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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: September, 2021
Sep 28, 2021
Jenny Valentish has been devoted to dancing around the void for many decades, first in the pub and then the boxing ring as a kickboxer. Jenny is the author of the acclaimed Woman of Substance: A Journey into Addiction and Treatment and her new book, Everything Harder Than Everyone Else: Why Some of Us Push Our Bodies to Extremes.
 
About the book: There is a part of human nature compelled to test our own limits. But what happens when this part comes to define us? 
 
When journalist Jenny Valentish wrote Woman of Substances, a book about addiction, she noticed that people who treated drug-taking like an Olympic sport would often hurl themselves into a pursuit like marathon running upon giving up. 
 
What stayed constant was the need to push their boundaries. Everything Harder Than Everyone Else follows people doing the things that most couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t. By delving into their extreme behaviour, theres a lot that us mere mortals can learn about the human condition. 
 
The athlete using childhood adversity as grist for the mill. The wrestler turning restlessness into curated ultraviolence. The bare-knuckle boxer whose gnarliest opponent is her ego. The dancer who could not separate her identity from her practice until at deaths door. The bodybuilder exacting order on a life that was once chaotic. And the porn star-turned-fighter for whom sex and violence are two sides of the same coin. 
 
Their insights lead Jenny on a compulsive, sometimes reckless journey of immersion journalism.
 
* CONTENT WARNING - Drugs, Sex, Self Harm, Cutting Weight, Eating Disorders, Obsession, Suffering, Addiction.
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Jenny?
  • Growing up in Slough
  • Being a journalist and an author
  • Writing her 4th book - Everything Harder Than Everyone Else
  • Being interested in the mental side of endurance 
  • Her starting point for the book
  • The link between addiction and endurance racing
  • Asking the question - how far can I push myself
  • Pushing your body to the extreme
  • The anticipation of entering a race and the anticipation of getting a drug to get high
  • Getting a sense of validation from other people
  • Why balance is over rated?
  • Having obsessions from childhood
  • How her obsessions changed when she got into her teens and early twenties
  • Finding kickboxing, and training 5x a week
  • Finding a positive obsession
  • Starting to research the book 
  • Finding people who would trust her
  • Why am I doing this thing - which puts a lot of pressure on my body?
  • Super elite athletes and their link to past suffering in childhood 
  • The Dark Side of Top Level Sport: An Autobiographic Study of Depressive Experiences in Elite Sport Performers 
  • Suffering as an adult athlete and being able to push through the pain
  • Why certain sports attract certain personalities 
  • The rise of women taking up strength sports
  • The feeling of POWER and women wanting to take up physical space
  • Social Media Project - #YouLookLikeAMan 
  • Her journey in kickboxing
  • Taking on her first amateur fight
  • What it was like being in the ring….
  • The fear of getting back into the ring
  • Wanting to be a threat in the ring
  • The ability to suffer
  • Learning How to Suffer with the Queen of Pain: My Conversation With OCR Super-athlete Amelia Boone
  • Over exercising and using sport as a way to sanction diet and what you consume
  • The Recovery I needed - By Amelia Boone 
  • Book: Women of Substance: A Journey Into Drugs, Alcohol and Treatment 
  • Self care?
  • Knowing your Why 
  • The next book!
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.jennyvalentish.com 
 
Instagram: @jennyvalentish_public 
 
Twitter: @JennyValentish 
 
Sep 25, 2021
Verna is the founder of Native Women Running, a Hoka Global Ambassador, she serves on the Running Diversity Board, and represents several organizations: Red Earth Running Co, UltraRunning Magazine, and Native Women's Wilderness.
 
Verna in her own words: 
 
“My name is Verna Volker and I am from the Navajo Nation. 
 
My clans are Tódích'íi'nii (Bitterwater) nishlíi, Hashtl'ishnii (Mud People) bashishchiin,  Ta'neeszahnii (Tangle) dashicheii, and Tó' áheedlíinii (Water Flows Together) dashinalí. 
 
I grew up in the Dzilnaoodilii area of New Mexico, but currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota with my husband and four children. I work as a second grade teacher.
 
In 2009, I started my running journey to lose weight, but it has turned into a quest to find out who I am internally. 
 
This journey has taken me from a newbie runner to a marathoner and recently to an ultra-marathoner when I finished my first Ultra 50-mile race. 
 
My desire is to use my running to inspire others.”
 
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Introducing herself in Navajo
  • Who is Verna 
  • How the outdoors played apart of her life growing up 
  • Loving sports but not being into running
  • Why Verna got into running
  • Signing up for her first Half Marathon in August 2009
  • Struggling with her weight
  • Falling in love with running
  • How her running journey progressed
  • Putting herself first and not feeling guilty
  • Having a 4th child
  • Becoming an early morning runner
  • Waking up at 4.15am…. to go running
  • Having female role models at the start of her running journey 
  • Native Women Running - Founded on Jan 23rd 2018
  • The lack of visibility for Native women runners
  • Not seeing women who looked like her
  • Using the power of instagram to create change
  • How Native Women Running has evolved over the past 3 years
  • Inter-generational trauma and the power of running to heal
  • Creating a call to action - MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women)
  • May 5th - National Day of Awareness for MMIW
  • Using running to heal trauma
  • The murder of native children and finding the reminds of native children in residential schools
  • Connecting with a running community
  • Coping with the trauma 
  • Being resilient and being in a leadership position
  • Why it’s ok to detach yourself from social media
  • Magical moments while running
  • Deciding to run her first ultra marathon 50k in 2018
  • Running a 50 miler in October 2019
  • Why the ultra journey has been mental
  • Seeing her little girl at the finish line
  • Training and planning for ultra runs
  • Meeting her coach via Instagram
  • What a typical training week looks like
  • Keeping motivated to go running when not in the right frame of mind
  • Training for her next 100K (62 miles) race
  • Mental tips and tricks for running an ultra
  • Dedicating miles to lost love ones
  • Teaching 2nd grade and how working for Hoka is becoming a full time job
  • Advice for women who want to get into running
  • The power of being patient with yourself 
  • Taking the next step to running an ultra
  • What hozho means
  • Final words of advice from Verna
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @hozhorunner4 
 
Native Women Running - Visibility, inspiration and community of native women runners on and off the reservation/reserve. Community. Inspiration. Motivation. Visibility.  #nativewomenrunning 
 
Website: www.nativewomenrunning.com 
 
Instagram: @native_women_running 
 
Facebook: @nativewomenrunning 
 
Sep 23, 2021
In the spring of 2018, at the age of 57, Kathy Elkind walked the Grande Randonnée Cinq (GR5) with her husband of 27 years. The 2,286K (1,400-mile) journey starts at the North Sea in The Netherlands and goes through Belgium, Luxembourg, and the whole length of France through the Alps to end at the warm Mediterranean in Nice.
 
Kathy always longed for an epic adventure, but the time was never right. 
 
Finally, her children had flown the nest, and she had shifted from a fertile body to a not fertile body – What could this new body do? 
 
It was the perfect time for a quest: to pause, reflect and explore. Could her marriage sustain and thrive on a long walk?
 
After two months on the GR5, they entered the mighty Alps—five weeks of alpine views, mountain refuges, and exertion. Her walking became more than meditative; she fell into an ethereal pace where she became the air and the landscape. In her own words: “Life was not about me. It was about the beauty of the world. This truth was what I had longed for but did not know.”
 
At home, she stepped into the last third of her Life, more in love with her husband, accepting the unknown, knowing her power, and brave enough to write a book one step at a time (she has dyslexia and did not learn to read until I was in 7th grade).
 
Kathy has come to believe it’s necessary for women entering the last third of their life to experience a quest or challenge. It can be anything they love – going to 25 art museums, swimming or dancing 50 days in a row. There is a unique challenge for every woman.
 
Kathy is an Eating Psychology Coach, a Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion, and owner of Elkind Nourishment. 
 
Kathy helps women feel their emotions instead of eating their emotions and feel comfortable in their bodies. She is writing a memoir about her adventure.
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Kathy and what she does
  • Wanting to go on a big adventure
  • Finding the right time to go travelling
  • Wanting to take a pause in life
  • Being married for 27 years 
  • Stepping into the next phase of her life
  • Being exposed to the outdoors from an early age
  • Never having the guts or the time to do a big thru hike
  • Struggling with overeating 
  • Having trouble with reading and struggling in school
  • Using food to numb emotions and to calm her nerves 
  • Struggling with shame and food 
  • Becoming a teacher and raising her kids
  • Becoming an eating psychology coach
  • Paying attention to the emotions underneath and learning to be with them
  • Studying self compassion 
  • Being mindful
  • Placing your hand on your heart and chaining your voice
  • The power of speaking to yourself and being gentle to yourself
  • Learning how to be compassionate to yourself
  • The GR5 Trail 
  • Making the decision to go on the hike
  • Going through menopause 
  • Moving from running to walking 
  • Planning and preparation before the trip
  • Making the adventure your own
  • Deciding to bike the 1st week in the Netherland
  • Starting the GR5 at the end of April, beginning of May
  • Doing a preamble in Italy for a few weeks before
  • Wanting to slow down 
  • Listening to her body and using her intuition 
  • Learning how to sleep in a different bed every night
  • Being concerned about hiking in the Alps and dealing with the elevation
  • Staying mindful and being in the present
  • Connecting the rhythm of your breath to your walking pace
  • The magical moment and the beauty of the walks 
  • The lessons learned from walking the GR5
  • Ready to do some backpacking and camping
  • Feeling strong and powerful
  • Writing a book about her experience 
  • The impact of the walk on her marriage
  • Knowing each others strengths and weaknesses
  • Daily Routine on the walk
  • Top tips for taking on the GR5
  • Adjusting back to normal life in America 
  • Final words of advice for other women who want to go on an adventure 
  • Why it’s never too late
  • The power of brainstorming 
 
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.elkindnourishment.com 
 
Instagram: @elkindnourishment 
 
Facebook: @elKindNourishment 
 
Sep 21, 2021
Houda grew up in the Netherlands and she first came into contact with kickboxing at the age of 11. 
 
She soon found out that kickboxing was her passion, Houda trained hard and spend all her time in the gym, training 6 days a week. Due to her passion and perseverance, in 2005, Houda became the Dutch Youth Champion.
 
At university Houda choose to study Sports Management and Movement. 
 
Houda was inspired as a young girl by her coach – and she wanted to be the inspiration for other young children.
 
With her knowledge and experience in top-class sports and her social-pedagogical background, Houda knows how to reach girls and get them moving – literally. By sharing her story, Houda makes young people feel relevant and that they are capable of more than they think.
 
Her mission is to give coaches the tools to make sports more accessible for girls. She believes it is important that every individual can play sports according to their own needs. 
 
Houda is passionate about equality and diversity in sports and has worked with Nike on their “made to play campaign”. Nike's words are clear: children should play. Not just some kids, but all kids. Not just some girls, but all girls, including girls who wear hijab.
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Houda
  • Why sport is her life
  • Coming from a sporty family
  • Being inspired by Bruce Lee at 8 years old
  • Getting into kickboxing at 11
  • Falling in love with kickboxing
  • Her journey in kickboxing
  • Training for her first match
  • Becoming the Dutch Youth Champion
  • Becoming more confident 
  • Wanting to prove a girl could fight
  • Starting to wear the hijab at 14
  • Going to study sports at college
  • Being the only girls wearing the hijab
  • “It was not easy, but I had the power to do it”
  • Wanting to keep going with the kickboxing
  • Being in a car accident at 21
  • Spending a lot of time in recovery 
  • Dealing with the first big disappointment in her life
  • Having nothing else apart from sports
  • Trying to figure out what to do next
  • Working with young girls but wanting to inspire the whole family 
  • Wanting to make a big impact in the world
  • Having her own personal development program
  • Working towards lots of goals
  • Wanting to change the representation of girls and women in the media
  • Being a teacher of resilience 
  • Giving the children tools to help build resilience
  • The power of being positive 
  • Wanting children to believe in themselves
  • Teaching children how to say no
  • Why you attitude is very important 
  • The power of having a growth mindset 
  • How to deal with negative thoughts
  • Planting seeds in young minds
  • Having people believe in you
  • The pressure on girls to look/act a certain way
  • Needing the help and support from others
  • Wanting to educate other coaches
  • Being inspired by her mum
  • Being 1 of 6 children
  • How her parents support her dream
  • Working with Nike - Made to Play Campaign
  • Creating a play book for coaches to use to help them work with girls who wear a hijab 
  • Starting a Youtube Channel 
  • The importance of smiling and having fun
  • “Your start says nothing about your finish”
  • "If you have a dream and you want to achieve your dream, then you need to work for it and believe in it” 
 
Social Media
 
Website: https://houdaloukili.com/linkpage-instagram-houda-loukili/ 
 
Instagram: @loukilihouda 
 
Sep 18, 2021
Katie is an endurance athlete, charitable ambassador, author and world-record holder.
 
Katie has completed five Ironman triathlons, cycling across the country, completed a 325-mile river swim, run 100 miles nonstop in under 20 hours, and also spent 70 days at seas while rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean. 
 
In 2010, Katie set a World Record for being the youngest person to row solo across ocean rower. Katie is also the only American to row solo from Africa to Guyana, in South America. 
 
In 2020, Katie became the 1st person to run nonstop 138-miles nonstop across Maine in 33 hours, raising $26,000 for a clean water project in Tanzania. 
 
In preparations, Katie became the 1st woman to run nonstop across Vermont and New Hampshire. 
 
Katie has been awarded the Elite Female Athlete of the Year for 2020 by the U.S. Coast Guard.
 
On June 21, Katie announced her latest challenge, Run4Water. Which involved running 11 ultra-marathons for 11 consecutive days. Katie started her 341-miles journey in Ohio and ran from Cincinnati to Cleveland.  
 
Throughout her adventures, Katie isn’t just seeking to make history. She is also raising money for safe drinking water projects around the world.
 
Give Water today - www.h2oforlifeschools.org/katiespotz 
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Katie
  • Why she raises money for clear drinking water
  • Helping over 25,000 people
  • The importance of service and giving back
  • Studying environmental science
  • Growing up around the Great Lakes
  • Getting into swimming at young age
  • Where her love of adventure comes from
  • Keeping up with her 2 older brothers
  • Role models
  • Doing her first marathon at 18
  • Wanting to do an ironman
  • Not being competitive at school and doing the easiest gym class possible
  • Setting a target to run 1 mile
  • Joining the Coastguard in 2018
  • Why running ultras is one of the toughest challenges
  • Finding her limit….
  • Doing endurance for fun
  • Strategy for the 138 mile run across Maine
  • Race your own race and be in tune with your body
  • Fuelling her body during endurance challenges
  • Getting her calories in via liquids
  • Using Tailwind Nutrition 
  • Taking a supplement called Sports Legs 
  • Needing to get enough sodium in
  • You’re going to hurt
  • The mental challenges during the race
  • Hating the first 5 miles
  • Why it gets easier the longer you go
  • Feeling best at 50/60 miles
  • Getting into a flow state and moving on autopilot
  • Needing to block out the pain
  • Not wanting to do permanent damage
  • Pain that is an injury and pain which is muscle fatigue
  • Dealing with an Edema (swelling of the hands and/or feet)
  • Rhabdo (Rhabdomyolysis) - Myoglobin is released from the muscles when they break down and is excreted into the urine. This can cause a red or cola colour of the urine.
  • Book: Just Keep Rowing: Lessons from the Atlantic Ocean by the Youngest Person to Row It Alone  
  • Being a different person after the Atlantic Row
  • Having a strong enough why - you can figure out the how
  • Dealing with setbacks and the low moments
  • When the easy option is to quit
  • Not wanting to live a lifetime of regret
  • Finals words of advice and why it’s ok to feel afraid
  • Why fears are welcomed
 
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.katiespotz.com 
 
Instagram: @katiespotz
 
Facebook: @hellokatiespotz 
 
Twitter: @katiespotz
 
Sep 16, 2021
Jcy is a trail runner, bike traveller, fixed gear rider, bike polo player and Most importantly... An Outdoor lover!
 
Jcy was born in Hong Kong, she then moved over to the UK where she lived for 22 years. When she was young, Jcy was not into sports or being active, but that all changed when she started getting into cycling and began commuting to and from work. 
 
Jcy moved back to HK in 2016 and continued commuting via bike, she also joined lots of sports clubs to make new friends. 
 
Running was something she’d always hated and tried to avoid. However, after hurting her arm, her only option was to run!
 
During this episode Jcy shares more about her journey into trail running, how she progressed from running 2.4k to the metro station, to her first 24km trail race, then a 50k race and onto running 100 milers all within 4 years. 
 
Jcy loves the uphill, hates the flats and hates going downhill. 
 
Learn more about her training, her tips for dealing with tough times while out on the trail and why she never gives up, even when she comes in last place.
 
Jcy will inspire you to give tail running a go, and to step outside your comfort zone. 
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Being born in Hong Kong 
  • Being rebellious as a teenager and dropping out of sports
  • Moving back to Hong Kong in 2012 
  • Wanting to save money by cycling to work 
  • Cycling in Hong Kong as a commuter
  • Getting comfortable with the traffic
  • Joining sports clubs to make friends
  • Why the trails are concrete
  • Getting introduced to trail running
  • Changing from cycling to running
  • Her first time running
  • Being in so much pain, not being able to walk the next day
  • Running her first 24k race
  • Getting dressed up for races
  • Being a smoker
  • Loving the freedom of running
  • Having the time to reflect on her life
  • 2016 - her first 50k race
  • Coming in last place and it taking over 12hrs
  • Returning 3 years later and coming in 2nd place
  • What changed over the 3 years
  • Quitting smoking
  • Running her first 100k
  • Happy food
  • Recovery after a big race
  • Being humbled by a challenging 100k race which took over 24hrs
  • Dealing with heatstroke in her first year of running
  • Having 3 goals with regards to a finish time
  • Working with a running coach in 2019
  • What a typical training week looks like
  • Getting up at 5/5.30 am to go training
  • Running the same route over and over again
  • Hating running downhill
  • Managing the fear of running downhill
  • Learning house dance
  • The 9 Dragons Ultra Race HK 
  • Being inspired by Magdalena Lewy-Boulet 
  • How to follow Jcy online
  • Final words of advice for other women who want to get into trail running
  • Go out and enjoy the nature!
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @jcy 
 
Strava: www.strava.com/athletes/1272125
 
Sep 14, 2021
Nahla is a social change maker, a transformative coach, a podcaster, an accidental adventurer and a speaker. 
 
As the founder of the CIC Sunshine People, every year she takes on a new challenge and every year she discovers something new about the power that kindness has on people.
 
We first spoke with Nahla in February 2020 where she shared more about how she started off doing challenges and how it evolved over the years. During that episode Nahla shares more about her 2018 challenge of cycling  3,000 miles across America, as well as her 2019 walk from Swanage, Dorset to Gretna Green in Scotland. A 500 mile journey visiting schools and promoting kindness on the way, through speaking, workshops and sunshine people events. 
 
In 2020 Nahla took on her biggest challenge to date riding 5,000 miles on an ElliptiGO Bike across the UK while writing “KINDNESS” in massive Strava Art! This challenge would also see Nahla gain a World Record for the furthest distance travelled in a single journey on an Elliptical cycle.
 
Nahla has recently finished writing her 3rd book - “The Accidental Adventurer: just how far can kindness take you” - which will be released on November 1st 
 
About the book: The Accidental Adventurer is not only a journey of adventures but a journey of life, with all its rawness, vulnerability and most of all connections. Nahla Summers never intended to become an adventurer but after a life event that changed who she was as a person she discovered that the adventures were helping her find herself not again, but for the first time. This book demonstrates the extraordinary power of the mind when everything else fails. 
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Nahla
  • Her past adventures 
  • Her most recent challenge in 2020
  • The start of 2020 
  • Making changes and adapting to a new plan
  • Trying to find a new route in the UK
  • Why connection is more important than money 
  • Having to think outside the box
  • How the new kindness challenge idea came about
  • Figuring out the logistics of the journey 
  • Making changes while out on the road
  • Cycling 50 miles per day over 4 months
  • Not having to have it perfect before the start
  • What an ElliptiGO bike is
  • Riding it for the first time
  • Needing to practice!
  • Going up hill on an ElliptiGO
  • Emma Timmis - Riding an ElliptioGo across Australia
  • Starting the challenge on 1st August 2020
  • Training and getting fit for the challenge
  • How it worked day to day
  • Having a support vehicle to start with 
  • Going solo
  • Being supported by Hilton Hotels
  • Organising accommodation as she went along
  • Dealing with stress during a challenge
  • “Well it is what it is” and needing to deal with it
  • Breathing properly 
  • Going back to her purpose and her reason why
  • Getting on a vitamin plan to boost her health and wellbeing
  • Show your support by doing an act of kindness for a stranger
  • The power of kindness and the importance of kindness in society 
  • Saying hello and connecting with people
  • The message of Sunshine People
  • Free Listening by Urban Confessional
  • The Crisp Packet Project - https://crisppacketproject.com 
  • Starting a podcast! The Culture of Kindness Podcast by Nahla Summers (New episodes every week on a Sunday) 
  • Writing a new book! The Accidental Adventurer - Live in November 2021
  • Social media being used for the best
  • Kindness Day UK - November 13th 
  • Advice for being kind to yourself
  • Planning the next challenge - A World First…..
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.sunshinepeople.org.uk
 
Instagram - @sponsorkindness 
 
Twitter - @sponsorkindness 
 
Facebook - @sponsorkindness 
 
YouTube @SunshinePeople 
 
Past episode - Feb 2020 - www.toughgirlchallenges.com/single-post/summers 
 
Sep 11, 2021
Prerna has gained climbing experience from around the world, but her focus is the Himalayas. As an aspiring alpinist, she has delved into all aspects of climbing, from high mountains and frozen waterfalls to hard sport grades and bouldering. 
 
She is actively working to foster a strong climbing culture and community in India with an emphasis on introducing more women to the sport and the outdoors through the organization Climb Like A Woman (CLAW). She also plays a key role in the community-led initiative Piti Dharr Ice Climbing Festival
 
Climbing gives her the courage to chase after all things that seem hard, whether they are scary routes or stereotypes, which is a lesson she loves sharing with others along the way. 
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Loving the outdoors
  • Spending her summers outside
  • Her dreams as a little girl
  • Being a collector of skills and hobbies
  • Her route to climbing 
  • Going to university and finding climbing
  • Studying English Literature 
  • Trying to figure out what to do next
  • Being a tomboy and exploring her feminine side
  • The climbing culture in India
  • What it’s like being a woman climber in India
  • Connecting with other women in the sport
  • The growth of climbing gyms in the last 5 years
  • Arranging an all women’s climbing meet up which is now an annual event
  • Feeling strong and powerful from climbing
  • Planning to climb Mt. Denali
  • Dealing with self doubt
  • Having a shoulder injury and needing surgery
  • Pioneering ice climbing in India
  • The journey on becoming a professional guide
  • Focusing on quality and skill development
  • Her first expedition to a 6,000m peak
  • Having the ability to push herself physically 
  • Being able to handle the suffering
  • Looking for new opportunities
  • Wanting to become a well rounded climber
  • Trying to get sponsored projects 
  • Spending 5 winters creating an ice climbing community
  • Wanting more people to try ice climbing
  • Creating a new niche in climbing 
  • Why complaining doesn’t do anything - you have to take action
  • Future dreams for climbing
  • Being inspired by other women
  • Final words of advice for women who want to get into climbing and the outdoors
  • Why you should do the things that scare you
  • How overcoming fear can be empowering
 
Social Media
 
Website: pitidhar.com 
 
Instagram: @thepahadigirl 
 
Sep 9, 2021
Emma Kingston is an outdoor adventurer, author, teacher and self-confessed map geek who lives in Bristol - the UK’s first designated Cycling City. She has ridden, walked, swam and camped in the South West for over 20 years and her knowledge of the area is enviable. Specialising in mountain biking, she has travelled extensively around the rest of UK, Europe and further afield in search of ever more flowing singletrack. 
 
Emma took up bikepacking when she realised it meant that she could stay out and ride her bike for longer, take the time to explore interesting places off route, and eat an outrageous amount of ice cream. 
 
In the summer of 2021, she released her first book 'Bikepacking England' which contains 20 great multi-day off-road routes around the country and proves that you don’t have to go far to have a memorable adventure.
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Emma
  • Her passion for the outdoors and adventure 
  • Being into her cycling
  • Focusing on having fun
  • Her relationship to the outdoors
  • Being afraid of heights at a young age
  • Going on family adventures
  • Exploring more of Wales on mountain bikes
  • Growing up in Bristol and being able to escape the city
  • Being inspired by her parents
  • Making the transition to solo adventures and expeditions
  • Being more into team sports such as hockey and ultimate frisbee 
  • Pushing her limits and building resilience
  • Making decisions for herself
  • Heading to Wales to bike pack for the first time
  • Concerns before the trip
  • Feeling confident and prepared on the bike
  • Why it was a case of getting on and doing it
  • Why you should go on a solo adventure
  • Trusting in her own capabilities
  • The stories we tell ourselves
  • Being scared?
  • Feeling safe while on the road
  • How the book came about and the process of writing it. 
  • Having local adventures and creating new memories 
  • The type of routes included in the book
  • Getting practical advice
  • Sleep systems for Bikepacking
  • clothing layers
  • Food while on the bike
  • GPS and route planning 
  • Will there be a second book?
  • Why you don’t need to suffer on adventures
  • Future adventure dreams
  • Final words of advice to encourage you to get on your bike
  • Look at the barriers that are holding you back
  • Don’t apologies for being a beginner
  • “You are so much more capable than you think you are”
  • Roll with the bikepacking and see where it will take you
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.emmaoutdoors.com 
 
Instagram: @emma.outdoors
 
Twitter: @emma_outdoors
 
Buy the book:  Bikepacking England 20 multi-day off-road cycling adventures 
 
About the book
 
Bikepacking England by Emma Kingston contains 20 great multi-day mountain bike adventures across England.
 
Explore ancient holloways and hunt for fossils in Bridport and the Jurassic Coast, tackle the stiff climbs and spectacular singletrack of the Dark Peak, discover stunning coastal scenery on the Isle of Man or Exmoor or traverse the rolling countryside around the Ridgeway and Chilterns – every corner of England has a different experience to offer.
 
Each route includes all the information you need to help you plan your ride, points of interest along the route, food recommendations and accommodation options, in addition to stunning photography and overview mapping. Downloadable GPX files of the routes are also available, including optional routes and shortcuts. This book is full of practical tips and advice for both experienced bikepackers and those who want to try it out for the first time, including lots of information on wild camping.
 
Let Bikepacking England inspire you to get out there on your bike with your tent and enjoy the best bikepacking adventures that England has to offer.
Sep 7, 2021
Vera in her own words: 
 
"My cycling journey really began four years ago when I was lured into riding a tandem for a charity ride under the false promise that as the stoker, I didn’t need to pedal and could just drink prosecco and enjoy the views. This turned out to be a lie, as I had to work very hard, but I caught the cycling bug! A year later I bought my first road bike and joined my local cycling club as a way to build my solo cycling skills and meet new people. 
 
During the first lockdown in 2020 when we could no longer cycle in groups, I was forced to plan and follow my own routes and become a more independent cyclist. I also longed for a cycling community, which led me to starting my Instagram page @pedalling.to.and.fro  where I wanted to share my love of cycling with others and also to find a more diverse community of cyclists, something I had been missing in real life.
 
I was awarded the Ultra Distance Scholarship aimed at increasing representation of BAME cyclists in ultra distance racing. This incredible opportunity has provided me with the resources and support to prepare me for my first self-supported endurance cycling race this summer. The lack of ethnic diversity in ultra-distance cycling has prompted me to document and share my journey with others in the hope that more women and BAME people are encouraged to give this type of cycling a try. 
 
Cycling has given me a sense of belonging. It has also helped me manage my mental health, reduce my anxieties and build my confidence. Getting into endurance cycling has made me more self-sufficient and independent, and taught me how to persevere when things get tough; all valuable life lessons that have been useful both in and out of cycling. 
 
My hope is that by sharing my honest experiences of my journey in cycling, that it will encourage others, particularly black women, to have a go at it too.”
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Vera and what she does
  • Thinking of herself as a new adventurer 
  • Starting to discover adventure
  • Being a member of Women of Colour Cycling Collective (WCCC) 
  • Working to increase the representation of Black Women in adventure and engineering
  • Growing up in Malawi 
  • Not doing sports or physical activity after her gap year
  • Coming to the UK for University 
  • Moving to Cardiff for a Graduate Job
  • Joining a work football team
  • Doing a charity tandem cycle ride with her boyfriend (became future husband)
  • Starting to cycle commute to work 
  • Joining a cycling club and buying her first bike
  • What to do if things go wrong
  • The practical steps taken to overcome worries and fears
  • Wanting to do a self supported race
  • Looking for a new challenge before her 30th birthday
  • Setting up her instagram account @pedalling.to.and.fro
  • Learning about the Ultra Distance Scholarship 
  • The brilliant start to 2021
  • Training and planning for the race
  • Having 6 months to go from zero to hero
  • Being coached by Alison Wood https://www.veloqi.cc 
  • Figuring out wild camping and sleeping outside
  • Food and nutrition and fuelling for the race 
  • Developing a stomach of steel
  • Working with a sports psychologist 
  • Dealing with negative self talk
  • The start of the race
  • Celtic or Celtic!
  • Meeting Jenny Graham at the start
  • Dealing with the rain and the challenge of getting out of the car
  • Wanting to complete the race in 10 days and make the finishing party
  • Getting warm, getting dry and eating food before making a decision
  • Deciding to try
  • Listening to your body and making the right decisions at the right time
  • Magical moments from the race
  • The amazing supporters and dot watchers
  • Knowing by day 7 that she would be able to make it to the finish line
  • “You’ve not come so far, to only come so far”
  • Getting to the finish line and having mixed emotions
  • Not reaching her limits and maybe there is more
  • Adventure blues?
  • Booking in another race ASAP
  • Recovery afterwards
  • How her body adapted during the race
  • Documenting the ups and downs of her cycling journey 
  • Final words of advice for other women 
  • The power of setting a deadline and why you should sign up for something
  • Can’t or won’t?
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @pedalling.to.and.fro 
 
Sep 4, 2021
This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Memoir launched in April 2021. 
 
“Includes research on the shy child, parent-child bonding, social media issues, and the benefits of outdoor activity and nature immersion.
 
Disillusioned with overly competitive organized sports and concerned about her lively daughter's growing shyness, author Angie Abdou sets herself a challenge: to hike a peak a week over the summer holidays with Katie. They will bond in nature and discover the glories of outdoor activity. What could go wrong? Well, among other things, it turns out that Angie loves hiking but Katie doesn't.
 
This One Wild Life explores parenting and marriage in a summer of unexpected outcomes and growth for both mother and daughter.”
 
A view in Elle Magazine says "Anyone who has ever been pushed to do something outdoorsy because it was good for them - or who has been the parent doing the pushing - will find this sweet tale about a growing and changing parent-child relationship all too familiar.”
 
A life long athlete, Angie loves writing about sport and the many lessons it teaches. 
 
Angie is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University.
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Angie
  • Living in British Columbia, Canada
  • Being a writer since 2006
  • What Angie was like as a child
  • Loving books from a young age
  • Being a competitive swimmer and swimming for 4 hrs a day
  • Learning the lesson of showing up every day 
  • Setting an early alarm…
  • Balancing swimming with everything else as a teenager
  • Being in a serious car crash at 29
  • The impact of that experience 
  • Knowing it would be better to try and fail rather than never try
  • Processing the aftermath of the crash 
  • Journaling throughout her life
  • Book - Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life By Natalie Goldberg 
  • Book - The Artist Way By Julia Cameron  
  • Writing down her goals
  • How the wilderness played a part in her life
  • Having a negative experience with social media
  • The power of nature
  • New Book - This One Wild Life
  • Feeling guilty as a mum
  • Her mother daughter relationships
  • Her relationship with her daughter 
  • The difference between a child who is introverted and a child who has social anxiety 
  • How motherhood changed her life
  • Having to make choices
  • Asking herself what kind of mother does she want to be
  • Being available for her kids
  • Girls, confidence and social media
  • Screen time for children
  • The benefits of doing hard things
  • Climbing a peak a week and how the goal changed
  • The challenges of hiking with a child
  • Learning from each other
  • Learning how to be a leader and how to be confident in nature
  • Where does her drive and ambition come from
  • Doing a solo 12hr challenge
  • Thinking about the car accident
  • Reminding herself that life is a gift
  • Being present on social media
  • Listening to her body while using social media
  • Stop doom scrolling and put the phone down
  • Final words of advice for other women 
  • Why there is always time for a 30 min walk outside
 
Social Media
 
Website: abdou.ca 
 
Twitter: @angie_abdou 
 
Sep 2, 2021
Dr. Hajjah Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir is a lecturer at the Faculty of Sports Science and Recreation, Universiti Teknology MARA (UiTM). 
 
She successfully ski-sailed across the Antarctic, from the South Pole to the Hercules Inlet from Dec 9 to 30, 2004.
 
The 1,100km-long journey took her 22 days to complete.
 
She reached the North Pole in 2007 and Greenland in 2011.
 
In 2019 she was back at this South Pole, this time as the leader of the All Women Expedition to Antarctica (AWETA) team. Which involved completing the “last degree” 60 nautical miles (69 mi/111 km) from 89 degrees to 90 degrees. 
 
Dr. Hajjah Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir created her very own psychological concept called M.E.P.S. 
 
M = Mental (power and strength of mind), E = Emotion (including spiritual aspects as well), P = Physical (ability and endurance of the body), S = Social (ability and intellectual). A concept that focuses on mental strength, getting out of your comfort zone and maximising your own potential. The MEPS Concept has helped over 300,000 people to date.
 
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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
 
Show notes
  • Her full time job as a sports psychologist
  • Having a focus on women empowerment
  • Being a confident and active person
  • Loving sports and being involved in multiple activities
  • Doing her first degree in physical education
  • Going to Canada to do a Masters in Psychology 
  • Creating the MEPSS Concept
  • Wanting to create a balanced human being
  • Needing to put the concept into practice
  • Being a mental training coach in the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia
  • Starting work as a lecturer
  • Needing to go somewhere extreme to challenge her limits
  • Coping with the cold
  • Needed to put a plan in place in order to achieve this dream
  • Needing to learn new skills for dealing with the cold
  • Training 5hrs each day - both weights and cardio
  • Needing to build her endurance
  • Pulling tyres at night when it was cooler
  • Doing her research 
  • Going to Norway for training
  • 2004 South Pole Expedition
  • 1,127km in 22 days - from South Pole back to base camp
  • Being a Muslim women in Antarctica
  • Food and nutrition in a cold extreme environment
  • Dealing with the cold
  • The biggest challenge she faced while on expedition
  • Why the North Pole was the most challenging expedition
  • Dealing with frostbite on her face
  • Telling her mum about her goals
  • Needed to ask for a sabbatical from work
  • Starting with Google 
  • Creating a proposal with all the information 
  • Working to inspire young girls and women
  • Creating a time capsule
  • Doing a talent search all over Malaysia
  • Being called the “Ice Queen”
  • Looking for 5 key qualities 
  • Looking for good human beings
  • Getting the team together to do the last degree in Antarctica
  • Planning her online motivation program
 
Social Media
 
Website: drsharifahmazlina.com 
 
Instagram: @sharifah_mazlina_aweta
 
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