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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: April, 2023
Apr 27, 2023

Emily is an adventurer, solo traveler, mountaineer, quote collector, and all around lover of things that get people out of their comfort zones. Put on her first international flight at 3 weeks old, she's been adventuring in one way or another ever since. 

From wandering the forests of Sweden alone at the age of nine, to solo trekking in the Himalayas of India, to joining the circus as a professional aerialist, Emily is a big fan of the "just get out there and do it" mentality. She considers it her mission in life to inspire others to go outside, travel, and get curious about everything. As John Muir so aptly put it, "going out is really going in.”

Emily is a columnist and longtime contributor to Outside. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, Adventure Journal, REI, and Backpacker, among others. 

Emily has visited every national park in the United States, and her book Feral: Losing Myself and Finding My Way in America’s National Parks, came out in February 2023.

 

About Feral: A bracing memoir about self-discovery, liberating escape, and moving forward across an adventurous and volatile American landscape. One year. One national park at a time.

“After a decade as an assistant to high-powered LA executives, Emily Pennington left behind her structured life and surrendered to the pull of the great outdoors. With a tight budget, meticulous routing, and a temperamental minivan she named Gizmo, Emily embarked on a yearlong road trip to sixty-two national parks, hell-bent on a single goal: getting through the adventure in one piece. She was instantly thrust into more chaos than she’d bargained for and found herself on an unpredictable journey rocked by a gutting romantic breakup, a burgeoning pandemic, wildfires, and other seismic challenges that threatened her safety, her sanity, and the trip itself.

What began as an intrepid obsession soon evolved into a life-changing experience. Navigating the tangle of life’s unexpected sucker punches, Feral invites readers along on Emily’s grand, blissful, and sometimes perilous journey, where solitude, resilience, self-reliance, and personal transformation run wild.”

We first spoke with Emily on 17th December 2019. You can listen to that episode here - https://www.toughgirlchallenges.com/single-post/emily-pennington 

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you. 

 

Show Notes

  • Who is Emily 
  • Working as a journalist and writing for; The New York Times, The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler and Lonely Planet
  • Speaking to Emily on the Tough Girl Podcast - 17th December 2019. You can listen to that episode here
  • Going back to early 2020
  • Saving up $30K for the adventure of a lifetime
  • Having a goal to visit all 62 National Parks in the United States
  • How Covid impacted her life and work as a travel journalist 
  • Having a home base in LA and quitting her job
  • Starting her adventure on 6th January 2020
  • Living out of her mini van #VanLife and what life was really like while on the road
  • Being mindful of climate change and the impact her travel would have
  • The transition to full time travel and living in a different way
  • Having anxiety about travelling especially solo travel
  • Expectations verses reality 
  • The importance of having downtime while travelling
  • Tips for managing her anxiety 
  • Leaning into meditation, online therapy, and medication
  • Being caught in the smoke from the wild fires 
  • National Parks and the amount of people wanting to use the space
  • The challenges of meeting people while being on the road and the challenges during covid
  • Magical moments
  • Adventuring with a partner and the impact on their relationship
  • Spending time in Alaska
  • Thinking about what home really means
  • The writing experience and why it was like intensive therapy everyday for 6 months
  • Reflecting back on the journey and the experience of writing the book
  • The key takeaways from the experience
  • The importance of rest and scheduling in downtime 
  • Getting comfortable sitting with discomfort
  • Making better choices and having more compassion
  • Wanting to travel to meaningful places and learn more about herself 
  • Deciding to move to Colorado and work full time as a writer
  • Reflecting on her quality of life and wanting to spend more time in the mountains
  • Plans for a second and third book
  • How to connect with Emily 
  • Final words of advice for women who want to go on a big trip or take on a new adventure

 

Social Media

Website: www.brazenbackpacker.com 

Instagram: @brazenbackpacker 

Twitter: @BrazenBackpack

Book: Feral: Losing Myself and Finding My Way in America’s National Parks 

 

Apr 25, 2023

Vivianette Ortiz is a Latina originally from Puerto Rico. She grew up in the beach and mountain town of Patillas, Puerto Rico. She grew up running the hills of her hometown, bodyboarding, loving the ocean, and playing hide-in-seek barefoot through the farmlands. 

Vivianette moved to North Carolina at the age of 17. She is a dedicated mother, daughter, and granddaughter. For a long time, she worked countless hours daily with 2 or 3 jobs at a time. Her adventurous soul went dormant for many years due to everyday responsibilities.

Since arriving in North Carolina she has always gone back to the island to visit family and enjoy the feeling of freedom there. Going back to the island would help the homesickness she felt here on the mainland. Due to Covid restrictions, her traveling ceased for a while she found herself extremely homesick and depressed. 

Through social media, she found a North Carolina hiking group page. Discovering the outdoors again provided her with a connection to home. Her love for nature and the Latino community led her to be one of the founders of the group Latinos Aventureros en las Carolinas. She is proud to combine her love for the outdoors with her passion for the Hispanic community through her role as the Executive Director of Latinos Aventureros. 

She has completed over 130 hikes throughout the Carolinas in 2022, and 76 hikes in 2021. 

In 2022 was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of visiting Peru, and completing the Inca Trail. She hopes to start the Appalachian Trail by sections in 2023.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you. 

 

Show Notes

  • Who is Vivianette
  • Her passion for going outside and travelling 
  • Working as a disability rights advocate
  • Growing up in Puerto Rico
  • Being an ocean girl and her passion for the water
  • Not being encouraged to spend time in the outdoors
  • Being dedicated to work and working 2/3 jobs to support her family
  • Being a single mother
  • Moving to North Carolina at 17 years old
  • The impact of Covid
  • Being very depressed and looking for things to do
  • Joining a social media friend for a hike
  • Her first memorable sunrise hike on Roan Mountain 
  • The gradual change after going on more hikes
  • Finding her passion of spending time in the outdoors
  • Practical tips and advice 
  • Hiking with her children
  • Starting Latinos Aventureros in October 2021
  • Building a camping gear closet 
  • Being able to take families out camping 
  • Doing the Inca Trail in 2022
  • Planning for 2 years 
  • The challenges of the trail 
  • Just keep going 
  • The mental side of hiking 
  • Why self motivation is important
  • Plans for 2023
  • Finding education and training for the leaders
  • The importance of resting and figuring out what your body needs
  • Making time to go hiking on her own
  • Hiking without an agenda
  • Plans for section hiking the Appalachian trail in 2023
  • Support, sponsorship and funding for the Latinos Aventureros
  • The Year of the Trail 
  • Disability rights and hiking 
  • The need for disability rights advocates 
  • Looking up trails on line to see if they are accessible 
  • All Trails App
  • How you can use your voice 
  • How to connect online
  • Advice for women who want to get out hiking and spend more time in the outdoors
  • Why it’s ok to ask for help
  • Words of encouragement in Spanish 

 

Social Media

Instagram @vivi.la.exploradora

Facebook - Vivianette Ortiz

Facebook Group - Latinos Aventureros en las Carolinas

Linktree - https://linktr.ee/latinosaventureros

 
Apr 20, 2023

On 5th June 2022 Laura set off on the back of a tandem, with husband Stevie, from the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin... 180 days later she returned having circumnavigated the World and with a new Guinness World Record! 

But, the ride wasn't straightforward; with closed borders, sickness, monsoons, sub -10 degree temperatures and a motorcycle collision that nearly ended the trip it took everything to reach the finish line on target. 

Laura blogged and updated social media throughout the trip and relied on her skills in project management and from her ultra-distance background to make the trip a success, as well as the ultimate team work of surviving 6 months on a bike with her husband.

We first spoke with Laura on 27th January 2022 - You can listen to that episode here

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you. 

 

Show Notes

  • Who is Laura 
  • Spending 6 months cycling around the world on a tandem bicycle and breaking the Guin
  • Stats from the challenge 
  • Starting on the 5th June 2022
  • Needing to cycle 18,000 miles
  • Visiting over 21 countries
  • Speaking to Laura previously on the Tough Girl Podcast - 27th January 2022 - You can listen to that episode here 
  • Getting to the start line and feeling ready?
  • Planning for over 18 months to get to the start line
  • Being in an accident 2 weeks before the start
  • Dealing with the risks of cycling on the road 
  • Getting back on the bike - sooner rather than later
  • The start line in Berlin
  • Settling into a cycling routine 
  • What the daily routine looked like
  • The challenges on the journey 
  • Day to day challenges - from logistics, navigation, accommodation, food 
  • Dealing with the ongoing pressure 
  • Boarder closures and being flexible with changing plans
  • The crash in Malaysia and why it was a critical moment
  • Not knowing if they wanted to continue 
  • Being open and honest with each other 
  • Being as prepared as possible 
  • Flying to Australia 
  • Impacts on their relationships 
  • Advice for couples/partners who adventure together
  • Losing time and distance and getting behind schedule while riding in India 
  • Needing to make up 6 days and 600km
  • How to up the pace?
  • Highlights from the trip
  • Riding through New Zealand in 8.5 days
  • The route
  • Finishing the trip - the challenges in the final days
  • Getting back safely and doing what they said they were going to do
  • The achievement…..
  • Adventure blues and what happened next
  • Recovering physically 
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Tough Girl Buffs (Black, Grey & White - Send me a DM £15 P&P UK Only)
  • Tandem WOW - Catherine Dixon (Cat) and Rachael Marsden (Raz) cycling around the world to set a new tandem WR! 
  • How to connect with Laura
  • Writing the book
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you with your next challenge
  • Don’t under estimate what you can do
  • Why you might surprise yourself with what you can do

 

Social Media

 

Website: www.stelatandem.com  

Instagram: @stela_tandem 

Facebook: SteLa Tandem Round the World Record 

Twitter: @StelaTandem 

Youtube: SteLa Tandem 

 

 

Apr 18, 2023

Shandi’s love of running began when she was very young, and throughout her life, it was something that always helped her to cope with stress and anxiety. However, as she got older, she became consumed with the idea of proving something to others, and the pressure of the pursuit caused her to have a nervous breakdown during the 2013 Boston Marathon.

During this episode Shandi shares more about how she got into running, how running the NYC Marathon changed her life, especially the second time she ran it, when she ran a Boston qualifying time of 3 hours and 12 mins. 

After qualifying for Boston, she set herself the goal of breaking a 3 hour marathon. Shandi put a lot of pressure on herself to perform well. 

Unfortunately things did not go to plan, she realised early on she wasn’t going to hit her goal, but she still managed to cross the finish line, where she was immediately ushered to the medical tent. Her body had finally given in and later on she would find out that she had had a nervous breakdown. 

*Please be advised that in this episode, we will be discussing the Boston Marathon bombings, which took place on April 15, 2013. This event resulted in the tragic loss of three lives and injured hundreds of others. We understand that this topic may be sensitive and triggering for some listeners. 

Our guest, Shandi, will be sharing her personal experience of being at the 2013 Boston Marathon, and the impact it had on her mental and physical health. If you feel that this topic may be difficult for you, we encourage you to prioritise your emotional well-being and listen at your own discretion.

Shandi shares more about the aftermath, how she needed to heal her body and mind. 

She did this by making big changes to her life; from leaving her job as a television producer and moving to be closer to the mountains. She also started to freelance as a creative producer.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Shandi
  • Working as a producer 
  • Being based in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Having a passion for the outdoors 
  • Getting into running at a young age
  • Feeling good while moving her body
  • Growing up in Canada and being taught to ski by her mum
  • Switching to snowboarding in college
  • Being drawn to the snowboarding lifestyle
  • Starting her career and making big changes
  • Work for ESPN (Entertainment & Sports Programming Network) in Bristol, Connecticut 
  • Studying broadcast journalism at college
  • How her career goals have changed
  • Finding a love for editing 
  • Figuring out what she wanted to do 
  • Advice for women who want to get into production
  • Find people who want to support you 
  • Get experience and keep going 
  • Being away from the mountains and spending more time running 
  • Deciding to do her first marathon 
  • Running NYC Marathon and loving the experience 
  • How the race changed her life
  • What running the NYC Marathon is like
  • The power of putting your name on your shirt
  • The amazing support from the crowds
  • Wanting to qualify for the Boston Marathon (3hr 35) and following a training plan
  • Shaving 30 mins of her marathon time and running 3hr 12 mins 
  • Tactics to running a fast marathon
  • Breaking up and feeling depressed
  • Respect and love to the past boyfriend
  • Having a year and a half to train
  • Working with a run coach and wanting to break 3hrs
  • Having lots of goals and wanting to do well
  • Dealing with severe anxiety and not being able to sleep
  • Not being well on the finish line at Boston Marathon 2013
  • Being in the medical tent when the bombs went off
  • Going though a nervous breakdown
  • Managing to find her dad
  • What happened afterwards
  • Going on medical leave for 6 months
  • Being in the “push through” mentality 
  • Needing to make big changes in her life
  • Healing her body and mind
  • Deciding to move to Seattle and become a freelance producer
  • Using Yoga to help heal her nervous system
  • Her mentality now being more attentive to her mental health
  • Why nothing is more important than her health
  • Figuring out what is the most important to you 
  • What do producers do?
  • Being a creative producer 
  • Outessa Summit 
  • Mini documentary with Rachel Collet - Reflect and Reset. Watch on YouTube
  • How to connect with Shandi
  • Needing to update her website with her latest projects
  • #InItTogether  
  • Plans for 2023
  • Final words of advice

 

Social Media

Website www.shandikk.com 

Instagram @shandikk 

 

 

Apr 11, 2023

Nicky Button was born in Gloucester and grew up in Worcester. Having a very happy childhood.

Nicky was always last to be picked for any teams at school and was the most uncoordinated and non sporty child being told to go and swim after a term of tennis when she still hadn’t hit a ball. Her teens and twenties removed around horses and children , whilst she ran a yard starting and schooling young horses and teaching people to ride alongside being a foster mother. 

In 2000 with an eight year old daughter she moved to Surrey where she spotted a group of people kayaking on a local canal, she went along to the club and heard only two parts of the sentence, Wednesday nights are adults only, whitewater training and we go to the pub afterwards. Six months later she was staring at her first White water river in Wales. Several swims later and at the end of the river she was hooked. 

The kayaking totally changed her life and she soon realised that whilst she certainly wasn’t the most proficient, she had found her tribe. Through the kayaking she was invited to help on set on Midsummer Murders and the rest as they say is history, she retrained learning swift water and rope rescue, working at heights and confined spaces, with fire and setting up stunts and rigging. There then followed some incredible years where she felt that she was being paid to have the best time in life. 

In 2013 after going away skiing she returned and was unable to see her daughter across the room. Four months later she’d had her driving license removed which knocked onto no job and then no home. Her life felt as though it was falling apart. 

She moved to South Devon and stormed along the South West Coast path. A few years on and she was part of walking groups for people with Visual Impairment and encouraging people to get out walking. 

On moving to Worcester in 2021 she met an amazing group of strangers who became friends, a trip up Ben Nevis was followed by entering her first Ultra challenge a 50km over Exmoor. When she completed that she looked for her next challenge. 

During lockdown she’d dreamed she’d walked from Scotland to Devon, she decided to make this a reality and so Nicky’s most marvellous ridiculous adventure was born. Walking from the Orkney Islands to the Scilly Isles. Solo and unsupported.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you. 

 

Show Notes

  • 54 year old mum of 1
  • Walking from the Orkney Islands to the Scilly Isles
  • Starting the challenge on April 1st (April fools day!)
  • Not being into team sports and not enjoying the outdoors
  • Preferring reading about adventure 
  • Discovering individual sports 
  • Her passion for horses and riding
  • Joining The Pony Club 
  • Training to be a nanny
  • Running away to work with horses
  • Teaching riding at Pony Club and Riding for the Disabled 
  • Bringing up her daughter
  • Moving to Surrey 
  • How joining a Canoe Club changed her life
  • How her views on fear changed 
  • The link between fear and excitement 
  • Starting to work in tv production
  • Making her career change at 38
  • Over coming the limiting beliefs of other people’s thoughts
  • Learning how to run and getting fit for search and rescue 
  • If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way 
  • How her life changed in 2013
  • Being diagnosed with a rare genetic eye disease called Stargardts
  • Now being registered as Severely Visually impaired S.V.I /blind
  • Losing her driving licence, her job, and her home in the space of 4 months
  • Dealing with the trauma 
  • Moving back home to Devon and spending time on the South West Coast Path
  • Action for Blind People - now connected to RNIB
  • Joining a local walking group and how that helped process her thoughts and feelings 
  • Getting to a place of acceptance?
  • How her life is different now
  • What she can see through her eyes
  • Completing her first ultra challenge 50km over Exmoor 
  • How it changed her self confidence 
  • Navigation 
  • The idea for - Nicky’s most marvellous ridiculous adventure
  • Sharing the adventure and making it a reality 
  • The route
  • Talking with people along the way about sight loss
  • Self funding and working on a tight budget
  • Hoping that people will come and join her 
  • Starting in the Orkney Islands
  • Fears and concerns before the start of the trip
  • Wanting to prove to herself that she can still do big thing
  • Having a sense of purpose 
  • Final words of advice for women
  • What do you actually want to do?

 

 

Social Media

 

Instagram: @blind.girl.walking 

Facebook: Nicky’s most marvellous, ridiculous adventure 

Just Giving: https://www.justgiving.com/page/nicky-button-16797715248 

 
 
Apr 4, 2023

Sasha DiGiulian began climbing in 1998 at 6 years old. She won the World Championships for Female Overall, a Silver in the Bouldering World Championships, as well as Bronze in the Duel. 

Sasha was also the undefeated pan-American Champion for over a decade. Outdoors, Sasha is the first North American woman to climb the grade 9a, 5.14d. Additionally, she has on-sighted multiple 8b+’s, 5.14a’s, ascended groundbreaking, multi-pitch routes of over 1500 feet of 8c climbing, and accomplished multiple First Ascents and over 30 First Female Ascents around the World.

Sasha is a graduate of Columbia University in New York City where she studied Non-fiction Writing and Business. 

She is on the Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and is an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, Access Fund, and American Alpine Club. She is the founder of SEND Bars and Female Focused Adventures, and is a co-founder of RoamTV.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you. 

 

Show Notes

  • Being based in Boulder, Colorado 
  • Growing up in the Washing DC Area
  • Her early years 
  • Being sporty from a young age
  • Getting into climbing at 6 years old
  • Discovering climbing as a competitive sport
  • Winning her first competition 
  • Falling in love with the sport 
  • Being supported by her mum
  • Dealing with the pressure of performing and needing to be perfect
  • Train so hard that even on a bad day you can still succeed
  • Dealing with pressure as a professional athlete
  • Using the pressure to her advantage
  • Building her own brand 
  • Deciding to go to college
  • Spending weekends in NYC training 
  • Making the transition from climbing indoors to big walls outside 
  • Feeling more motivated when climbing outside
  • In 2012 - doing her first big wall expedition in the Dolomites 
  • The lessons learned from big wall expeditions 
  • Type 2 fun!!
  • Her next chapter in climbing
  • How does it work with expedition planning
  • Building out the team 
  • Logistic - getting to the location, base camp, food, equipment etc
  • Launching a nutrition bar company - SEND Bars
  • The importance of fuelling her body especially being celiac (gluten free)
  • Planning the route from the ground
  • How to connect with Sasha
  • Read Sasha’s blog posts 
  • Working on a secret plan for 2023
  • Words of advice to inspire you to step outside your comfort zone
  • Being committed to what makes you passionate

 

Social Media

Website sashadigiulian.com

Instagram @sashadigiulian 

Facebook @sashadigiulian

Twitter @sashadigiulian

Youtube https://www.youtube.com/sashadigiulian

 
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