After receiving the sudden news of losing her father whilst on the other side of the world backpacking, Lindsey threw herself into adventure to deal with the grief. Having not ridden a bike since at school, she decided to cycle to Paris.
She liked it. So, she cycled the length of Britain. She liked that too and then scaled the African continent. But, she didn’t just stick to adventuring on two wheels.
She ran from her home in London to Manchester, carrying a ukulele to busk on arrival. Hearing the absurdity of her latest challenge, the local radio station got her to sing and play each night live. The only problem was that she couldn’t play or sing.
She then turned to eight wheels, and roller skated to Paris, whilst learning en route. And, having been inspired by the story she read ten years earlier, she trekked for ten weeks on her own, across the Australian outback, following the Rabbit Proof Fence, retracing the amazing journey of three young sisters.
2017 - Truck Tales - circumnavigating Australia with Truck Drivers
2016 - Walking the Rabbit Proof Fence
2013 - To Bude in the Nude- 150 mile roller-skate to Bude in a nude suit, because it rhymed!
2013 - Je Parle Franglais en skates - Rollerskating to Paris whilst learning French
2013 - Running with Kenyans - Turned 30 and wanted to run a sub 3.0hr marathon. It didn't happen!
2012 - Runkule - 250 mile run to Manchester playing the ukulele
2012 - Running to Wales - Ran from London to see a friend for a cup of tea
Website & Blog - https://www.lindseycole.co.uk
Twitter - @LindseyCole
Instagram - @Stompycole
Cal is a stand up paddle boarder, surfer, ocean lover and vet. Increasingly upset by the amount of plastic waste she was finding in the ocean, she wanted to connect people to the harm that it was causing, but moreover to empower people to make positive changes to help prevent it.
So she turned to adventure in 2016 she stand up paddle boarded the entire Cornish coast in a bid to demonstrate the problems surrounding single use plastic water bottles; a 260 mile epic ocean voyage. In 2017 she circumnavigated the Isle of Skye’s 400 miles of coastline on a paddle board! Cal also shares with us, what she has got planned in 2018! It's EPIC!!!
Paddle Against Plastic
Paddle Against Plastic was set up by Cal Major in 2016 as a way to reach people and talk about the issue of plastic pollution.
Paddle Against Plastic uses epic stand up paddle boarding adventures to capture peoples’ imagination, highlight the issue of plastic pollution so close to home, and to promote positive change by proposing simple solutions that we can all be proud and excited to be a part of.
Cal was unable to stand the amount of plastic washing up on her favourite surfing beaches any more without doing something about it, and so Paddle Against Plastic: Cornwall 2016 was born as a way to reach out to people.
Katie-Jane L’Herpiniere has a passion for adventure, challenging her limits both physically and mentally, and exploring this wonderful world in which we live.
After university Katie had the opportunity to build a career as a commercial model, on fashion shows for household names such as Marks and Spencer’s, Tony & Guy and Alexander McQueen, photo shoots and a number of Film and TV projects including having body-doubled for Cameron Diaz.
Then in 2005, Katie met polar explorer Tarka L'Herpiniere, and they were quick to find they had little in common. Tarka was less than impressed with her manicured nails and face full of makeup, likewise, Katie did not see Tarka as the ‘all-action hero’ that his accolades suggest, more a really ‘odd’ Frenchman who seemed to find enjoyment in throwing himself into frozen lakes! It wasn’t long before the facades were broken and by 2006 Katie had left behind her life as a model and made the gigantic leap from exhibitionist to expeditionist.
In 2007, after 167 days and 4500km Katie & Tarka, in an incredible feat of determination, became the first recognised people to walk unsupported the entire length of the Great Wall of China, from its western most terminus to its eastern most.
From the completion of this challenge, Katie realised that any feeling of accomplishment, achievement or success is directly proportional to the effort, commitment and hardship put into achieving it.
Having discovered this newfound inner strength, she has since gone on to fill her life with many more adventures. Including; the longest crossing of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap by a woman, cycling across Africa on a vintage African bicycle with no brakes or gears unsupported, raced in the Transcontinental unsupported single stage 4000km bike race across Europe, lived in a floating tent in -50C on the Arctic Ocean, and has nearly lost her life on many numbers of occasions.
Jane was born in Edinburgh and brought up in North Yorkshire. After reading English at Somerville College, Oxford, she became an antiquarian book dealer, and later a writer. Her ten books to date have been critically acclaimed, and have confirmed her as one of our most engaging and original social historians.
Jane lives near Oxford with her husband and - during university holidays - her two sons. She writes full time, apart from when she's happily travelling to give talks or broadcasts about her books, or working one day a week at Somerville College as an assistant archivist.
Her most recent book came out in January 2018 - Hearts And Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women Won the Vote. This is a story of ordinary people effecting extraordinary change. By turns dangerous, exhausting and exhilarating, the Great Pilgrimage transformed the personal and political lives of women in Britain for ever. Jane Robinson has drawn from diaries, letters and unpublished accounts to tell the inside story of the march, against the colourful background of the entire suffrage campaign.
Visit her blog and website - http://www.jane-robinson.com
Hélène has just come back to the UK after 18 months adventuring in her VW camper-van travelling with her bikes, and finding the best places to triathlon train in Europe!
In 2016 Hélène represented Great Britain at Age Group level for the European ironman and half ironman championships in Poland and Austria, in 2017, it was Ironman Austria, where she qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii!
Twitter - @WhereWheelsGo
Instagram - @WhereWheelsGo
Hope Virgo suffered with anorexia for over 4 years, before being admitted to a Mental Health Hospital in 2007. She lived in the hospital for a year, fighting one of the hardest battles of her life. Since being discharged, she has fought to stay well.
Hope has now written about her journey with anorexia, in her book, Stand Tall Little Girl. Hope uses her experiences of mental health illness to champion the rights of others, inspire them to get well, and help break the stigma of mental illness.
Hope lives and works in London. In her spare time, she volunteers for refugee charities, and charities that support young and abandoned children. She is a dedicated runner, and has a keen interest in maintaining good mental health through healthy eating and exercise.
Twitter - @SuzieImberSpace
Anna, is a British born adventurer, motivational speaker, influencer and author. She was recently named by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the 50 most influential travellers of our time, and by the the Guardian as one of the top modern female adventurers . She is also proud to be the UK Ambassador for Girl Guiding, and the co-founder of Adventure Queens; the UK’s fastest growing women’s adventure community.
Connect with Anna - Support & follow!
Website - https://annamcnuff.com
Twitter - @AnnaMcNuff
Instagram - @Annamcnuff
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AMcNuff/
Faye found her adventure mojo in 2014, since then she’s taken on a new challenge each year; from climbing Kilimanjaro, to cycling the length of New Zealand solo and most recently coming back from spending 6 months cycling the Andes.
Twitter - @Faye_Shepherd -
Instagram - @faye_shepherd
Fiona is an adventurer, speaker and entrepreneur who loves to get outside and push her limits on expeditions big and small, meeting new people and discovering tasty cake stops en route. In 2017 she walked and cycled the length of Britain and in 2018 is due to set a new world record by becoming the first person to SUP Britain. When she's not adventuring you'll find her running Adventure Book Club and coaching entrepreneurs.
A former corporate business management specialist within the banking sector, she's now fully focused upon soul sustaining adventuring with purpose. Megan has mountaineered across the globe and has scaled some of the world’s most famous peaks such as Elbrus and Mera Peak. Megan is one half of the all-female adventure team Dare two Do. Megan is an advocate of adventures in any shape or size, is partial to an overnight bivi wild camp under the stars as well as an epic self-powered voyage, and is an avid fan of all that’s deemed a challenge.
Mina is a 36 year old Primary School teacher who discovered the beauty of long-distance running in her late 20's. She would say she’s very ordinary and just someone who has a love of long distance running and spending time outdoors.
She hopes by sharing the different challenges and adventures she has, that it might in some way inspire you to take that step to actually do the things you really want to in your life. She believes that just by telling people the things you want to do it will start to make them more of a reality.
So say out loud what you want to do with your life and see what happens!
Mina is not a sponsored athlete, she doesn’t win the races she enters, she is a normal woman who has followed her passions!
Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent is a travel writer, TV producer and director of Edge Expeditions. She’s written three books, penned numerous articles for magazines, set an unlikely Guinness World Record for driving a tuk tuk 12,500 miles from Bangkok to Brighton and filmed in remote locations from Bolivia to Borneo and beyond.
Her latest book, Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains: A Journey Across Arunachal Pradesh – India’s Forgotten Frontier.
Website - http://www.theitinerant.co.uk
Leijerstam started her expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf at the edge of the Antarctic continent. She cycled for 10hrs to 17hrs each day with no rest days, and the total distance cycled was 638 km (396 mi).
Leijerstam cycled a uniquely designed, three wheeled Polar Cycle, a modernised form of polar travel, demonstrating that cycling can be more efficient than skiing to the South Pole.
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If you have questions about me, the podcast, what I’m doing… then please check out my website
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If you have questions regarding the Marathon des Sables - Please read - Tough Girl Sahara Challenge
If you have questions regarding climbing Kilimanjaro - Please read - Kilimanjaro Tips for The Top
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Become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund my mission
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Beth French, an ultra-marathon open-sea ocean swimmer who was once a Buddhist nun, a single mother who home schools her autistic son and an adventurer who suffered from a crippling illness (M.E. aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in her youth.
During this podcast we speak to Beth about her journey to swim across the seven most dangerous sea-channels in the world, an official challenge called ‘Oceans Seven'. For extreme swimmers it’s the ultimate test; only a handful of people have ever completed it, but it took them many years.
In September 2016, Beth set out to become the first person ever to conquer Oceans Seven in a 12-months period.
Her motivation: to prove to her autistic son that you are not determined by your circumstances and that you can fulfill your dreams and ambitions by confronting obstacles head on.
“I'm in it to swim it and it's not over till I run out of water.”
On Thursday - hear more from Beth on Tough Girl Extra - The Quick Fire Round!!
What a journey it has been! There have been high points (a new baby!), low points (trying to raise £21K), focus, dedication, commitment, success and failure. New skills have been learned, new challenges ticked off bucket lists and fears overcome.
I would like to extend a massive thank you to all of the seven women who have been involved in this project since December 2016. It is not easy to put yourself out there, and to share your story with the world (the tough girl podcast is listened to in 172 countries).
These women, all stepped up, they have shared honestly about their experience, the good bits and the bad and I hope you have all managed to take something away from all of their collective experiences.
For the full show notes - please visit www.toughgirlchallenges.com
Please become a patron at www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast
2017! What a year it has been!! So much has been achieved, but where has the time gone? The weeks have disappeared and flown by! I for one am so excited to be able to look back on the year and see what I've learned on this journey! Here is to a fantastic 2018 as well!!
You can listen to my reflections on 2016 and plans for 2017 here -
Megan has spent time working and living with native communities all around the world, from the San bushmen in Africa to the Sami reindeer herders in the Arctic to the Iban jungle dwellers in Borneo and many more.
Most of her expeditions involve working closely with native peoples and she always aims to support local communities where possible.
Megan’s primal drive to travel and explore means she can often be found breaking trail through waist deep snow, swinging in her hammock in the depths of a jungle or sharing stories sat around a campfire under the desert stars.
Megan’s Knowledge and skills make her a world leading expert in all aspects of remote wilderness area expeditions, survival and TV filming.
“In the wilderness the only person you are in competition with is yourself. You should constantly strive to be better, to push your own limits and explore your own relationship with the environment.”
Learn more about Megan and visit her website - http://meganhine.com
Laura is a British adventure athlete with a passion for the endurance capability of the human body. A strong believer in the positive impact that adventure and sport can have on children and adults alike, Laura uses her human powered journeys as a platform to inspire and encourage others to get outside.
Previous adventures include solo kayaking in Russia, solo cycling the world's longest coastal route in Ireland and circumnavigating three of the Channel Islands using three different sporting disciplines as part of a rather extreme triathlon!
Learn more about Laura!
Website - https://www.lauraexplorer.com
An adrenaline junkie, Della has completed marathons, 100km walks and skydives, and is currently into walking, cycling and photographing nature along the way.
Della was a circumnavigator on Hull and Humber in the 09-10 Clipper Race and then returned for numerous legs of the 11-12 race as a videographer/producer with then Clipper Race documentary makers, North One. She now works for Clipper helping to inspire other people to take on the challenge of a life time!
During this podcast we learn more about Della, what drives her and why she wanted to take on this challenge!
“The race was a hugely challenging, positive and inspiring experience for me. It was a huge learning curve and it did change my life”
Social Media Links
Della’s Website - http://www.dellaroundtheworld.com
Twitter - @MissDellarella
Clipper Yacht Race
Clipper Yacht Race Website - clipperroundtheworld.com
Twitter - @ClipperRace
Facebook - @clipperroundtheworld
Jen was born without legs & put up for adoption, her amazing adoptive family, gave her one simple rule, “Never say the word, Can’t.”
As a child, she was obsessed with gymnastics, and her idol was gold-medalist, Dominique Moceanu.
Seemingly against all odds, she went on to compete against able-bodied athletes, and became a State Champion in power tumbling. As part of her story, and also as a twist of fate, she later learned that her childhood gymnastics idol, Dominique Moceanu, was actually her biological sister!
Jen transitioned into an accomplished acrobat and aerialist. She traveled internationally with Britney Spears’ World Tour, and appeared as the headliner at the prestigious Palazzo hotel in Las Vegas, New York’s Lincoln Center and the Shangri La Hotel in Dubai.
Jen is currently living in Los Angeles, and her goal is “to inspire & motivate others to BELIEVE that anything is truly possible.”
Learn more about Jen
Visit her website
Follow on Twitter - @JenBricker1
Facebook - Jen Bricker
Instagram - @Jenbricker
Anna Blackwell - The Going-on of an Adventurer! Walking 500 and 1000 miles across France and Spain along ancient pilgrimage routes
Anna is a 24-year-old adventurer who has a love of the great outdoors and pushing her limits. This has led her to completing a series of adventures over the last few years: trekking across the wilderness of arctic Sweden with just reindeer for company, walking 500 and 1000 miles across France and Spain along ancient pilgrimage routes, summiting the highest peak in North Africa, and hitch-hiking to Morocco (amongst plenty of others!)
2017 has been a slightly unusual year for her as she’s been working full-time for the majority of it, but she’s still found time for some fun, whether in the form of tackling my first 4000m mountain in North Africa, attempts at trekking in Arctic Norway, or just setting up her bivvy bag to sleep under the stars on a hillside in Oxfordshire!
Melissa Urie - Nurse from Australia who was the 2nd Women to ever finish the EPIC 5 - 5 Ironman in 5 days across 5 different islands in Hawaii!
Melissa is the second woman ever to finish the Epic 5 - an event which consists of doing 5 Ironman distance triathlons (that’s 224km or 140 miles of swimming, cycling and running) every day over 5 days on 5 different Hawaiian Islands!
Melissa lives in Melbourne, Australia working as a nurse.
Learn more about Melissa
Follow on Twitter @rangamel
You can also listen to Melissa on Sparta Chicks Radio - which goes into more detail about the EPIC 5 Race
Want to do more?
Become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund my mission
If you want to support my mission - you can also donate via PayPal
Alice believes that learning to swim is a human right, and that whether you’re swimming your first 25metres, splashing in tarns or crossing the English Channel, swimming can empower our lives both in and out of the water.
Alice discovered open water swimming after being knocked off her bike by a lorry on her way to work, the day before her 31 birthday. Waking up on the tarmac as commuter traffic circled around her, too busy to stop to help, she realised it was time to change her path.
Since then Alice has pursued her passions of writing, social justice, water and the outdoors. She is contributing Editor of Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, lead scientist at the International Institute of Swim Cake Studies, a qualified swim teacher, Mandarin speaker, and consultant focusing on projects relating to anti corruption, responsible business, water scarcity, the rule of law and the impact of technology on social and economic development.
When not in or writing about water, her research and advocacy have taken her to China, India, No.10 and the UN.
Her swims include: a 4 woman English Channel relay; 2 woman Lake Zurich relay; the Solent; the Thames Marathon; Dart 10k, Sydney Harbour Swim, Scilly Swim Challenge, and the swimmer for Team Mel C vs Team Pendleton in the Human Race Women only triathlon, and competing in the International Winter Swimming Championships in China.