Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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May 19, 2020
Jo is known by her twitter and Instagram handle @HappyHealthy50 which is where I first discovered her. 
Jo is 53 years young and lives on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Jo is a single mum, after getting divorced in her early 40s and has two sons aged 21 and 17. 
In May 2014, after the loss of her mum, Jo decided to row a million metres and marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support. For eight months Jo would head down to her local gyn and hop on the rowing machine. She would then row 10,000 metres. She would do this every other night after work - through her dedication and hard work, Jo raised £10,000 for charity.
During this podcast Jo also shared more about her experiences with menopause and peri menopause and how exercise helped her both physically and mentally and how she began to incorporate more of it into her life. 
In September 2016 Jo picked up a paddle board for the first time and she had no idea where it would lead! Since that moment, Jo has gone on to become the first women to stand up paddle board (SUP) 162 miles /260km from coast to coast (Liverpool to Goole) across Great Britain. 
Jo talks more about self confidence, dealing with grief, living her dreams, joy and learning to be proud of herself.
Show notes
  • Who is Jo
  • More about her family
  • Her greatest joy at the moment
  • Learning more about her childhood
  • Growing up in North Yorkshire
  • Her love of the sea
  • What life was like in her forties
  • Going through a divorce
  • “I can’t do this anymore” - “I just want to sleep”
  • Getting through the tough times
  • Getting an old indoor rowing machine
  • Starting to be able to sleep
  • Fitting in the exercise
  • Taking the first step 
  • Having no expectations
  • Why fitness wasn’t a priority 
  • Raising money in memory of her mum
  • Deciding to row 1 million metres and a marathon!!!
  • Rowing 10,000 every over night for 8 months (200 days)!!
  • Dealing with her grief and needing to get it out of her body
  • What is was like turning 50
  • Jo’s experience of menopause and peri menopause 
  • Having to put herself on the priority list
  • The power of exercise 
  • Doing stuff (exercise) that she love
  • Learning how to say no to stuff
  • Joy!
  • Jo’s paddle boarding journey
  • Rain or Shine 30 - getting outside for 30 mins everyday
  • Paddle board the North - 162 miles coast to coast in Great Britain
  • Putting her dream away
  • Needing to have a big dream to pull her into the future
  • To trust in the timing of your life
  • The planning and preparation for the coast to coast challenge
  • Getting the time off work
  • Working backwards from the start date
  • Facts make dreams possible 
  • Why it didn’t feel hard
  • The physical challenges of the expedition
  • Living her dream
  • Picking up litter on the journey
  • Having people question her ability while on the water
  • The positive impact on self confidence and believe
  • Being proud of starting the challenge
  • Trusting in herself more
  • Creating a short 1 min film
  • Final words of advice for women around being brave
Social Media
Instagram @healthyhappy50
Twitter @healthyhappy50
May 14, 2020
We first spoke with Arita on February 8th 2016. Since then Arita has continued to follow her passions. She has recently returned from her 2nd expedition to the rainforest in Papua New Guinea. 
While in Papua’s New Guinea, Arita has been focusing on life in the forest. This has involved taking sound recordings of ambient sounds, birds, etc. with the goal of producing a podcast in which the forest is the main character. There has also been a focus on the birds and how they communicate with each other and the local people.
For the past two years Arita has also initiated a landscape project in the Netherlands to rewild Dutch minds and to innovate mainstream cartographic maps. Arita also shares more about starting the - Dictionary for the Future.
Arita in her own words,
“Thirty years of exploration in wild places taught me that the separation between man and nature is an idea that exists in the western mind only. Nature is not ‘out there’, we are part of it. During my travels I was struck by the intimate way herders and nomadic people relate to the natural environment. Land in those regions has agency, intelligence and spirit. Closer to home, in the Netherlands, nature is considered a resource or at best a pleasant decor. We are stuck with an outdated model of reality. Let’s explore new narratives and in doing so create the world we want to live in!”
This is a fascinating podcast which will get you to explore more of your mind and the different way of explaining the world.
Show notes
  • Welcoming Arita
  • Who is Arita
  • What is her background?
  • Exploring difficult ways of explaining the world
  • Different realities at the same time
  • Starting a project in Holland
  • Nature spirits
  • A new way of mapping
  • Mapping subjective experiences
  • Deep mapping
  • The impact of the virus on our lives
  • How everyone and everything is connected
  • Needing to explore new places
  • Heading out to Papa New Guinea in 2016
  • The challenges of the jungle
  • Communication with the birds in the jungle
  • Studying bird language
  • Making a podcast with the sounds
  • Doing pioneering research 
  • What it was like on expedition
  • Making sure there were women in the team
  • What is ecological intelligence?
  • Not being spiritual or religious
  • Believing in nature spirits
  • Funding the expeditions
  • The power of setting a deadline
  • Money is important - but - Believe in your own mission
  • Trust in yourself
  • Getting all the information she needed 
  • The next steps after the expedition
  • Needing discipline in order to get the work done
  • Working on the podcast 
  • Dealing with loneliness 
  • The dictionary for the future
  • Special words
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Facebook - Arita Baaijens
Twitter - @aritabaaijens
May 12, 2020
Louise is a Dundee based person trainer and endurance athlete. She has spent her career focusing on improving the mental and physical health of women, utilising her expansive knowledge to adapt recommendations to allow each individual to strive for an improvement in their health.
Louise has struggled with depression throughout her life. This in turn has been the driving motivation for the fundraising Louise has undertaken over several years. To give an example of the extent of her running ability, one of the races she ran in 2016 was the Marathon des Sables, raising over £5,000 for Dundee Association for Mental Health, covering 154 miles over 6 days in gruelling conditions. 
Louise describes herself as a ‘middle to back of the pack’ runner, loving to chat with fellow runners along the way, to hear their stories and what has brought them to take on their current challenge.
Louise is passionate about raising the profile of mental health, holding talks in schools and businesses as well as the general public. 2017 saw the launch of Dundee mental health awareness week – Heart Tay Heart, started by Louise herself.
2020 will see Louise take on her biggest challenge to date #2020RunNorthSea it involves 7 countries, 2 feet and over 3,000 miles in approximately 100 days.
Show notes
  • Who is Louise and what she does
  • Her passion for rugby and running
  • Deciding to become a personal trainer
  • Sports and self esteem
  • Sharing more about her journey of mental health
  • Managing her own mental health
  • Taking photos while out running
  • Having alternatives to manage your mental health apart from exercise
  • Needed to get out of her own head
  • Continuing to learn about herself and what works
  • Having a gratitude journal - A positivity journal
  • The 100 Day Run in the Cotswolds 
  • Having her eyes opened to a whole new world of people and challenges
  • Starting to do fundraising
  • Running the Marathon des Sables in 2016
  • Going back to university while working full time
  • The MDS - “Being brilliant and awful in equal measures”
  • Having too much time in her own head
  • Rolling her ankle on the first day of MDS 
  • The horrific sandstorm on the 1st day
  • Having a good cry and letting it all out
  • Growing into the challenge
  • Wanting to go back and do the challenge again
  • 2017 - The West Highland Way Race - 95 miles in 35 hrs
  • Dealing with some of the worst weather in Scotland
  • How having a 20 min power sleep made all the difference
  • Finishing the race in 30 hrs with thanks to her support crew
  • Key lessons learned from extreme endurance events
  • Having physical fitness and being able to go to the next level mentally 
  • 2017 - Launching Dundee mental health awareness week – Heart Tay Heart
  • Focusing on the services that are being provided to help support mental health
  • #2020RunNorthSea
  • Starting the run from her home town in Dundee
  • Aiming to do 100 days - approx 40 miles per day - with a rest day every 7 days
  • Key aims and objectives from doing this challenge
  • Hopping that people will come and join her on the route
  • Getting support from so many people in the local community
  • Deciding to do this challenge…
  • Doing the challenge solo
  • Dealing with other peoples fears and concerns
  • Don’t let other people limit you and your dreams
  • How to fund and pay for the challenge - Feed Me Days - £25
  • The challenge of female hormones on training and day to day life
  • Working with your monthly cycle
  • Follow Louise on Social Media
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram @silverfoxm3h
Facebook @louisejohnstoneOCR
May 7, 2020
Carolin Botterill is a 54 year old mom of 3 grown daughters. She lives with her husband and dog in Calgary, Canada. 
Carolin loves taking herself on ultra-running and backpacking adventures to far-flung corners of the globe, and she is passionate about shining the light on mental illness as a member of the Bigger Than the Trail team. 
During this podcast episode we catch up with Carolin, who we first spoke to in November 27th 2018.  Since then Carolin has gone on to her first 100 mile race a dream she has been working towards for over 8 years! Carolin shares more about that experience, what she did differently and how positivity helped her during the race. 
Carolin also shares more about dealing with her first DNF (Did Not Finish) at the start of January 2019 during the Spine Race in the UK, plus camping solo in the back country and what it was like running the Jungle Ultra with a friend. 
Show notes
  • Who is Carolin
  • Her achievements in 2019
  • Smashing a 100 miles (her 5th attempt)
  • How she trained differently
  • Having a goal for 8 years and continuing to work towards it
  • Getting over the mental block in doing a 100 mile race
  • The power of staying positive during the race
  • The Spine Race - January 2019
  • Dealing with a DNF
  • Bouncing back from failure blog post
  • Doing the canal walk from Liverpool to Leeds
  • Respecting the race
  • The British Weather…
  • Getting back out to running pretty quickly
  • Preparing for the next challenge the Jungle Ultra in Peru
  • The benefits and challenges of doing a race with a friend.
  • Wanting to be brave and have courage
  • Going camping in the back country solo
  • Why being out in nature by yourself is very empowering
  • Being alone with your own thoughts
  • The start of 2020 
  • Escape from the Jungle
  • Wanting to take her races to the next level
  • Doing the challenge solo 
  • 14 competitors with 2 women
  • What the survival training was like
  • Feeling unprepared before the start…
  • What the race was like
  • Getting outside her comfort zone with a 200ft waterfall
  • Not enjoying the experience
  • Managing fears while being out in the jungle
  • Quick Fire Questions
Social Media
Website/Blog - 

Facebook: @accidentalultrarunner

Instagram: @carolinbotterill

May 5, 2020
Rosie, 25, a fell runner, climber, wild swimmer and all-round mountain lover from the Lake District in the UK is currently running to Mongolia! While running, she’s searching for stories about new ways of living and working while meeting our needs in a time of climate crisis.
"I will also cross as many mountain ranges and areas of wilderness, remoteness and natural beauty as I can”
Rosie started her solo and self supported run on the 17th August 2019. Along the way, Rosie will be meeting with people from projects who are creating a new, and a more sustainable way of living, and who are dedicated to tackling the climate crisis and its related issues. Rosie will share these stories through her website.
"By exploring the climate crisis and it’s solutions through a story of adventure, I aim to explore these issues in a fresh and personal way."
Show notes
  • Who is Rosie
  • Starting on the 17th August
  • Being stuck in Kosovo 
  • Where the idea for the run came from 
  • Looking for a job after university
  • Keeping the plan very vague and loose
  • Moving the start date from October to August
  • The planning and preparation
  • Trying to be flexible with the route
  • Creating her own website 
  • Contacting brands for sponsorship
  • Trying to get local media interested
  • Planning the first couple of weeks of the route
  • Paying for the challenge
  • Deciding to set up a Go Fund Me account
  • Having a budget of £50 per week…
  • Problems with sticking to the budget
  • Only planning to run for 1 year….
  • Why she decided to finish her run in Mongolia
  • The route so far
  • The physicality of the challenge
  • Having a running buggy for parts of the challenge
  • Meeting people and seeing a different range of projects
  • What it’s like wild camping
  • The biggest challenge while out on the run
  • How to cope with the tough days
  • Food and music
  • Daily routines
  • Being stuck in Kosovo due to the Corona Virus
  • Final words of advice for other women 
Social Media
Website  - 
Go Fund Me Page - 
Instagram @RosieWats
Facebook @RosieWatson:TheNewStoryRun. 
Twitter @r_birdshouts
Apr 30, 2020
Audrey in her own words..
In November 2013, I made a bit of running history when I became the first Scot (and second British woman) to complete my Antarctic Odyssey — the Antarctic Ice Marathon and Antarctic 100km double — in the space of three days, and this is one of my greatest achievement.
Crossing that 100k finish line marked both the end of a journey and the beginning of a new one...
In 2015, I completed the North Pole Marathon and became the first Scot to complete all 3 polar races. I also added the West Highland Way Race and West Highland Way Triple Crown and 100 miles in 24 hours at the Glenmore 24 hour trail race to my tally of achievements.
In January 2017 I became the first person to complete the double extreme marathon event of the Namibian Sand Marathon and Genghis Khan Ice Marathon: 36 degrees to minus 32 degrees.
During this podcast we will be focused on what Audrey has been up to since 2017. Audrey will share more details about the double extreme marathon event of the Namibian Sand Marathon and Genghis Khan Ice Marathon. Audrey will share more about the challenging races and what she has learned on the way, she will also share more about the global odyssey and how her dreams and goals have evolved over time. 
If you are a passionate runner and enjoy hearing tales of adventure and challenge, then this is the perfect episode for you! Enjoy!
The Global Odyssey story so far:
  • Antarctica - 2013, The Antarctic Ice 100k and The Antarctic Ice Marathon. 
  • Europe - 2017, Grand Raid Des Bogomiles 100k. I have run a number of marathons in Europe.
  • Asia - 2018, The Gobi Desert Global Odyssey 100k and 2017 The Mongolian Ice Marathon
  • Africa - 2019 The Moroccan Global Odyssey 100k and 2017 The Namibian Sand Marathon.
  • South America -  2019 The Patagonian Global Odyssey 100k and 2014 The Volcano Marathon.
  • Oceania - 2020 The New Zealand Global Odyssey 100k and the Global Odyssey New Zealand Marathon.
Show notes
  • Who is Audrey
  • How she got into running
  • Trying an ultra!
  • Reflecting back on 2017
  • Her goal to run an ultra on all 7 continents and having someone else do it first
  • How it change her ultimate goal
  • Needing a different dream
  • Taking the sense of urgency and time out of the goal
  • Dealing with the extreme heat and extreme cold of running challenges
  • David Scott from Sandbaggers 
  • Menstruation and menopause and impact on training
  • The Global Odyssey 
  • Failing the first challenge
  • Getting some of the basics wrong from hydration to taking salt tablets
  • Dealing with the aftermath of failure 
  • Going to the Gobi desert in August
  • Starting to run without headphones
  • What a normal training week looks like
  • 3rd time lucky with running in Africa
  • Heading to Argentina in April 2019
  • Losing her mum and not being able to run
  • Deciding to head to New Zealand for the next ultra and marathon race
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you
Social Media
Instagram - @aa_mcintosh
Facebook - Audrey McIntosh
Twitter - @audreymcintosh 
Apr 28, 2020
Gina 28, from Sweden has a passion for travel and adventure, and for pushing herself outside of her comfort zone. Her goal is to “Escape the Ordinary”. Over the past few years, that is what Gina has done!
On May 14th 2016 Gina left Sydney on a bicycle, with everything she would need to be self sufficient as she cycled 2,700km up the east coast of Australia to Cairns, where she stayed for 2 months.
In early 2018 Gina decided to take on her first big solo winter expedition, skiing 60 days from North Cape to Jäckvik  in Sweden, having never skied before. Since then she has gone on to cross  Lake Baikal in Siberia (Russia), 692 km  over 14.5 days - Going solo from South to North and most recently she did the NORGE PÅ LANGS a 3,000km walk over 3.5 months, from the southernmost point in Lindesnes to North Cape the northernmost point of Norway.
During this episode, Gina shares more about her early life, how she got into adventure, how she picks future challenges and what she has learned on the way. Gina also provides top tips and advice to motivate and inspire you as you go after your next challenge.
Show notes
  • Who is Gina
  • Growing up in Sweden around horses
  • Why she decided to enter the world of adventure
  • Leaving school at 16 and starting to work with horses in a professional capacity
  • Getting into Thai boxing and trail running
  • Being inspired by podcasts
  • Not being excited by work anymore
  • Starting to look for a new challenge in her life
  • The process behind getting more adventure in her life
  • Deciding to cycle the East coast of Australia with her now ex boyfriend
  • Spending 3 months living in the mountains
  • Dealing with injury
  • Starting to be scared when riding horses
  • What she would do differently on a big cycle trip
  • Where the idea came from for the ski expedition
  • Wanting to see more of her own country
  • Having no experience in skiing
  • Deciding to start at North Cape - the northern most point in Sweden
  • Starting 3 week later than planned due to delayed equipment and bad equipment
  • Doing the challenge solo and unsupported
  • Walking for days in a whiteout 
  • Not being able to make any mistakes while in the extreme cold
  • Think 3 x before you act
  • How this challenge changed her life going forward
  • Thinking about happiness
  • Moving back to Norway
  • Meeting a new man!
  • 2019 - Hiking across Lake Baikal in Siberia 
  • Dealing with the extreme cold in Siberia
  • The importance of good quality gear
  • Getting to the start of Lake Baikal 
  • Dealing with feelings of loneliness 
  • Deciding on the next big challenge
  • Travelling with her partner and a dog!
  • The amazing moments
  • Dealing with winter storms
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Website  - 
Instagram @ginajohansen91
Twitter @ginajohansen91
Facebook @ginajohansen91
Apr 23, 2020
Alice in her own words…
“I am an adventurer and an explorer. I travel to the furthest places on earth and walk through its toughest habitats. I have been described as ‘Indiana Jones for girls’  (which I liked!) We live in a time when the world is in crisis in so many ways. I want to bear witness to what is happening to the planet as our climate and our society changes and I want to tell the stories that bring we humans together rather than the ones that drive us apart. Together, we can strive towards solutions and a happier world.  What better place to start than with the places and people that are furthest away.”
During this episode Alice will share more about her walk across the Sahara Desert. Alice left Draa at Oued Chbika on the 26th November 2019 and walked over 1000 miles (with three Amazigh (Berber) companions and six camels) to Guerguerat on the Mauritanian Border and finished part 2 of the adventure at the end of February 2020. 
Show notes
  • Who is Alice
  • The Sahara Expedition - the toughest challenge to date
  • The team of camels
  • The 2nd part of the trilogy
  • The planning and preparation 
  • Starting in November 2019
  • Using an expedition organiser 
  • The challenge of getting water and food
  • The goals and the purpose
  • Reclaiming the word explore
  • Wanting to travel slow and to take in all the details
  • Being a woman and how she can interact with everyone
  • Not doing enough training
  • The start line and what it was like
  • Finding sponsors and getting media attention
  • Thank you to Craghoppers   
  • How expectations didn’t match the reality
  • Team dynamics
  • Getting into routine
  • Walking at 5km per hour
  • Looking for trees in the desert
  • Tent life
  • Being a team member and not just a client
  • Getting water from Nomads
  • Being on an expedition with 6 camels
  • Starting a podcast! Alice in Wanderland  
  • Spending the New Year in the desert
  • Making Christmas special 
  • Walking into the nothingness of the desert
  • Climate change and desertification 
  • Key lessons from the experience 
  • Learning patience
  • Hoping to take on part 3 of the expedition at the end of June
  • Final words of advice 


Social Media

Website :  

Twitter: @aliceoutthere1

Instagram: @aliceoutthere1

Facebook: @AliceHunterMorrisonAdventures 

Apr 21, 2020
Slow down. Stop running. Pregnant and postpartum women have heard this advice since the beginning of time. Many runners have no idea what they can and cannot do during pregnancy and postpartum, leaving them unsure, scared, and susceptible to injury.”
During this podcast, we talk with Kate and Blair about their first book. Go Ahead, Stop and Pee: Running During Pregnancy and Postpartum. This book throws out all those old wives’ tales and proves that women can keep running—during and after pregnancy. All they need is the right information.
More info about the book:
Written by two moms and physical therapists who also have a passion for running, Go Ahead, Stop and Pee is a fresh voice that empowers women to maintain their running lifestyle during pregnancy and postpartum. Combining first-hand experiences as well as science.
During this episode we discuss: 
  • Common myths about running pregnant and postpartum
  • A few key exercises for pregnant runners
  • What the pelvic floor is and why it’s so important
  • The 4th Trimester
  • Tips for running with a stroller/pram
Plus much more!
This podcast episode is ideal for any soon-to-be or new mom who wants to keep on running and wants to be as informed as possible. 
Show notes
  • Meeting Kate and Blair
  • Finding out more about their running backstories
  • How running became a lifestyle
  • Getting pregnant during triathlon training
  • Myths around running while pregnant
  • Myths around postpartum running
  • Key things that pregnant women need to know about running
  • Pelvic floor muscles
  • The power of the breath
  • What is the 4th trimester?
  • Postpartum is forever
  • The reasons for writing the book
  • Kate’s story of returning to running after pregnancy
  • Ending up with a stress fracture
  • Being at a higher risk of stress fractures when you’re breast feeding
  • Blair’s story of returning to running after pregnancy
  • Dealing with a hip injury
  • Taking years to be able to run without pain
  • Having a plan to get back into running
  • Top tips for new mothers
  • Getting a pelvic health check done
  • Running with a stroller
  • Check out this Youtube video for running with a stroller
  • Favourite exercise and where to start 
  • Barefoot training 
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Dr. Kate Edwards
Endurance athlete guru, PT, author, biz owner & educator helping
PTs widen the lens on treating endurance athletes
Instagram @katemihevcedwards 
Facebook @KateMihevcEdwards. 
Dr. Blair Green  - Pelvic Guru
Facebook @CatalystGA 
Twitter @Catalyst_GA 
Go Ahead, Stop and Pee
Facebook @goaheadstopandpee 
Instagram @goaheadstopandpee. 


Apr 16, 2020
Phoebe Smith is an adventurer, presenter, broadcaster, author, editor, photographer, speaker and filmmaker.
By day she is award-winning travel writer, broadcaster and presenter, host of the Wander Woman Podcast, Sleep Storyteller-in-Residence at and contributing editor for Wanderlust Travel Magazine. By night she’s an extreme sleeping outdoors adventurer who thrives on heading to the wildest locations she can find to sleep in the strangest places she can seek out.
She was the first person to sleep at all the extreme points of mainland Britain – including the centremost point – which she did solo, on consecutive nights in 2014. In December 2017 she gave up her Christmas to complete the self-devised Sleep the Three Peaks challenge – in which she overnighted on the summits of the highest mountains in Wales, England and Scotland - successfully raising over £8,000 and awareness for Centrepoint (the young people's homeless charity) ending on Christmas morning on the summit of Ben Nevis. In 2018 she gave up Christmas again to walk the Hadrian Hundred for Homeless dressed as Wander Woman.
In 2020 she will embark on a world first in Antarctica with her teammate Dwayne Fields, in a bid to raise awareness about climate change and how it effects the wildlife who call the place home, and as part of a bigger project to take a group of underprivileged young people to the White Continent in 2021 with her #WeTwo Foundation (LINK
She is the author of 10 books including the bestselling Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper,Wilderness Weekends: Wild Adventures in Britain's Rugged Corners, The Wilderness Cookbook and the Travel Writer’s Field Guide.
Show notes
  • Who is Phoebe
  • Extreme Sleeping
  • Getting more involved in charity work
  • Deciding to sleep the 3 peaks
  • What was involved and the challenges involved
  • Deciding to sleep off 10 UK Landmarks
  • Walking the width of Britain dressed as WanderWoman
  • The WE TWO Foundation 
  • What it was like on Snowdonia in winter
  • Being in a cloud inversion
  • Dealing with gale force winds 
  • Her motivations
  • Sleeping better outdoors 
  • Sleep stories for an app called 
  • The process behind sleep stories 
  • Becoming a slow traveller
  • Portaledges…
  • Sleeping in a harness
  • How to poo and pee from the tent
  • Using a pee bowl…
  • The Night Vision Challenge in 2019 
  • What Three Words 
  • Not having any kayaking experience 
  • We Two Foundation
  • The challenges of talking about gender and race with companies
  • Having to change the goal due to lack of funding
  • Doing the challenge in the UK - Seabirds to South
  • Planting seeds for the next generation
  • The challenges of the UK weather and dealing with the rain…
  • Human kindness seen on the trip
  • Maintaining moral during the tough times
  • The Wander Woman Podcast 
  • Wanting to go to Easter Island in Chile
  • Katherine Routledge who helped us understand the origins of the Easter Island moai.
  • Getting mad and getting even by telling women’s stories
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you
Social Media
Instagram @phoebersmith
Twitter @PhoebeRSmit 
Apr 14, 2020
Miriam Lancewood was born in a loving home in a small village in the Netherlands in 1983. After completing her university degree, she worked for a year in Zimbabwe, and then traveled to India. And in India she met her now husband Peter Raine.
Peter had resigned from his job as university lecturer in New Zealand and had moved to India to live like a ‘modern nomad’. He had lived five years in India when they met.
Together they hiked over eight mountains ranges in the Himalayas, journeyed for years through South East Asia, including Papua New Guinea, and eventually they ended up in Peter’s home country: New Zealand.
Miriam worked for a while as a teacher, then they decided to give up all their worldly belongings and move into the mountains with a tent and bow and arrow.
They wanted to learn how to hunt and survive in the wilderness, and they wanted to find out what happens to the mind and body, when living in the beauty of the wildest nature on earth.
Show notes
-   Growing up in Holland
  • Wanting to be a sports teacher
  • Heading off travelling at 21 years old
  • Meeting her husband Peter and travelling together
  • Climbing 8 mountain ranges in the Himalayas 
  • Deciding to live in the wilderness
  • Making it to New Zealand and having to work as a teacher for a year
  • Tramping in the mountains
  • Deciding to spend a year in the mountains
  • How to afford to live
  • What it was like living in the wilderness
  • Learning how to hunt…
  • Deciding to catch possums
  • Not knowing what to do
  • Learning the art of doing nothing
  • Walking the Te Araroa Trail, 3,000km from the North to the South
  • Keeping clean and healthy
  • Dealing with periods
  • Keeping in contact with friends and family 
  • Not taking anything for granted
  • Her relationship with Peter
  • Deciding to write a book about her life
  • Having to find a house 
  • Stress and anxiety in the wilderness
  • Thinking short term to not get overwhelmed
  • Lessons learned from living in the wilderness
  • Walking the Lycian Way in Turkey
  • Second book on it’s way with plans to release it in October 2020
  • Plans for the future
  • Attending writers festivals around the world
  • Learning how to cook and skin the animals
  • The roles in the relationship
  • Why you should read the book and how it will inspire you
  • Not understanding social media
  • Final words of advice
  • The power of sleeping
Social Media
Website - 

Apr 9, 2020
In 2019 Mollie set off on her most ambitious expedition to date, skiing solo from the coast of Antarctica to the Geographic South Pole.
29-year-old adventurer and motivational speaker, who was born in Devon and lives in Edinburgh, started her world record attempt at 1.40 pm (Chilean time / 4.40 pm UK time) on Wednesday 13 November. 
After 58.5 days and 650 hours of skiing alone in whiteouts, storm-force winds and temperatures hitting minus 45C, Mollie reached the Geographic South Pole on the 10th January 2020 at 8.50 am (Chilean time / 11.50 am UK time) – achieving her second world record by becoming the youngest woman in the world to ski solo from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.
Listen to Mollie as she shares more about her polar challenge, discussing sponsorship, learning how to ski, coping in a whiteout, and the power of positive affirmations. 
Show notes
  • What Mollie has done before
  • Her desire to go to Antarctica 
  • The starting point with the plan
  • Figuring out the sponsorship 
  • Creating a “war room” - in the living room
  • Being a visual learner
  • Being £15k short before the start of the trip
  • Getting the final sponsor on board
  • Learning how to cross country ski
  • Training in Norway
  • Learning how to cope being solo
  • Her fears and concerns before the trip
  • Feeling happy and excited 
  • Having a degree in psychology 
  • The importance of having a routine
  • Flying over to Chile
  • Taking advantage of the small weather window
  • The first couple of days on the ice
  • Entering an horrendous weather front for 2 weeks!
  • Letting her emotions out
  • What it’s like skiing in a whiteout
  • Getting into the rhythm of skiing big miles every day
  • Not being able to get the negative thoughts out of her head
  • The power of positive affirmations
  • Figuring out priorities and making better decisions
  • Supported or unsupported
  • Mini challenge for the tribe
  • Breaking the record
  • The lessons learned 
  • Heading home and returning to normal
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • The power of getting started
Apr 7, 2020

Alyssa is the youngest Australian to Summit Mt Everest which she did at 19 years old on the 21st May 2016. Alyssa is also the youngest woman to Summit Mt Everest from both the North and South sides after successfully reaching the summit of Mt Everest from the North Side (Tibet) on the 19th May 2018 at just 21 years old.

 Alyssa began trekking in 2005 with her first challenge, crossing the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. Alyssa then trekked in Nepal, completed treks such as Everest Base Camp and Kokoda numerous times, Mt Kosciuszko in Australia, the Aussie 10 (the 10 highest peaks in Australia), Mt Kilimanjaro.

After completing Mt Kilimanjaro in 2011, Alyssa began climbing by doing a mountaineering course in NZ. Since then she has climbed in South America, Russia and Nepal on various expeditions to different peaks including: Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, Manaslu, Elbrus and four Everest Expeditions.

Alyssa was on Everest both in 2014 and 2015 when the Avalanche and the Nepal Earthquake occurred and closed the mountain. She returned in 2016 to make her first successful summit of Mt Everest.

After taking one year off Everest Season in 2017 she decided to go back in 2018 and make her successful north side attempt via Tibet.

Show notes

  • Who is Alyssa
  • Her relationship with her family
  • Finding her passion
  • People not understanding her goals
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro at 14
  • Deciding to go and climb Mt Everest
  • Struggling in school socially and feeling like an outcast
  • Setting the goal 
  • The lack of female role models growing up
  • Being surrounded by like minded individuals
  • Her 5 year journey to the summit of Mount Everest
  • Doing a climbing course in New Zealand
  • Working with a coach to get physically fit
  • Having mentors 
  • Putting her training to the test and making sure progress was being made
  • Doing a climbing expedition to the Andes in South America
  • Trekking into Everest Base Camp
  • The challenges in 2014 and 2015 at Everest
  • Trying to decide what to do next?
  • Going for her 3rd attempt in 2016
  • Dealing with her emotions
  • Perfect Performance Line
  • Keeping focused while dealing with set backs
  • Paying for the adventure
  • The team dynamics on Everest
  • Caring what other people thought
  • Why the goal to climb Everest was the most important thing
  • What summit night was like
  • 20 mins at the top!
  • The biggest challenge of climbing Everest
  • Life after Everest….
  • Going to uni to study Psychology 
  • Goals and dreams for the future
  • Final words of advice to help you achieve your dreams

Social Media

Website -

Instagram - @alyssaazar 

Facebook - @AlyssaAzarAdventurer  


Apr 2, 2020
Anna McNuff is an adventurer, speaker, author and mischief maker. Named by The Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time, Condé Nast Traveller included her in a list of the 50 most influential travellers in the world. She is also the UK ambassador for Girl Guiding.
Anna’s major journeys include cycling a beautiful pink bicycle through each and every state of the USA, running the length of New Zealand, and exploring the peaks and passes of The Andes mountains – a journey in which she ascended the equivalent to eleven times the height of Everest on a bicycle.
In the summer of 2019, she set off on her most ambitious adventure yet – a 2,300+ mile (90 marathon) run through Britain… in her bare feet. Starting in the Shetland Islands and ending five months later in London, she weaved her way along rugged coastlines, through small villages, across moors, along beaches, over farmland and even pitter pattered down the odd picturesque A-road too. All the way along, she gave talks to the young women of Britain about taking on challenges of their own.
Much closer to home, Anna has also spent a month cycling across Europe directed entirely by social media, run the length of Hadrian’s wall dressed as a Roman Soldier, and the length of the Jurassic Coast, dressed as a dinosaur. As you do.
She can often be found writing in a local café in her home city of Gloucester, and will never turn down a slice of lemon meringue pie.
Show notes
  • What Anna enjoys doing
  • Why she loves doing big challenges
  • The Barefoot Britain Challenge 2019
  • How 50 barefoot marathons turned into 100…
  • Building awareness for the Girl Guiding
  • Preparing her feet for the run
  • Running the London Marathon April 2019 - 26.2 miles 
  • Dealing with other people’s opinions about you
  • Why you know what you are capable off
  • Asking for help…
  • Starting the challenge in the Shetland Islands
  • Having a kit bag called “Barry Buttercup”
  • Dealing with the logistics and how challenging it was
  • Making it 1000 miles….
  • Getting a small cut in her foot
  • Homeless?
  • Looking for a Doctor who could help!
  • Being off her feet for 2 weeks
  • Getting running coaching to help minimise injury
  • The Running Lab - London
  • Dealing with injury
  • Trigger Point Therapy 
  • Sadness
  • Defaulting to happiness
  • Pink hair and maintaining it!!!
  • Making sacrifices?
  • Choosing happiness 
  • Managing a relationship while doing adventure
  • Trying to have babies!!
  • Let’s talk about periods and moon cups
  • Finishing Barefoot Britain in London and moving the finish date
  • Running multiple marathons on running tracks around London
  • Book update!
  • Llama Drama…. coming out in July!
  • New Kids book - 100 Adventures to Have Before You Grow Up
  • Advice for self publishing your own books
  • The Creative Pen Podcast
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you.
Social Media
Instagram @annamcnuff 
Facebook @AMcNuff 
Twitter @AnnaMcNuff 

Mar 31, 2020
Catherine Wallis is a 43 year old, mother of 3 who is a plus-size adventurer. 
In her later 30s after realising she leads a very boring life, Cathy wanted to make some changes. She signed up for her first 100k ultra and has been doing challenges and adventures ever since. 
Along the way Cathy has shared more of her journey via instagram (@plus_size_adventurer) and in the process has been inspiring other women to get out and see the world – regardless of their body type.
In March 2019 Cath took part in the Rat Race Adventure Sports Mongol 100, a 100 mile long, four-day challenge across a frozen lake in northern Mongolia, in which temperatures plunged to minus -25 degrees celsius. 
Cathy has also completed numerous other adventures from the; The Canberra 100, The Big Red Run, The Oman Desert MarathonHellespont Race (swimming from Europe to Asia) and Race to the Wreck in Nambia! 
During this episode Cathy shares more about her life and the different challenges she has undertaken, she shares what she has learned and gives you advice and top tips on how you can get more adventure in your life. 
Show notes
  • Leading a boring life and wanting to make a change
  • Growing up in the 1980s
  • Realising that she needed to make a change
  • The first step to making a change
  • 100km hike in a loop
  • Starting off by making some little changes
  • Being completely underprepared for the 100K walk
  • The key lesson from this experience 
  • Starting to do 1 big event per year
  • Doing The Big Red Run
  • “How hard could it be?”
  • Training for endurance walking 
  • Noticing improvements in your life
  • The first multi stage endurance race
  • Meeting the supportive ultra running community
  • Finding day 3 to be the hardest
  • Changing her mental mindset during a race
  • “How lucky I am I to be here on my own two feet”
  • Starting to share more of her journey on social media
  • Training to run across a frozen lake in Mongolia!
  • Dealing with extreme cold
  • Being able to adapt to different challenges
  • Confidence 
  • Deciding to swim from Europe to Asia!
  • Challenges in 2019 and plans for 2020
  • Rest and recovery and dealing with post adventure blues
  • Doing a multi stage running event with her 12 year old daughter in Kenya
  • Testing out a new challenge in Russia
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Website - 
Instagram @plus_size_adventurer  
Facebook @plussizeadventurer 
Mar 26, 2020
We first spoke with Wendy for the Tough Girl Podcast in August 2019, when she shared more about her life and dreams of skiing to the South Pole. 
In January 2020, Wendy completed that goal! 
Wendy became the 7th woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported, she was the 4th fastest and completed the challenge in 42 days, 16hrs, and 23mins, she took no rest days, had no showers, and skied 720 miles in total. 
The condition were brutal and hard, with temperatures dropping to -35. This was a journey 5 years in the making and shows what hard work, commitment and focus can achieve. 
Listen to Wendy on the Tough Girl Podcast Extra as she shares more about this extraordinary challenge. 
Show notes
  • Wendy introduces herself
  • 5 years of her life
  • Paying the final bill in USD
  • The final 2 weeks before the trip
  • Getting Christmas all sorted in October
  • Getting the plane over to Antarctica 
  • Getting to the start line
  • Going after the speed record
  • Women supporting women
  • 86kg of sled weight
  • The focus you need to have every single day
  • The routines and the consistent while out on the ice
  • Dealing with a snowstorm on day 3
  • Meeting Mollie Hughes on the ice!
  • The mental challenge of the expedition
  • Not wanting to get out of the tent in the morning
  • Dealing with the isolation in such an extreme environment
  • Feeling all the support from home
  • Missing her children
  • Counting down the days
  • Doing a power pose to the sun every morning
  • Realising that the record wouldn’t be broken
  • Giving everything, every single day
  • Seeing the South Pole for the first time
  • Listening to audio books
  • Skiing into the South Pole 
  • Getting home
  • knowing that she has changed from the experience
  • Overcoming self doubt
  • The joy of sitting in a chair
  • Working on the legacy of the expedition
  • Not being a big completed finisher
  • Quick Fire Questions
Social Media
Website - 
Instagram @betweensnowandsky
Twitter  @betweensnowsky
Mar 24, 2020
Melanie Vogel - Explorer, thru-hiking Canada’s Great Trail, 24,000km from the Atlantic Ocean, to the Arctic Ocean and then on to the Pacific Ocean.
Melanie, ‘Mel’ is coming up to her 3rd Year on The Great Trail in Canada.  
Mel 44, started her journey on June 2, 2017. She began in Cape Spear on the Avalon Peninsula near St. John’s, Newfoundland, the most Eastern point of the country, and will finish at Mile Zero in Victoria, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia—after going via the Arctic Ocean. Initially she started walking with a backpack, but she has now changed over to a cart which she pulls behind her. Mel has also gained a new furry companion on the trail, Malo her dog. 
Mel spent 11 months preparing for the trail; researching, saving money, getting her gear figured out and sorting out logistics. 
During this podcast Mel shares more about her early years, her passion for travel and why doing this journey was so important. She shares more about the challenges and frustrations as well as the joy and kindness of strangers. Mel will be the first women to complete the trail when she finishes. 
Show notes
  • Living and growing up in Germany
  • Deciding to move to Vancouver in Canada
  • Taking 2.5 years to go low budget travelling around South East Asia
  • Not wanting to come home
  • How her live had changed after travelling
  • Embracing a minimalist lifestyle
  • Feeling stuck and depressed
  • When she started to think about the Great Trail
  • Deciding to move to Toronto
  • Feeling fragile and lonely 
  • Making the decision in July 2016
  • Planning and preparing for the trip
  • Doing it all alone
  • Failing to get sponsorship at the start
  • How everything just fell into place
  • Being told she was crazy
  • Feeling insecure about the trip
  • Gaining new knowledge to take on this challenge
  • Having to constantly defend her decision to walk The Great Trail
  • Dealing with her own fears and doubts
  • Gaining new skills and gaining confidence
  • Human interactions on the trail
  • Funding the challenge
  • The physicality of the challenge
  • Carrying a pack or pulling a cart
  • Dealing with the extreme cold temperatures
  • Going for more comfort
  • Having a dog and the new challenges that came along
  • Needing a hug on the trail
  • Planning on going to the Arctic Ocean
  • Having many end dates on this journey 
  • Blogging while on the trail
  • Advice for other women on how to take on their own personal challenge
  • Learning patience 

Social Media

Website -

Twitter - @BetweenSunsets 

Instagram - @betweensunsets 

Mar 19, 2020

Sarah decided to tackle the Murray River in her home country of Australia, less than eight months after completing the Nile expedition.  

While there weren’t any hippos and crocs to deal, it wasn’t without its risks. There were snakes (and of course being Australian they were deadly), extreme weather conditions, sections with little water thanks to the drought and plenty more challenges to deal with. 

In 60 days Sarah covered 2,500km. 

The first four days were trekking to the source with a small team and then sticking within a stone’s throw until it was time to get in her kayak. 

For the next 56 days Sarah was solo. 

On 13th February 2020 Sarah reached the Southern Ocean and the end of the Murray River. It was another expedition that tested her mentally as much as physically. 

Listen to Sarah as she shares more about this challenge on the Tough Girl Podcast EXTRA!

Show notes

  • Sarah introduces herself
  • The Murray River Expedition
  • Source to Sea on each continent?
  • Wanting to do an adventure in Australia
  • The start of the River in the Snowy mountains 
  • How long to plan, train and prepare…
  • Trying to write a book
  • Starting the challenge on the 16th December 2019
  • Having to get a different type of kayak
  • Figuring out how to get to the source of the Murray River!
  • Dealing with low water levels
  • Reaching the start!
  • The physical side of the challenge
  • The challenge of not making progress
  • Dealing with frustration
  • Resupply via towns every 4 days or so
  • The highlights from the river
  • Getting the time to do some deep thinking 
  • Doing the challenge solo
  • Going back to uni?
  • Update on the book….fun?!
  • Having a bit of a break…
  • Thinking about an ocean row….
  • Time and money!
  • Heading to Nepal for the Annapurna base Camp Trek
  • Adventure blues?
  • Quick Fire Questions

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @Sarah_paddles  

Youtube @SarahDavis - 

For more info on Paddling the Nile -

Mar 17, 2020
Tiffany Coates has explored six continents by motorcycle, riding many hundreds of thousands of miles through countless countries during more than twenty years of adventurous journeys. Tiffany’s travels continue, both solo and through her work as a motorcycle tour guide, and her talks and presentations are always in demand at adventure travel events around the world.
Tiffany began her very first motorcycle trip with her best friend, riding two-up, reaching the ground on tip-toe on a quarter-tonne BMW called ‘Thelma’. 
Having recently passed their tests they had just two months of riding experience between them when they set off. Breaking bones, doing bad Abba impressions, and reading maps upside down, they wobbled out of the UK and across Europe all the way to India.
That first journey was supposed to last nine months, but once they reached Delhi, they found they couldn’t stop and so they ended up crossing four continents and staying on the road (or trail!) for two and a half years. Tiffany was well and truly bitten by the motorcycle travelling bug.
Show notes
  • Her passion for travel and her desire to see the world
  • How it all started
  • Deciding to go overland to India via motorbike
  • Learning to ride a motorbike in London 
  • Filtering through traffic
  • Crossing Europe
  • Crossing into Iran and what it was like
  • Crossing through Pakistan 
  • Reaching India
  • Deciding to carry on the adventure 
  • Heading down to South East Asia
  • Ending up in Sydney and running out of money
  • Working 3 jobs to save money for the trip home
  • Deciding to go home via Africa!
  • Being able to pick the bike up while on her own
  • Wanting to share the experiences with someone else
  • Reaching out to her friend Maggie
  • The challenges of riding through Africa
  • Making a career of giving up jobs
  • Being a frugal traveller and making money last a long time
  • The reason why behind the motorcycle journey’s
  • Solitude or loneliness 
  • Borneo!
  • What happens when something goes wrong
  • Dealing with sexism 
  • Handling stress
  • Ride with Tiffany 
  • Being a free lance tour guide 
  • A book?
  • WRWR - Women Riders World Relay 
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Facebook @TiffanyCoates 
Mar 12, 2020

Kate has cycled a distance greater than twice around the world at the Equator. On August 16th 2010 she became the first person to cycle an unbroken line from Africa’s most westerly to its most easterly points; from Pointe des Almadies, Senegal to Cape Hafun, Puntland, Somalia.

Cycling 22,040 km over ten months, Kate’s Breaking the Cycle in Africa Expedition was not only a physical quest but an odyssey to highlight the development needs and activities of war-torn and poverty-stricken nations.

Cycling through twenty countries, Kate aimed to find out what is being done to give a ‘leg up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ – to shine a positive light on the issues, cultures and geography of Africa.

Kate has two earlier world firsts under her belt – the Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition (1993) when she became the first woman to cycle across the new Russia unsupported (aiding the children of Chernobyl), and the 25,000km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (2004/05) which included the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route by a woman.

In June 2019, Kate completed another original expedition when she became the first person to cycle the entire Namibian coastline, a 1621km sand cycling expedition from the mouth of the Kunene River on the Angolan border to the Orange River mouth on the South African border.

Kate’s latest challenge, Breaking the Cycle South Pole, will result in the first bicycle crossing of the Antarctic continent via the South Pole (2020).

The Breaking the Cycle education programme aims to help prepare our future leaders to make informed decisions to create a better world. Students across the globe can follow her preparatory activities and Antarctic expedition and partake in the Breaking the Cycle Education learning modules and lessons with the end goals of creating their own projects.

Show notes

  • A brief introduction to Kate and some of her previous challenges
  • Developing new bike technology
  • Setting up an education program
  • Doing too many expeditions in 2018
  • 2019 expeditions down the Namibian coastline
  • The current 2020 expedition - The Andes, the Altiplano & the Atacama (South America).
  • Being in Cusco ready to start the next expedition 
  • 2017 spending time in Canada
  • Experiencing the cold
  • Trying to fit everything in 
  • The planning for the expeditions
  • Paying for expeditions 
  • How the education piece was developed
  • When the logistics of the trip get really complicated
  • Training and maintaining fitness
  • Dealing with stress and mental health 
  • Plans for 2020
  • Getting an Honorary Doctorate Degree
  • Final words of advice


Social Media

Visit - and sign up to the newsletter! 

Twitter: @Leeming_Kate

Mar 10, 2020

In 2016 Sophie Rooney set off with the bold intention of becoming the first woman to run the length of Scandinavia. From Nordkapp (the northernmost point of mainland Europe) to the German border with Denmark (3000 km south) carrying everything she needed on her back.

Initially accompanied by a fellow trail runner, Sophie finds herself thrown into a solo adventure running through some of the most rugged scenery Europe has to offer.

Heading out to Norway, bears are top of Sophie’s worries. However, she is soon to find that these big grizzly creatures would be the least of her concerns. 

In the first month alone having to battle extreme fatigue, dehydration, relentless bog, hunger and eventually illness, the odds are quickly stacked against her. 

However, not willing to give in Sophie pushes on, often against the advice she has received from people back home. In doing so she finds herself on a journey of self-discovery which creates memories that will last a lifetime. 

Listen to Sophie on the Tough Girl Podcast as she shares more about this incredible journey. 

Show notes

  • Her olympic dream
  • Growing up with 6 siblings
  • Starting swimming from a young age
  • Wanting to do everything properly
  • How her swimming evolved into kayaking
  • Being inspired to do a big running challenge!
  • How the run challenge evolved 
  • Having 5 months to plan and prepare
  • Flying off on the 1st August
  • Having a good level of base fitness
  • What training looked like
  • Building up a kit list
  • Funding the trip 
  • Deciding how to share her story
  • Getting into blogging 
  • Struggling at the start
  • Being scared of being left on her own
  • Knowing that she could do it solo, but needing to be brave enough to make that decision
  • Deciding to switch to the road
  • Not feeling ready when starting the run
  • Dealing with the fears and how they never went away
  • Starting to get really really tired
  • Having to call a doctor 
  • Carry on or go home?
  • Building her own self confidence
  • Daily routines while out running
  • Turning her blog posts into a book in 2019
  • Don’t over think things
  • Supporting Mimi Andersons’s run across the USA
  • Dealing with the disappointment of failure 
  • Doing a relay race from Lands End to John O’Groats
  • Moving to the Lake District and plans for 2020

Social Media

Blog -  DaringMightyThings.Blog  

Facebook @thesophierooney 

Instagram @rooneysophi  

Twitter  @thesophierooney 

Book: Rundinavia: Running 3000km through Scandinavia 

Mar 5, 2020

Jacki Hill-Murphy MA, FRGS is an explorer, teacher, film maker and speaker and has spent the past few years exploring and filming some of the most inhospitable and remote places on earth. There are many reasons why she loves  being an explorer including gathering memorable experiences that last forever recorded on film and in writing, pushing herself to the limit and being loosed from her cultural moorings.

Recreating the Journeys of the Early Women Explorers Project 

Jacki has recreated the journeys of:

Isabella Godin, the first women down the Amazon in 1769. This was done by travelling down the River Bobonaza in Ecuador and onto the River Pastaza in Peru in a dugout canoe and investigating the real truth behind her story at each landmark.

Mary Kingsley, who climbed Mount Cameroon in Africa in 1894 by a new route and nearly perished from the shear enormity of the the undertaking.

Isabela Brookes, who died in the Llanganates in Ecuador in 1912. This was part of the ‘Search for Gold’ expedition that she organised with Ken Hames of BBC Beyond Boundaries as survival leader.

Isabella Bird, who crossed the Digar-La Pass in Ladakh on a yak in 1889. Jacki relived every aspect of Isabella’s book during her 150 mile trek which included finding the house she stayed in and having tea with the King of Ladakh.

Kate Marsden who undertook a gruelling journey by horse, sledge and cart thousands of miles across Siberia to take relief to the lepers in 1892. Jacki replicated her journey as closely as possible on buses, trains and boats.

Show notes

  • Where her passion for adventure comes from 
  • The different adventures she’s done since we last spoke
  • The Amazon expedition
  • Why you should announce your plans and share it with the world
  • Figuring out how to make the journey happen
  • Finding the one person who could get her down the river safely
  • Funding the adventure 
  • Liking to create opportunities for others
  • The safety challenges of going to such remote places
  • The impact of oil and logging on local tribes in the jungle
  • The risks and dealing with fear
  • Meeting the other members of the team
  • Day to day life
  • Figuring out the food
  • The anti climax at the end of the journey
  • Reflecting back on 2017
  • Moving house from the city to the countryside
  • 2018 - The Lost Inca Trail
  • The challenges of the jungle
  • Following a 500 year old map…
  • Leading a team of all women
  • Walking the length of the River Thames
  • Under the Sky Events
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Heading to Nigeria
  • The next dream - Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail (Sudan-Uganda) 
  • Final words of advice to encourage you to explore the world!

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter:  @jackihillmurphy  

Director of Under The Sky CIC 


Mar 3, 2020

Sonya is a 42 year old Canadian who is currently hiking across Canada on the longest multi-use recreational trail in the world with her partner Sean. 

The 24,000 km long Great Trail stretches from Cape Spear, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, and from Edmonton, Alberta to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. 

They began their journey in Cape Spear, Newfoundland on 1 June 2019 and hiked just over 3,000 km to Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec before the winter arrived.  They will head back to the trail in spring, and estimate they will complete their journey in fall of 2022.

Sonya's love of hiking, camping, and the outdoors began as child during multiple school trips into the wilderness.  She built on these experiences in university, where she studied Conservation Biology and Forestry, and spent as much time as possible outside, doing field research on forest songbirds. 

Her love of long-distance hiking began with Ontario's 900 km long Bruce Trail, and grew when she hiked the 800 km Camino Frances in Spain with Sean in 2016. 

Together Sonya and Sean hiked across France on the Via Podiensis (GR 65) in 2017, and along Newfoundland's East Coast Trail in 2018.  After that they decided to make hiking a more central part of their lives, and after selling the house, donating most of their possessions, and leaving behind Sonya's desk job, they did a warm-up hike along the Camino Portuguese in early 2019 and then began their adventure on the Great Trail.

As they hike, their goal is to share positive images and stories of their travels across Canada to showcase the amazing and diverse people, places, history, and landscapes that make up this country. 

By sharing their passion for birds, hiking, and nature in person, on their blog, and through social media they hope to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds, but especially youth, to get outside, explore, and connect to nature through birding and Citizen Science.

Show notes

  • Who is Sonya
  • Growing up in Canada
  • Getting into hiking and nature
  • The Bruce Trail, Canada
  • Accommodation on the Bruce Trail
  • Walking the Camino’s in Europe
  • GR65
  • Her love of hiking
  • The Great Trail in Canada - 24,000 km
  • Their reasons for walking the Great Trail
  • Planning to hike the trail
  • How long would it take?
  • Starting in the East
  • Breaking it down into sections
  • Time and money
  • Walking for a cause
  • Having a passion for birds
  • Selling their home
  • Being ready for a change
  • The reactions of friends and family
  • Concerns before the start
  • Dealing with Hurricane Dorian
  • Problem solving while on the trail
  • Day to day life on the trail
  • The highlights so far
  • Bird watching on the trail
  • Getting fit for the trail
  • Taking it slower at the start
  • Budgets and accommodation
  • Stating section 2 in March 2020
  • What happens during the winter months
  • Advice and tips for you to undertake your own challenges
  • Why you need to try things out first

Social Media

Website: (has links to blogs for our hikes across Canada, the Camino Frances, Via Podiensis, and East Coast Trail) 

Facebook: @WalkWithUsAcrossCanada

Twitter: @TransCanadaWalk 


Feb 25, 2020

Sunshine People was set up to highlight the changes in our society and the need to stay connected through kindness.  It has never been as important in our education and leadership with the shift towards technology to keep human connection at the forefront of our conversations. 

Set up after her partner died on a charity cycle challenge the founder, Nahla Summers completes a challenge each year and asks people to show their support not by donating money to a charity but by doing an act of kindness for a stranger instead. 

She had started by doing smaller challenges just asking her friends and family to do the acts of kindness. What started to emerge was a wave of kindness stories that was changing hearts and minds.  Ultimately, changing the way people saw the world and it inspired her to keep going and make her challenges even bigger. 

In 2018 Nahla cycled 3,000 miles across America after purchasing her bike just six weeks prior.  She is a woman who understand the power of the mind and a ‘can do’ attitude. 

2019 she walked from Swanage, Dorset to Gretna Green 500 miles visiting schools along the way promoting kindness through speaking, workshops and more sunshine people events.  She promotes the ties that kindness and a higher emotional intelligence and wellbeing has on society and wants to promote this from the bottom up.

2020 will see Nahla take on 20 challenges in 20 countries.  With a dedicated social media team and cinematographer on board.  A film will be produced and you will be able to follow the progress and antics of the challenges through social media. 

All the challenges will be based on the principal of kindness.  Feed 100 people with £10, a day of free listening, give 100 hugs, build a well and so on.  The idea is start the biggest global movement towards kindness.

Show notes

  • Who is Nahla
  • How Sunshine People started
  • Losing her partner on a charity cycle ride
  • The healing power of horses
  • Grieving and going to climb Kilimanjaro
  • Coming out of deep sadness
  • Memories and Money?
  • Doing acts of kindness
  • Deciding to cycle across America 
  • The goal of 1 Million acts of Kindness
  • Being a yes person
  • Being very corporate led
  • Changing her job
  • Accidental researcher of kinder
  • Starting her American Cycle ride in San Diego
  • Recording Daily Vlogs for Youtube
  • Getting to the end of the trip
  • The kindness of strangers
  • The biggest challenge while cycling in America
  • The lack of hard shoulders and dealing with trucks
  • Dealing with real fears
  • Not wanting to do this anymore…
  • Knowing what the purpose is
  • Finishing the journey across America 
  • Wanting to keep on going
  • Dealing with the adventure blues
  • Wanting to keep busy 
  • Walking 500 miles from Swanage, Dorset to Gretna Green
  • The power of 10 mins…
  • Free school talks and kindness workshops…
  • The logistics of the walk and figuring out accommodation on the way
  • The power of social media
  • The challenge of accepting kindness
  • “you inspire the uninspired”
  • 2020 - 20 challenges in 20 countries
  • Figure it all out!
  • 1 Million Acts of Kindness
  • Kickstarted stating on the 1st March
  • Final words of advice

Social Media 

Website  -

Website  -

Kickstarter Campaign - Find out more HERE!

For any organisations to join up withe the 1 million acts of kindness they simply need to fill out this form.  

Instagram - @sponsorkindness

Twitter - @sponsorkindness 

Facebook - @sponsorkindness 

YouTube @SunshinePeople 

Feb 20, 2020

We first spoke with Mimi in December 2015, where she shared more about her early life, how she got into endurance running.

During the first episode we go into more depth about some of the bigger challenges she has done, for example breaking the world record for fastest women running JOGLE (John O’Groats to Lands End - 840 miles) in the UK in 2008.

(This record has since been broken in 2019 by Sharon Gayter - You can listen to Sharon share more about this on the Tough Girl Podcast.)

“The only way of finding the limits of

the possible is by going beyond them

into the impossible”

During this episode we catch up with Mimi and find out what’s she’s been up to since. We talk in detail about her dream of running across America, we talk about fears and failure and having to let go of running and try new sports. 

Mimi talks really openly and honestly during this episode, I had a tear in my eye when I was recording it and a tear in my eye when I edited it.

You have been warned it does get emotional!

Show notes

-  Quick update from Mimi

  • Her dream of running across America in 2017
  • The planning and the preparation for the challenge
  • Applying to Guinness for the World Record
  • Starting in LA City Hall and running to City Hall in New York City
  • Getting a hard time from other runners
  • Planning with Google Maps
  • Driving the route in advance 
  • Getting the money together for the challenge
  • Getting a crew together
  • Speaking with Sophie Rooney (also on the Tough Girl Podcast coming 10th March!)
  • Training and race strategy
  • Having a sports psychologist 
  • Having to postpone the run in 2016
  • Running for 1 minute at a time
  • Dealing with the frustration
  • 6 am, 7th September on the start line
  • Having the whole world watching
  • Switching off from everything and becoming very calm
  • Dealing with criticism
  • 2 women going for the world record….
  • The good and the bad of social media
  • Getting stalked on the run and having to call the police
  • The structure of her days
  • Fuelling her body
  • Her evening routine
  • What’s going on in her head while running
  • The 40th day…
  • Recovery 
  • The end of her running career
  • Ride Across Great Britain 
  • Riding a bike!
  • Cycling!!! 
  • Marv and Mavis 
  • Cycling the Pacific Coast Highway 
  • Hills on the PCH
  • New book coming out in Spring 2021
  • Overcoming her fear of water
  • Zoe Langley-Wathen - #100ScaryDays 
  • Being a goal driven person 
  • Plans and goals for 2020
  • 5 Parks in America
  • Ride Across America
  • Naming her bikes!
  • The footage from the run across America…
  • Wise words from Mimi - “Small steps will lead to big things”

Social Media

Website -

Instagram @marvellousmimi 

Facebook @MarvellousMimi 

Twitter  @MarvellousMimi  

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