoy it
  • Remembering her first ultra in Katmandu in 2016
  • Dealing with the altitude and what works for her
  • Moving into multi stage ultras
  • Training for ultras
  • Not wanting to be a competitive runner
  • Figuring out her energy management
  • Having fun during races
  • Running with a watch and using strava
  • Food, nutrition and hydration for energy management
  • Following her body and her menstral cycle
  • Figuring out what works for her
  • The Nepal Trail Series
  • Hosting trail running camps in different regions throughout Nepal
  • Advice for running taking on a multi stage trail race in Nepal
  • Mantras and daily meditation 
  • The women who inspire Preeti
  • Girls and sports in Nepal
  • Mira Rai - Nepalese trail runner and sky runner.
  • Noticing an increase in female runners
  • Advice about being a responsible tourist in Nepal
  • The Great Himalayan Trail and her dream project
  • Advice and top tips for health and well being
  • What Preeti name means
 
Social Media
 
Website: nepaltrailseries.org 
 
Instagram:
 
@nepaltrailseries  
 
@preeti.khattri 
 
Catalogue for 2022 Training Camps - www.canva.com/design/DAEqpnA4xHI/W06W1cnkMz-fuxZ18WyURQ/view 
 
Dec 11, 2021
Since becoming a wheelchair user Debbie has campaigned tirelessly to break down barriers in all aspects of promoting accessibility for all.
 
Debbie lives on a sheep farm in Cumbria, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  She is a member of the Local Access Forum for the YDNP and chair of the Access For All group. She is a volunteer for the National Park with the responsibility of auditing the ‘Miles Without Stile’ routes.
 
For the past 6 years Debbie has been the expert in inclusion and diversity for The Outdoor Guide, a free online resource dedicated to enjoying the outdoors. Co-founded and fronted by television personality Julia Bradbury.  
 
Debbie is a Get Outside Champion with Ordnance Survey. In 2020 she was nominated for 'Outdoor Personality of the Year' by TGO magazine readers.
 
Debbie is a presenter, motivational speaker, writer and consultant and is able to deliver tailor made training and presentations. She is a regular contributor for the BBC Countryfile Magazine
 
Although Debbie specialises in walks for wheelchair users, she is able to create multi- sensory walks for people with visual and hearing impairment.
 
Her motto is “Making the inaccessible accessible”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Living on a sheep farm in Cumbria
  • Being a wheelchair user since 2011
  • De-stressing from school life
  • Spending time in the hills
  • Starting to look at ways she could get back outside
  • Struggling to access the countryside
  • Working with Terrain Hopper 
  • Losing her husband Andy to cancer
  • Setting up the charity “Access the Dales”
  • The Outdoor Guide 
  • Spending time in the open and growing up in Sheffield 
  • Meeting Andy while teaching at the same school
  • Doing the coast to coast walk not really knowing each other…
  • Deciding to make some changes
  • Putting pen to paper
  • Getting back outside again and going on her first walk in a wheelchair
  • Facing challenges out in nature
  • Why accessibility should be the starting point of any new project
  • Magical moments of spending time in the outdoors
  • Getting a new dog
  • Having her first Scottish solo holiday
  • Batteries on wheelchairs
  • Going downhill
  • New books
  • Launching the charity and the book in April 2022
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why we all have our own Everest 
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @debbienorth29n 
 
Facebook: @debbieNorth 
 
Twitter: @debbienorth29 
 
Dec 9, 2021
“In the blink of an eye, I went from being an active, autonomous athlete to  suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that took 70% of my vision and nearly my life. Now I aim to be mindful in every moment and strive to make every second count while adventuring in mountains around the world.”
 
Jill in her own words:
 
“On a day that began like any other in a high school Physical Education class, September 2014 began an expedition of survival. A line drive, a hardball to the head, began a climb testing personal strength and human potential. A medical team, hundreds of hands from 7 hospitals across 3 countries, guided me towards a peak that felt impossible to climb, traumatic brain injury (TBI). While I craved to climb alone, they got me to the summit but my work was just getting started. Now I am traversing an avalanche triggered by the TBI which left me days from death, with 70% vision loss and a life threatening eating disorder.
 
No mountain can challenge me the way traumatic brain injury has. I chose to adventure in massifs around the world with the intention to adapt to vision loss and acceptance of the trail my life had taken.
 
From surviving to thriving, I have run, climbed, and skied my way around the world embracing the 30% vision I am fortunate to have. My trails have connected with the Andorra Pyrenees, Italian Dolomites, French and Swiss Alps, Slovenia’s Julian Alps, Iceland, India and Nepal Himalaya, New Zealand, Argentina, Peru, and the American Rockies.
 
As a traumatic brain injury survivor and visually impaired athlete adventuring in mountains around the world, I have a complex story of resilience to share. Speaking to resilience, head injuries, eating disorders, visual impairments, trauma, or mental health or simply sharing my story, I can make connections through authentic tales of my trails from depths of darkness to adventuring in the highest of the Himalayas.”
 
CONTENT WARNING - We discuss; Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD and thoughts of suicide.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Speaking to us from Nepal
  • Who is Jill in her own words
  • Growing up in a sporty, adventurous family
  • Becoming a teacher and following her passion for travel
  • Teaching in Singapore, Russia, Switzerland and Germany 
  • Taking advantage of the opportunity to travel
  • September 2018 and how her life changed in an instant
  • Being hit by a hard ball on the side of her head
  • Going to hospital and being send home
  • Ending up in intensive care with a bleeding and swelling brain
  • Dealing with a Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Finding out she would never see out of her right eye again
  • Losing depth perception 
  • The impact the TBI has had on her appetite and relationship with food
  • Seeing multiple specialists and spending a lot of time in hospital
  • Starting to get her independence back while in Colorado 
  • Looking out to the mountains 
  • Feeling very lost and grieving her past life
  • Needing to go and heal in the mountains 
  • Starting to travel again
  • Creating a blueprint and plan for the future
  • Being open to change….
  • Falling in love with Nepal and being inspired to get back into running
  • Not wanting to share her story
  • Being authentic with her feelings and being vulnerable
  • Starting her website and starting to share her story
  • Not wanting to do social media 
  • Accepting that her life had changed
  • Testing herself at altitude
  • Getting connected with the running and climbing community in Nepal
  • Dealing with pneumonia 
  • Starting to climb higher in the Himalayas
  • Planning to climb mountains over 6,000 metres
  • Dealing with covid in Nepal and being in lockdown for 8 months
  • Trying ice-climbing in early 2020
  • Escaping the lockdown and heading up into the mountains
  • Not being able to run while in rundown and having to try different types of training while indoors
  • Losing her father suddenly and supporting her family from afar 
  • Spending time alone in the mountains
  • Training to climb the 8th highest mountain in the worlds - Manasulu 
  • Visa’s for Nepal and being on a student visa
  • Managing depth perception while climbing mountains 
  • Spending time in the mountains as part of the healing process
  • Acceptance of what’s happened?
  • Dealing with dark days and using different tools to help manage the feelings
  • Why meditation is a significant part of her daily practice
  • Hiding behind her sunglasses and not being comfortable with the way she looks
  • Being a work in progress and being aware of her mindset and thoughts
  • The good wolf and the bad wolf - choosing which one to feed
  • Wanting to build on the good
  • Connecting with Jill
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @mtnsofmymind 
 
Facebook: @mountainsofmymind 
 
Twitter: @mtnsofmymind 
 
Dec 7, 2021
Anja Madhvani is a writer and drinks industry worker with a passion for adventure.
 
Anja studied classical piano performance at The University Of Huddersfield, and has gone on to perform as a violinist and singer with a number of post-rock bands, most notably Her Name Is Calla. 
 
She has spent 13 years in the beer industry, managing venues, hosting brewery tours and tastings, and working in sales and communications. She also works with Club Soda, a mindful drinking movement who aim to create a world where nobody feels out of place if they aren’t drinking.
 
In 2018 Anja completed her first ultra, the Marathon Des Sables, with undiagnosed Pulmonary Tuberculosis. She is now back to running and also enjoying the challenge of pole dancing.
 
She is currently studying to become a personal trainer, and hopes to channel her unique experiences into helping others to shift their mindset and find joy in movement.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Anja 
  • What she does 
  • What Anja was like a child
  • Growing up in North Yorkshire
  • Being involved in dancing 
  • Making excuses to get out of PE
  • Finding a love for beer
  • Exercise and fitness in her 20s
  • Deciding to make a change in her life
  • Getting back into fitness and her first steps
  • Needing a really big challenge
  • Signing up for the Marathon des Sables and getting back into running
  • Having 16 months to train
  • Where did she start
  • Her first run down by the canal
  • Going solo but meeting other people online through the FB group
  • Her method for training
  • Making changes to her lifestyle and getting into a better routine
  • Being cagey with sharing her running challenge
  • Working with a personal trainer
  • Focusing on the small tangible goals and celebrating the wins
  • Building up her confidence via weight training
  • How strength training impacted on her running
  • Just wanting to finish the race
  • Cagey or protective ?
  • Being supported by friends and family
  • Fears and concerns before the race
  • Being a worrier or a planner?
  • What if I fail? What does that say about me? 
  • Running the Marathon des Sables in April 2018
  • Feeling under the weather at Christmas 2017
  • The determination and grit to push on through the pain
  • Being motivated by self loathing
  • Enjoying the race
  • Feeling disappointed on the finish line
  • Wanting to go back and do the race in full health
  • What happened after the race when back in the UK
  • Tuberculosis (TB)…. what is it
  • Being in isolation for 11 days 
  • Getting back her health and fitness
  • Taking 20 mins to walk 100 m
  • Having panic attacks when training
  • Going to therapy and working on her mindset
  • Training for the London Marathon in 2022
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @anjaism 
 
Twitter: @anja_madhvani 

 

Dec 4, 2021
Having only started cycling in 2018, Biola immersed herself in the community, showing great enthusiasm for her own progression and that of other women too. 
 
She is the chair of Velociposse, a club for women and non-binary people in London. 
 
Biola is relentless in her energy to push the club forward and increase diversity, collaborating with the Women of Colour Cycling Collective.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Biola
  • Being based in Brixton, South London
  • Being a cycling club for ALL women 
  • Her passion for all types of riding
  • Her love for cycling and the community
  • Friends, fitness and having fun
  • Her childhood and growing up in Brixton
  • Going to the BMX track at 5 years old
  • Teenage years and her fitness journey 
  • Getting into running and starting to take training more seriously
  • Getting into weight training and commuting on the bike
  • Getting her mum to go to the gym at 63
  • Working out with other people and being encouraged
  • Moving from running into cycling
  • The Power of Community and joining the Velociposse Club
  • Advice for joining a cycling club
  • Her first race experience in January 2019
  • Dealing with being dropped
  • Making friends through racing 
  • Breaking down the informational barriers
  • Why there is no such thing as a typical racer
  • Why Biola races
  • Sharing passions and encouraging others to give it ago
  • Bikes….
  • Commuting to work 
  • Her journey with Velociposse and becoming the chairperson.
  • Knowing her strengths 
  • A higher order ask
  • Regent Park Laps on Saturdays
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @biolasarah 
 
Velociposse - A cycling club for all women, all trans, and all non-binary people in London.  
 
Website - www.velociposse.cc 
 
Instagram: @velociposse 
 
 
Dec 2, 2021
Rosemary in her own words, talking about Nellie Bly and her record breaking race around the world:
 
“Crusading journalist Nellie Bly jumped off the page at me. She appeared as I was researching Victorian women adventurers… and she wouldn’t go away.  The more I got to know her, the more I was intrigued by this spirited woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer despite living in a world where women ‘knew their place.’  
 
Nellie knew her place alright, smack dab on the front page of the world’s newspapers.
 
She pioneered investigative journalism and paved the way for female reporters like me. Nellie’s crusades in print brought about huge reforms in women’s asylums, sweatshops and prisons.
 
2015 marked the 125th anniversary of her best known adventure — circling the globe in a record-breaking 72 days. In celebration of the remarkable Nellie Bly and her amazing journey, I followed in her footsteps around the world.
 
Now there is a book chronicling our two journeys: Following Nellie Bly: Her Record-Breaking Race Around the World.  
 
My aim is to put Nellie 'back on the map' as an inspiration for adventure, and a reminder that (as Nellie said) "'nothing is impossible if one applies a certain amount of energy in the right direction.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time. Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and support - Quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
 
Show notes
  • Who Rosemary is and what she does
  • Being in journalism since graduating from university
  • Wanting to help to change the world
  • Trying to make a difference
  • Drawing attention to female explorers 
  • Why we need to hear these stories
  • Wanting to get contemporary female explorers on the map
  • What we can learn from these women
  • “Follow your dreams and move out of your comfort zone”
  • Why it’s ok to take calculated risks
  • Discovering women in adventure 
  • Wanting to follow in inspiring women’s footsteps
  • Doing her research and discovering Nellie Bly
  • Sharing inspiring stories 
  • Getting these women on the map
  • Who is Nellie Bly!
  • Starting with her childhood and why she was such a determined woman
  • Getting into journalism and becoming a writer
  • Deciding to go to NYC to make her name
  • Getting her first assignment to go undercover
  • The beginning of investigative journalism
  • Wanting to go around the world
  • Setting off with 2 days notice
  • Wanting to help the most vulnerable members of society 
  • Planning to travel around the world recreating her journey 
  • The challenges and difficulties of re-creating the itinerary
  • Packing lightly
  • Knowing when to stop planning and to start going
  • Around The World In Seventy-Two Days by Nellie Bly
  • Feeling close to Nellie at certain places on the trip
  • Sometimes you have to get off the path!
  • The risks and concerns before the trip
  • Why the best thing you can do, is to just get started
  • What would Nellie Bly do?
  • Dealing with a typhoon (level 8) in Hong Kong
  • Walking straight out into the typhoon!
  • Synchronicity while on the train
  • Self funding the adventure 
  • The dramatic ending of the trip
  • Racing against - Elizabeth Bisland 
  • Finding Nellie Bly’s grave in Woodlawn Cemetery Bronx, NYC
  • Visiting her hometown and birthplace in Cochran's Mills, Pennsylvania
  • Needing to have a happy/meaningful ending to the story
  • Sitting down to write the story and having to be very disciplined
  • Putting together a conference at the RGS on historical women
  • Why you need to put your all into everything that you do
  • Advice for women who want to go on more adventures
  • “nothing is impossible if one applies a certain amount of energy in the right direction” - Nellie Bly
  • Why you need to take that first step
  • Leap and the net will arrive!
 
Social Media
 
Website: https://nelliebly125.wordpress.com 
 
Instagram: @rosemaryjbrown 
 
Twitter: @Rosemary_Nellie 
 
Book: Following Nellie Bly: Her Record-Breaking Race Around the World (Trailblazing Women) 
Dec 1, 2021
We first spoke with Jessie on October 19th 2021 where she shared more about her cycle challenge of riding 570 miles to Glasgow for COP26. During this episode we catch up with Jessie to find out about her journey, the challenges faced and overcome, what it was like arriving in Glasgow and her thoughts on COP26 as well as her plans for the future.
 
Jessie in her own words:
 
I am a youth activist who cares deeply about the power of people to create change and this is exactly what I want People Pedal Power to do. The idea to start the movement came from my fears that more inaction would come from COP26. 
 
I knew that we didn’t have time for this to occur, as this summit has to be the one where real change is created, if not by our leaders but by the power of individuals creating collective action. 
 
As can be seen from the youth climate movement across the world, individuals really do have the power to create change, and so I decided to harness this!
 
I also believe in the immense power that words and storytelling have in helping us as individual to learn, understand and ultimately engage in the climate crisis. I have been trying to do this for the past 2 years with my monthly newspaper columns and other writing projects which discuss the climate crisis from the youth perspective.
 
Listen to Jessie now on the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. 
 
Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and support. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Jessie
  • The day before the start of the challenge
  • Getting going and feeling relief
  • Partnering with the Adventure Syndicate 
  • Film maker - Catherine Dunn 
  • Starting with 50/60 people
  • Meeting people along the way 
  • Magical moments from the experience
  • Why everyday was special
  • One of the hardest days on the bike
  • Tips and tricks for dealing with the tough times
  • Using music to change her state of mind
  • Coping with riding 100km per day
  • Why it was harder mentally
  • Arriving in Glasgow for COP26
  • Feeling unsettled in Glasgow
  • Partnering with Eco-Schools
  • Trying to get the youth voice in the media
  • The challenges at the event
  • Thoughts on COP26
  • Did attending the event help to make a difference
  • What it was like inside the conference
  • What it was like outside the conference
  • People power and feeling empowered 
  • What’s next for Jessie?
  • COP27?
  • Cycling during the winter months
  • Final words of advice
 
 
Social Media
 
People Pedal Power - Demanding Climate action and greener more accessible transport.
 
Website: httpspeoplepeddlepower.wordpress.com/
 
Instagram: @people_pedal_power
 
Personal IG: @climate_jess_ 
 
The Adventure Syndicate is a collective of extraordinary cyclists who happen to be women and who aim to challenge what others think they are capable of.
 
Website - theadventuresyndicate.com 
 
Instagram: @adventuresynd
 
 
Nov 30, 2021
Adelle is a British middle distance track athlete, who has competed for Great Britain over 800m on a number of occasions. Adelle has competed internationally on a European, Commonwealth and World stage for over 10 years.
 
Adelle's international debut was a the European Youth Olympics in 2009, where she won a Silver medal at 16 years old. 
 
Since then, she has gone on to compete for Great Britain at a senior level competing at two European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam 2016 and Berlin 2018, at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland 2016, World Athletics Championships in London 2017, World University Games in Taipei 2017, the Commonwealth Games for team England in Gold Coast 2018 and at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow 2019.
 
Throughout competing as a senior athlete on the international stage, Adelle has balanced her life off the track working as a Hair & Makeup artist.
 
Adelle is a Woman's Sport Trust 'UNLOCKED' Alumni and proud ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association & Dementia UK, two causes very close to her heart.
 
"Sport has so much to offer, I’d love all woman to have the opportunity to enhance their life with sport. There is so much power in lifting each other up and continuing to create spaces for woman & girls to flourish.” - Adelle Tracey
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Adelle
  • Wanting to be an athlete 
  • Being inspired by the Olympics
  • Being inspired by her head teacher - Mr Potter
  • Excelling at sports day
  • Getting involved in the school running club
  • Making her first GB team at 16
  • Achieving her first Silver medal
  • Discovering make up later on
  • Remembering back to the Youth Olympics
  • Being part of a team
  • Being inspired by female role models
  • Looking up to Dame Kelly Holmes 
  • Running the longer distances 
  • Endurance sports in athletics
  • Winter training and weekly milage 
  • Magical Moments from the past 10 years 
  • Finishing 4th in the final
  • Getting a personal best (PB) in the semi finals
  • Tactics on the start line
  • Working with a sports psychologist
  • Music during the warmups 
  • Following a cool room process
  • Training in a winter block - an approx week and what it looks like
  • Doing a triple day 
  • Pre-hab, stretching and rolling 
  • Sleeping and napping
  • Keeping injury free
  • Maintaining motivation levels
  • Getting out of the door
  • Working as hard as she can
  • Advice for more advanced runner who want to run faster
  • Advice for getting your mojo back
  • Going back to your reason why
  • The importance of goals
  • Linking her training to her period. 
  • Working with Fitrwomen 
  • Future goals 
  • Funding and paying for her lifestyle
  • Why 2020 was such a difficult year
  • Dealing with financial stress
  • Ending the season on a high
  • Having a vision board and writing down goals
  • Final words of advice
 
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @adelletracey
 
Twitter: @adelle_tracey 
 
Nov 27, 2021
Steph in her own words:
 
“Being a very shy and uncoordinated child I used to avoid anything active until a family holiday to the Lake District ignited a passion for walking and the outdoors. 
 
I love to get outside and active and to push my body to see just what it’s capable of. 
 
The excitement of tackling a long-distance trail appeals to me, but I also enjoy discovering the adventure my local area has to offer. I find joy in immersing myself in nature- wherever you are you can find great beauty. 
 
Middle age is a time when people tend to slow down and stop being active. I want to inspire other people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond that you are still capable of doing some pretty amazing things and that it’s never too late for adventure.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Turning 50 and being passionate about getting outdoors
  • Wanting to do more and more
  • Being very shy and uncoordinated while growing up
  • Doing everything to avoid physical activity
  • Being inspired by spending time walking in the Lake District
  • Progressing her walking and joining the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) 
  • Getting involved in Challenge Walks with the LDWA
  • Deciding what challenges to do next
  • Doing the coast to coast walk
  • Feeling scared at the start 
  • How her confidence grew through experience 
  • Walking with a friend on the Isle of Man
  • Walking the Pennine Way and why it was challenging due to lockdowns and covid
  • Dealing with the British Weather….
  • Planning and preparation for walks
  • The importance of long training walks
  • Equipment and gear on a budget
  • Ways to keep the costs down as a single traveller
  • Doing her first overnight camping trip
  • A Pennine Journey (247 miles)
  • The plan…
  • Food and nutrition while on the challenge
  • Training and getting physically ready
  • Wanting to share her stories with others
  • Signing up for the Marathon des Sables (MDS) to document the training of the journey 
  • Start small and build up 
  • Running the London Marathon 
  • Marathon des Sables
  • Building up fitness and training for the MDS
  • Preparing the mind and getting mentally ready for the challenge
  • Running the wettest MDS ever!
  • Lessons learned from finishing the MDS
  • Dealing with stomach issues
  • Craving coffee
  • Follow along with Steph on social media
 
Part 2
  • A Pennie Journey
  • The route
  • Why things didn’t quite go to plan
  • Dealing with blisters and the Summer heat wave
  • Building her confidence with camping and using her tent
  • The magical moments from the experience 
  • Getting resupply on the route
  • Going solo and meeting other walkers
  • Making a few changes to stay out on the trail for 17 days
  • Dealing with blisters and pain
  • Feeling a little disappointed at the end
  • Final words of advice
  • Starting small and building up
  • Going on local adventures
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.endurance-adventures.co.uk 
 
Instagram: @endurance_adventures 
 
Facebook: @enduranceadventures 
 
Nov 25, 2021
Patti Shales Lefkos is a Canadian writer and journalist. Her Himalayan adventure travel memoir Nepal One Day at a Time celebrates her creative non-fiction debut.
 
Nepal One Day at a Time is the story of her first trekking trip on her own.
 
Born and raised in Toronto, she has also lived in Neuchatel, Switzerland and Vancouver. 
 
Following a rewarding career as a teacher, educational consultant, administrator and advocate for inner city children, Patti studied journalism at Langara University. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Toronto Teachers’ College, Simon Fraser University and the Wilderness Leadership Program at Capilano College.
 
In 2006 she set out to pursue international adventure travel. 
 
Whether canoeing the Yukon River, backcountry skiing in BC’s Monashee Mountains, hiking in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides or trekking in Tibet and Nepal, she embraces the culture and environment of wilderness areas. 
 
When not travelling, she skis downhill, nordic and backcountry from her home base at SilverStar Mountain Resort in BC’s Okanagan Valley. 
 
In summer she paddles canoe, kayak and stand up paddle board at her Ontario island cottage.
 
Listen to Patti on the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.
 
Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Good Morning!
  • Who is Patti and what she does
  • Where her love and passion for the outdoors came from
  • Buying her first typewriter and wanting to be a writer
  • Lost Horizon by James Hilton 
  • Becoming an outdoor girl
  • Doing all the expected things and becoming a teacher
  • Moving west to Vancouver 
  • Working in inner city schools
  • Riding her bike to school and doing her first marathon
  • Moving from marathon to triathlon
  • Meeting her husband Barry
  • Not travelling until they retired in their 60s
  • Heading to England in 2007 and walking the coast to coast 
  • Taking on bigger adventures and going to higher and higher levels of altitude
  • Spending time in Nepal
  • Wanting to volunteer in Nepal in 2014
  • Having to go solo at 67
  • Facing her fears to go by herself
  • Making the transition from working full time to being retired
  • Writing the articles she wants to write about adventure travel
  • Choosing her work
  • Her first experience of travelling and trekking to altitude
  • Making a list of her fears 
  • Her plans for Nepal
  • The biggest challenge while out trekking
  • Writing her first book
  • Supporting the village affected by the earthquake in 2015
  • The realities of starting a non profit
  • Figuring out what is good help to provide
  • Why 97% of the money goes to Nepal
  • The realties of trekking at altitude in your late 60s
  • Bucket list destinations
  • Final words of advice 
  • The power of spending time with young people and being of service
 
Social Media
 
Website :  pattishaleslefkos.com
 
Facebook: @plefkos
 
Facebook Non-profit Nepal One Day at a Time Society on Facebook 
 
Buy Patti’s book NEPAL ONE DAY AT A TIME on Amazon
 
Partner NGO in Kathmandu, Nepal. Sambhav Nepal
 
Recommended Trekking Company in Kathmandu, Nepal. Ace the Himalaya

 

IN CANADA:
 
How to buy NEPAL ONE DAY AT A TIME book directly from Patti
 
COST:  $32 ($25 for the book, $7 for postage)
 
All profits go to education in Ratmate and Aprik Villages, Gorkha, Nepal.

 

BY CHEQUE: 
 
Mail cheque for $32 to
Patti Lefkos
Box 3093Vernon, BC.
V1B3M1
*** REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS***
 
BY eTRANSFER:
 
$32 to pattilefkos@shaw.ca
***REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS***
 
Nov 23, 2021
Anisah is the founder of the new blog: Outside Our Way which features interviews from other disabled and chronically ill folks, sharing their stories of their outdoor experiences.
 
Anisah in her own words:
 
My name is Ani. I have multiple chronic illnesses and I am disabled. That probably brings an image to your mind of what it means to be ‘disabled’, But when you look up the definition of ‘disability’ you’ll find various ways you can categorise it - as well as plenty of opinions about what it means to be disabled.
 
The UK Equality Act 2010 classifies disability as: “a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” 
 
The truth is there are so many variations and types of impairments that fit this definition. There are visible physical disabilities, there are hidden physical disabilities, there are learning disabilities, and there are mental health disabilities. The variations and combinations are endless and as a result each person’s disability or impairment is unique. How that affects their daily life is completely individual to them.
 
I have what is called hidden disabilities or invisible illnesses. I’m diagnosed with Lupus SLE and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD). I have chronic pain, fatigue and memory loss along with other symptoms that affect me daily. 
 
People often think that I’m not disabled or chronically ill.  There’s a common stereotype that comes to a lot of people's minds when the words “sick” or “disabled” is used, and like so many I don’t really fit that image. Most of the time when you look at me I don't look like I’m in pain or fatigued. I walk without aids. I take part in active outdoor activities. 
 
People don’t realise that I don’t look in pain or fatigued because I have a lifetime's worth of experience pretending I’m not. I time my painkillers to kick in before I see someone. I’ll make sure the environment I'm in when I'm with people is one that won’t drain too much energy or add to the pain. I’ll plan my week prior and after to ensure I’m rested enough and won’t crash. 
 
Finally, when I’m too exhausted to handle a simple conversation despite all my planning and methods… I will cancel and you will not see me in that state at all. The same amount of work goes into planning any outdoor activities. I have to use tactics and creative methods just to take part. I need extra preparations and plans to get by in a world that was created with non-disabled people in mind. This is the aspect of disability that people might miss. 
 
Which brings me to the question - how can we help change this?
 
I can only be an expert on my own experience/disability/illness (and even then, that’s iffy!). After brief conversations with others with chronic illnesses or disabilities, I have come across some amazing tips to help manage my own disabilities outdoors. I have found people who can relate to my feelings like no-one else can, and have helped me pass challenges I’d previously faced alone. I've realised that there’s so much that I don’t know about people who are chronically ill/disabled and so much more I should learn. 
 
I want to talk to people with different disabilities and conditions to mine. I want to see what challenges they face when they access the outdoors, what hurdles they have to navigate when going outdoors. I want to ask them what everyone should do to flatten those hurdles as much as we can. 
 
Outside: Our Way is a collection of interviews to show that we as a community are here. These interviews are a chance for disabled people to shape their own narratives and tell us about their way of going outside. It’s aim is to shine a light on what it’s really like to be an outdoor enthusiast and disabled/chronically ill.
 
To those who are disabled or chronically ill - I hope you can find something to relate to. There’s a beautiful community that have shared experiences and can truly understand what you might think or feel. 
 
To those who are non-disabled - I hope to show you what it takes to be disabled/chronically ill in the outdoors. And perhaps prompt you to consider how you can help us access the outdoors our way.
 
Listen to Ani on the tough girl podcast - New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Ani
  • Being an advocate for disability and chronic illness in the outdoor environment
  • Getting into the outdoors and not liking it at first
  • Getting back into the outdoors 2/3 years ago
  • Deciding not to follow the advice 
  • Enjoying her time in the outdoors
  • Her life as a child and experiencing symptoms from a young age
  • Hating going to school
  • Learning energy management
  • Not knowing what something was wrong dealing with pain was normal
  • Getting the diagnosis as 12 years old
  • Making the decision to go outside and wanting to do something
  • Spending too much time inside
  • Why the outdoors is her happy place
  • Feeling empowered and enabled
  • Learning how to balance caution and happiness
  • Planning every aspect of her life
  • Connecting with other women who have a similar condition
  • Spending time around water and feeling at peace
  • Trying to get good with cold water
  • Making adjustments to make wild camping accessible 
  • Figuring out how it can work for you
  • What Outside Our Way is about
  • The women who have inspired Ani
  • Wanting to share her hiking journey on line
  • Future dreams and ambitions
  • Wanting to do a multi-day hike
  • Hike your own hike
  • Advice for your next adventure 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @ani_went_outside 
 
Outside: Our Way - A blog sharing stories from from across the outdoor sector and disability and chronic illness landscape.
 
Hosted by @alltheelements
 
 
 
 
Nov 20, 2021
Annabel Abbs is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. She grew up in Wales and Sussex, with stints in Dorset, Bristol and Hereford. Daughter of academic and poet, Peter Abbs, she has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia and a Masters from the University of Kingston. She lives with her family in London and Sussex, and is a Fellow of the Brown Foundation.
 
Annabel’s debut novel, The Joyce Girl, won the 2015 Impress Prize for New Writing and the 2015 Spotlight First Novel Award, and was longlisted for the 2015 Caledonia Novel Award, the 2015 Bath Novel Award and the 2016 Waverton Good Read Award. It was a Reader Pick in The Guardian 2016 and was one of ten books selected for presentation at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival. Published across the world, Annabel discussed The Joyce Girl on BBC Radio 4’s Soul Music. It is currently being adapted for the stage.
 
Her second novel, Frieda: The Originial Lady Chatterley, was a Times Book of the Month, then a Times Book of the Year 2018 and one of five novels selected for presentation to film directors at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair. Frieda has been translated into six languages. Annabel spoke about Frieda on BBC Woman’s Hour.
 
Annabel’s third novel, the story of Eliza Acton, Britain’s first domestic goddess, and a best-selling cookery book writer (and a poet) will be published in the US in October 2021, by William Morrow as Miss Eliza’s English Kitchen. In the UK, the novel was acquired at auction by Simon & Schuster, and will be published in spring 2022 as The Language of Food. It is currently being translated into sixteen languages. In 2021 it was optioned by Stampede Ventures and CBS.
 
Annabel’s first non-fiction book, The Age-Well Project, was published by Little, Brown in 2019, co-written with TV producer, Susan Saunders, and based on their acclaimed blog agewellproject.com, longlisted for the 2018 UK Blog Awards.
 
Annabel’s first foray into memoir and her first solo-authored non-fiction book, Windswept: Walking in the Footsteps of Remarkable Women, was acquired at auction by Two Roads and was published in June 2021. 
 
In the US, Windswept was acquired by Tin House and published in September 2021, with the subtitle Walking the Paths of Trailblazing WomenWindswept tells the extraordinary stories of eight women who walked long distances in wild and often remote places as they sought their own voices. They include Simone de Beauvoir, Nan Shepherd, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gwen John and Daphne du Maurier.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Annabel
  • Her latest book
  • Her interest in walking
  • Being interested in women who do long distance walks in challenging environments
  • Where are all the women walkers?
  • Researching the women who walk
  • Having a strange childhood
  • How walking was a part of her education 
  • the benefits for women walking in nature
  • How wild places are not deemed safe for women 
  • And why women are encouraged to stay at home and get their time in nature from being in the garden
  • Why women DO long hikes
  • Women from 100 years ago who went out walking
  • Focusing on 6 women for the book Windswept 
  • Recreating their walks 
  • Feeling trapped at home
  • Having family walking holidays 
  • Planning the walks and incorporating her writing within the walks
  • Using old maps to help plan
  • Encouraging women to be able to navigate
  • What Nan Shepherd said about walking in Scotland 
  • Why river journeys and coastal journeys were quite popular
  • Why women should learn to navigate
  • Doing the walks solo and the challenge involved
  • Thinking of all the things that could go wrong
  • Why walking is so much more complication for a woman
  • What is was like walking solo 
  • Women and their relationships with the mountains 
  • The struggle of mental preparation before heading out to walk solo
  • The long history of women doing walking pilgrimages on their own
  • Why we need to see more women out there walking
  • The dark side of walking solo and spending time on your own
  • Walking in Texas, USA - night hikes?
  • The importance of legacy
  • Final words of advice
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.annabelabbs.com 
 
Instagram: @annabelabbs 
 
Twitter: @annabelabbs 
 
Book: Windswept
 
Windswept is a feminist exploration of walking in wild landscapes. 
 
Annabel examines the role of walking on the lives, writings and art of several women including Gwen John, Frieda Lawrence, Nan Shepherd, Georgia O’Keeffe and Simone de Beauvoir.  As Annabel walks their paths – the empty plains of Texas, the mountains of Scotland, the rivers and forests of France – she looks back at her childhood in remote Wales and asks why women have been overlooked in the literature of wild-walking.
 
Nov 18, 2021
Tiphaine in her own words:
 
"My name is Tiphaine, I’m from France and since I was a child my parents took me backpacking in other continents. They’ve opened me to the world. After three years of studies to obtain my Specialized Educator diploma, I felt the urge to explore more of this planet. I went to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa for a year. The adventures I’ve experienced there made me reconsider my whole perspective on life.
 
Inspired by my short cycling trips in Australia and New Zealand, I bought a bicycle and left, in June 2017, on my 23rd birthday. I started from my home in Paris, without a real plan, without a final destination and ended up cycling 20,000 km in 14 months, half of it with Martin (@hi.martin.cycles). 
 
This trip, more than any others, showed me that dreams can come true and that travelling is a matter of motivation. Since then, I dare to live a different life, “unstable”, full of changes, adventures, experiences, that make me who I am today.”
 
Listen to Tiphaine on the tough girl podcast.
 
New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Tiphaine
  • Wanting some adventure 
  • Deciding to head to Australia on a working holiday 
  • Wanting to continue living this different lifestyle
  • Her younger years and spending time backpacking with her family 
  • Not being afraid of travelling solo
  • Having a plan verses being more flexible and playing things by ear
  • Wanting to join the Civil Service in France
  • Rethinking her whole perspective on life
  • Realising how little you need to be happy
  • Coming back to Paris after 15 months of travelling
  • Not knowing what to do next 
  • Paying for her cycle trip and saving up money
  • Why its cheap to travel by bike
  • Keeping costs down while on the road
  • Leaving Paris on her 23rd Birthday 
  • The route and the plan
  • Meeting Martin in Africa @hi.martin.cycles and deciding to cycle across the Sahara together
  • Using Warmshowers in Europe 
  • Wanting to explore more of Africa and heading to East Africa for 7 months
  • Dealing with elephants close to the tent! 
  • Resupply and accommodation in Africa 
  • Route planning and the challenging in Europe 
  • Trying to pick the nicer routes and avoiding the main roads
  • Maintaining the bike on a long journey 
  • Not knowing how to change a flat tyre at the start
  • Buying a simple bike for 450 EURO
  • Learning new skills on the road
  • Writing her first e-book: Little Miss Pedals: 20,000 km on a bicycle through Europe and Africa 
  • Final words of advice to encourage you to take on your own challenge or adventure.
  • Why it’s worth it!
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.dreamsontracks.com 
 
Instagram: @littlemisspedals 
 
Facebook: @littlemisspedals 
 
Book: Little Miss Pedals: 20,000 km on a bicycle through Europe and Africa 
 
Nov 16, 2021
Aneela is passionate about encouraging people from all walks of life to ride bikes and she works with individuals, organisations and the cycling industry to encourage wider participation. She works tirelessly to increase diversity in cycling and mountain biking and firmly believes that mountain biking is more than a sport - she’s a champion of the wider benefits of mountain biking in building confidence, strength and resilience in everyday life.
 
With 20 years+ diversity and inclusion experience, Aneela is particularly interested in diversity and wellbeing; women in MTB leadership; diversity role models; young girls in sport and promoting mental health. She offers training and workshops; inspiring talks and presentations; diversity audits; participation and engagement activities as well as professional advice and consultancy.
 
ANEELA'S JOURNEY
  • 20 years+  Diversity and Inclusion experience in the public sector
  • Co-Chair, British Cycling’s new Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group
  • 10 years+ running Go-Where Scotland
  • 5+ years professional MBL/Level 3 mountain bike guide
  • Board Member and Secretary of Tweed Valley Trails Association
  • Cycling UK Trail Inspector, and, Trail Maintenance Coordinator
  • Cycling UK Outdoor Expedition qualification 
  • Masters Degree, Equality and Discrimination, University of Strathclyde
  • Personal Fitness Trainer
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Aneela
  • Her early years 
  • Growing up in Glasgow
  • How her parents moved over from Pakistan 
  • Visiting Pakistan 
  • Her dreams as a little girl
  • Getting into mountain biking
  • Pivotal moments from being on the mountain bike
  • Taking friends out on the bike
  • Her journey of becoming a coach and leader
  • Giving people the opportunity to empower themselves 
  • Not having a great experience in childhood
  • Being the only women during the assessment and training
  • Being worried about being the only woman 
  • Being supported by her husband
  • Lost opportunities 
  • Having to have faith in herself
  • Battling again self doubt
  • Being encouraged by her tutor 
  • Having to prove herself in a male environment
  • Changes in the mountain biking industry over the past 10 years
  • Creating empowering spaces
  • Encouraging women to take the next step
  • The lack of role models and how it is chaining slowly
  • Encouraging women to become coaches
  • Being inspired by her friends 
  • The FNY Collective and what it stands for…
  • What the word fanny means in Scotland
  • Getting charity status and being able to look for funding
  • How many bikes…
  • Being an ambassador for Juliana Bicycles
  • The power of bikes 
  • Working to support refugees 
  • Working with Endura Sport 
  • Working on a film about - bikes, love and discrimination
  • “After the Storm” premiere at Kendal Mountain Festival 
  • Advice for other women for being brave
  • The power of knowing you are not alone
  • Advice to encourage women to try mountain biking
  • Being on a learning journey and why everyone has to start somewhere
  • #Ridemòr (mòr - big and great)
 
Social Media
 
Go-Where | Ridemòr - Scotland’s award-winning curator of guided & self-guided bicycle experiences.
Advocates for wellbeing, diversity & inclusion. #ridemòr #mòrdiversity
 
www.go-where.co.uk
 
Instagram: @gowherescotlandmtb 
 
Facebook: @gowherescotland 
 
Personal
 
Instagram @mrsgowherescotland
 
Twitter: @AneelaMckenna 
 
MÒR DIVERSITY -  From diversity, inclusion and wellbeing to leadership and resilience training - we offer professional services to help unlock the human potential of organisations.
 
Website - www.mordiversity.com
 
The FNY Collective - The FNY collective: a group of Badass women passionate about riding bikes and getting more women sharing the fun on two wheels. 
 
Website - www.thefnycollective.co.uk 
 
Instagram @the_fny_collective
 
Nov 11, 2021
Erica Terblanche is an accomplished endurance runner and adventure racer and has won numerous iconic long-distance races all over the world, including the gruelling Racing the Planet 7-day Sahara Desert Ultra Marathon among many others.
 
Erica is a Life Coach and psychologist with a master’s degree in Positive Psychology. She is also the founder of Teach a Girl to Fish, Thrive Guru & Thrive Run Club. Her lifelong quest is to determine how we can over time shape and mould ourselves to become ‘the best we can possibly be’.
 
At heart Erica is an outdoor enthusiast with over 20 years of adventure experiences.
 
Erica in her own words on Adventure Racing:
 
“Adventure Racing was a wonderful vehicle for access to extreme adventures - and over a period of five years I experienced the most extraordinary adventures while running, cycling, canyoneering, river rafting, sea kayaking, and rappelling in some of the most wild landscapes in the world and often with less than an hour of sleep a day for races that spanned five days. 
 
This sport helped push my boundaries and has helped me to become an accomplished ultra distance trail runner, winning a number of the big 7-day stage races. 
 
I now live in Cape Town where I run Thrive Guru and Thrive Run Club. My intention with both is to get people moving and to help people build and live their best, most vital, most fulfilling and happiest lives.”
 
Erica is the Author of “Run for the Love of Life” which was published on the 4th of November 2021. 
 
Erica wrote the book to share her adventures, to motivate people to get up, get going and get out into nature. Erica wants people to know that they can do far more than they imagine they can. 
 
Erica wants the book to inspire people to take that very first step and to find their tribe - a community of people that will support them on the journey.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and sign up - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Erica and what she does
  • Being a keen advocate to encourage people to get into the outdoors
  • Living in Cape Town now
  • Starting an adventure company - Teach a girl to Fish
  • Studying positive psychology 
  • Being interesting in how we can come the very best of ourselves
  • Focusing on the outdoors
  • Finding out about her childhood, growing up on a farm and spending time outside
  • Catching her first fish at 6 years old
  • Learning not to be scared of the outdoors 
  • Having a lot of freedom from a young age
  • Bravery?
  • Being inspired by her fearless mum
  • Raising girl children differently from boy children
  • Knowing in your body that you are strong
  • Her passion for running and where it came from
  • Getting into running in her early 30s
  • Falling in love with Adventure Racing
  • Not being an athlete and going to the World Championships in Adventure Racing!
  • How women improve as races go on, especially coming into their own by day 3
  • Pushing her body to the limits and the lessons from the edge of the experience 
  • The races which really challenge her
  • Racing the Grand to Grand Ultra, USA. 275 km in 6 stages, over 7 days. 
  • Being unwilling to give up and being able to grit it out.
  • Racing as hard as she could and sticking to her own game plan
  • Women who run with wolves
  • Practical tips and tricks to help you keep going
  • Start slowly and finish strong
  • Tips for running in the heat
  • Why Erica loves the deserts and spending time in that space
  • Feeling empowered by the sunshine
  • The importance of Vitamin D (especially in the UK)
  • Dealing with Raynaud’s 
  • Menopause and how its impacted on running and adventure racing
  • The impact on Vo2 max
  • Being more deliberate about the supplements she takes
  • Being excited about the next stage of her life and wanting to be even more resilient
  • “Run For The Love of Life” - the goal and purpose of the book
  • Thrive Run Club and encouraging people to take the first step
  • Final words of advice for other women who want to get into running and live their best life
  • The power of community and finding your tribe 
 
Social Media
 
Personal - Instagram: @erica_terblanche
 
Business - Thrive Guru Coaching, Thrive Run Club and Teach A Girl to Fish.
 
Positive psychologist, transformative life coach, internationally accomplished endurance athlete, organisational change and strategy expert
 
Website: www.thrive-guru.com 
 
Instagram: @thrive_guru 
 
@thrive_run_club 
 
Facebook: @thrivegurus
 
FB Thrive Run Club 
 
Teach a Girl to Fish - We take women on out-of-the-ordinary walking, biking and kayaking adventures.  If you enjoy being active and exploring beautiful places, especially near the big blue ocean, this is for you.  Our expeditions create the perfect conditions for you to unwind, to reconnect with nature and to rekindle your inner spark.
 
Website: teachagirltofish.co.uk 
 
Facebook: @TAG2F 
 
Nov 9, 2021
Kisha in her own words:
 
“I grew up in Virginia, a gymnast and cheerleader, playing softball and soccer. I knew I was bound to do something special, but I didn’t know what.
 
When it comes to my career, I’m often called a ‘bad-ass.’ As the Managing Director of Portland's Artists Repertory Theatre, I feel at home on a stage in front of thousands of people. When it comes to spending time outside, however, I wasn’t what you would call an “outdoors woman.”
 
I didn’t camp. I didn’t spend hours in the woods. Yet, when I moved to Portland, I found a love I didn’t know existed: my love of hiking. Days spent exploring all of the swimming holes and waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest transitioned into my first solo trip to Reykjavнk, Iceland. 
 
I scuba-dived, hiked through Gullfoss, Skуgafoss, Hengifoss, and fiingvellir, and I HIKED UP AND THROUGH A GLACIER! Me! All 240 pounds of me. 
 
I became a superhuman on that trip. I’m a fat, Black woman with Lupus who hikes glaciers, mutherf*ckers! My outdoor exploration unlocked something in me. After that, I was unstoppable!
 
When I returned home, I wanted to hike all the time. I bought sturdy hiking shoes. I started reading outdoor magazines, watching Eco-Challenge and going into every outdoor store. I was inspired…but I never saw anyone that looked like me.
 
I didn’t let that stop me. I’ve been moving since, continuing to have solo journeys and proving to myself time after time that just because I look the way I do, doesn’t mean I’m not strong and powerful - nor does it mean that these adventures are not for me!”
 
“I’m undertaking my biggest challenge yet. I am hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail, from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean. I am hiking to change the narrative. It matters to me to share my journey because not only did I not think I couldn’t do this as a child, but I never even knew stuff like this existed.
 
I know my story will have bigger resonance with others. I know I can be the representation I never saw. I want to offer an invitation to a journey of self-discovery and an introduction to a lifelong passion. 
And I hope we can do this together. — Kisha Jarrett”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Kisha and what she does
  • The traditional lands of Portland
  • Moving to Portland 5 years ago
  • Growing up in a small town in Virginia
  • Not spending time in the outdoors
  • Falling in love with hiking 
  • Going on her first solo travel trip to Iceland
  • Climbing a glacier and feeling empowered
  • Being diagnosed with lupus 
  • Wanting to do all the things
  • Heading to Bali in Feb 2020
  • Why Iceland
  • Being told that she couldn’t do it. 
  • Becoming more aware of her body 
  • The pivotal moments
  • Taking the first steps into living a life of adventure
  • Google!
  • Looking different and not seeing herself in the media
  • Black Girl in the Woods
  • The dream of thru-hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail 
  • Looking for exploration and a different type of challenge
  • Deciding not to do a solo thru hike
  • How the documentary came about 
  • Finding information about Native Land in USA
  • Native Land App 
  • Preparations for thru hiking
  • Finding gear to fit her body
  • Getting a pack fitted
  • Learning over the past year by doing
  • Thinking about impact planning
  • Financials of a thru hike 
  • Planning to hike in summer 2022
  • Needing to hike in an alternative manner 
  • Dealing with the setbacks from the first thru-hike
  • Processing and dealing with the experience
  • Feeling disappointed and moving forward
  • Recovering from surgery
  • Top tips to encourage you to start
 
Social Media
 
Black Girl In The Woods - chronicles Kisha Jarrett’s 1,200-mile journey as a Black, plus-sized woman with chronic pain thru-hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail.
 
Website: www.blackgirlinthewoods.org 
 
Instagram:
 
@black.girl.in.the.woods 
 
@kisha.j 
 
Twitter: @BGITW_doc 
 
Nov 4, 2021
Elise in her own words:
 
“To me, Alexandra David-Néel’s book My Journey to Lhasa was one of those books I just couldn’t get over. You know when you read a book or see a film and you keep thinking about it for weeks afterwards, it was like that. Except that with this book, I never stopped thinking about it. The book recounts the final six months of Alexandra's epic 14 year journey through Asia, her quest to reach the forbidden city of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Against all odds, dressed as a poor pilgrim, she reached Lhasa in 1924.
 
12 years after reading this book for the first time, I was still wondering just how she managed to achieve what she did. 14 years of dealing with the cold, the wet, illness and of course the constant pressure and difficulty that came with being a female traveller in the early 1900s.
 
So, I decided to act on that idea that had always been in the back of my mind - to recreate Alexandra’s journey in some way, and to experience life travelling as a woman as closely as she would have done. I realised that the only way to truly do this, and to truly do her journey justice would be to do exactly as she did, taking with me only what she had. This meant NO modern day mountain equipment. So with my yak wool coat, a wooden backpack I made out of an old chair and an all-female team in tow, I set off in search of a special cave, the worlds third highest mountain and answers to questions I'd had for the last 13 years. 
 
After returning from this life-changing first expedition, I realised that the stories and achievements of histories female explorers like Alexandra should be celebrated and never forgotten. I've made it my mission to bring these stories back to life, to inspire this generation and the next the same way they have inspired me. In July 2019 I set off on my second adventure to the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland, to follow in the footsteps of Nan Shepherd, one of the UK's best known nature writers and mountain wanderers.”
 
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Show notes
  • Who is Elise/lise and how she would describe herself
  • Reading Alexandra David-Néel book "My Journey to Lhasa" at 16 years old 
  • Growing up in the country side and spending lots of time in the outdoors 
  • Not knowing what she wanted to do
  • Doing an art degree and wanting to be an artist
  • Starting to work at a travel company 
  • Starting Women with Altitude website 
  • Deciding to do the first trip at 28 years young
  • The planning and preparation process
  • Trying to find the old equipment
  • Figuring out the route 
  • The gear…. and why it was better than you think
  • Heading over to India for the start of the journey 
  • Being joined by a filmmaker (Emily) and a local guide (Jangu)
  • The magical moments from the trip  
  • Dealing with the altitude sickness and the cold 
  • Managing periods while on the adventure 
  • Spending a month in the mountains
  • Finding the cave where Alexandra meditated for 2 years
  • Tummo breathing 
  • After completing the challenge and heading home 
  • Dealing with anxiety, panic attacks and having a lack of confidence
  • Wanting to take on a new adventure 
  • Trying to highlight a woman from the UK - The Nan Shephered Trip
  • Who is Nan Shepherd
  • Her book - The Living Mountain 
  • Making a plan to go to Scotland
  • What her time in Scotland was like 
  • Being vegetarian and trying to eat like the 1940s
  • Not having any modern equipment 
  • What days were like
  • Dealing with the nerves before the trip starts
  • Journey number 3
  • Grace O’Malley the Pirate Queen of Ireland 
  • Dame Freya Madeline Stark DBE - Anglo-Italian explorer and travel writer.
  • Figuring out how much things costs and paying for challenges
  • Pitching the idea to TV channels
  • The women who have inspired Elise
  • Final words of advice
 
Social Media
 
 
 
Facebook: @womanwithaltitude 
 
Twitter: @altitudewoman 
 
Jangu 
 
 
Emily Almond Barr - Film maker
 
 
Instagram: @emilyalmondbarr 
 
 
Nov 2, 2021
Clare Rutter grew up in rural, coastal west Wales with childhood days often spent with her brother playing and exploring in nature, climbing trees, jumping hay bales, cycling the green and lush country lanes and time spent on the beaches exploring rockpools, playing in the sand and swimming in the sea. Everyday was a mini-adventure in Clare’s eyes which was only added to by joining the Brownies, the Guides and later the Scouts when girls were (finally!) permitted to join across all age sections. At age 6 and continuing through her participation in these youth organisations, Clare began her journey in paddlesport thoroughly enjoying kayaking and canoeing. 
 
Now, after more than 25 years spent in the Scouts, Clare has many ‘on the water’ hours paddling and has been on many Scouting adventures including working at a large, commercial Scout summer camp and activity centre, expeditioning in Africa, multi-day tall ship sailing, led the Welsh Contingent at a Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree and volunteered as a staff member at two World Scout Jamborees in both England and Japan. 
 
As studying for a degree, worklife and life in general took over; paddlesport unfortunately had to take a back seat. In 2016, Clare fulfilled one of her lifelong goals and moved abroad to Gran Canaria which in itself was an almighty adventure. Unfortunately, Clare experienced some kind of a medical episode whilst on her way home from work, passed out, hit the deck and entered a 30 minute unconscious seizure state. This episode resulted in a life changing traumatic brain injury. 
 
After several months with no signs of recovery from the resulting symptoms which included headaches/migraines, severe fatigue, insomnia, tics and balance and cognitive issues and declining mental health; Clare decided to give up her home in the sun and return to Wales for further neurological investigation and treatment and to have the support of her family and friends. Clare, at this point was mostly bed bound and used a stick to aid walking but returned to Scouting as illness allowed. 
 
Clare’s Brain Injury Team Occupational Therapist encouraged her into some further volunteering which, returning to her childhood roots, she undertook at a local outdoor activities centre offering land and water adventures including canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. 
 
A change in medication tackled Clare’s condition to the point where she could function better on a daily basis, could ditch the walking stick and experience better mental health. After a season at the centre, Clare was offered a full-time position which she gladly accepted and begun her journey towards training and qualifications to be a paddlesports Instructor on a permanent basis. 
 
A short time after the first Covid-19 lockdown, Clare was informed that she had been selected from multiple applications to be the first ever women’s paddling ambassador for Wales, a #ShePaddles Ambassador; a role to tackle the low numbers of females getting into and staying in paddlesport. Despite the lockdowns, Clare threw herself into the voluntary role and together with Canoe Wales and British Canoeing had an incredibly successful first year providing an online Welsh women’s friendly and welcoming paddling networking hub and providing paddlesport taster sessions to hundreds of females at #ShePaddles ‘On Tour’ events across Wales. 
 
Whilst still battling illness, known as Post-Concussion Syndrome, with her symptoms mostly masked, Clare is now a full time, qualified Paddlesports Instructor & Leader and regularly supports clients with neurological conditions, mental health issues and a range of disabilities enabling participation, enjoyment and progression in paddlesports utilising the outdoors as therapy and rehabilitation as she did. 
 
She’s also a guest speaker speaking at events sharing her motivational and inspirational brain injury story and is still heavily involved in #ShePaddles and #ShePaddlesCymru (in Wales). Clare is passionate about paddlesport and you’ll usually find her on the water in her spare time, committed to relearning, redefining and challenging herself and her abilities to prove that given some adaptations and self-belief that almost anything can be achieved. Aside from paddlesport, Clare also enjoys writing, camping, geocaching, photography and videography and enjoys sharing her experiences, challenges and adventures across her social media channels.
 
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Show notes
  • Who is Clare
  • Growing up in Wales by the coast
  • Being a paddlesports instructor and a scout leader
  • Getting into swimming at a young age
  • Going into Brownies and then joining the scouts when girls were allowed in
  • Collecting all the interest badges
  • Wanting to join the police force and wanting to help people
  • Getting into paddlesports
  • Going to university as a mature student
  • Getting her level 2 youth work qualification
  • What it was like going back to university as a mature student
  • Her twenties working as a chef and in security
  • Her lifelong goal to live and work abroad in a hot sunny place
  • Starting to learn Spanish
  • Moving to Spain!
  • The reality of living and working abroad
  • Making friends
  • Having a medical episode in 2017
  • Being taken to the hospital
  • Finally getting to see a doctor and getting a CT scan done
  • Being housebound for 6 weeks
  • Not knowing what to do and thinking she was going to die
  • Struggling on for 9 months
  • Deciding to move back to Wales
  • Getting the support she needed
  • Using a walking stick to help her walk
  • Trying new medication and starting to feel better within 48hrs
  • Being encouraged to get into volunteering
  • Being encouraged and supported 
  • Being offered a full time job
  • Lessons from having a brain injury
  • Being back in the outdoors and spending time in the sea and river
  • Getting qualifications in paddlesports
  • Learning how to manage her fatigue
  • Wanting to encourage other women to get into paddlesports
  • #ShePaddles why it was created and what it does
  • Getting her life back together 
  • Trying to encourage more women and girls to get into paddlesports
  • thinking creatively and being supported by Canoe Wales
  • Creating a FB Group for women 
  • Getting into paddle boarding (SUP - Stand Up Paddle board)
  • Needing something to look forward to 
  • Supporting women who don’t have gear but still want to have ago
  • Having a supportive boss - www.adventurebeyond.co.uk 
  • Practical tips and advice for women and girls to get into paddlesports
  • The She Paddles Effect
  • Final words of advice - why there is always an opportunity you can create or take advantage of
 
Social Media
 
Personal Website: www.clarerutter.com 
 
Instagram: @clare_rutter.ba.hons 
 
Facebook: @clarerutter.DBA 
 
Facebook groups: Women's Paddling Community and #ShePaddlesCymru  
 
Hashtags: #ShePaddles #ShePaddlesCymru
 
Twitter: @clare_rutter 
 
Other Resources:
 
www.britishcanoeing.org.uk
 
www.canoewales.com
 
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