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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: February, 2022
Feb 24, 2022
Kelly in her own words:
 
“I’m passionate about the outdoors, it’s a love started from childhood adventure, grew into teenage curiosity, and now is a form of adult stress relief. Fitness for leisure, health, and well-being is more important to me than the competition or the ability to perform well at any one thing. To be, on the go is something I do for me. 
 
My former self trying to be better for my future self. Me vs Me. 
 
I swim in the pool, lakes, and sea, I cycle with TWR, hike with Black Girls Hike and have only started running with Black Trail runners this year. 
 
I try for fun and I try to give my best at each event. I am a beacon of light to get more people into multi-sport events because of representation in the recreational sports and fitness sector.
 
At school I loved geography, physics, and mathematics. I started working in construction at 14, now having 10 years experience I left my last job as an assistant site manager. I have matured into an enthusiast for the built environment. An inquisitive mind towards, towards all things related to sustainable development. 
 
My undergraduate degree is in Project Management for Construction, my masters in Flood Risk Assessment, Modelling and Engineering and I have full intention to do my PhD in Flood Risk Development and Sustainability.” 
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Kelly Smith
  • Being based in Brighton, UK
  • Why adventuring in the outdoors is her passion
  • Moving slowly 
  • Not sleeping well at the moment
  • Weighted blanket
  • Growing up in London and her early years
  • Moving to Brighton at 17 years old
  • Getting into the outdoors
  • The shift from childhood to adulthood
  • Being a weird kid 
  • Her 16th birthday and walking in the rainforest
  • The last day of her A’levels
  • Missing the boldness of her youth
  • Finding the South Downs and falling in love with the outdoors
  • Being a planner
  • Getting into sports and fitness
  • Joining the cycling community and being encouraged to do a triathlon
  • Trying a tri
  • Why it’s about how she feels
  • Remembering back to her first triathlon
  • Being impacted by covid
  • How getting outdoors helped with her mental health
  • Working with Swim England as an Ambassador
  • Going after her Summer Mountain Leader Qualification
  • The challenge of getting the training days
  • The costs of travelling around the UK
  • Navigation skills and learning 
  • The Kelly Smith Project - 3 Peaks - 3 Isles
  • Working in the construction industry for 10 years
  • Doing her Masters
  • Filming her documentary and the plan
  • Taking 3 weeks to film the project
  • Being ambitious!
  • Doing B roll in February and filming in April
  • Connect with Kelly
  • Top tips and advice to encourage you to get outside
 
Social Media
 
Website: kellysmithonthego.com 
 
Instagram: @kellysmith.onthego 
 
Feb 22, 2022
Quinn in her own words:
 
“I live in Estes Park Colorado. For five years, I worked as a climbing ranger, doing technical Search and Rescue, in Rocky Mountain National Park. To compliment the rescue and medical component of this job, I taught Wilderness Medical Courses. 
 
Rest days…. what are those? Climbing, mountain running, triathlons, mountain biking, summit handstand and mini golf—- were just a few sports I was into. I cherished pushing my body and my mind, finding comfort in the uncomfortable. 
 
I have a few climbing first ascents, speed records and some mountain running records all over the western US and even across the globe 

In October 2017, I fell over 100 feet while climbing on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and sustained a spinal cord injury. 
 
I am currently paralyzed from the waist down. 
 
Movement and advocacy for public lands was a big part of life and vocation. That hasn’t changed, I still need to be active, adventure and break barriers. 
 
This past summer, 2021, I become the first person to hand-cycle the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from the Canadian Border to the Mexico border in 25 days. 
 
My advocacy in public lands continues, as well as, advocacy for spinal cord research—- to improve mine and others quality of life.”
 
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Quinn
  • What she does
  • Her love for playing outside
  • Her early years
  • Working for the National Park Service 
  • Her journey into rock climbing
  • Getting her dream job
  • Being encouraged to do more with her life
  • Taking her EMT course and how all her skills combined together
  • Becoming a Technical Rescue Ranger and what it’s like being in the field 
  • Dealing with a T11 Spinal Cord Injury 10/2017
  • Slipping and falling 100ft
  • Being paralysed from the waist down
  • Being rescues and transferred to the hospital
  • The transition to a new type of life and way of living
  • The challenges of getting back into the outdoor 
  • Wanting to get back into swimming after 3 months
  • Getting an off-road hand cycle 
  • Completing the Tour Divide in 2021
  • How getting e-assist helped with access 
  • Being able to keep up with friends
  • Figuring out the technical side of the challenge
  • Taking on the White Rim in Utah a 100 mile challenge
  • Learning about the underlying issues and figuring out the solutions
  • Why preparation is key 
  • Leaning how to calm the brain
  • Doing the Tour Divide as an independent time trail
  • Being the first hand cyclist to the the Tour Divide
  • Learning to calm the brain
  • Why sweating the small stuff is important
  • The magical moments from the Tour Divide 
  • Trail Angels
  • Quick Fire Questions - food, music, podcasts, mantra & mottos 
  • “This wheelchair does not define me”
  • Access to the outdoors…
  • Keeping fit and active and what that looks like
  • Raising money for the Kelly Brush Foundation
  • 2 Exciting trips planned for the future
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro and going to Bosnia
  • How to connect with Quinn
  • Final words of advice for other women who are going through a tough time in their life
  • The power of community and the power of asking for help
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.quinnbrett.com 
 
Instagram: @quinndalina 
 
Feb 15, 2022
Preet recently became the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition in Antarctica. She completed the 700 miles in 40 days pulling all of her kit and equipment and tackling temperatures of -50° with wind chill. When she reached the South Pole she said on her audio blog:
 
“This expedition was always about so much more than me. I want to encourage people to push their boundaries and to believe in themselves, and I want you to be able to do it without being labelled a rebel. 
 
I have been told no on many occasions and told to “just do the normal thing”, but we create our own normal. 
 
You are capable of anything you want. No-matter where you are from or where your start line is, everybody starts somewhere. 
 
I don’t want to just break the glass ceiling, I want to smash it into a million pieces. Who’s with me?”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Preet
  • Deciding to go to Antarctica
  • Why she wants to inspire people to push their boundaries
  • Starting with google
  • Getting to the start line
  • The challenges of Covid and funding
  • Being the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition
  • 700 miles in 40 days
  • Getting back to the gym and needing time to recover
  • Going back to November 2021
  • Flying to Chile first and spending 2 weeks there
  • Sorting out all the food and gear
  • Getting the flight out to Antarctica 
  • Being dropped off on the ice and being alone
  • Taking it one day at a time
  • Fears and concerns before the start
  • Feeling excited…
  • Picking up the wrong backpack
  • Being on her own on the ice
  • The joy and excitement of the challenge
  • What a typical day was like
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • Tips and tricks to get through the day
  • Being a head of schedule 
  • Slowing down towards the end and not sleeping
  • Not stopping for 40/50hrs
  • Arriving into the South Pole and feeling good!
  • Why it’s ok to do things that are different
  • Why it’s good to question things
  • Being called disrespectful
  • Feeling more and more comfortable in herself
  • Voicing her opinions 
  • Why change is not a bad thing
  • Making new traditions with her family
  • Celebrations and Coke Zero
  • Having her first shower
  • Heading back to the South Pole
  • Phase 2 of the plan
  • Sponsorship for the future challenges?
  • Setting up an adventure grant for women
  • Connect with Preet and be kept upto date with her future adventures and challenges
  • Final words of advice
  • Why you can achieve anything
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.polarpreet.com 
 
Instagram: @polarpreet 
 
Facebook: @polarpreet
 
We first spoke with Preet in July 8th 2021- you can listen to Preet here - https://www.toughgirlchallenges.com/single-post/chandi
 
Feb 10, 2022
Gail Muller is an adventurer, writer and educator. She was told at 14 she’d need to use a wheelchair by the age of 40, but at 41 embarked on one of the world’s toughest treks over 6 months in the USA – The Appalachian Trail.
 
For fifteen years she struggled with muscular-skeletal issues, chronic pain and the mental health issues that arise from them, but she never gave up hope of healing and resolution.
 
Her debut memoir 'Unlost' is an inspiring, uplifting and moving account of one woman’s incredible journey into the unknown. A love letter to the healing power of the wild outdoors and an incredible testament to the strength of the human spirit, Gail’s story is for anyone who has ever felt stuck in a rut, lost or scared.
 
She has recently returned from the Continental Divide Trail - a massive hike across the United States where she battled with unmarked trails, grizzly bears, wildfires, weeks at altitude and raging snowmelt-filled river fords. Gail will recount how through all of her journeys, she found has grit, determination, and hope in the darkest of times.
 
Unlost: A journey of self-discovery and the healing power of the wild outdoors by Gail Muller, published by Thread, was released on the 7th September 2021.
 
*Content Warning - Mention of sexual assault and thoughts of suicide.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Gail Muller
  • Being a teacher and an educator
  • Talking to us about her adventures and what she’s overcome
  • Growing up in Cornwall and what it means to be Cornish
  • Her teenage years
  • Being told she would end up in a wheelchair in her 40s
  • Working on super yachts and in the film industry
  • Dealing with back pain which became chronic
  • Learning to treat herself with kindness
  • Finding a solution while in Italy
  • Feeling suicidal and wanting to end it all
  • Don’t give up hope and why a solution is just around the corner
  • Wanting to use her body to do something magnificent 
  • Losing a loved one
  • Starting to save to go up on a big adventure
  • Learning outdoor skills
  • Fears and concerns before heading of to hike the Appalachian Trail
  • Dealing with sexual assault and panic attacks
  • Heading south bound on the AT- starting with Mt. Khatardin and the 100 mile wilderness
  • Enjoyment, love and magical moments
  • Trail magic and trail angels
  • Making new friends and connecting with a trail family
  • Snacks…
  • Deciding to go south bound
  • Wanting to be more alone on the trail
  • Walking on the CTD in summer 2021
  • Not wanting to road walk in smoke
  • The plan for 2021 and how it changed 
  • Full time adventuring….
  • Writing her first book - Unlost
  • Hiking with 2 broken bones in her foot
  • Making a plan for 2022
  • South West Coast Path, UK
  • Being diagnosed with ADHD recently
  • Becoming best friends with her body
  • How to connect with Gail
  • Meet Bill
  • Words of advice to inspire you
  • Why you should never quit on a bad day
 
Social Media
 
Website: https://gailmuller.com
 
Instagram: @thegailmuller
 
Facebook: @thegailmuller
 
FB Group @Unlostoutdoors
 
Feb 8, 2022
Jessica’s ‘adventure activism’ is, by her own admission, a bit of an accident as she hates exercise and considers herself to be the most unlikely athlete. 
 
However, over the last decade she has been taking on some of the world’s most iconic physical and mental endurance challenges to turn the sadness she’s been through into something positive and at the same time raise awareness of what it means to struggle to conceive and to encourage new ways of thinking about family. 
 
She has run the London Marathon; swum the English Channel; and is still on her journey to climb Mount Everest and complete the iconic ‘Pond to Peak’ Challenge. 
 
She is a member of the British Mountaineering CouncilThe RamblersThe Long Distance Walkers Association; and the SerpentineHampstead Ponds and Dover Open Water Swimming Clubs; and has used her sporting challenges to raise thousands of pounds for charity including Fertility Network UK.
 
We first spoke to Jessica in Oct 2018 - you can listen to that episode here: 
 
https://www.toughgirlchallenges.com/single-post/jessica-hepburn 
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Jessica
  • How she would describe herself and what she does
  • Dealing with a decade long struggle on trying to conceive 
  • Wanting to do something different with her life
  • Completing her childhood dream of swimming the English Channel 
  • Being an adventure activist 
  • Wanting to be the first women to complete the “Pond to Peak” Challenge
  • What Jessica was up to in 2019
  • Making a change in her career and setting up her own arts’ festival 
  • Her dream of heading to Everest in 2020
  • Climbing Mt. Elbrus and having a tough time
  • Swimming to get fit for climbing mountains
  • Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2015/2016
  • Why the Everest journey has been so hard 
  • Being an unlikely mountaineer and athlete 
  • When things don’t go according to plan 
  • Having to learn from failure
  • Does swim training translate to walking in the mountains?
  • The benefits of cold water and why she does it regularly 
  • Not being fast enough on the mountains
  • Needing to get into strength training and build muscle
  • Heading to the peak district and the Lake District
  • Training with the Elite Ramblers in the UK 
  • Dealing with the first lockdown in 2020
  • Being able to stop, slow down and relax
  • Finding the blessings 
  • How lockdown impacted on motivation for training and keeping fit
  • The different types of adventures 
  • Why adventure has become such an important part of her life
  • Getting the confirmation that Everest was going to go ahead in 2021
  • Getting to base camp and feeling prepared
  • How everyone has an opinion on Everest
  • Why her expedition was a non summit
  • Dealing with cyclones at camp 2
  • Cyclones, Chest Infections and Covid
  • Making a rookie mistake
  • Why you need a buff!!!
  • Making the decision to turn back…
  • Acceptance and coming to peace 
  • Why climbing mountains have become so meaningful
  • Making it a battle - a battle with nature
  • Wanting to go back in the future
  • Turning 50 at the end of 2020
  • How to follow along with Jessica and her future adventures 
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire more women to take their next steps into the world of adventure
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.jessicahepburn.com 
 
Instagram: @jessica_hepburn_ 
 
Facebook: @jessicahepburnauthor 
 
Twitter: @JessicaPursuit 
 
 
Feb 3, 2022
Namratha believes one should find ways to be more grounded and closer to nature. She has found that for herself through meditation and trekking. 
 
Namratha would love to do her part in encouraging people to pursue a healthy lifestyle. She always thinks that one should be mentally and physically fit to be able to do what one wants irrespective of the age. 
 
Listen to Namratha as she shares more about her childhood, how she got into trekking and why she decided on this challenges, she talks us through her planning and preparation, how she dealt with the tough days and where her mental resilience comes from.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Nam?
  • What her family was like
  • Growing up in a small town
  • Working as a HR professional
  • Being introduced to trekking by her husband in 2013
  • Role models while growing up
  • Longing to get back into the mountains
  • Being inspired to be fit
  • Getting into trekking and her first experiences
  • Being encouraged to go trekking
  • The 50 Alpine Lakes Challenge
  • Dealing with early onset arthritis
  • Working o strengthening the muscles in her knee
  • Trekking with a guide who knows the routes 
  • Dealing with the altitude
  • Doing the challenge while having a full time job
  • Dealing with challenges like snowfall and lightening while out trekking
  • Listening to her body and making the right decision at the time
  • Having a favourite lake
  • Learning to travel solo and building up confidence
  • Learning to become more comfortable with herself
  • Advice for women who want to travel solo
  • The need to prepare and to do your homework
  • Female guides on the mountains
  • The challenges on her body and how it adapted
  • Go to food on the mountain
  • Wanting to get more people fit and healthy
  • Wanting to create a webpage 
  • Final words of advice to inspire you. 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @namrathaurs 
 
Facebook: @namratha.nandish 
Feb 1, 2022
Easkey on Freedom, Mindfulness and Connection: 
 
Freedom - “I find freedom in movement, in nature, through new experiences. Freedom has the qualities of spontaneity, passion, flow, adventure, risk, independence and creativity. It’s about expressing myself creatively, doing what matters most, and the power of play.”
 
Mindfulness - “I’ve always believed surfing is an amazing tool for a mindfulness practice. It’s very much about mindfulness-in-movement. If I truly get into why I surf, it’s because we can enter this heightened state of awareness – a flow state where, if even just for a moment, there’s complete focus and immersion in the present.”
 
Connection - “Surfing helps me understand the meaning of connection. Surfing demands a letting go of expectations and requires our total presence in the moment so that we begin to take notice of our surroundings, to be a little awed and humbled through direct contact with nature.”
 
About Easkey:
 
Easkey is the first Irish woman to be nominated for the Global WSL Big Wave Awards but there’s more to Easkey than surfing. It is her intellect and her quest to learn and create change in an often unfair world that really defines her. A scientist, academic and social activist, with a PhD in Environment and Society, Easkey is always one to look in places others aren’t for the answers to difficult questions. Her curiosity and passion for fairness and gender equality are the qualities that others to her.
 
Named an ‘Agent of Change’ by Surfer magazine in their special Ocean Edition, her work is deeply influenced by the ocean and the lessons learned pioneering women’s big-wave surfing in Ireland and the sport of surfing with women in Iran, which led her to be invited to give an inspiring TEDx talk: Just Add Surf. Her ground-breaking journey to Iran in 2013 introduced the sport of surfing to women and local communities and is featured in the award-winning documentary film, “Into the Sea”. Passionate about facilitating creative & collaborative processes, she founded Like Water, a platform to explore innovative ways to reconnect with who we are, our environment and each other, through water. Easkey draws on the sea as an active metaphor to dive deep into the power of presence and embodiment of natural cycles. She designs and delivers international summits and global leadership programmes specialising in experiential learning, nature connection, immersive embodiment practices, community engagement and social impact, including the annual Wavemaker retreat in Portugal and Move Like Water retreat for women. She is the author of ‘50 Things to do by the Sea’ and is currently finishing a new book called ‘Saltwater in the Blood.’
 
Easkey is a one off, wild hearted and free spirit. She’s ridden some of the biggest days in Ireland; no audience, no blue skies, no golden sands, just her and a crew she trusts. Doing something she loves; chasing cold water mountains.
 
You can listen to Easkey on the Tough Girl Podcast.
 
New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. 
 
 
Show notes
  • Who is Easkey and what she does
  • Being a lover of the ocean
  • Wanting to understand how we relate to the world 
  • Growing up by the beach 
  • Having a connection with the ocean
  • Meeting other women who surfed
  • Starting to compete at a young age
  • The limited pathways for women in surfing 
  • What it was like in the early 90s
  • Getting into free surfing and exploring new waves
  • The link between science and surfing
  • Being an agent of change by Surfer Magazine
  • The sport of surfing with women in Iran
  • How her relationship with surfing has changed
  • The ripple effect 
  • Filming a documentary 
  • Spending time by the ocean 
  • The healing power of water
  • Blue Health 
  • Book - Blue Mind: How Water Makes You Happier, More Connected and Better at What You Do 
  • Blue Mindfulness - How big wave surfing has taught me to live in the moment
  • The mental training for big wave surfing 
  • Learning to trust her body
  • Spending time away from the water
  • How has surfing changed over the past 30 years
  • Gender equality in surfing and the work being done to close the gender gap
  • Representation in surfing and how do you create a more inclusive ocean
  • How do you break down barriers and create more opportunities 
  • The work of Lauren Hill Book: She Surf: The Rise of Female Surfing  
  • Who are the women that have inspired Easkey
  • The power of one women story 
  • The influence of mentors 
  • Meet Wolfie! (The dog!)
  • Having the idea for the book and putting pen to paper
  • Keeping a journal to keep track of her own thoughts
  • Being full time in academia and wanting to write more freely 
  • Not seeing women in front of or behind the camera
  • The feminine perspective of surfing and sharing that
  • Plans for the future
  • Working as a blue health researcher in relation to surf therapy 
  • Putting the science into practice
  • Connect with Easkey 
  • The meaning behind her name and where her name comes from
  • Final words of advice for women who want to get more ebb and flow in their life
  • The power of breath
  • Learning to let go in water
  • Taking a moment to reset
  • What to do if water holds fear for you
 
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @easkeysurf 
 
Twitter: @Easkeysurf 
 
 
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