Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: August, 2021
Aug 31, 2021
Jessica in her own words: 
I am a British non-fiction writer living on a hillside in North Wales, where I write with candour (and, hopefully, a dash of humour) about improbable things; UFOs, the United Nations’ use of clowns to resolve conflict, and, most recently, the rigours of childbearing.
I grew up in Shropshire and, at first, dabbled with sports and adventure writing — I played international lacrosse, was one of the fastest unaffiliated runners in the 2011 London Marathon, and once cycled 5,000 miles across sub-Saharan Africa. 
My career in journalism began as a reporter for the London Evening Standard’s gossip column, although I was not good at it, rarely knowing who anyone was. I moved to foreign affairs in East Africa. There, I notched up datelines (often in a flak jacket, this time) from across the continent, Bissau to Burundi, Congo to Madagascar, and met my future husband, a photojournalist, whilst covering the civil war in Somalia.
Within five years, I'd won a number of prestigious awards for my investigative features, including a Frontline Club Award, and was a regular contributor to the Guardian, TIME and Newsweek, for whom I wrote about topics including Islamic militancy, piracy, sexual violence and human trafficking.
In 2016, pining for the British countryside, I moved with my husband to Llangollen in North Wales, a decision made in part because it had the tightest contour lines we could find within an hour’s drive of a decent airport. I am now a mother to two small boys, and spent much of their formative years writing a book about motherhood – the postnatal period, to be precise – and submerging myself in the icy waters of the river Dee, which courses through the valley below our house. 
Jessica’s first book - AFTER BIRTH: What nobody tells you – How to Recover Body and Mind and is available in all good book shops.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Who is Jessica and what she does
  • Being sporty at school and playing Lacrosse for Wales
  • Being good at running, but putting too much pressure on herself
  • Deciding to flee London and heading to Africa
  • Partying, getting drunk and trying to snog boys!
  • Finding regular work with the Evening Standard
  • Celebrity parties and finding out the gossip
  • Keeping costs down and running everywhere
  • Running a Marathon in Kenya on a nature reserve
  • Finding what she wanted to do
  • Making the decision to move to Nairobi and why it was easy 
  • Feeling lost after university 
  • Not knowing many people at first
  • Having savings and making editor connections before leaving
  • Being enthusiastic and very determined
  • Cycling 5,000+ miles across Africa for TUSK 
  • The route through Africa
  • Missing female companionship during the cycle ride
  • Teaming up with Centre Point 
  • Being under pressure to arrive at places
  • Needing more downtime
  • Spending 4 months on the road - cycled for 5/7 days visit a place and then carry on
  • Meeting her husband on a trip to Somali 
  • How her priorities changed
  • Making the change to having babies and getting married
  • Continuing to write and share stories
  • Having her first baby and not being prepared
  • Dealing with the loss of physical activity 
  • Using running to stay sane
  • Going for a swim in the River Dee in November
  • Starting to feel more like herself again
  • Balancing work and babies
  • Focusing on your own physical and mental recovery
  • Taking 2 years to feel strong again
  • Giving women better information 
  • Using words like vagina
  • Not prioritising herself enough 
  • Follow Kari Bo for Pelvic Floor Exercises
  • Learning how to retrain the bladder
  • All the stuff you shouldn’t do after having a baby
  • Giving women the information they need to make informed choices
  • Antony Lo 
  • Supporting women with prolapse
  • Cold water therapy and dipping in the River Dee 
  • Final words of advice for women who have just given birth
Social Media
Instagram: @jessicajanehatcher 
Facebook: @jessicajanehatcher 
Twitter: @jessiehatcher 
Book: AFTER BIRTH: What nobody tells you – How to Recover Body and Mind is available in all good book shops.
About: While there is a wealth of advice for new mums on caring for their babies the same is not true for postpartum health. Fulfilling this vital need, After Birth is the ultimate postnatal primer for women facing changes to their bodies after having a baby. 
Addressing issues great and small­ - from hair loss and stretch marks, to bladder and bowel leaks, painful sex, diastasis recti and mental health - researcher and writer Jessica Hatcher-Moore brings together straight-talking advice on preparation for childbirth, healing, and recovery in the weeks, months and even years that follow. She also offers insights for partners, whose role is often overlooked at this critical time.
Blending knowledge from the full spectrum of modern and traditional therapies with honest experiences from mothers, here is balanced advice with no agenda. Taking a broad look at what we can do for ourselves at home, and also when to seek expert help, After Birth will reassure, inform and empower women to reclaim their post-birth bodies.
Aug 28, 2021
Dr Sarita Robinson is Deputy Head of the School of Psychology and Computer Science at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Sarita is one of the world’s leading academic researcher in area of survival psychology and so is often referred to as Doctor Survival. Survival psychology focuses on how people respond in disaster situations – everything from a terrorist attack to a ship sinking.
Sarita has spent over 15 years researching people’s reactions to disasters. She focuses on trying to work out why some people are more likely to survive than others in emergency situations (and what we can do to improve our chances of survival).
Sarita is keen not to rely on dusty books to inform her academic research and so has undertaken some hands-on survival training. This means Sarita has had some hair-raising adventures, including completing training in Helicopter Underwater Escape, Fire-Fighting and Coastal Survival. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • What Dr. Sarita Robinson does
  • What her childhood years were like
  • Being the daughter of 2 mental health nurses
  • Struggling throughout her school years and feeling left behind
  • Being diagnosed at 17 with dyslexia 
  • Enjoying the more individual sports 
  • Developing her own coping strategies
  • Doing Psychology as an A’Level
  • Going onto university 
  • Being inspired by The Poseidon Adventure Movie
  • Why some people are more likely to survive than others 
  • The importance of having an optimistic outlook
  • Fight - Flight - Freeze - How we respond to threats
  • Being in a survival situation
  • Spending 5 years on her PHD on Survival Psychology
  • Being in a hotel fire in Turkey
  • Needing to keep your brain in a good place - especially in longer term survival situations 
  • CPU - Central Processing Unit of the brain
  • Why people do unusual things during a life threatening situation 
  • Why the brain falls back on pre-learned behaviours 
  • Training for emergency situations
  • The power of prepping and preparing for emergencies 
  • Why trainings is important - “skills & drills”
  • How training boosts your confidence and in turn your optimism 
  • The power of “What If”
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and  Post Traumatic Growth (PTG)
  • Practical steps to building resilience 
  • The importance of building your body - exercise, sleep, hydration, nutrition
  • The connection between the body and the mind
  • Enhancing your optimistic thinking
  • Moving away from learned helplessness 
  • The power of social support and social networks 
  • What toxic positivity is and devaluating what someone else is going through
  • The poison of resilience and why resilience is not always the answer
  • Why the resilient thing ca n be to walk away 
  • Coping with the pandemic and how 2020 was
  • Dr John Leach - Senior Research Fellow in survival psychology. Book: Survival Psychology (1994)
  • Is there a difference between men/women gender (social construct) / sex (biological) in survival 
  • Why more girls and women died during the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami 
  • Why preparation is everything  
Social Media
Facebook: @drsurvival.robinson
Twitter: @DrSurvival 
Aug 26, 2021
Abbie Barnes is the founder and director of Spend More Time In The WILD, an organisation that seeks to inspire and empower individuals to get outside for the benefit of mental and physical health, whilst building meaningful connections with the natural world and each other.
Through the project she produces weekly videos on YouTube following her adventures and challenges all around the world.
Abbie offers walks and events, talks and workshops, runs the One WILD Life podcast, manages a thriving online community space, and is currently in the throws of preparing to ski solo across Greenland in the spring of 2021. 
By sharing her story - Abbie hopes to raise awareness about mental health and chronic pain in the adventure world. 
Abbie has hiked many of the worlds greatest trails, loves frothy coffee, wildflowers, and dogs.
*CONTENT WARNING - During this episode, mental health and suicidal feeling are talked about. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Meeting Abbie 
  • The goal of Spend more time in the Wild
  • Sharing more bout her mental health journey and dealing with chronic pain
  • Wanting to change lives
  • Introducing Little Bobby (the dog!)
  • Spending time in the outdoors when she was growing up
  • Being passionate about the natural world
  • Getting into film making at 13
  • What palm oil is and why she wants to raise awareness about it
  • Her mission to get palm oil labelled on products (which was made the law in the EU in 2015)
  • Raising awareness about the damage being done by palm oil
  • Producing her first film and speaking in the EU Parliament 
  • Figuring out her purpose and being propelled forward
  • Going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro after her A’Levels
  • Struggling with her mental health and being in a dark space
  • Training up as a Personal Trainer and identifying a passion for working with people
  • Picking up the camera again in 2018
  • Encouraging people to own who they are and their stories 
  • Learning new language around mental health 
  • Using the outdoors to tap into the best version of herself
  • “I am not my mental health but it is a part of me”
  • Creating “Spend More Time in The Wild” in 2016
  • Wanting to backpack all of the UK’s National Trails
  • Getting 3 National Trails in and having a realisation
  • Identifying that part of her suffering was coming from lack of connection
  • There has to be more than just nature
  • Talking to the camera about how she was feeling 
  • Being mentally unwell and needing to pull out of the National Trails Challenge
  • Finding it hard to look back and struggling to remember what happened
  • Not being able to connect memories to reality 
  • Going backpacking with her mum
  • 2017 - starting the year  being in a dark, depressive state
  • 2018 - Having a shift in her energy and moving to part time work at the gym 
  • 2018 was when WILD really happened 
  • Struggling with her mental health everyday
  • Learning to cope and finding her own ways of working with it
  • Starting a WILD community challenge during Covid
  • 2020 The year of community and connection
  • Doing a Million Miles for Mind
  • Forest for Hope 
  • Getting up to speed of where Abbie is now
  • Using the tools that she’s learnt
  • Why mental health is not a weakness
  • An exciting new cycling project!
  • Deciding to cycle JOGLE via each National Park and walking to the highest point in each park
  • A 2,000+miles journey to highlight the importance of getting outside
  • Starting in September and planning to cycle for approx 50 days
  • Being supported by Anna while on the road
  • Wanting to go on a solo polar expedition
  • Spring 2022 - A solo unsupported expedition across Greenland 
  • Wanting to discover her human potential 
  • Dealing with chronic pain from nerve damage in her shoulder
  • Always being in pain
  • You can’t apologise for who you are
  • Turning the dark and difficult into something which manifests meaning and purpose
  • Seeking help and trying to figure it out
  • Planning for the bigger trips
  • Having all the ideas!!!
  • Having a friend, Craig do the project management for the JOGLE trip
  • Number crunching, training and resting
  • Paying for JOGLE and wanting to keep the costs down
  • Meeting Anna at the beginning of 2020
  • The Abbie & Anna Show 
  • Final words of advice to encourage you to spend more time in the wild
Social Media
Instagram: @abbiebarneswild 
Facebook: @spendmoretimeinthewild 
Aug 24, 2021
Adya discovered the joy of being out on the water later in life, when she moved to Stockholm, Sweden and discovered kayaking in 2014. Kayaking in the lakes and the Baltic Sea was, at the time, the best way to escape the stress of daily life and connect with nature. 
Working in scientific research left little free time to enjoy her new hobby, so a few years later she ended up pursuing a new career that would allow more time for kayaking. Adya fell in love with sea kayaking as soon as she tried it in Dorset and has been on several expeditions in Greece and Sardinia.
Adya trained to become a sheltered water kayak/canoe coach in London to share her love of kayaking and canoeing with others and enjoys coaching small groups of paddlers at her local canoe club. She also blogs about her adventures, hoping to inspire other women with full time jobs to try paddlesports while incorporating safety advice for everyone.
After moving to Liverpool, and a less than ideal sea kayaking trip in Wales, Adya considered giving up sea kayaking for good but missed being on the water. Her love of watersports encouraged her to try paddleboarding in the Liverpool docks. With the help of a supportive coach, Adya managed to stand up on a board (and more!) giving her the confidence boost she needed at the time. Adya managed to get back into a sea kayak and now also does a lot of coastal paddleboarding.
She is currently a British Canoeing #ShePaddles club champion, the paddle boarding discipline lead at her canoe club and an On Planet Patrol Community Guardian. These volunteer opportunities allow Adya to focus on some of the biggest problems we face as a society: lack of representation and climate change. 
With her paddling, blogging and #ShePaddles work, Adya hopes to raise awareness of the lack of diversity in paddlesports and help improve gender, ethnic and neuro-diversity in the paddlesports community.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Who is Adya
  • Living in the Wirral, North West of England
  • Falling in love with waterspouts
  • Being a qualified Kayaking and Canoe Coach
  • Being involved in getting more women in kayaking and canoeing
  • Focusing on happiness and finding her joy
  • Getting into water-sports while working in Stockholm in 2014
  • Being convinced to give it a try
  • Starting to go on weekly trips
  • Working as a research scientist
  • Deciding to make a change from research into publishing 
  • Self sabotage…
  • The process of getting qualified in kayaking and canoeing
  • Not being supported by the club, needing to find her own opportunities and struggling with the process
  • Not being able to find a mentor and having to figure it out for herself
  • Making a commitment to attend the club on a regular basis 
  • Needing to make a persistent effort
  • The difference between kayaking and canoeing
  • Loving canoeing
  • Heading out in winter….
  • Keeping warm while being out on the water
  • Group multi-day trips and making the transition from a 2hr journey during the day to an overnight trip
  • Needing to build up stamina for longer trips
  • 5 day kayaking trip in Greece going on a multi-island adventure 
  • Not liking going to the gym and feeling intimidated
  • Living on the Wirral and what the watersports are like 
  • Getting into SUPs in summer 2019
  • Getting her own SUP board
  • Paddling in the Albert Docks, Liverpool
  • Dealing with lockdown and following the stay at home message
  • Missing friends and company on the water and noticing a skills decline
  • Being a British Canoeing #ShePaddles Club Champion - what it is and what’s involved
  • Wanting to improve things at the club level
  • Planet Patrol (previously Plastic Patrol)
  • Not having many role models in the sport
  • Being inspired by Jo Moseley 
  • Discrimination and inclusion: where is the line blog post 
  • Advice for women who want to get into watersports
  • Why you should join a club and/or sign up for lessons
  • Future kayaking and canoeing dreams
  • Liking doing local adventures 
  • Advice for planning a local day trip
  • Safety while out on the water
  • Going out to sea - Personal Locator Beacon 
  • App - Paddler Loggers 
  • Magical memories from being out of the water
  • Why you should take a leap of faith
Social Media
Instagram: @queenadya 
Twitter: @DrAdyaMisra
Aug 21, 2021
An Explorer in her own right, Belinda has walked across Nicaragua, searched for camels in China's Desert of Death, discovered ancient rock paintings in Lesotho, pioneered inclusive expeditions for people with disabilities, lead dozens of youth development expeditions around the world and gained a Guinness World Record for rowing unsupported around Britain.  
An expert expedition leader and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Belinda has managed remote trips for, amongst others Ray Mears, Chris Ryan & Bear Grylls.
Belinda launched Explorers Connect, a non-profit organisation connecting people to adventures in 2009. Over 13 years later she has encouraged over 30,000+ ordinary people to discover a world of outdoor challenges and established Britain's National Night of Adventure #WildNightOut2021
For the past twenty-five years, Belinda Kirk's professional life has revolved around adventure. She's seen it change people first hand: turning the timid into the confident, the addicted into the recovering, and the lost into the intentionally wandering. As a force for change, adventure can be powerful like few others.
About the book: Adventure Revolution: The life-changing power of choosing challenge
This book is about this transformational power, and the first to explore why adventure is essential to our wellbeing.
From managing anxiety and overcoming fear, to finding self-worth and building interpersonal connections, to being happier, healthier, and more playful, ADVENTURE REVOLUTION draws lessons from more than two decades of experience leading groups into the wilderness around the globe.
 Illuminated with Belinda's personal narrative, her own research with modern hunter-gatherers, and the latest findings in neuroscience and behaviour, ADVENTURE REVOLUTION presents a compelling case for ditching the living room in favour of a longer, happier, and more adventurous life.
"I believe adventure is a necessity of the human spirit. The modern world has become too easy, too averse to challenge. This is having a negative effect on our physical and mental health. We need a revolution, to learn how to live adventurously”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Living in Exmoor with her son and partner
  • Her passion and love for adventure
  • Wanting to rebrand adventure
  • Speaking to Belinda on the Tough Girl Podcast in July 2016
  • The big changes over the past few years..
  • Having a baby and finding a different way of living
  • Lockdown and having the chance to stop
  • Finishing her book after 7 years of researching and writing
  • How having a baby has impacted her views on adventure 
  • Dealing with sleep deprivation and how her life has changed since
  • Having a new opportunity to live differently 
  • Being in survival mode for the first few months and years
  • Wanting to take her son on adventures
  • Taking her son, Jackson on a Kayak 
  • How adventure changed her at 18 and impacted on other areas of her life
  • Why adventure is so essential for us
  • Sharing stories of transformation  
  • Wanting to understand the WHY
  • Wanting to effect public policy 
  • The Adventure Effect
  • Why adventure matters 
  • The story of Alice 
  • The multiple benefits of adventure 
  • How adventure can change your life
  • What else are we able to do…
  • Stretching and growing as people
  • The story of Sam
  • Surfing as Therapy
  • The Wave Project  
  • The power of small adventures 
  • The Adventure Mind Conference held in Feb 2020 - to explore the benefits of adventure on well-being
  • How adventure can be implemented in societies and our everyday lives
  • How adventures helps us to be the best we can be
  • Wanting to see adventure and outdoor education back in schools
  • Wanting to see more Doctors prescribing adventure 
  • How to connect with Belinda and get copies of her new book
  • Hoping to go on a big family adventure to Canada
Social Media
New Book: Adventure Revolution: The life-changing power of choosing challenge The first book to explain why adventure is essential to wellbeing. 
Explorers Connect: A not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping people to live more adventurously. Join 30,000+ like-minded adventurers for unique adventure opportunities
Instagram: @explorersconnect 
Adventure Mind: Conference series exploring the importance of adventure to wellbeing
Belinda’s Personal Social Media
Instagram: @explorerbelinda 
Previous Tough Girl Podcast Interview: 5th July 2016 
Aug 19, 2021
Words by Cherelle:
Steppers UK is an outdoors organisation that aims to encourage diverse and under represented communities to participate in outdoor activities. Currently, Steppers UK focuses on hiking and cycling with plans to explore the outdoors further in the future. 
The inspiration behind Steppers UK comes from wanting to improve representation in the outdoors & change the image & stigma associated with being ‘outdoorsy’ or enjoying outdoor activities. Many communities have a heritage in Africa, The Caribbean & Asia, where nature is in abundance and very much part of culture, however, there is a disconnect with the people of the diaspora. We have lost contact with nature. 
Steppers UK aims: 
  • Promote diversity within outdoor spaces & improve access for those lacking ability, representation, or opportunity 
  • Increase the physical & mental well-being of our participants 
  • Normalise the visibility of Black & Brown faces within outdoor activities 
  • Support participates to eradicate any fears & stigmas associated with the outdoors 
  • Provide fun & therapeutic experiences in nature 
  • Create communities of outdoor enthusiasts & equip them with the skills and knowledge required for outdoor activities to become a recreational part of their lives 
  • Create more environmentally friendly communities 
  • Through outdoor activities create spaces to build healthier, caring, and open-minded communities.   
The Outdoors is for everyone!
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Founder of Steppers UK
  • What Steppers UK does
  • Working with young people as a youth worker
  • Not having much experience with the outdoors when growing up 
  • Finding out that she likes spending time in the outdoors 
  • Being sporty and enjoying basketball
  • Climbing her first mountain and her first WOW moment
  • Taking the next steps to spend more time in the outdoors
  • Finding a love for Reggae music 
  • Spending time as a volunteer in Jamaica and Malawi 
  • Working with young people as a youth worker
  • Encouraging teenagers to step outside their comfort zone
  • Launching Steppers UK in 2020
  • Leading walks for Black Girls Hike
  • Black Lives Matter Movement
  • Where the Steppers name comes from 
  • Sharing the walks via social media
  • Starting her own personal challenge 
  • Being filled with joy from going on these walks
  • Walking as a solo woman
  • Wanting to be present while out on walks
  • Experiences the benefits from walking and spending time outside
  • Gear for beginners
  • What can you do with what you’ve got
  • What can you do with normal grip trainers
  • Investing in gear when you find out if you like the outdoors or not
  • Role models in the outdoors
  • Learning about the outdoor industry
  • Future plans and dreams for Steppers UK
  • Wanting to encourage young people to use nature as therapy
  • Dreaming on a mini bus 
  • The power of going on one walk
  • Making the outdoors fun
  • Funding of walks and Steppers UK
  • Frequency of walks
  • Wanting to get qualifications in the outdoors
  • Taking on a new challenge to visit all 46 Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in England & Wales
  • The challenge of leading groups 
  • Limiting the groups to around 20 people 
  • The Nature Fix Project 
  • How to connect with Cherelle and Steppers UK
  • Top tips and advice
  • The benefits of starting small
  • “Don’t underestimate the power of nature, and nature is truly healing, and it's freedom”
Social Media
Instagram: @steppers_uk 
Facebook: @SteppersUK 
Twitter: @Steppers_UK 


Aug 17, 2021
Ursula Martin has spent the last two years walking alone from Kiev, Ukraine across Europe, over the Alps, to start on the Camino which would take her all the way to Santiago de Compostela, before heading on to the most westerly point of Spain, Finisterre and reaching the Atlantic Ocean. It was then time to turn around and head home, just 1,000 miles to get back to Wales. 
Ursula finished her epic solo journey on June 6th 2021 in Llanidloes, where she was joined by friends and family for the final 10 miles.
Throughout her walk, Ursula had to deal with the covid pandemic, and having to decide whether or not to carry on and how to carry on safely. Ursula handled lockdowns in France, loneliness on the Camino St James and being on a tight budget. Ursula didn’t get sponsorship and funded the trip through savings, and supporters via Patreon.  
Now back at home, Ursula can rest her feet, stretch her body and take the time needed to recover, while reconnect with her family.  
Ursula is already planning another walk, this time starting from Land’s End and heading 874 miles to John O’Groats. Ursula plan to start her walk in January 2022, which will also mark the 10th anniversary of her ovarian cancer diagnosis.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Who is Ursula? 
  • Being based back in mid wales with her brother
  • Spending time with family and meeting her new nephew
  • Being ready to stop walking
  • Missing the feeling of open outdoor space
  • First speaking with Ursula in May 2020
  • Making the decision to continue on with her journey 
  • Thinking short time and focusing on where to stay 
  • Going through lockdowns in France and Spain
  • Walking the HRP - Pyrenean Haute Route 
  • Not being able to access indoor space due to restrictions
  • Having to make the decision between going into France or Spain
  • Making the decision to enter Spain to continue her journey to Santiago 
  • The egotism of adventuring 
  • Spending Christmas in Pamplona with 2 takeaway pizzas and movies
  • Being accepted and welcomed while walking on the camino
  • Only seeing a few other walkers
  • Making connections and friends on the Camino
  • Reaching Santiago and feeling sad
  • 2021 - A Holy Year on the Camino 
  • Processing her feeling of the journey 
  • Reaching Finisterre and seeing the sea
  • Going bed for 9 day rest and feeling broken 
  • Losing all her energy and needing time to recover
  • Climbing a spiritual/holy mountain 
  • Knowing it was time to get back walking
  • Not allowing herself to relax
  • Why it is about the journey 
  • Making the transition from walker to writer
  • Getting organised and the first step with writing
  • Getting home and what the final section of the journey was like
  • Deciding to do a mini challenge in January 2022
  • Final words of advice and key lessons from this challenge/experience.
Social Media
Support Ursula via Patreon 
Instagram  @onewomanwalks 
Facebook @OneWomanWalks
Twitter @WomanWalksWales
Past Episode - 26th May 2020 - Ursula Martin - Survived Ovarian Cancer - Walked 3,700 miles in Wales. Wrote a book.  
Aug 14, 2021
In May 2019, Nadhira Al Harthy became the first Omani woman and the second Omani to climb Mount Everest. 
The inspiration for wanting to climb Mt. Everest was meeting the first Omani man, Khalid Al Siyabi who summited in 2010. Nadhira was so inspired by his achievement, that she decided in 2017 that she too wanted to climb the highest mountain in the world. 
Up until this point Nadhira was not sporty and was not really that active, she was starting everything from zero. She had no knowledge of the mountains, and had never been climbing before. Nadhira gave herself two years to gain the skills and knowledge needed to achieve her dream. 
Khalid, was now a good friend and had become her mentor and trainer. He designed her physical training plan and had her running, hiking, climbing and lifting weights as well as working on her mindset. 
Nadhira kept all of this a secret from her friends and family and only told them two months before she headed off to Nepal in 2019. Whilst at Everest base camp, preparing to summit, she heard the sad news that Khalid, her trainer and mentor had suffered a stroke and passed away. Dealing with this loss, Nadhira decided to continue on with her summit attempt and wanted to reach the top to celebrate the man who had inspired her. 
Nadhira reached the summit of Mt. Everest of the 23rd May 2019, 9 years to the day after Khalid had summited.
Nadhira is one of a growing number of Arab women who are following their dreams of climbing mountains despite resistance from their families and society. Nadhira continues to inspire other Muslim women to step outside their comfort zone and to try new things, many of whom have now been encouraged to participate in outdoor sports after hearing her story.
Her next goal is to climb all of the 14 mountain peaks across the world that stand taller than 8,000m, dubbed by NASA as the Eight Thousanders.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Who is Nadhira
  • Coming from a big family
  • Not being that active when she was younger
  • Deciding to climb Mt. Everest in 2017
  • Telling the youth to try new thing and to be open minded for new experiences
  • Having 9 brothers and 6 sisters
  • Not having children
  • Having 32 nieces and 28 nephews
  • How her family have accepted her hiking and supported her
  • Where her idea to climb Mt. Everest came from
  • Why it was her destiny to climb Mt. Everest
  • Meeting Khalid al-Siyabi, the first man from Oman to climb Mt. Everest
  • Keeping her dream a secret from her friends and family 
  • Being coached by Khalid al-Siyabi and starting to hike and climb in Oman
  • Paying for Mt. Everest and managing to get half of the trip sponsored
  • Meeting the Ambassador of Nepal
  • Deciding to invest in herself 
  • When her family and friends found out 
  • Not caring what other people think
  • Dealing with the negativity and the risks
  • Knowing that her mum was praying for her on the mountain
  • What happened during 2017 and 2019
  • Making her training the number 1 priority 
  • Hating running but knowing she needed to for her stamina
  • Running 400K and doing the UTMB Oman 
  • Learning more about her body and figuring out her nutrition and hydration
  • The mountains in Oman 
  • Getting to Everest Base Camp in 2019 and not knowing anyone else
  • Being very quiet and keeping to herself at the start
  • Living there for 50 days
  • Putting herself first and being her own best friend
  • The mental side of the challenge and pushing herself hard
  • Learning that her coach and mentor Khalid al-Siyabi died while at base camp
  • The final push to the summit and making her dreams come true
  • Climbing Ama Dablam, in Nepal, (6,812 metres /22,349 ft)
  • Working with young people to inspire them
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why you have to work hard to achieve your dreams
Social Media
Instagram: @alharthynoor 
Aug 12, 2021
Ellen in her own words:
I was a late starter to living more adventurously: in my late-thirties I realised that maybe I hadn’t left it too late and began to push my boundaries.  
I gained my Hill and Moorland Leader qualification and after cycling a section of the Camino de Santiago in 2017 I set my sights on a cold adventure.  
With 42 being the answer to life, the universe and everything I planned and trained for an expedition on Svalbard in the high arctic in 2020 when I was 42.  
But just two weeks before leaving, covid cancelled everything. And cancelled again in 2021.  
The only thing to do was set a challenge I could do during lockdown and so the Cheshire Challenge was born.  
Searching for long distance walks local to home, I found there are 25 long distance trails that start or finish in Cheshire totalling 1500km and I’m walking them all.  
I love the wilder mountains and moors but lockdown has made me appreciate what is on my doorstep, but I still have my sights set on Svalbard. Third time lucky?
Listen to Ellen on the Tough Girl Podcast - New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - 
Make sure to subscribe 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 The Tough Girl Podcast and becoming a patron please visit -
Show notes
  • Leading a double life of adventure and engineering
  • Feeling as though she’d missed out on adventuring 
  • Getting into adventure in her mid thirties
  • What changed in her mid thirties 
  • Growing up in Cumbria
  • Starting to meet up with a friend in the Peak District
  • How Rando Girls came about
  • What Rando Girl means…
  • Developing her outdoor skills from navigation to map reading
  • How discovering the Tough Girl Podcast helped
  • Getting into climbing and joining the Chester Mountaineering Club 
  • Enjoying the learning process
  • Hill and Moorland Leader Qualification  
  • How long it took to get the qualification
  • Balancing the training, gaining the knowledge and having a life!
  • The dream to go to Svalbard, Norway
  • A cold adventure! North, South or going High
  • 42 - “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.”
  • Being interested in human powered adventures
  • Being inspired by Adelaide Goodeve
  • Training expedition to Svalbard with Newland Expeditions
  • Instructor - Helen Turton
  • Having everything cancelled because of Covid
  • Fingers crossed that it will go ahead in 2022
  • Being in the proper cold and learning how to ski
  • Approach to fitness and keeping motivated during local lockdown
  • The Cheshire Challenge - to walk all 25 long distance paths in Cheshire totalling 1,500km
  • The The Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) 
  • The 12hr Challenge (Inspired by Rae Red - Tough Girl Tribe)
  • The Wirral Circular Trail 
  • Wanting to hit 42km…. in 12hrs!
  • The toughest moment on the 12hr challenge
  • Not wanting to get injured
  • Having fun on the challenge 
  • Final push….. Final push!!!
  • Roller skiing on Skikes 
  • Tyre pulling with Evil Edna…
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram: @randogirl42 
Twitter: @randogirl42 
Aug 10, 2021
Sufiya worked in the aviation industry for almost 10 years before she started her running career in 2017 when she ran her first half marathon in Delhi. 
After starting running and realising the benefits for her health, it became her passion and she decided to quit her job and focus full time on running. Sufiya has combined her passion for running while promoting her message of HOPE (Humanity, Oneness, Peace, Equality) through her runs.
Sufiya is now a professional ultra-runner with three years of experience in ultra-running and long run expeditions.
In 2018, Sufiya became the fastest female to complete the Great Indian Golden Triangle Run (720 km in 16 days) and entered the India Book of Records. 
Taking forward her message of ‘HOPE’, Sufiya took on her next big challenging by deciding to run from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. She completed the run of 4,000 km in just 87 days in 2019 entered the Guinness Book of World Records! 
Sufiya shares more about her running journey and the challenges she has faced and overcome and also provides advice and top tips to help you with your running. 
Listen to Sufiya now as she shares her story 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
Show notes
  • Not using a surname
  • Living in Delhi and working as a member of the ground staff at the Delhi International Airport for 10 years
  • Leaving her job in 2018
  • Wanting to make a change in her life
  • How her job was affecting her health
  • Getting into running in 2017
  • Taking part in marathons and wanting to explore more places
  • Running her first ultra marathon 52km
  • Running The Golden Triangle which connects 3 main cities of India (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur)
  • 2018 - “Run for Humanity and Run for Peace” - spreading good vibes and positivity
  • Not coming from a sports background
  • Deciding to run from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in 2019 in 87 days
  • Having to choose between her job and running - choosing running!
  • Not being financially strong and starting crowd funding
  • Defining HOPE - (Humanity, Oneness, Peace, & Equality)
  • 2021 - Running the Indian Golden Quadrilateral Road
    (6000 km in 110 days, 23 hours)
  • Why running is like meditation
  • Running as a woman in India 
  • Getting lots of support from the local people 
  • Being very positive
  • Being inspired by her parents
  • Being inspired by Michelle Kakade who ran the Golden Quadrilateral in 194 days 
  • Logistics of The Great Indian Triangle Run
  • Running on a small budget 
  • How her body coped with running 45km everyday
  • Feeling tired and exhausted
  • Not having a coach and not being strong
  • Dealing with an IT Band injury
  • Doing yoga and meditation and working on having a positive mind
  • Paying for her running and lifestyle
  • Struggling to get sponsorship and dealing with financial problems
  • Having 6 months to train for the Kashmir to Kanyakumari run (4,000km)
  • People helped by the people while on the road
  • Dealing with a collapsed lung and ending up in the hospital for 5 days
  • Not being able to stand up
  • Dealing with bad traffic, pollution and construction works
  • Why it was more than running and a world record
  • Her mission and message of HOPE - (Humanity, Oneness, Peace, & Equality)
  • Wanting to contribute to her country 
  • Nutrition and not following a proper diet while on the run
  • Eating the local food and taking protein powder, and BCAA during expeditions
  • Running in the heat and the humidity of India
  • Feeling happy with her life and the decisions she’s made
  • Planning a big project for 2023/2024 - Running around the world and planning the route
  • Hell Race - running 500 km in 5 days at elevation
  • Needing to acclimatise her body and spend time in the mountains
  • Being active on social media
  • Filming all of her runs and sharing them on Youtube
  • Final worlds of advice to motivate and inspire you
  • The power of believing in yourself
Social Media
Instagram: @sufiyasufirunner
Twitter: @sufirunner 
Youtube: SufiyaandVikasWorld 
Aug 7, 2021

Vici is a University administrator who finds her happy place in a pair of running shoes. She's been running for over 10 years, sparked by the dream to join the thousands of people at the start line of the London Marathon. She finally got her London medal in 2016 and has been inspired to push her limits even further with ultra distances and tackling trail in the hills and glens of Scotland.

Vici wants to inspire the everyday woman to lace up and get out the door to feel those endorphins and appreciate how incredible the human body is, and how a strong mind can help you to unlock your potential.

On Vici's office wall, you'll find countless race numbers and medals to remind her of the many happy memories she's made whilst both chasing personal bests and just having a good time, enjoying the scenery.

As well as running, Vici has also walked the West Highland Way (with her husband) and the Great Glen Way (solo) and is planning an epic adventure exploring some of Scotland's most beautiful islands.

Vici is learning that it's totally okay to give time to self-care, and putting herself first.

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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

Show notes

  • Living in Glasgow and turning 30!
  • Running for 10+ years
  • Chasing personal bests and running for fun
  • Life before pre-lockdown
  • Walking the West Highland Way and the Great Glenn Way
  • Growing up in Yorkshire and not being sporty
  • Starting to want to explore more of the world
  • Being inspired by the Olympics and runners in the London Marathon
  • Training for the London Marathon 
  • Race to the Castle 
  • Wanting to do a new running adventure and deciding on a 100K/62 miles 
  • Telling friends and family about her goals
  • Inspiring her friends to get into running
  • Having an event to help with motivation
  • Her passion and love for running
  • Working with running coach Jen Scotney
  • Making the transition from running a marathon to an ultra marathon
  • Tailoring run training to her menstrual cycle and heart rate
  • Making the transition from running a marathon to an ultra marathon
  • The benefits of going down the coach route
  • What a typical training week looked like
  • Recovery after runs
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • Approaching each run as a good day out
  • Taking it one checkpoint at a time
  • Breaking the challenge down 
  • Having a plan on what to do at each checkpoint
  • What to do when you don’t feel like running
  • Being inspired by Sophie Radcliffe
  • Feeling tired during taper time
  • Thoughts on how the race will go
  • Thinking about the finish line 
  • Having a mantra!
  • “I am strong - I can do this”
  • Arriving at the start line at 8.30am
  • Going off 1 by 1 and having to get in the queue….
  • Wanting to just start the race
  • Feeling relief once starting
  • Starting out really well
  • Dealing with a lot of hills at the start
  • What the terrain was like
  • Breaking the race down into the checkpoints
  • Having a plan for the checkpoints
  • Counting up and down from 20
  • Starting to get hard at the 40km mark
  • Dealing with rubbish weather, mud and bottle necks at styles
  • Having an internal mental battle 
  • Not drinking enough water and eating too many cereal bars….
  • Having positive moments in the dark moments
  • Having stomach problems 
  • Going past 26.2 miles
  • Feeling super strong and amazing
  • Reaching the half way point
  • Deciding to pull out of the race
  • Feeling broken
  • 14k to the next checkpoint
  • Feeling heartbroken
  • Needing to make a decision which was right for me
  • Process the DNF
  • Feeling proud of the training that’s been done
  • Returning the kit
  • Why time is a great healer
  • Running 57.7 km
  • Advice for women who have a fear of failure
  • Why failure is not a dirty word
  • Using a What If List
  • Anna McNuff - Ted Talk - What if I Fail? 
  • Advice for women who want to get into ultra running
  • Choosing a challenge that makes your heart sing
  • Going public with her goal and the lessons learned
  • The Dramathon - Running for Whiskey!!
  • Future plans and races 
  • Final words of advice - “Do more of what makes you happy”


Social Media


Instagram: @vicidoesstuff

Twitter: @vicidoesstuff


Aug 5, 2021
Jasmine is based in San Jose, California and recently graduated with her Bachelor's Degree in Business & Environmental Studies.
In 2020 Jasmine was inspired by Beau Mills and his 24hr Marathon Challenge - she loved this idea of running 1.1 mile every hour and decided to do her own version of the challenge. Jasmine wanted to raise awareness around issues including police brutality, running alone as a female and Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). 
Jasmine dedicated each mile she ran to a different individual who has been a victim of police brutality or violence.
Jasmine first started running in college and soon discovered an issue with the hydration options available for her to take on longer runs. Soon after, she founded  Vessel Athletics, a functional activewear brand for runners, launching the world’s first Hydroshirt, a shirt that integrates a removable hydration pack, allowing athletes to seamlessly hydrate on runs, without the need for a heavy hydration backpack, flimsy water belt, or bottle. 
Her passion lies in entrepreneurship, community building, social and environmental advocacy, and of course, running.
Jasmine share more about her life, her passion for running and provided top tips and advice to help you take your first step to becoming a running. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe 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
Show notes
  • Who is Jasmine
  • Growing up in Northern California 
  • Being sporty and active
  • Playing basketball
  • Being inspired by her Aunt
  • Her dreams and ambitions
  • Wanting to start her own business and wanting to be an entrepreneur
  • Hating running while at high school
  • Enjoying running more at College
  • Being shy and introverted and wanting to do something on her own
  • Signing up for local running events
  • Finding a love for running 
  • Connecting with the running community
  • Running for the mental and health benefits
  • Doing her first 10K alone
  • Training for her first marathon
  • Dealing with knee injuries
  • Starting her own running group
  • Seeing the value in online communities 
  • Running Industry Diversity Coalition. (RIDC) 
  • Being a Community Lead for RIDC
  • #StopAsianHate
  • Talking about the bigger social issues and learning from other people
  • Advice for women who feel that they don’t fit in
  • Inviting your friends to run and hike
  • Taking on a 24hr Marathon Challenge
  • Being inspired by Beau Miles - A Mile an Hour: Running a different kind of marathon 
  • Dedicating every mile to a victim 
  • The epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW)
  • Being supported by her friends and family 
  • Virtual runs and virtual challenges
  • Being motivated to go running
  • Founding Vessel Athletics 
  • The idea behind the product
  • Launching the product on Kickstarter
  • Looking for product testers in the USA
  • Final words of advice for new runners
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. 
Social Media
Vessel Athletics - is creating the world’s first Hydroshirt®, a patent-pending activewear shirt that holds a removable hydration pack, allowing runners and athletes to seamlessly hydrate.
Instagram @vesselathletics
Personal - @thejasruns 
Running Industry Diversity Coalition: Creating a more equitable and inclusive running industry.  
The Running Industry Diversity Coalition is a newly formed coalition of running brands, running retailers, and runners representing Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) who are working together to increase diversity within the running industry. We are brought together by our love of running and desire to cease the existing systemic racism in the running industry and running community. The national coalition is a working group that seeks to challenge the current status while unifying and amplifying the inclusion, access and roles of BIPOC in our industry.
Website - 
Instagram @runningdiversity
Aug 4, 2021
Hannah "The Destroyer" Jennings is a Strength & Mental Process Coach.
For over the past 10 years Hannah has been lifting weights and building an unstoppable mental process to ensure she performs at her best in both competitions and in life. 
Hannah has competed at State, National, and World Level Championships. She has been the West Virgina State Lightweight Women (LW) Strongman Champion and holds the World Record in the Mouser Block Press (LW category).
Hannah is a coach who helps female athletes to bust past mental blocks and to level up. She helps women understand what having the right mindset and building strength can truly do for them. 
Hannah has a Masters in Sport Science with a background in Powerlifting and Strongman. 
“Once the mental process is in place training and life take on a new meaning. The fear, insecurity, self doubt, and frustration are gone and confidence and strength take its place.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Who is Hannah and what she does
  • Growing up in a large family 
  • Growing up with 7 brothers and 2 sisters
  • Getting into strength at 15 years old
  • Wanting to get stronger for soccer
  • Role models during her teenage years
  • Being inspired by her older sister and Joan of Arc 
  • Going from homeschooling to high school
  • Wanting to become a vet
  • Getting into lifting competitively 
  • The journey to competitive lifting 
  • Dealing with injury
  • Loving how lifting made her feel
  • Starting in powerlifting
  • Making the transition into strongman
  • Feeling powerful and badass
  • What’s involved in powerlifting and strongman
  • Loving the squat
  • The mental side of competitions - before, during and after
  • Dealing with nerves
  • Focusing on her mental process 
  • Breaking it down into smaller steps
  • Handling negative self talk
  • How her confidence has changed
  • Training with periods
  • Am I lazy or tired?
  • Top tips for recovery
  • Why sleep is so important
  • What to do when hitting a strength plateau
  • Learning the art of Patience 
  • Nutrition and fueling her workouts
  • Working with a meal prep company 
  • Common themes around mindset
  • Future dreams and goals
  • Performing feats of strength 
  • Myths around strength
  • Changing the mindset of women and encouraging them to lift weight
  • Advice for women who want to start lifting 
  • The power of getting on a program and stick to it for 4 weeks
  • Keeping yourself accountable
  • The benefits of working with a coach
  • Where her nickname came from
  • Turning the negative to the positive
  • Final words of advice to help with your self confidence and self belief 


Social Media


Instagram: @hannahthedestroyer

Facebook: @hannahjennings16


Aug 4, 2021
Sam Ortiz (she/her) is a plus size, Latinx, rock climber, mountaineer, and adventure photographer based in WA state. Sam is the founder of Climb Big, a group she started to make climbing more accessible to fat folx after struggling to find a place in the outdoors, herself.
Sam hosts meet-ups with other female and non-binary plus size folx to offer a safer space to share her outdoor skills and discuss tips on finding gear for plus size bodies.
Sam has done plus size modelling for outdoor brands like REI, Eddie Bauer, and Alder Apparel.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe 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
Show notes
  • Who is Sam and where she is based
  • Growing up in Kentucky
  • Growing up with 2 older sisters
  • Growing up near the Red River Gorge
  • Not feeling welcome in the outdoors
  • Finding her footing in the outdoor world
  • Not seeing people who looked like her 
  • Her dreams as a little girl
  • Getting into photography through high school
  • Being drawn to the outdoors
  • Trying to figure out her place in the outdoor
  • Applying for AmeriCorps
  • Going to Juneau, Alaska
  • Being surrounded by nature 
  • Giving herself permission to be person she thought she could be
  • Proving to herself that she could do hard things
  • Deciding to try and climb the mountain
  • Being ok with failing and knowing that she can come back and try again
  • How her journey in rock climbing started
  • The importance of having fun
  • Deciding to sign up to the AmeriCorps program 
  • Graduating college and knowing what she didn’t want to do
  • Signing an 11 month contract
  • Climbing her first mountain and what it meant
  • The next step in her journey 
  • Moving to Washington State
  • Choosing to do another year of AmeriCorps
  • Her love affair with the outdoors
  • Lessons learned from the outdoors that have been applied to everyday life
  • Learning and developing new skills for the outdoors
  • The power of having a mentor
  • The Mountaineers 
  • Being an Ambassador for Pacific Northwest Outdoor Women 
  • Fat Girls Hiking 
  • Starting to host meet ups for Climb Big 
  • The issues with gear for plus size/fat climbers
  • Wanting to show other women that their body is capable 
  • Breaking down the barriers for fat and plus-sized people in getting outside
  • Bennett Rahn - @bennettrahn 
  • Dr Meghan Banker @pdxoutdoorchiro 
  • Dreams and goals for Climb Big
  • Being inspired by Mirna Valerio - @themirnavator 
  • Jenny Bruso - white queer fat femme writer & hiker taking body liberation outdoors. @jennybruso
  • Unlikely Hikers - A diverse outdoor community, hiking group & podcast for the underrepresented hiker @unlikelyhikers
  • Asking companies for gear that they are not making
  • Creating a Climb Big Community on Facebook 
  • Final words of advice from Sam 
“You are allowed to take up space, you are allowed to go at your own pace, you are allowed to do something and to really make it your own, even if you don’t see anyone else who looks like you doing it. That there is such beauty in deciding that you want to do something and going after it. And you are allowed to do that, you are allowed to try, and you are allowed to fail while you do it as well. You don’t always have to succeed and that’s ok. You’re allowed to fail and to try again, and try again. And it doesn't mean that you, aren’t good enough and you are not worthy, it just means you are a beginner and it’s ok to be a beginner, so you are allowed to fail.”
Social Media
Find Sam on Instagram @SamOrtizPhoto
At Climb Big, we’re interested in making rock climbing and the outdoors more accessible to fat folx.
The barriers for plus size adventurers are huge, including a lack of representation and access, not to mention an incredibly limited selection of the gear and clothing that are necessary for safety in the outdoors.
Climb Big Website - 
Find Climb Big on Instagram @Climb.Big 
Join the Climb Big Community group on Facebook 
Aug 4, 2021
In 2018, Denise Mueller-Korenek set the world record for paced bicycle land speed, traveling at an average of 183.932 MPH, becoming the fastest cyclist on earth. 
Denise smashed the previous record of 147.7 MPH set in 1995, and in doing so, became the first and only woman in history to hold the world record, which was first established in 1899. 
Denise also has multiple other athletic achievements to her name, including:
  • US Women’s Human Powered Bicycle Record holder (non motor paced) at 70.6mph (Sept 2019)
  • 15 National Cycling Championships (Mt. Biking, Road & Velodrome)
  • Ironman and Half Ironman finisher (2013)
  • 2 x Jr. World Championship medalist in Mt. Biking in Italy (Downhill & Cross Country)
  • Completed over 50 half marathons in 29 states + DC
  • Completed over 9 marathons on 4 continents, including Antarctica (2013) & The Great Wall of China (2017)
Denise is an inspiration to all cyclists, and continues to push the boundaries of what is humanly possible. Listen to Denise on the Tough Girl Podcast. 
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe 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
Show notes
  • Being based in San Diego in California
  • Her claim to fame
  • Being an athlete her entire life
  • Her passions and interests at a young age
  • Coming from a high achieving family
  • Getting her first bike
  • Entering her first 100 mile charity race with her dad
  • Riding from San Fransisco to San Diego
  • Meeting her Cycling Coach John Howard
  • Role models in the sport
  • Her dreams of becoming a professional athlete
  • Creating vision cards
  • Dealing with performance pressure/anxiety 
  • 1991 - Going to the World Championships to Italy as a Junior
  • Deciding to leave the sport
  • Making the transition out of the sport and what happened next
  • Meeting her husband and having children 
  • Running a family business
  • Keeping healthy but not challenging herself physically
  • Being inspired by the women at the gym
  • Signing up for her first Marathon
  • Building on each success
  • Dealing with anxiety related to extreme competition
  • Looking for the next challenge and next opportunity
  • Being the first female to go after the land speed record on a bike
  • Needing to become a National Champion
  • Doing hypnotherapy 
  • What the land speed record is
  • What’s going through her head at that speed
  • Why there is nothing apart from that moment
  • Dealing with the dangers and managing the risks
  • Having trust in her team
  • Physical preparation and being in the shape possible to take on this challenge
  • Setting a new goal - Running half marathons in every state of America
  • Having a gratitude board
  • Advice around setting goals
Social Media
Twitter @FireCycle 
Instagram @FireCycle 
Facebook  @FireCycle
Aug 4, 2021
Jessica is a Detroit-born Ugandan-American who got her start with traveling when she was just four years old, and in October 2019, she became the first Black Woman to travel to every country in the world. 
Jessica is a cultural ambassador, writer, photographer, travel expert and entrepreneur, whose work is about changing the travel narrative and making the travel space more inclusive. She is the founder and CEO of The Catch, a lifestyle brand featuring goods acquired during her global adventures. 
Jessica is committed to raising cultural awareness and encourages people to think positively about other countries and the world at large, so that we don’t miss out on opportunities to have amazing experiences with our neighbours. 
In March 2019, she was named one of the 30 Most Powerful Women in Travel by Conde Nast Traveler. 
Jessica is currently working on her first book, to be published by National Geographic in May 2022.  
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe 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
Show notes
  • Being a liver and lover of life
  • Being known as the first Black woman to travel to all 195 countries in the world
  • Being a Global Citizen
  • Growing up in Detroit, Michigan 
  • Travelling a lot as a family
  • Going to Canada when she was 4
  • Wanting to become a lawyer when she was younger
  • Getting into travel and wanting to be an entrepreneur 
  • Working and living all over the world
  • Figuring things out on her own
  • Turning 25 and spending 9 months travelling
  • What draws her to travel
  • Being curious about the world and finding beauty in the mundane
  • Magical moment with people while travelling
  • Planning and paying for the travel
  • Making space for travel 
  • Being location independent and working for herself
  • Doing a Go Fund Me and raising $28,000 
  • Dealing with burnout from travel
  • Visiting Iraq
  • Having a home base in Detroit
  • How 2020 made Jessica appreciate stillness
  • Top tips for women who want to travel more
  • Why you should just go
  • Corey Lee @CurbFreeCorylee 
  • Char @travelingblackwidow 
  • Her biggest challenge while travelling 
  • Swimming with Wales in Tonga
  • Visiting high risk countries….
  • Travelling with open, positive energy
  • Travel routines and what a typical day looks like
  • Writing a book about her travel experiences 
  • 100 stories - 100 countries being published by National Geographic in 2022
  • Dealing with Covid and not being able to travel
  • Visiting the last country 
  • Completing her challenge!
  • Spending time in Uganda
  • Enjoying solo travel
  • Wanting to settle down at some point
  • Practical advice for women
  • How to follow along with Jessica
  • What’s behind the website name…
Social Media
Instagram: @jessicanabongo 
Facebook: @thecatchmeifyoucan 
Twitter: @thecmiyc
Aug 4, 2021
During this episode, I reflect back on the final 6 months of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. 
I share more about my next challenge - the Tough Girl UK Adventure Series. Plus answer a variety of questions from patrons and members of the tough girl tribe. 
I share more about what I’ve been up to during the covid months, how my goals have changed. I reflect on some of the smaller challenges, such as the #MarchDailyMile challenge with Inov-8, the 12hr walking challenges, doing 30 days of Yin Yoga and walking the Sandstone Trail (55k) in 1 day!
Follow along with - The Tough Girl UK Adventure Series is sponsored by Cicerone #ChallengeWithCicerone.
Learn more about Cicerone - visit their website 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • More info about today’s episode 
  • Looking back over the past 12 months and looking forward to the next 6 months
  • The purpose of these episodes 
  • Stopping to reflect on what’s been achieved
  • Reflecting on May/June 2020
  • Representation, diversity and inclusion
  • FB post - 5th June 2020
  • “Words are not enough - actions have to be taken to make change happen.”
  • The actions I’ve been taking to improve the diversity on the Tough Girl Podcast
  • How it works with the TGP  and having to preload content
  • August 2020 - milestone month - 50,270 downloads in 1 month….
  • The power of the stories being heard around the world
  • August 2020 - starting back at the gym with a PT
  • Taking the time to think about what else I could/should be doing with my life
  • Looking at doing -  Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf) by Public Works at Middlesex University 
  • Women’s Adventure Institute - working on the vision 
  • Having Rosie Swale Pope come to stay for my birthday in September
  • 3rd Lockdown in January 2021 and dealing with the UK Winter
  • Feeling sad in February 2021
  • Trying out the new Inov-8 Terra Ultra G270 Trainers to test out 
  • Running in March #MarchDailyMile Challenge and having a purpose
  • May - Walking with Ellen Piercy  #CheshireChallenge doing the Wirral Circular Trail 
  • June - Yin Yoga 60hrs online course - not finished yet!
  • July 24th walking the Sandstone Trail (55k) in 1 day 
  • Having the vaccine!
  • Thinking about the 6th Year Anniversary of the Tough Girl Podcast - 4th August 2021
  • Looking at potentially challenges I could do in the UK…
  • Reaching out to the Cicerone about sponsoring the Tough Girl UK Adventure Series
  • Plans for August - Walking the Anglesea Coastal Path with Alex Mason
  • Going to Run Fest Run (27th - 29th August 2021) with 2 tribe member 
  • Winchester being the start of The Pilgrims Way 
  • Heading home for my 40th Birthday 
  • Heading up to Scotland - going to stay with Vici Royle in Scotland
  • Plans for September
  • How busy the past 2 weeks have been, and being included in 3 books
  • Ask An Adventure: Live Adventurously, Be Creative By Alastair Humphreys 
  • The Story Powered Speaker By Norman Bell 
  • Run Like A Girl By Danielle Brown
  • Money and patrons  2021 - 259 active patrons 
  • Debt, Saving up for a new laptop, putting money into an emergency fund, saving for the Dprof
  • Working with Protein Rebel 
  • Collaborating with Hazel Oakes - Muralist and Illustrator 
  • Facebook Live for the Tribe - 4th August 6pm
  • The Tough Girl Podcast total downloads 1,782,000 - Will we reach 2 Million by the end of the year…
  • Has the podcast reached a plateau? Releasing 3 episodes a week in August and September 
  • Being interviewing on other people’s podcasts 
  • Am I approachable? 
  • Answering Patrons & Tribe Questions
  • Podcasting advice and benefits of podcasting
  • Advice for supporting the Tough Girl message
  • Final Summary
Social Media
Instagram: @toughgirlchallenges 
Facebook: @ToughGirlChallenges 
Twitter: @_tough_girl
Take a listen to the solo reflections episodes which I’ve done over the past few years. 
7th Aug 2020 - Sarah Williams - Reflections on 2019 & and the start of 2020. 
4th Aug 2019 - Reflections on 2018 and the start of 2019. Plus plans for Tough Girl Challenges. 
30th Dec 2017 - Reflecting on 2017 and the plans for 2018 
30th Dec 2016 - Reflections for 2016 & Plans for 2017
Aug 3, 2021
Milbry C. Polk (BA, honors) Radcliffe College, Harvard University, has lectured in more 150 schools, universities and public affairs organizations.  She co-founded and was executive director of Wings WorldQuest, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women at the leading edge of science and discovery.  She also founded and directed programs for the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the American Indian. She was Vice-Chair of the Conference on Affordable World Security (Newseum, March 27-28, 2012).
Among her writings are Women of Discovery (Library Journal award Best Books of 2001 and School Library Journal, Best Books); Egyptian Mummies (Margaret A. Edwards Award best books); editor, The Looting of the Iraq Museum, Baghdad; and Reviews and Contributing Editor of The Explorers Journal, 1998-the present.  She co-founded with Imagination Celebration, and wrote yearly curriculum for nine years for The Art of Exploration, a program for the Public Schools of Ft. Worth, Texas. 
She led or participated in expeditions to Prince William Sound, Alaska; the Western Desert of Egypt (National Geographic); Yemen; Southern Sudan; Saudi Arabia; Iran; Pakistan; John River, Alaska; Nepal; Brazilian coast; Greenland; Baffin Island; Devon Island; India (American Museum of Natural History); Chinese Tibet; NW Greenland, and the Andaman Sea.  
Ms. Polk's honors include: The Sweeney Medal, The Explorers Club, Capt. J-E Bernier Medal, Royal Canadian Geographic Society (2015), Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award (2011); Alumnae of the Year, Madeira School (2011), Environmental Leadership Award, Unity College;  Womens' ENews “Leader of the 21st Century”, Who's Who, Women of the Year Award; Honorary Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Fellow of The Explorers Club and  Fellow of Wings WorldQuest. She is on the Board of The Explorers Club, serves on numerous Advisory Boards and served for ten years on the Board of Governors of the National Arts Club.  
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast 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
Show notes
  • Introduction
  • Her background
  • Being born in Oxford, UK and growing up between Europe, Egypt and America
  • Becoming a photo journalist in the 70s & 80s
  • Working with Margaret Mead 
  • Thinking of doing a PHD at Oxford
  • Figuring out what she truly wanted to do 
  • Following the route of Alexander the Great
  • Starting to put together expeditions and selling them to magazines
  • Working in the Middle East & Asia
  • Wanting to be an explorer from a young age
  • Using her initials to apply for a guiding expedition course
  • Life as a photojournalist
  • Respecting the local culture
  • Taking photos of Yemen
  • How exploration has changed over the past 40/50 years
  • The importance of curiosity 
  • Getting married and getting pregnant
  • How life changed after having a baby
  • Being introduced to women explorers
  • Nicole Maxwell
  • Book: Witch Doctor's Apprentice, Maxwell, Nicole, 1990  
  • Having a library of 1,500 books on women explorers and adventurers
  • Going to find women explorers from India
  • Wanting to create a Women Explorers Library
  • Wanting to keep the collection of books together
  • The importance of learning women’s stories
  • Being driven by your passion
  • Reading everything and being fascinated by history
  • How Wings WorldQuest was started
  • How it evolved
  • Starting to focus more on education
  • Women of the Deep, Explorers Club
  • Why it’s an exciting time to be a young woman
  • Joining the Explorers Club in 1994 as a Fellow and now being on the board
  • Working with Adventure Canada
  • Going outside her comfort zone
  • Doing adventures/expeditions without technology 
  • Needing to be careful 
  • Keeping positive during tough situations
  • Building a fellowship of women
  • Women supporting women 
  • Future expeditions 
  • Adventure Science - #domorewithyourfitness 
  • Writing book reviews and writing a book on her great grandmother
  • New book - Women of the Arctic 
  • Babes & Death
  • Women on pilgrimages 
  • Going back to Oxford to do her PhD
  • Needing to update her website 
  • Final words of advice 
  • Figuring out your passion
  • Why there is no such thing as failure
  • Listen to your inner self 
  • Kristin Gates 
Social Media
Wing WorldQuest - WINGS was formed in 2003 to identify and support the discoveries and accomplishments of women explorers and scientists and to inspire the next generation of problem solvers.
Website - 
Instagram - @wingsworldquest
Facebook - @WINGSWorldQuest 
Twitter - @wingsworldquest