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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Feb 18, 2020

Bruna is a dedicated adventure sport explorer. 

Bruna has solo-climbed the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere (Aconcagua, 23,000 ft), whitewater rafted the entirety of the Grand Canyon (226 river miles), and sailed across half of the Pacific Ocean, 6,100 nautical miles!

During this podcast Bruna shares more about her early years, how she got into hiking and how her love of adventure has evolved. Bruna shares stories from hiking in the mountains and kayaking down rivers.  

We also learn more about Conquer a new website to connect adventurers to new challenges! 

Show notes

  • Getting into the outdoors at the age of 20
  • How going to college changed her life and discovering the world of hiking
  • Visiting the White Mountains in America
  • How she added hiking into her life 
  • Heading off to climb Aconcagua in South America
  • Her reasons for wanting to climb Aconcagua 
  • Ranked as number 4 for difficulty out of the 7 summits
  • Deciding to do it as a solo trip
  • Planning for 18 months
  • Dealing with the logistics of weight and gear
  • Deciding not to use porters
  • The different emotions during the challenge
  • Experiencing insecurity 
  • Dealing with the lack of oxygen and how it affects you
  • Base camps and weather windows
  • Dealing with storms and a whiteout
  • Going for the summit 
  • Dealing with the aftermath 
  • The deadly conditions of the mountain
  • Making the smart choice
  • Going back for another go
  • Setting a big challenge every year 
  • 2018 Challenge  - White water rafting the Grand Canyon
  • Applying for the lottery 2 years in advance!
  • Pulling a team of 8 together!
  • Struggling to find women to do the trip
  • Taking on a new sport and the challenges of breaking into the community 
  • Founder of Conquer  - “Push Your Limits” 
  • Building resilience in tech and how it has applied to the outdoors

Social Media

Website - 

Sign up for Conquer  - 

Feb 11, 2020

Beth in her own words….

I’ve traveled a lot and have had what many would consider some pretty adventurous trips.

I’ve completed (twice) the 25-day, 220-mile Snowman Trek in Bhutan (one of the most difficult treks in the world), climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and reached the top at 19,341 feet, finished marathons in Hawaii, Tokyo, Portland and Seattle.

I ran my first marathon at 50, ran five marathons that year (including two back-to-back marathons where one was an ultra at 31 miles), ran the Seattle Quadzilla (four marathons in four days) and have qualified for the Boston Marathon twice.

I’m currently working on my next book, Be Bold: Discover Your Best Self Through Travel and Adventure.

I’ve also written a guide For Women Traveling to India.

In 2019, I ran the Epic5 Ultra (5 ultras in 5 days on 5 Hawaiian islands). 

In 2020, I am running the 4 Deserts which consists of running 155 miles over six days in four deserts–the Gobi, the Namib, the Atacama and Antarctica. 

Show notes

  • Where her love of travel came from
  • Being inspired by the National Geographic 
  • Growing up in New Jersey, USA
  • Starting to travel while in college
  • Travelling to India for her first big trip
  • Wanting to move closer to Asia
  • Bringing a unique perspective on female solo travel
  • Being able to be alone for long periods of time
  • Travelling in the 90s 
  • Not having structure while travelling 
  • Starting her website in 2006
  • Encouraging other women to travel solo
  • Starting a tour company
  • Having the opportunity to lead a tour to Bhutan
  • Fears of travel
  • Victim blaming 
  • The kindness of strangers
  • The places she goes back to over and over again
  • Getting into running
  • Staring running at 45/46
  • P90X
  • Training for the Snowman trek in Bhutan
  • The limiting stories we tell ourselves 
  • Deciding to run her first marathon at 50!
  • Running 4 marathons in 4 days
  • Running Epic 5 - 5 - 50k on 5 different islands
  • What the Snowman Trek was like! - 220 miles, 25 day trek in Bhutan
  • The physical and mental challenges of the trek
  • Getting use to the repetition of the journey 
  • How it changes when you are responsible for a group of people of the trek
  • How journalling helped
  • Why you have to keep on moving forward and to keep a good attitude.
  • Epic 5 Ultra 2019
  • The 4 Deserts Race in 2020
  • Be Bold….
  • Expectations versus reality..
  • Training for the 4 deserts race - with the fist race happening in April 2020
  • She’s Bold Podcast 
  • Final words of advice from Beth

Social Media

Personal Website -

Website Wander Tours- 

Be Bold Podcast - 

Facebook - @ShesBoldPodcast 

Instagram - @wandergal  @bethwhitwa  



Feb 4, 2020

Helen shares more about her journey into cycling as well as the different challenge she’s undertaken. 

In September 2015, Helen took her first foray into multi-day, solo bike touring by cycling the classic route from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG). Helen cycled a distance of 1,000 miles in 13 days!

In January 2016, Helen met Mike on Tinder! Through a mutual love of cycling and wanting to travel the world. They started planning a cycle trip around the world! After moving in together, working multiple jobs to save money. They started their adventure on the 4th April 2017. They returned in August 2018, married, completely in love with the world and one another! They rode over 30,000 km, through 30 countries. Helen shares more about the planning and preparation as well as the challenges of being on the road and what she learned from the experience.

Helen also shares more about her next big challenge in 2020! It’s a BIG challenge!!!!!

  • Please note during this podcast episode we do talk about mental health, and depression. Please make sure you are in a good space before you listen.

Show notes

  • Starting cycling in 2011 
  • Being nervous while commuting 
  • Growing up by the sea in Dover
  • Where her passion for cycling came from 
  • How it helped her mental health 
  • Signing up for a 3 day trip from London to Paris with the British Hearth Foundation
  • Deciding to do LEJOG (Lands End to John O’ Groats)
  • Having a year to plan the trip 
  • Why it was so tough getting to the start line 
  • Wanting to do something for her
  • Some of the issues with the route
  • Learning to be flexible 
  • Doing the LEJOG challenge solo
  • The kindness of strangers
  • The mental side of the challenge 
  • Learning how to become self sufficient 
  • Dealing with the breakdown of a relationship 
  • Getting the support needed to help with depression 
  • How Tinder turned her life around 
  • Meeting Mike…
  • Wanting to cycle around the world 
  • Is it possible….
  • Taking multiple jobs to save money
  • Building the bikes from scratch 
  • Connecting on a deeper level
  • Turning a joke/dream into a reality 
  • Taking about the money and starting from scratch 
  • Selling everything they owned, doing extra jobs, & getting small amounts of sponsorship
  • Making the plan!!! 
  • Saving £26,000 
  • What it was like in the run up to leaving 
  • The route, leaving Glasgow and getting the Ferry to Amsterdam  
  • Making changes to the route and how they made that decision 
  • 2.5 months in China 
  • Documenting the journey while out on the road
  • Cycling from Perth to Brisbane
  • Knee and glue problems
  • The wedding!!!!!
  • The honeymoon and why it wasn’t the best
  • The end of the trip….
  • The transition back to normal life
  • The next big challenge!!!!!! 
  • Dealing with the pressure of the next challenge 
  • Costs of the challenge and doing as much preparation as possible before 1st May 
  • The power of setting a date 

Social Media 

Website - 

Twitter - @HelenCycling 

Instagram - @helen.langridge  

Jan 28, 2020

Chris is a wife, mother, and business owner who loves to get her hands dirty and feet wet. Her adventurous spirit shines through in her work as a writer, speaker, trainer, and consultant. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, teenage son, and two labs, Winston and Kiya.

Chris and her husband Marty became the first American married couple to ski without guide, resupply or other assistance to the South Pole and became Guinness World Record holders.

When not outdoors playing in the wild, you’ll find Chris leading creative discussions in corporate conference rooms and at off-site locations around the country.

Show notes

  • Chris introduces herself
  • Working full time and doing adventures
  • Not coming from an adventurous family
  • Growing up with 4 siblings
  • Enjoying spending time outside
  • Not having access to the mountains
  • Leaving college and taking her first professional job
  • Starting to feel as though she didn’t below
  • Taking a 4 month leave of absence 
  • Deciding to travel solo 
  • Going back to work….
  • Wanting to build a different type of life
  • Starting her own consulting business
  • Building a life which had more flexibility
  • The steps taken to get into challenges 
  • Developing skills in mountaineering 
  • Climbing Mount Denali the highest mountain peak in North America
  • Meeting her husband Marty on the Mountain!
  • Switching from mountains to trail running
  • Being all in on ultra running for 13 years
  • Fitting family, work and adventure into life
  • Taking it one day at a time
  • Why you can’t do it all 
  • Deciding on the next challenge - The South Pole
  • Was it possible to do it on their own… 
  • Do they have the skills?
  • The planning and preparation needed to do this challenge
  • Leaving their 12 year old son behind
  • Balancing the risks of living a life of adventure while being a parent
  • The 3 year journey to the start line
  • Defining roles in the partnership 
  • Working as part of a team
  • Dealing with the fears of the unknown 
  • How knowledge helped to calm fears
  • Getting onto the ice for the start of the adventure!
  • Keep moving forward with the goal of 15 miles per day
  • 40 days….. 45 days worth of food…
  • Running out of food…
  • The reality of the situation and enjoying the journey?
  • Dealing with the low points 
  • The attraction of the challenge
  • Can I do it
  • Enjoying the journey…
  • Writing a book about the challenge
  • Quick Fire Questions

Social Media

Website - 

Instagram @chriscfagan 

Twitter @chriscfagan  

Facebook @chriscfagan  

Youtube  @3belowzeroexpedition  

Book - The Expedition: Two Parents Risk Life and Family in an Extraordinary Quest to the South Pole (She Writes Press, September 3, 2019)

Jan 23, 2020

Nienke in her own words…

I am an equine veterinarian and have travelled the world pursuing my career. 

Although I have always been an active person I found the love for sports later in life and ended up reasonably good at it! I dreamt of becoming a professional athlete on the mountain bike and as an adventure/multi-sport racer and with the belief of my coaches I starting racing elite in 2013. I was however still working full time as a veterinarian and I ended up overtrained with a serious back injury which put a halt to my sporting aspirations in 2016. 

I couldn’t really let go of what I was so passionate about and although running was not an option with the persistent pain I was feeling in my legs, I started to focus on mountain bike adventures. 

This led to the dream of traversing the Great Himalaya Trail by mountain bike through Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan. 

The first leg was Nepal which I completed in December 2019 achieving a world first by mountain biking the Great Himalaya trail from Hilsa in the West to Phaplu in the east covering 1700kms, 85000m ascend and around 15 passes between 3500m-5000m with two passes over 5000m high.

Show notes

  • Who is Nienke 
  • Getting into mountain biking and adventure racing 
  • Being sporty as a child and growing up around Europe
  • Getting into running while at university
  • Moving over to New Zealand
  • Being very shy
  • Wanting to improve in the sport
  • Meeting a guy…
  • Qualifying for the World Championships
  • Making huge improvements
  • Having the right people around 
  • Working full time while competing at an elite level
  • Paying the price with over training
  • Breaking her back
  • Needing to slow down
  • 6 weeks to recover
  • Not understating what was going on 
  • Pushing though pain…
  • Chronic Pain or Chronic Injury
  • How she coped 
  • Not being able to be the athlete she once was
  • Learning to love her body
  • The dream of mountain biking in Nepal
  • Being goal driven 
  • The first step in making the dream a reality 
  • What Nepal is like
  • Going solo for the first time
  • The plans for Stage 2
  • Doing the research
  • The learning’s from this experience 
  • Needing to have a positive mind
  • Being grateful for everything she’s been through
  • The adventure blues…
  • Making some changes in her life
  • Feeling really positive
  • Advice for other women who want to make changes in their life

Social Media

Challenge Website - 

Personal Blog - 




Jan 21, 2020

Fenella shares more about her journey to becoming a professional triathlete. We learn more about her childhood and growing up, her loves of sports and competition. Fenella, also shares more about what day to day life is like, we go into training, recovery, nutrition, dealing with injury and the pressure to perform. 

“Triathlon is achieving the unbelievable and pushing yourself beyond limits, to find inner power in the drive for success”

Show notes

  • Who Fenella is 
  • Where she grew up 
  • Falling in love with sport an physical education 
  • Wanting sports to be a part of her future 
  • Making money from triathlon 
  • Life as a professional triathlete 
  • The pressure to perform 
  • Meeting her coach & partner
  • The decision to go professional 
  • The start of her triathlon journey 
  • Making the leap to longer triathlons 
  • Why the training is the most challenging part 
  • Wanting to be World Champion 
  • Mental Preparation - PPPPPP (Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance)
  • Dealing with injury and staying positive 
  • What off season is like 
  • The most memorable race 
  • Making the right decisions at the right time 
  • What goes through her head during training and racing 
  • Being committed to the decisions she’s made 
  • Race recovery 
  • Quick Fire Questions 


Social Media


Instagram @fenella.alicia  

Facebook @Fenella-Langridge-Triathlon  

Twitter @Fenella_Alicia  

Jan 16, 2020

Kathryn Bertine is an author, athlete, activist and documentary filmmaker. During her pro career in cycling, she was a three-time Caribbean Champion, six-time national champion of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN) and raced five years on pro circuit  with four UCI domestic and World Tour teams Colavita, Wiggle-Honda, BMW and Cylance Pro Cycling. Now retired from professional racing, Bertine serves as Trek’s Ambassador for Equality in Cycling.

Off the bike, she is a filmmaker, activist, journalist and author of three nonfiction books, All the Sundays Yet to ComeAs Good As Gold, and The Road Less Taken. From 2006 through 2012, Bertine was a columnist, author and senior editor for ESPN. When she pitched a documentary film on women’s pro cycling to ESPN in 2012, they rejected the proposal. So Bertine decided she would make it herself. After a two-year labor of love and crowdsourcing adventures, in 2014, HALF THE ROAD: The passion, pitfalls and power of women’s professional cycling was released. It won five film festivals, debuted in 16 nations, scored international distribution and successfully brought the hammer down on the corruption and sexism in sports. Half the Road is now available on iTunes, Vimeo, Amazon Prime and DVD. Five years later, she continues to receive royalties on a film ESPN said no one would watch. 

As an advocate for equality in women’s sports, Bertine then started the social activism movement Le Tour Entier in an effort to bring parity to women’s professional road cycling, starting with the Tour de France. She and her team succeeded, and women’s field was included in 2014 with the addition of La Course by Tour de France. In 2017, she founded and serves as CEO for Homestretch Foundation, which provides free housing to female professional athletes struggling with the gender pay gap. Bertine was featured on the cover of Bicycling Magazine and profiled in Outside Magazine for her platforms of implementing change in the world.

 As an activist, Bertine continues to serve as a public speaker/lecturer on equality and advocacy. She shares her journey and her message—that through passion, disruption, opportunity and focus, anything is possible and we’re all capable of effecting change—with corporations, universities and other professional outlets. She is currently at work on her fourth book.

Show notes

  • Kathryn introduces herself 
  • Being an activist and athlete 
  • Going back to the start of 2016
  • Why endurance athletes get better with age
  • Deciding that 2016 would be her last year of racing professionally
  • The big crash in April 2016 
  • TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury 
  • Recovery 
  • Doing one final race
  • Fear of getting back on the bike?
  • How her body remembered what had happened 
  • Friends and family’s fears 
  • Preparing to transition out of the sport
  • Opening a non profit foundation
  • What’s happening in women’s cycling 
  • Thoughts on the Tour de France
  • Getting angry…
  • Increasing awareness 
  • How Kathryn is making change happen 
  • Being a voice in her sport 
  • Pro contracts that stop women talking about inequality 
  • Being exhausted 
  • Why anyone can create change 
  • New book and the challenges of publishing 
  • To self publish or not?
  • Funding her lifestyle 
  • Big shout out to TREK BIKES 
  • Am I worthy
  • The need to keep proving yourself 
  • How we can support Kathryn with her work 
  • Quick Fire Questions 

Social Media

CEO, Homestretch Foundation:

Author/Activist/Pro Cyclist: 

Documentary Filmmaker:












Jan 14, 2020

Kristina shares more about her journey into running and how she ended up becoming the World Record holder for  - 48 hour treadmill running! Kristina is an introvert by nature, but she asked herself the question; “What can I do with this ability to run?”.  

In 2015, Kristina took it upon herself to challenge her own  personal fears and prejudices. Kristina made the decision to run alone across Iran, a distance of 1,840 kilometres. 

In the process, Kristina, became the first women to have run across Iran. She was running an average of 37 kilometres per day. She started in Bazargan by the Turkish border and finished in Bajgiran on the north-eastern border, the run took her 59 days to complete. 

Kristina filmed the journey and created a film called:  Alone Through Iran - 1144 Miles of Trust.

During this podcast, we will learn more about Kristina, her life, the challenges she has faced, how she has overcome failure, how she set a world record for treadmill running, as well as life on the road while running across Iran. We also talk about kindness, learning how to say no and why you have to be yourself. 

Show notes 

  • Some of the challenges Kristina has done
  • Her early years growing up and being shy 
  • Taking the first steps of adventure 
  • Having her life turned upside down
  • Losing everything that she thought was important at 32
  • Being afraid of failure 
  • Travelling around China and SE Asia
  • Starting to run more and more 
  • Deciding to set a world record for running on a treadmill
  • “What can I do with this ability to run?”
  • Deciding to run through Iran
  • Planning the run
  • Dealing with all of the What If’s
  • Writing down her fears (22 in total)
  • What can I do to prevent the fears?
  • Creating a network in Iran 
  • The kindness of strangers offering support
  • The fear of never being left along
  • Being introverted 
  • What life was like on the road while running through Iran
  • Miscommunication and cultural confusion 
  • Being an introvert on the road 
  • Needing to be alone
  • Having to be careful about what she wrote in her blog
  • Writing a book about her run, 2 years later
  • Needing time to digest everything that happened 
  • How the run impacted her life going forward
  • Having a great belief in human kindness 
  • Quitting her job to do the run and coming back unemployed 
  • Making a documentary about the run
  • Dealing with the huge amount of publicity after the run
  • How the run has changed her life
  • Contributing to reforms in Iran 
  • Introducing a 10K run in Iran in 2018
  • Courage and why it’s good to be a woman 
  • Why feelings are just feelings 
  • Why it’s ok to be scared 
  • Why you have to focus on what you want to create
  • How to handle fear 
  • Staying focused on your goal 
  • The motivation to carry on when things are tough 
  • Focusing on the - ‘Right Now’  
  • Let it go
  • Not being able to say no 
  • Needing her own space
  • Why being kind to ourselves can be the hardest thing to do 
  • Quick Fire Questions 
  • Be Yourself 


Social Media 

Personal Website - 

Website Alone through Iran -

Facebook @kristina.palten 

Instagram @kristina_palten 

Jan 9, 2020

Emily is an ocean advocate, skipper, international public speaker and advisor on issues relating to our ocean, her goals are around shifting mindsets and making changes for our future society. 

Emily is on a mission to inspire and facilitate a community of change makers through her organisation eXXpedition. This will be done by training athletes and celebrities to be impactful advocates on ocean issues. 

Emily believes in developing upstream solutions to the ocean plastic issue by working with corporate partners, scientists and government bodies. During this podcast we talk more about eXXpedition, its formation, plans and goals. 

Emily has previously been on the Tough Girl Podcast (July 12th 2016), where she shared more about her early life and career.  

Show notes

  • Working on projects to combat plastic pollution
  • Brief overview of her career
  • The idea behind eXXpedition and how it came about
  • Micro plastics in her blood
  • The power of bringing women together
  • Getting blood tests done
  • The changes in plastics over the past 12 years
  • XX - why and how it has evolved
  • Scaling the project up and funding
  • The run up to launch day….
  • 300 women joining the journey
  • Kicking off with a 4 day event in London
  • Solving problems with diversity of solutions
  • Deciding on the women 
  • The power of transformative journeys
  • Feelings of overwhelm when dealing with the plastic pollution 
  • Why you have to break the problem down.
  • Keeping things in perspective 
  • Why every action counts
  • Why there is not one solution
  • Superpowers  - what makes us brilliant 
  • What’s been going on….. 2016 and 2017
  • Working with Sky
  • Sailing….
  • Going on the first leg of the voyage 
  • How the sailing works on the boat
  • Getting the thinking time to think about the problem 
  • What is the dream, what is the ambition
  • The 3 overall aims
  • Why the following up is so important
  • Mission Leaders, scientists, & sailors
  • The concept of SHIFT
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • How you can make a change in your life


Social Media

Website  - 

Instagram - @missemilypenn 

Twitter: @emilypenn 

eXXpedition - All women's voyages to make the unseen seen, from the #toxics in our bodies to the #plastics in our seas.  

eXXpedition is a Community Interest Company and not-for-profit organisation that runs pioneering all-female sailing research expeditions to investigate the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution.

Founded in 2014, they have run expeditions all over the world. Previous scientific research has highlighted the endemic nature of micro plastics within our ocean environments globally. 

Their focus now is to advance a better understanding of the plastics issue as a whole and to work with industry to pinpoint solutions and policy at a global level by addressing knowledge-gaps and delivering evidence to inform effective solutions.

Website - 

Twitter - @eXXpedition  

Instagram - @exxpedition_   

Facebook - @eXXpeditionCIC  

Youtube - eXXpedition 

Jan 7, 2020

On January 1, 2020, walking therapist Carmen Rendell will leave her childhood home in Weston-super-Mare, and head south to follow the coastal path around the entire British Isles. Her goal is to raise awareness of the huge mental health benefits of walking in nature. Local communities and individuals across the nation will have the chance to join her along the way.

Throughout her journey, Carmen will be hosting regular ‘Soulwalks’ – simple, short, group walks in nature for anyone to join. Her message is simple: families, individuals, schools, businesses can come together to walk for three kilometres. For no other reason than to be in nature and talk to each other. 

People can also pledge to support an individual ‘Sole2Soul Walk’ with Carmen – where they, someone they nominate, or a stranger, can join her to walk and talk. As a trained integrative therapist, with experience as a private practitioner, Carmen will use this time to give individuals the opportunity for therapy, whilst walking in nature. 

A Loughborough University Alumni, national league hockey player, sailor on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and Camino de Santiago walker, Carmen is familiar with the benefits of exercise, sport and walking for mind, body and spirit balance.

Commenting on her ambitious goal, Carmen says: “Walking therapy benefits us in many ways. Science has proven that walking in nature can improve our mental wellbeing, by quietening our nervous system, reducing inflammation, repairing our brain and lowering our blood pressure.”

Reinforcing these benefits, neuroscientist Shane O’Mara says: “The experience of walking can allow you to escape yourself and this non-ego focus is healthy. We should spend more time not thinking of ourselves.”

Carmen’s route will primarily follow the coastal path, and she will let people know the calendar of events on the Soulhub website – Soulwalks can be organised in towns, villages or cities along the route and people can contact Carmen to organise one on her behalf that she can join. 

Carmen will be interviewing people along the way for her ‘SoulCast’ podcast. From local fisherman to business owners, teachers and artists, her goal will be to understand the true state of the nation and establish how people feel in the current social, economic and political environment. Carmen will also be hosting ‘SoulTalks’ in schools and communities and is keen to hear from anyone who would like her to come and talk about mental health and walking in nature. 

Show notes

  • Who is Carmen
  • The life she leads now
  • The different adventures she’s been on
  • The School of Wizards  
  • Discovering her passion 
  • Setting up Soul Hub
  • Her dream of walking around the British Isles 
  • Being drawn to the sea
  • Her love for nature and how it evolved
  • Getting to know herself better 
  • Struggling to know what she wanted from life
  • Doing the Camino gradually 
  • Sailing on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
  • Why the experience was so intense 
  • The inner journey 
  • Being curious about life and trying new things
  • Life is fun
  • Listening to feelings of what feels good
  • The planning and preparation for the walk around the British Isles 
  • Being clear with her own intentions
  • Wanting to bring people together 
  • Book - The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life's Perfection 
  • Why it’s not about the end goal but rather the journey 
  • Fears and concerns about the challenge 
  • Paying for the challenge and budgeting during the challenge
  • Quick Fire Questions 
  • Trust your own wisdom 
  • Advice for women who want to spend more time in nature 
  • Visualising the end of the challenge

Social Media

Insta: @soul_hub  

Facebook: @soulhubstories 


Dec 31, 2019

Yolanda Holder is a professional Ultra Marathon Walker.

In 2019 at the Six Days in the Dome in Milwaukee she set a World & American Age Group Record 413 Miles (60-64).  Also, in 2019, Yolanda is the first African American Woman and second African American to earn a US Race Walk Centurion #94 and the oldest person (61 years young) to race walk 100 miles in under 24 hours (23:52:17).  

Yolanda’s a 2-time Guinness World Record holder for “Most Marathons Completed in a Calendar Year”, finishing a staggering 106 marathons/ultras in 2010 and breaking her own record in 2012 finishing 120 marathons/ultras.  Yolanda is the first American Woman and African American to Run or Walk over 100 marathons in a calendar year and the first woman in the world to ever do it twice.

Yolanda’s accomplishments are amazing, at the 2017 Sri Chinmony Self Transcendence 3100 Mile Race she set a World Record first Pedestrian (walker) finishing in 51 Days, 17 hours and 13 seconds and at the 2014 Ultra Marathon USA & World Championship in Anchorage Alaska met her goal of power walking 400 miles in the Six Day event placing 3rd female and 10th overall. Yolanda is a finisher of six, Six Day Races podium on all six and the American Woman Record holder 10 Day Race with 622 Miles. She has power walker over 540 lifetime marathons/ultras. 

Yolanda is a Masters/Senior Athlete at her athletic peak setting and breaking World and American records with no plans on stopping. 

Yolanda is also a wife, mother of two grown children, inspirational speaker and author.  

Show notes

  • Yolander introduces herself
  • Running her first marathon at 40 in 1998
  • New challenges at 50 - 50 marathons in 50 weeks…
  • Growing up doing dancing but never being an athlete 
  • Over 540 marathon ultras!
  • Dealing with the backlash of being a walker in a runners world 
  • Getting her first Guinness World Record in 2010 
  • Getting depressed in 2011 from the negative feedback
  • How she got the name - the walking Diva 
  • The Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race
  • The logistics of the race
  • The reasons why she wanted to do this one of a kind race
  • Crossing the finish line and transitioning back to normal life 
  • Getting the nutrition right
  • Top tips and advice for you
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you 

Social Media

Website -  

Twitter- @WalkingDiva365  

Instagram - @yolandaholder 

Facebook  -  @yolanda.holder  

The Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race is the world's longest certified footrace. In 1996 Sri Chinmoy created this event as a 2,700-mile race. At the award ceremony that year he declared that the 1997 edition would be extended to 3,100 miles.

Dec 26, 2019

On 1st July 2019 Shona left the comfort and safety of her life in the UK to fly to Seattle. After a busy couple of days sorting out food supplies, Shona started her Pacific Crest Trail hike on the 4th of July.

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650 mile long distance walking trail in the U.S.A. Shona hiked south bound, starting at the Canadian Border – walking through the States of Washington, Oregon and California – until she reached the Mexican Border.

Shona carried all of her kit and camping gear, she passed through towns about once a week to pick up a food resupply, shower, charge her phone etc. It took Shona just under 5 months to completed and she finished in late November 2019.

Why this challenge? 

Four years ago, Shona approached her 40th birthday, and admitted to herself that she wasn’t living the life she wanted and she wasn’t doing the adventures she’d dreamed off. She’d been waiting for her circumstances to change but changing they were not.

Shona decided it was time to stop putting her life on hold and take action. Shona hiked the PCT knowing it would be hard. So hard that she’d want to quit many times. But she also knew that she’d love it and be changed by it.

During this podcast episode Shona shares more about her PCT journey and answers questions from the Tough Girl Tribe. Shona also provides top tips and advice to help you make sure you are living the life of your dreams.

Show notes

  • Catching up with Shona
  • Brief introduction 
  • Heading out to America to start the trail
  • Getting food boxes sorted at the start
  • Heading out to the monument 
  • Starting the trail on the 4th July 2019
  • How easy was it to do the food boxes in advance
  • Having a plan for the start 
  • The first night….
  • Walking 30 miles to reach the start line!
  • Why it was so busy SOBO 
  • What it was like….and why it was a relief 
  • Being nervous at the start and wanting to make big miles
  • Being worries about not being fast enough
  • Dealing with the wet and cold 
  • The time pressure of going SOBO
  • The first 500 miles of Washington State
  • Having rules on the trail
  • Intentionally walking alone and being present 
  • The challenging moments on the trail 
  • Documenting the journey 
  • Thinking the journey was going to be over 
  • Asking for help when it was needed
  • Learning that you don’t have to do everything on your own 
  • Understanding why people do quit the trail 
  • Trail name - My Sherona….
  • The Sierra Mountains and the fear of the snow
  • Hating the cold 
  • Trail Family 
  • River crossings…
  • Getting to the finish
  • Being 20 miles from the border 
  • Human kindness 
  • Shoes…. 
  • Funding for a thru hike
  • Raising funds for charity - Mikey’s Line 
  • Is there going to be a book??
  • Life changing? 
  • Advice and tips for you to achieve your own personal dreams 

Listen to the first episode with Shona - Taking on new challenges at 40 & her preparation for thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail - SOBO in 2019!

July 9, 2019 - 

Social Media 

Website -

Facebook -  @shonamacphersoncoaching   

Instagram - @walkwildcoach

Dec 24, 2019

London-based management consultant who likes to ride her bike far and fast. Previously mostly focused on speed and results, now in search of more adventurous challenges.

Flatlander who loves a good headwind battle, not afraid of a bit of rain, but struggles in the heat, scared of gravel and goes backwards on hills. But… what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so embarked on a number of very hilly cycling challenges in summer 2019, clocking up more elevation in a month than she previously did in a year.

Winner of various TT titles, including Best British All-Rounder (2014), National 12hr TT champion (2015) and both National and World 24hr TT champion (2017). Multiple 24 hour solo circuit wins: Le Mans (2013), Revolve (2017) and Zandvoort (2017) where she also placed in the top 3 overall. 

Zwift distance record breaker (2017). Two failed LEJOG record attempts. 

Audax UK member since 2015 with Super Randonneur awards (200km, 300km, 400km and 600km) 4 years in a row. First female finisher and top 10 overall London-Edinburgh-London (2017). Third fastest female at Paris-Brest-Paris (2019). First woman and top 10 overall at the 1000km BikingMan Oman unsupported race (2019). 

Unfinished business with 1890km Race Around the Netherlands (so returning in 2020). 

Also eyeing up some off-road cycling fun and a longer unsupported race for 2020... Currently enjoying giving back to cycling, women’s cycling in particular, by helping others with skills and fitness based training sessions and guiding rides.

Show notes

  • Who is Jasmijn
  • Her main passion and love for cycling
  • Cycling in the Netherlands…
  • Moving over to London in 2007
  • Growing up on a farm in the Netherlands
  • Trying to decide between dance and sports
  • Losing her passion for dance
  • Deciding to go travelling for 5 months….
  • Working as a Scuba Diving Instructor 
  • Having to make a decision about university at 25
  • Doing a Masters degree in the UK
  • Getting into rowing
  • Her first 100 mile cycle ride and how it came about 
  • Starting to do more Sportive events 
  • Joining a local cycling club…
  • Being born with built in endurance
  • Doing her first 24hr race
  • Deciding to see how far she could push it physically on the bike
  • Starting to work with a coach in 2014
  • Winning Best British All Rounder (BBAR) in time trials 
  • Having an intense year of riding in 2015
  • How her body copes with the challenges of riding
  • The Challenge of riding the length of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG)
  • Dealing with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in 2016
  • Her history with the record for LEJOG
  • Riding on the A roads in GB
  • Working a full time job while training and preparing for the LEJOG record
  • Picking the right date to start
  • Dealing with illness and sickness and not being able to continue
  • How her big dream of breaking the record for LEJOG changed to becoming a burden
  • Fixing her nutrition, taking time off work for the 2018 LEJOG record attempt
  • How the UK weather impacted on the 2018 LEJOG record attempt
  • Dealing with a speed wobble
  • Dealing with the emotional aftermath of letting go of the LEJOG record
  • Having some time out from cycling
  • Being a peace with her decision
  • Saddle sores….
  • Podcast from the - on saddle sores “flipping flash mash” The Wheel Suckers Podcast
  • Having fun in 2019!
  • Selling all her cycling gear
  • Wanting to do more unsupported challenges
  • Spending time with family
  • Learning new skills and facing her fear of hills!
  • Joining a women only cycling club
  • Quick Fire Questions

Social Media

Website   -

Dec 19, 2019

Melissa has completed the Epic 5 in Hawaii, 3 Ultraman triathlons, and is now the 1st female to have ever completed the UberMan, which she did in October - she also broke the swim record and smashed the previous course record by approximately 31 hours!

During this episode we learn more about the details from the challenge, the high points, the low points, the support of crew members, what the finish was like and how she is getting back to ‘normal life’. 

We have been following Melissa’s journey since February 2019, when Melissa did a Facebook Live for the Tough Girl Tribe - this was then turned into a Tough Girl Podcast EXTRA episode. 

More about UberMan….

UberMan is the world's most challenging Ultra Triathlon.  The 556 mile course goes from the Mists of Avalon to the Snows of Mount Whitney.  Starting on Catalina Island, participants swim 21 miles in the open Pacific Ocean to the shores of Palos Verdes. The 400 mile bike route leaves the city of Angels and climbs 20,000 vertical feet before descending to Badwater basin, at 200 feet below sea level, the lowest point in North America. From Badwater, athletes run 135 miles  through Death Valley before ascending 13,000 feet to the trailhead @ Mt Whitney, the highest peak in the Continental United States.

Show notes

  • Back in Australia
  • Who is Melissa
  • More information about her background
  • What Uberman is and why she wanted to do it
  • Wanting to be the first female to complete the race
  • Wanting  a different challenge
  • 8 months to train
  • Wanting to focus on running 
  • Doing 5, 50K runs
  • Doing a 60K run and a 100k run in training
  • Overloading on one discipline a week
  • Building fatigue 
  • Why this training was so hard mentally 
  • Needing to take a break 
  • Dealing with the fatigue and starting to get sick
  • The lead up to the race 
  • The work that goes on behind the scenes
  • The start line…
  • Never thinking about the event as one big thing
  • Swimming at night for the first time
  • Starting to feel the cold
  • Being sick during the swim and not being able to pee
  • The hardest part of the swim
  • The importance of having a good support team
  • Splitting the support team into a day shift and a night shift 
  • The first transition from the swim to the bike
  • Riding on the roads and the Pacific Coast Highway!!
  • Feeling angry and being aware of her emotions
  • Sleeping for 2 hours was the sweet spot
  • Planning on 5/6 days for the event
  • Running through Death Valley
  • Trying to figure out the approach for running over 200K
  • Having your muscles seize up 
  • Mount Whitney!
  • Wanting to finish during the day!
  • Having a few emotional moments towards the end
  • Reaching the finish!
  • Not being able to process the achievement!
  • The documentary! 
  • Adventure blues and transitioning back to normal life
  • Post race recovery time
  • What Melissa has learned over the years 
  • A book?!!!
  • The recovery 
  • Final words of advice and top tips 


Social Media

Website - 

Instagram @rangamel 

Facebook Melissa Urie 

Twitter @rangamel 

Read the race report here - RACE REPORT 



Dec 17, 2019

Emily is a writer, adventurer, climber, and comfort zone smasher. Put on her first international flight at 3 weeks old, she's been addicted to adventure ever since. From wandering the forests of Sweden alone at age 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 loves inspiring others to go outside, travel, and get curious about everything. As John Muir so aptly put it, "going out is really going in.”

Emily works as a freelance journalist based out of Los Angeles and has written for Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Mountain Life Magazine, Outdoor Project, Modern Hiker, Territory Supply, The Outbound, Women Who Explore, and many others.

Some of her notable outdoor accomplishments include: hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, backpacking the High Sierra Trail in California and finishing atop Mt. Whitney, trekking the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, summiting Illiniza Norte in Ecuador, summiting Vinicunca in Peru, hiking the Inca Trail with her mom, solo-trekking the Backbone Trail, climbing Cactus to Clouds in the winter, trail running Yosemite Rim to Rim, and dozens of other high-altitude peaks in the Sierra Nevada and California.

Show notes

  • Her alter ego when hiking
  • Where the Brazen backpacker idea came from
  • Being brazen and wild
  • Moving to LA at 17
  • Being inspired by her mother
  • Leaving Texas behind
  • How the outdoors became part of her life
  • The mental barrier to access to the outdoors
  • Her first backpacking trip at 28
  • The challenges of altitude
  • Her hiking journey 
  • Her passions for getting more women out hiking
  • Her relationship with her mum
  • Hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal
  • Dealing with periods and tiredness on the trail
  • The basics of backpacking
  • Steep and Cheap - ONLY in the US - for Europe - 
  • The magic of face wipes
  • The best problem to have!
  • Heading to Iceland for adventure
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • I am loving awareness 

Social Media 

Find out more about Emily’s writing and photography here:

and follow on Instagram @brazenbackpacker  


Dec 12, 2019

Sarah Outen is an adventurer by land and sea, bestselling author and motivational speaker. Keen to encourage people outside and enable young people to access adventure, she is a proud ambassador and patron of a number of charities. 

Candid about her own mental health struggles and journey, Sarah is keen to encourage others to seek help and share their vulnerabilities. 

In November 2015 Sarah completed her London2London:Via the World expedition, a mammoth attempt to row, cycle and kayak 25, 000 miles around the Northern Hemisphere. The journey took 4.5 years and was all the richer for not turning out exactly as planned.

'Home', the feature film of that journey releases across the UK in October 2019.


*Please be aware that during this podcast we discuss, grief, trauma, and going to dark places.  Before you listen to this episode please just make sure that you are in a good space.

Show notes

  • Who is Sarah
  • Starting on big expeditions after university
  • Rowing across the Indian Ocean 
  • Loving the outdoors 
  • What we covered in the first episode 
  • What happened in 2016 
  • Why it’s been a messy few years
  • Coming back from solitude 
  • Agreeing to write a book in 3 months….
  • Having a breakdown in 2016
  • Getting married to Lucy
  • Why it’s taken a long time to feel at home 
  • How Sarah got through 2016
  • Losing confidence in herself 
  • Coming back with huge amounts of debt
  • Having dark thoughts 
  • Dealing with un-resolved trauma 
  • Finding the right therapies and support 
  • Being reunited with her boat after many years
  • Becoming paranoid and not able to trust many people 
  • EMDR Therapy 
  • Working with her body and releasing it from her body
  • Taking care of herself and leaning to rest 
  • Why the movie is called ‘Home’
  • Having clear boundaries about what she talks about 
  • Why she no longer watches her film
  • Making the film
  • Filming the challenge
  • Wanting to find the right film maker for the project
  • Wanting to create a brave film 
  • Connecting with Jen Randall 
  • The sheer volume of footage!!!
  • Raising money via a Kickstarter campaign! 
  • Spending £90K on the film
  • 18 months spend on the film and why it was a difficult process
  • Winning award for the film!
  • The creative process of making a film 
  • Money and making money!
  • Training as a child psychotherapist part time in London
  • Wanting to write children books
  • Doing smaller challenges and having balance in her life
  • Quick Fire Questions 

Social Media

Book - Dare to Do: Taking on the planet by bike and boat 

Website -

Film - 

Instagram @sarah_outen_home  

Facebook  @sarahoutenhome 

Twitter @SarahOuten  


Dec 10, 2019

Rachel, a 49 year old full time gypsy adventurer, a citizen of the world, meditator, cyclist, trekker, chef, scuba diver, yogi, mother, blogger and vlogger.

Her passion is the journey to self discovery through meditation and adventure. Three years ago she gave away nearly all of her belongings (except a bicycle and two small boxes) to live a nomadic lifestyle.

Rachel has just finished the first part of a world bicycle tour that originated in Bangkok, going through Myanmar, southern Thailand, and onto Malaysia and Indonesia. Currently Rachel is cycling through Indonesia.

Three times a year Rachel goes travelling with her 12 year old son—Wexler, they have been on a reforestation project in Haiti, cycling in Denmark, learnt Spanish in Guatemala and gone scuba diving in the British Virgin Islands. In June 2019 Wexler and Rachel hiked the entire Oregon Coast Trail, 400 miles.

Rachel is now a full time adventurer with no address or home. Through blogs, vlogs, and public speaking, Rachel hope to motivate, inspire, and possibly assist others to pursue their own adventures.

Show notes

  • Who is Rachel
  • Where she is at the moment
  • Being all about the journey and getting off the beaten path
  • Growing up in a typical suburban household in the 1970’s
  • Heading to Israel at age 20 for a year out studying during university
  • Meeting her future husband
  • The desire to go on longer adventures
  • Deciding to walk the Camino de Santiago
  • Taking 5 weeks to get clarity in her professional life
  • Meeting the people who changed her life
  • Having a lot of different careers
  • Needed to go on an adventure
  • Heading off solo 
  • What happened on the Camino and making big changes
  • Making the hard decisions
  • Looking for something new
  • The practicalities of making a change
  • The Danish Man 
  • Wanting to be a traveller 
  • Falling in love
  • Making the unpopular decision 
  • 3 years of being on the road
  • The route - station in Bangkok
  • The daily routine while out on the road
  • Blogging and vlogging while on the road
  • Being inspired while being on the move
  • Final words of advice 

Social Media

Dec 5, 2019

Paula in her own words…

Combining business, adventure and positive psychology expertise - and being the world’s first Adventure Psychologist - I’ve created a tried-and-tested model to develop the wisdom, resilience and growth you need to thrive in these uncertain times.

I am a trainer, facilitator and coach as well as a speaker, author and adventurer. Perhaps best described as a “Performance Catalyst”, my best self at work is when I am empowering and inspiring others – from primary school children to blue-chip leadership teams. In the non-organisational world, I have been described as “a female Bear Grylls only smoother”. 

I have done 116 things on my ‘Living Life to the Full’ list and counting, including sailing around the world and skiing to the South Pole. I have written four books and speak internationally at conferences, schools and for charities.

With 20+ years’ experience as a leader, consultant and coach, I believe in humanising business; making work enjoyable, energising and engaging for all involved. Having completed a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Positive Psychology and Coaching, I understand first-hand the power of a positive approach to life.

We are all more capable than we think and more amazing than we realise.

My passion in life is surfacing this in all of us.


  • Skied full distance from Messner to South Pole: One of only 13 women in the world to do this
  • Paddled 300 miles in dugout canoe: Srepok & Mekong rivers, Cambodia
  • Sailed around the world: 35000 miles, the wrong way
  • Cycled length of UK, Poland, Malta, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Show notes

  • Paula introduces herself
  • Her living life to the full list
  • Reflecting back on the past few years
  • Getting married and going back to University
  • New challenge - 50 Good Turns
  • Part time - Applied MSc - Positive Psychology and Coaching
  • Supporting her husband’s around the world sailing challenge
  • 12 countries done so far
  • The challenges of doing a good turn 
  • Having people come and join her on the way
  • Unique Cycling Buddies (UCBs)
  • Why its been a challenging 2019
  • Supporting her partner Alex with his round the world challenge
  • Dealing with stress and worry 
  • Her coping strategy of just getting on with it
  • Changing her view on adventures
  • Doing her Masters!
  • Getting her dissertation published in an academic journal
  • Working while studying and trying to get headspace to think
  • Starting a new business - The Adventure Psychologist
  • Why adventure psychology should exist alongside sports psychology
  • What adventure means…
  • Practical advice 
  • The concept of curiosity
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Having an active body and active mind
  • Different forms of meditation 
  • What else has been going on in 2019
  • Living with each decision for as long as possible
  • Quick Fire Questions!
  • Adventure Mind Conference
  • Getting access to the Journal Article - Exploring the psychology of extended-period expeditionary adventurers: Going knowingly into the unknown


Social Media

Website  -

Twitter @ThePaulaReid  

Instagram @ThePaulaReid 



Article title: Exploring the psychology of extended-period expeditionary adventurers: Going knowingly into the unknown

Article reference: PSYSPO_101608

Journal title: Psychology of Sport & Exercise

Article Number: 101608

Corresponding author: Mrs. Paula Reid

First author: Mrs Paula Reid

First published version available online: 22-OCT-2019



Dec 3, 2019

Véronique is a French-Canadian ultra-runner living in Singapore. Since her debut in ultra-running races, Véronique love to keep on pushing herself to go farther and beyond what she thinks is possible.

In the summer 2015, she ran 3,010km in 72 days, self-supported across Japan. This is the equivalent of 1 full marathon a day for 72 days! Véronique has raced in Japan (Sakura Michi, 250km), UAE (Salomon Wadi Bih Run, 72 Km ) and in Germany (100 Meilen Berlin).

In November 2017, Véronique came first overall at the 'Melaka Ultra 100' mile race in Malaysia in a time of 21h 24 mins!

Her next big goal is to run the Africa continent from North to South. Approximately 14,000km in 1 year 3 months. Véronique is registered for the "Guinness World Record” and by completing this goal, this will make her the first female to accomplish it!

Show notes

  • Growing up in Canada
  • Coming from a single parent family and being bullied when she was younger
  • Doing marital arts from 12 years old
  • Having a bad experience at 14 years old
  • Thinking about death
  • Her first big lesson in life and quitting 
  • Being grateful for the challenging experiences
  • Having an out of body experience at a young age
  • Getting rid of her fear of water
  • Getting into running
  • Getting a treadmill in the house
  • Not feeling confident to run outside
  • Buying her first pair of running shoes
  • Following a running program to run a marathon 
  • Deciding to run across Japan! Where the idea came from 
  • The difference between the plan and the reality 
  • The kindness of strangers
  • How her body coped with the demands of the run
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • The relationship with her daughter 
  • Completing the challenge and dealing with the adventure blues
  • Deciding to run the length of Africa and how it came about 
  • Heading out to run the length of South Korea for training
  • Dealing with the challenges of the heat
  • Finishing the adventure by bike instead of running
  • Advice and tips for women who want to get into running

Social Media 

Website  -

Instagram - @veroniquerun  

Facebook - @veroniquerun  

Youtube - Veronique Run  

Nov 28, 2019

Anna Blackwell is an adventurer, writer, photographer and speaker with a love of the outdoors and pushing her limits. This has led her to pursue numerous adventures, from kayaking across Europe, spending five weeks trekking across the wilderness of Arctic Sweden alone, to walking 1,000 miles solo across France and Spain, and even hitch-hiking to Morocco.

In Anna’s words

This July I set off on a 1,000km solo trek across Arctic and Northern Scandinavia. I started at the Treriksröset (the cairn signifying where Sweden, Norway and Finland meet) and made my way south, following the length of the mountains on the Swedish-Norwegian border. 

The expedition was self-supported, solo, and crossed some of Europe's greatest wilderness areas. I carried everything I needed (weighing in at around 25kg) and wild camped most nights. Travelling through such remote areas, I was often going up to four or five days without seeing any other people.

Throughout this expedition I aimed to minimise my environmental footprint to the greatest extent possible, by working with with sustainability-focused organisations, choosing locally sourced food where possible, reducing my plastic waste and leaving no trace in the wilderness. I also opted to travel to my start point using trains and buses rather than taking an internal short-haul flight.

Show notes

  • Who Anna is and what she does
  • What the Green Ribbon Expedition is and how it came about
  • Creating her own route
  • Committing to the challenge in May 2019
  • Learning more about the planning
  • Buying a big map of the area
  • Route planning and why it was so time consuming
  • Figuring out resupply while out on the trail 
  • Posting packages ahead of time
  • Taking a few luxury items…
  • Doing very little physical preparation
  • The challenges of the weather
  • Dealing with the midnight sun, mosquitos and very cold weather
  • Being green on the expedition
  • Spending 50 hrs on buses and trains
  • Only working with specific companies who are trying to reduce their environmental footprint
  • The biggest challenges she would have to face
  • Why the first 10 days were going to be the toughest
  • Being stung by a hornet….
  • Having to call an ambulance 
  • Dealing with a lot of rain over the final 3 weeks
  • Not knowing what to do
  • Daily routine while walking
  • Going with the flow 
  • Getting up at 6am
  • How busy was it on the route
  • Navigation and making a few detours!
  • Problems with the bugs
  • Day dreaming!
  • The process of absorption 
  • Getting through the final 3 weeks
  • Focusing on the small things
  • The biggest lesson learned from 
  • Heading back to university to do a Masters in Environment and Human Health 
  • Future plans 
  • Committing to be in Falmouth for the next year 
  • Final words of advice and wisdom

Social Media

Website - 

Instagram @annablackwell  

Facebook @annablackwelladventurer  

Twitter @_annablackwell  


Nov 26, 2019

Scottish ultra-endurance adventurer Jenny Graham has smashed her way into the Guinness world records by becoming the fastest woman to cycle around the planet. Last summer her ride took her 18,000 miles, over 4 continents, through 16 countries, completing the trip solo and unsupported in just 124days.

To prepare for that challenge Jenny raced some bike packing routes including the Arizona Trail 750, Highland Trail 550, the Cairngorm Loop and the Yorkshire dales 300 and completed a winter LEJOG in four days!

Show notes

  • Jenny introduces herself
  • Growing up in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Being adventurous from a young age 
  • Getting into cycling and mountain biking
  • Lack of female role models growing up
  • Loving the challenge of mountain biking
  • Cycling to Bothies in Scotland and staying overnight
  • Doing an outdoor course and getting to go skiing
  • Getting work experience 
  • Funding her life with a young child
  • How her cycling developed
  • The Highland Trail 550 and quitting the race 8 days in!!! 
  • Wanting to go back and finish the race
  • Getting a road bike and how it was a game changer in terms of the miles she could do
  • Going on an Adventure Syndicate training camp
  • Meeting her coach John Hammond and getting a year of free coaching
  • Racing in Arizona 
  • Round the world record….
  • Working through her internal fears
  • The big questions - turning the dream into reality
  • 1 Year of preparation and why it was the hardest year
  • Sponsorship….and getting money
  • Coming out on social media and telling the world what she wanted to achieve
  • The rules and requirements for cycling around the world
  • Deciding on the route
  • Life on the road - what a typical day was like
  • Aiming to ride 15 hrs per day
  • Staying focused day after day 
  • Having to be kind to yourself
  • The WHY
  • The saddle saga
  • Dealing with the extremes in temperature
  • Not having a day off and trying to rest on planes
  • The struggle of organisation before and during the challenge
  • Breaking the world record and going back to that day 
  • Getting the adventure blues after the ride and adjusting back to normal life
  • Why Jenny thinks someone will beat her record next year
  • The biggest learning from cycling around the world
  • Not seeing barrier anymore
  • What the Adventure Syndicate is
  • The Adventure Syndicate Podcast
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Final words of advice 
  • The next challenge
  • Film!
  • Book!

Social Media 


Twitter: @jennygrahamis  

Instagram: @jennygrahamis_ 


Nov 21, 2019

In Lindsey’s words…


I’ve just finished cycling around Britain, connecting with wild swimmers.


Since mermaiding the Thames I have absolutely fallen in love with wild swimming. It makes me feel magically alive and I’ve never known such a welcoming, heart warming community quite like it. I received messages from all over the UK inviting me to swim with them. So, of course I made a plan.


In February, I cycled from Devon to the inaugural Scottish Winter Swimming Championship in Taymouth Marina and connected with wild swimmers en route. It was only meant to be for two weeks, but I was so high on adrenalin for that fortnight that I decided to carry on. And six months later, I finally hung up my dipping cossie and parked my bike


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


Show notes

  • Catching up with Lindsey
  • Being based in Bristol for now
  • Who is Lindsey!
  • Being nomadic and loving the journey of life
  • Having issues with commitment 
  • Being an Urban Mermaid
  • Deciding to swim the length of the Thames 
  • Planning and preparation….
  • Plastic pollution….
  • Going to San Fransisco and deciding to swim from Alcatraz from to SF Bay
  • Earning money and the types of jobs she does
  • Being flown out to SF by Uber
  • Living in Spain
  • Deciding to swim the River Thames in November…..
  • Being sick and not being able to keep food down
  • How she acclimatised for the swim…
  • 22 days to swim the Thames
  • How the accommodation side of things worked
  • Working with a small budget!
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • Why movement is so important
  • Rescuing a cow in the River Thames
  • Swimming with the Mermaid Tail
  • Having no plans for after the swim
  • Trying to put down routes
  • How the idea for the next challenges came about 
  • UK Cold Water Swimming Championships
  • Deciding to cycle to Scotland
  • Swimming twice a day on the 2 week journey unto Scotland
  • How 2 weeks turned into 6 months
  • Swimming with over 1000 people!!
  • What it was like being out on the road
  • The kindness of strangers
  • The challenges of being on the rode and being so free
  • Having some chill time in the bath
  • Teaching English on-line
  • Unleashing who she really is in writing
  • Living with ADHD
  • How she manages her ADHD
  • Settling down??
  • Where in the world would you most like to go?
  • Why she picked Bristol….
  • Meeting a boy….
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • A book on swimming….

Social Media

Website - 

Instagram - @stompycole


Nov 19, 2019

Sian Lewis is an award-winning travel and outdoors journalist and blogger who writes for titles including The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile and Coast. She is also the editor of Active Traveller and Snow magazines. Her work as an adventurous writer has taken her around the world in the name of a good story and she also edits award-winning blog The Girl Outdoors,, which encourages women to get outside and get adventuring. Her first book, The Girl Outdoors, was published by Bloomsbury in 2018.    

Show notes

  • Who is Sian
  • What life was like growing up
  • Being encouraged to follow her passions from a young age
  • Studying Italian at University 
  • Doing a Masters in Journalism
  • Starting up her blog - The Girl Outdoors
  • Being a Pioneer in the women’s adventure space
  • How her blog was also her CV
  • Getting her 2nd job in journalism
  • Editing for Active Traveller Magazine
  • Turning the blog into a full time blog or not?
  • Balance 
  • The type of content Sian likes to write
  • Adventures that fit into her life
  • Living in Bristol
  • Her struggle with big mountains and altitude
  • Doing volunteering with British Exploring Society 
  • Qualifications….
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • The Book - The Girl Outdoors: The Wild Girl's Guide to Adventure, Travel and Wellbeing
  • Advice for women who are lacking confidence in the outdoors
  • Wild swimming and being inspired by her grandmother 
  • Swimming in Arctic, Scandinavian waters!
  • Cycling 
  • Gym life?
  • Needing to work out most days
  • How to keep fit while travelling
  • Coming back from a month of travelling
  • Spending time at home
  • 2 weeks in Alaska
  • Quick Fire Questions

Social Media


Instagram @sianannalewis   

Facebook @thegirloutdoors  

Twitter @sianannalewis  



Nov 14, 2019

Jo in her own words…

My job title is now an Outdoor Instructor and Expedition Leader and since going self-employed I have led 30 expeditions on Kilimanjaro along with numerous other expeditions on foot, 2 wheels and horseback, most at high altitude, all around the world with both charity and private clients.  

In the UK I teach and assess the expedition element of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award from Bronze through to Gold as well as leading many a challenge on bike and foot in the UK and Europe. I also help to deliver corporate team building events and expedition training weekends as well as public speaking about my experiences before I discovered the outdoors, Everest, the earthquake and beyond to corporates, schools and groups.

To be honest I never thought I would summit Snowdon even once so becoming the 3rd British woman to reach the true summit of Manaslu, the world’s 8th highest mountain standing at 8163m in September 2013 and then being the 36th British woman to reach the summit of Everest in May 2016 have been huge and unexpected achievements.

I have gone from having severe vertigo and a great ability to say no way too often to facing my fears, saying yes more and turning my life around. I am now on route to complete the 7 summits and continue to raise funds and awareness for children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

*Please note during this episode we do talk about grief and mental health. Please ensure you are in a good place before you listen to this episode. 


Show notes

  • Catching up with Jo
  • How has it been 3 years!
  • Who is Jo
  • What does she do
  • Coming to terms with climbing Mount Everest
  • Getting back from Everest and going back to normal life
  • Dealing with the expedition come down
  • Sleeping for 10 days
  • Dealing with the void after expeditions
  • Being sponsored 
  • What’s next?!
  • Coming up with a plan to complete the 7 Summits (4 done - 3 to do!)
  • Heading off to Alaska to climb Mount Denali - June 2017 
  • Dealing with the death of her father at the end of 2017
  • Taking a break from the 7 summits in 2018 and focusing on mental health and work
  • Going on a cruise with her mum 
  • 25th Anniversary of Place2Be
  • Carstensz Pyramid closed and the trip being cancelled
  • Hoping the unrest in Chile doesn’t cancel the next summit attempt 
  • How she has changed since the earthquake in Nepal
  • Why there is no Plan B or second chance
  • The amazing sponsor!!! 
  • Taking students to Everest Base Camp
  • Finding a way to make it work
  • Getting into debt
  • How Jo approached climbing Denali 
  • Why she wanted to climb Denali 
  • Getting at fit as possible and wanting to be on top form
  • Training with Dave the tyre!
  • What the weather was like on Denali
  • The 24hr walk out
  • Coping mechanisms and practical pieces of advice
  • “it’s just another day on the hill”
  • Positive Polly & Negative Nelly
  • Carry shit….
  • Reading - Rebecca Stephens Book - On Top Of The World 
  • Reflecting back on 2018 
  • Blog post - Mission Self-Destruct: successfully aborted
  • Starting to drink too often
  • Being proud of her mum
  • Why there is no time frame on grief
  • Quick Fire Questions

Social Media

Website  -

Facebook -   @jobradshawadventurer 

Instagram - @_jobradshaw  

Twitter - @_jobradsha 

Support PLACE2BE - HERE 


Nov 12, 2019

In October 2018 Laura Marshall became the FIRST solo Australian woman to complete one of the world’s toughest ultra endurance triathlons - the Enduroman Arch to Arc! 

In doing so she also broke the world record for fastest woman, non wetsuit, in a time of 81 hours and 28 minutes. This made her the 35th solo person to ever do the event and the 9th woman. She was also the 4th ever person to do the swim leg of the event without a wetsuit.

​This gruelling event involves a 140km run from Marble Arch in London to the coast of Dover, a 33km+ swim across the English Channel and a 292km cycle from Calais, France to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. 

If completing all 3 legs of the event under your own steam wasn’t enough, Laura has also elected to take the traditional approach to swimming across the English Channel in just a swimsuit and swim cap, something that within the realms of this particular event is relatively rare, as most competitors choose to swim in a full length wetsuit for added warmth and buoyancy. 

As part of this event Laura is raising awareness and funds for beyondblue, an Australian organisation that helps people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide.

Laura is a former Outward Bound Australia staff member (2004 to 2012). Laura lives in Canberra, ACT, where she works as a secondary school teacher.

Show notes

  • Who is Laura
  • Growing up and getting into the outdoors
  • Where it all started
  • Working for Outward Bound in Scotland and then moving to Australia in 2004
  • The Enduroman Arch to Arc
  • Applying for it in 2013
  • Loving the challenge of ultra races
  • The application process for the race
  • What’s involved in the race!
  • Having to postpone for a few years due to uni work 
  • Taking a year to train for the event
  • Working with a coach and a nutritionist
  • Joining a local swimming club
  • Going part time to get the training in and the rest 
  • The benefits of it being a supported race
  • Why swimming was her weak point
  • Wanting to be a professional athlete
  • What a typical day was like
  • Getting the nutrition right and doing fluids test and how that helped figure out her specific needs
  • The mental side of the challenge, the high points and the low points
  • Is it selfish to do challenges?
  • Deciding to raise money for charity
  • Sharing more about mental health
  • Suffering from bi-polar
  • The build up to the race
  • Having a 10 day slot for the race
  • Power naps and coffee!
  • The sleeping arrangements
  • Waiting for 12 hrs in Dover
  • Why the swim was the big worry
  • Dealing with the tides and currents of the English Channel
  • Deciding to just swim in a costume and not a wetsuit
  • Starting the bike ride in France
  • Being good at day dreaming
  • Being able to zone out while running or swimming
  • Seeing the Arc de Triumph 
  • Achieving her dream and celebrating!!
  • What she learned from the whole experience
  • Being persistent and consistent
  • Adventure blues and getting past the challenge
  • Why it’s ok to do adventures 
  • Quitting her job!
  • Plans for 2020 - a triathlon of New Zealand
  • Self funding her challenges
  • Living a simple life
  • Quick Fire Questions.
  • Final words of advice for women and girls who want to live a more adventurous life

Social Media

Instagram: @laura.marshall.a2a 

Facebook: @LauraMarshallA2A 

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