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Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - www.toughgirlchallenges.com and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: Page 2
Feb 10, 2022
Gail Muller is an adventurer, writer and educator. She was told at 14 she’d need to use a wheelchair by the age of 40, but at 41 embarked on one of the world’s toughest treks over 6 months in the USA – The Appalachian Trail.
 
For fifteen years she struggled with muscular-skeletal issues, chronic pain and the mental health issues that arise from them, but she never gave up hope of healing and resolution.
 
Her debut memoir 'Unlost' is an inspiring, uplifting and moving account of one woman’s incredible journey into the unknown. A love letter to the healing power of the wild outdoors and an incredible testament to the strength of the human spirit, Gail’s story is for anyone who has ever felt stuck in a rut, lost or scared.
 
She has recently returned from the Continental Divide Trail - a massive hike across the United States where she battled with unmarked trails, grizzly bears, wildfires, weeks at altitude and raging snowmelt-filled river fords. Gail will recount how through all of her journeys, she found has grit, determination, and hope in the darkest of times.
 
Unlost: A journey of self-discovery and the healing power of the wild outdoors by Gail Muller, published by Thread, was released on the 7th September 2021.
 
*Content Warning - Mention of sexual assault and thoughts of suicide.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Gail Muller
  • Being a teacher and an educator
  • Talking to us about her adventures and what she’s overcome
  • Growing up in Cornwall and what it means to be Cornish
  • Her teenage years
  • Being told she would end up in a wheelchair in her 40s
  • Working on super yachts and in the film industry
  • Dealing with back pain which became chronic
  • Learning to treat herself with kindness
  • Finding a solution while in Italy
  • Feeling suicidal and wanting to end it all
  • Don’t give up hope and why a solution is just around the corner
  • Wanting to use her body to do something magnificent 
  • Losing a loved one
  • Starting to save to go up on a big adventure
  • Learning outdoor skills
  • Fears and concerns before heading of to hike the Appalachian Trail
  • Dealing with sexual assault and panic attacks
  • Heading south bound on the AT- starting with Mt. Khatardin and the 100 mile wilderness
  • Enjoyment, love and magical moments
  • Trail magic and trail angels
  • Making new friends and connecting with a trail family
  • Snacks…
  • Deciding to go south bound
  • Wanting to be more alone on the trail
  • Walking on the CTD in summer 2021
  • Not wanting to road walk in smoke
  • The plan for 2021 and how it changed 
  • Full time adventuring….
  • Writing her first book - Unlost
  • Hiking with 2 broken bones in her foot
  • Making a plan for 2022
  • South West Coast Path, UK
  • Being diagnosed with ADHD recently
  • Becoming best friends with her body
  • How to connect with Gail
  • Meet Bill
  • Words of advice to inspire you
  • Why you should never quit on a bad day
 
Social Media
 
Website: https://gailmuller.com
 
Instagram: @thegailmuller
 
Facebook: @thegailmuller
 
FB Group @Unlostoutdoors
 
Feb 8, 2022
Jessica’s ‘adventure activism’ is, by her own admission, a bit of an accident as she hates exercise and considers herself to be the most unlikely athlete. 
 
However, over the last decade she has been taking on some of the world’s most iconic physical and mental endurance challenges to turn the sadness she’s been through into something positive and at the same time raise awareness of what it means to struggle to conceive and to encourage new ways of thinking about family. 
 
She has run the London Marathon; swum the English Channel; and is still on her journey to climb Mount Everest and complete the iconic ‘Pond to Peak’ Challenge. 
 
She is a member of the British Mountaineering CouncilThe RamblersThe Long Distance Walkers Association; and the SerpentineHampstead Ponds and Dover Open Water Swimming Clubs; and has used her sporting challenges to raise thousands of pounds for charity including Fertility Network UK.
 
We first spoke to Jessica in Oct 2018 - you can listen to that episode here: 
 
https://www.toughgirlchallenges.com/single-post/jessica-hepburn 
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Jessica
  • How she would describe herself and what she does
  • Dealing with a decade long struggle on trying to conceive 
  • Wanting to do something different with her life
  • Completing her childhood dream of swimming the English Channel 
  • Being an adventure activist 
  • Wanting to be the first women to complete the “Pond to Peak” Challenge
  • What Jessica was up to in 2019
  • Making a change in her career and setting up her own arts’ festival 
  • Her dream of heading to Everest in 2020
  • Climbing Mt. Elbrus and having a tough time
  • Swimming to get fit for climbing mountains
  • Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2015/2016
  • Why the Everest journey has been so hard 
  • Being an unlikely mountaineer and athlete 
  • When things don’t go according to plan 
  • Having to learn from failure
  • Does swim training translate to walking in the mountains?
  • The benefits of cold water and why she does it regularly 
  • Not being fast enough on the mountains
  • Needing to get into strength training and build muscle
  • Heading to the peak district and the Lake District
  • Training with the Elite Ramblers in the UK 
  • Dealing with the first lockdown in 2020
  • Being able to stop, slow down and relax
  • Finding the blessings 
  • How lockdown impacted on motivation for training and keeping fit
  • The different types of adventures 
  • Why adventure has become such an important part of her life
  • Getting the confirmation that Everest was going to go ahead in 2021
  • Getting to base camp and feeling prepared
  • How everyone has an opinion on Everest
  • Why her expedition was a non summit
  • Dealing with cyclones at camp 2
  • Cyclones, Chest Infections and Covid
  • Making a rookie mistake
  • Why you need a buff!!!
  • Making the decision to turn back…
  • Acceptance and coming to peace 
  • Why climbing mountains have become so meaningful
  • Making it a battle - a battle with nature
  • Wanting to go back in the future
  • Turning 50 at the end of 2020
  • How to follow along with Jessica and her future adventures 
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire more women to take their next steps into the world of adventure
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.jessicahepburn.com 
 
Instagram: @jessica_hepburn_ 
 
Facebook: @jessicahepburnauthor 
 
Twitter: @JessicaPursuit 
 
 
Feb 3, 2022
Namratha believes one should find ways to be more grounded and closer to nature. She has found that for herself through meditation and trekking. 
 
Namratha would love to do her part in encouraging people to pursue a healthy lifestyle. She always thinks that one should be mentally and physically fit to be able to do what one wants irrespective of the age. 
 
Listen to Namratha as she shares more about her childhood, how she got into trekking and why she decided on this challenges, she talks us through her planning and preparation, how she dealt with the tough days and where her mental resilience comes from.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Nam?
  • What her family was like
  • Growing up in a small town
  • Working as a HR professional
  • Being introduced to trekking by her husband in 2013
  • Role models while growing up
  • Longing to get back into the mountains
  • Being inspired to be fit
  • Getting into trekking and her first experiences
  • Being encouraged to go trekking
  • The 50 Alpine Lakes Challenge
  • Dealing with early onset arthritis
  • Working o strengthening the muscles in her knee
  • Trekking with a guide who knows the routes 
  • Dealing with the altitude
  • Doing the challenge while having a full time job
  • Dealing with challenges like snowfall and lightening while out trekking
  • Listening to her body and making the right decision at the time
  • Having a favourite lake
  • Learning to travel solo and building up confidence
  • Learning to become more comfortable with herself
  • Advice for women who want to travel solo
  • The need to prepare and to do your homework
  • Female guides on the mountains
  • The challenges on her body and how it adapted
  • Go to food on the mountain
  • Wanting to get more people fit and healthy
  • Wanting to create a webpage 
  • Final words of advice to inspire you. 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @namrathaurs 
 
Facebook: @namratha.nandish 
Feb 1, 2022
Easkey on Freedom, Mindfulness and Connection: 
 
Freedom - “I find freedom in movement, in nature, through new experiences. Freedom has the qualities of spontaneity, passion, flow, adventure, risk, independence and creativity. It’s about expressing myself creatively, doing what matters most, and the power of play.”
 
Mindfulness - “I’ve always believed surfing is an amazing tool for a mindfulness practice. It’s very much about mindfulness-in-movement. If I truly get into why I surf, it’s because we can enter this heightened state of awareness – a flow state where, if even just for a moment, there’s complete focus and immersion in the present.”
 
Connection - “Surfing helps me understand the meaning of connection. Surfing demands a letting go of expectations and requires our total presence in the moment so that we begin to take notice of our surroundings, to be a little awed and humbled through direct contact with nature.”
 
About Easkey:
 
Easkey is the first Irish woman to be nominated for the Global WSL Big Wave Awards but there’s more to Easkey than surfing. It is her intellect and her quest to learn and create change in an often unfair world that really defines her. A scientist, academic and social activist, with a PhD in Environment and Society, Easkey is always one to look in places others aren’t for the answers to difficult questions. Her curiosity and passion for fairness and gender equality are the qualities that others to her.
 
Named an ‘Agent of Change’ by Surfer magazine in their special Ocean Edition, her work is deeply influenced by the ocean and the lessons learned pioneering women’s big-wave surfing in Ireland and the sport of surfing with women in Iran, which led her to be invited to give an inspiring TEDx talk: Just Add Surf. Her ground-breaking journey to Iran in 2013 introduced the sport of surfing to women and local communities and is featured in the award-winning documentary film, “Into the Sea”. Passionate about facilitating creative & collaborative processes, she founded Like Water, a platform to explore innovative ways to reconnect with who we are, our environment and each other, through water. Easkey draws on the sea as an active metaphor to dive deep into the power of presence and embodiment of natural cycles. She designs and delivers international summits and global leadership programmes specialising in experiential learning, nature connection, immersive embodiment practices, community engagement and social impact, including the annual Wavemaker retreat in Portugal and Move Like Water retreat for women. She is the author of ‘50 Things to do by the Sea’ and is currently finishing a new book called ‘Saltwater in the Blood.’
 
Easkey is a one off, wild hearted and free spirit. She’s ridden some of the biggest days in Ireland; no audience, no blue skies, no golden sands, just her and a crew she trusts. Doing something she loves; chasing cold water mountains.
 
You can listen to Easkey on the Tough Girl Podcast.
 
New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. 
 
 
Show notes
  • Who is Easkey and what she does
  • Being a lover of the ocean
  • Wanting to understand how we relate to the world 
  • Growing up by the beach 
  • Having a connection with the ocean
  • Meeting other women who surfed
  • Starting to compete at a young age
  • The limited pathways for women in surfing 
  • What it was like in the early 90s
  • Getting into free surfing and exploring new waves
  • The link between science and surfing
  • Being an agent of change by Surfer Magazine
  • The sport of surfing with women in Iran
  • How her relationship with surfing has changed
  • The ripple effect 
  • Filming a documentary 
  • Spending time by the ocean 
  • The healing power of water
  • Blue Health 
  • Book - Blue Mind: How Water Makes You Happier, More Connected and Better at What You Do 
  • Blue Mindfulness - How big wave surfing has taught me to live in the moment
  • The mental training for big wave surfing 
  • Learning to trust her body
  • Spending time away from the water
  • How has surfing changed over the past 30 years
  • Gender equality in surfing and the work being done to close the gender gap
  • Representation in surfing and how do you create a more inclusive ocean
  • How do you break down barriers and create more opportunities 
  • The work of Lauren Hill Book: She Surf: The Rise of Female Surfing  
  • Who are the women that have inspired Easkey
  • The power of one women story 
  • The influence of mentors 
  • Meet Wolfie! (The dog!)
  • Having the idea for the book and putting pen to paper
  • Keeping a journal to keep track of her own thoughts
  • Being full time in academia and wanting to write more freely 
  • Not seeing women in front of or behind the camera
  • The feminine perspective of surfing and sharing that
  • Plans for the future
  • Working as a blue health researcher in relation to surf therapy 
  • Putting the science into practice
  • Connect with Easkey 
  • The meaning behind her name and where her name comes from
  • Final words of advice for women who want to get more ebb and flow in their life
  • The power of breath
  • Learning to let go in water
  • Taking a moment to reset
  • What to do if water holds fear for you
 
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @easkeysurf 
 
Twitter: @Easkeysurf 
 
 
Jan 27, 2022
Laura in her own words:
 
“I’m a 35 yo Veterinary Surgeon, ultra/long distance cyclist, hiker and runner who loves having adventures... and this year, 2022 I plan to break the tandem around the World Record with my husband Stevie.
 
I started out in life not at all sporty or fit but adventurous: white water kayaking, cycling, hiking and camping.  
 
I realised mid-twenties I wanted to get fitter as well and this coincided with meeting Stevie and being introduced to long distance cycling where I completes a range of long distance events on solo and Tandem including the infamous Paris-Brest-Paris solo and Lejog on a tandem.  
 
I then took up running and after a couple of false starts ran wainwright's coast to coast by myself in May with Stevie as support, 190miles in 5 days.  We have also completed some of the more epic long distance walks I the UK such as Offas Dyke and the Pennine Way, camping along the way with our dog Geoffrey (as well as West Highland way, Ridgeway and Hadrians wall)
 
2022 is the big one though! 18,000 miles, 180 days, 2 people, 1 bike!! We set off in June to attempt to break the current Tandem World Record!”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Laura
  • Her passion for long distance cycling
  • Growing up adventurous, but not being sporty when younger
  • Getting into Lyrica!
  • Drifting away from sports during uni and work
  • Starting her fitness journey again 
  • Audax - a long distance cycling club 
  • Studying to become a Veterinarian 
  • Meeting Stevie at a beer festival
  • First dates and getting the tandem bike out
  • Never being a gym goer
  • Getting back to the basics and building things gradually
  • Say hello to the dogs!!
  • What she loves about long distance cycling
  • Being competitive with herself
  • Her first 100 mile race
  • The Super Randonneur award
  • Tactics for riding on the bike as a team
  • All Points North an unsupported cycling event across the north of England.  
  • The planning and the logistics 
  • Magical moments!
  • The challenge for 2022!
  • Deciding to cycle around the world on a Tandem!!!
  • The route…
  • Starting in Berlin, Germany 
  • 180 days…
  • The money, the budget and paying for the challenge
  • Getting the initial sponsorship
  • Wanting to be sponsored by Alpkit
  • The approx start date… 5th June 2022
  • Having supportive bosses
  • The final bit of preparation and what’s involved
  • Riding throughout winter and getting use to riding in all weathers
  • New podcast - Stoked to be here! 
  • How to follow along with the journey
  • Final words of advice for other women who want to take on a big, exciting challenge
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.stelatandem.com 
 
Instagram: @SteLa_Tandem 
 
Facebook: SteLa Tandem Round the World Record 
 
Twitter: @SteLaTandem 
 
Jan 25, 2022
Shilletha Curtis -  Trail name “Dragonsky” is 30 years old and is from New Jersey, USA. 
 
She is an established writer and hiker and is inspiring to be the second Black woman to achieve the Triple Crown of hiking (The AT, PCT, CTD). 
 
She recently completed the Appalachian Trail and is preparing for the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). 
 
She graduated from Rutgers in 2014 and has worked in the social work and veterinary field for years. 
 
She is currently working as a freelance writer and is working on her book.
 
Listen to Shilletha on the Tough Girl Podcast as she shares more about her life, her passion for hiking and spending time in the outdoors.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
 
  • Growing up in New Jersey, USA
  • Graduating in 2014 with a degree in social work
  • Getting into writing since Covid
  • What her younger years were like
  • Having a passion for reading
  • Never being exposed to hiking 
  • Her journey of getting into the outdoors
  • Getting into hiking in 2020
  • Hearing about the Appalachian Trail for the first time
  • Getting obsessed with the AT and making the decision to thru-hike it
  • Living from paycheck to paycheck 
  • Figuring out how to pay for the hike
  • Joining AT Facebook Groups…
  • Asking about her safety 
  • Dealing with racism and threats 
  • Being supported/sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Conservatory (ATC)
  • Using the GoFundMe platform to raise funds for her hike
  • Safety while on the trail 
  • Needing people at certain points for safety
  • Not being excited while on the trail and just being scared
  • Being a triple minority and always having to look and check behind her back at all times
  • Journalling and writing while out in the woods
  • Being exhausted 
  • Having a strategy for hiking the AT
  • The Matrix World
  • Listening to her body 
  • Wanting to experience freedom while hiking 
  • Starting the trail in February….
  • Dealing with the cold weather
  • Her trail name and where it came from 
  • Connecting with a trail family 
  • Her summit day on October 5th 2021
  • Cover your poop!
  • Loving the rock scrambling and feeling empowered and happy
  • Feeling proud of herself
  • Biggest lessons learned from the experience of spending 9 months on the trail
  • The power of being present
  • Learning how to live and what freedom means 
  • Wanting to live life how she wants to 
  • Sharing her journey and how people can follow along
  • Working on new writing projects
  • The significance of 29.5
  • Chasing the seasons
  • Top pieces of advice for Black women who want to take on a challenge like hiking the Appalachian Trail
  • Words to live your life by 
  • Why she’s going to keep on hiking 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @I_Am_Dragonsky 
 
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/IAmDragonsky 
 
Blog post - Not Just Another Hiker June 12, 2020 
 
Jan 20, 2022
Helen in her own words:
 
“Full time global hobo cycling the world on AU$100/week creating vlogs, blogs, and photo’s as I go.
 
On the road in one form or another since 2004. I left the UK with a round-the-world ticket on what should have been my ‘year out’ but never properly returned. 
 
Living out of a backpack ever since, I taught English in South Korea, travelling back overland along the Silk Road before emigrating to Australia in 2007 where a travel fundraising job meant I continued to move from place to place every week or two.
 
In Australia I took up bicycle touring and in 2016 set out on an ambitious first bike tour through the outback along the Gibb River Road, Tanami, and Oodnadata tracks. 
 
In 2017 I returned to work for a year while training for and running the New York Marathon, before returning to full-time bicycle touring.
 
In spring 2018 I set out into The Beast From The East to ride a loop of the UK coast and down to Sicily and back.
 
In 2019 I rode up the Norwegian coast to the North Cape and back through the Baltic states. 
 
In early spring of 2020 I set out to Istanbul getting caught in lockdown in Germany, waiting and changing course as borders closed and reopened, finally arriving in Istanbul a year late in September 2021.
 
Totalling 58,000kms over 5 years so far.. 
 
From here the plan is to continue on riding to Africa, via the the Middle East (pandemic & borders permitting!)"
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Being a full time global hobo
  • Where she is at the moment
  • Her childhood and growing up in the UK
  • Living in Australia for 10 years
  • Going on a round the world gap year at 26 years 
  • Why she’s never stopped travelling
  • Taking up cycling over the past 4/5 years
  • Taking the train from Asia back to Europe
  • Finding a job teaching English in Korea
  • Travelling back to the UK along the Silk Road
  • Making the move to Sydney, Australia 
  • Not being into sports or fitness at a young age
  • Getting into running in her early 30s
  • Living on her bike since 2018
  • What are the realities of travelling on the road full time
  • Her day to day routine while riding
  • Cycling in the desert in Australia 
  • Enjoying her own company 
  • Magical moments from her trip
  • Enjoying the type 2 fun
  • Interacting with people from different countries 
  • Using Warmshowers 
  • Safety while travelling
  • Using a spot tracker in Australia but not in Europe
  • Getting robbed while in Greece
  • The lessons learned from the experience 
  • Insurance…and the challenges of getting it while bike touring
  • Bike gear and equipment 
  • Learning bike maintenance 
  • Wanting to spend time in Africa
  • How covid impacted Hels while travelling 
  • Starting up Youtube and how it’s going 
  • Travelling on AU $100 per week
  • Living off savings and earnings from Patreon and Paypal
  • Keeping costs down and budgeting
  • Staying in her tent or Warmshowers hosts
  • How she’s uses her mobile phone and the power of free wifi
  • Sharing her story on social media 
  • Being supported and encouraged by people online
  • Thoughts while cycling 
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • What to remember when things are getting hard
  • Advice for wanting to be a full time Hobo and travelling full time
  • Why you should start of small
  • How to follow along with Hels and be kept upto date with what she’s up to
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @hels.on.wheels 
 
Facebook: @Helsonwheelswithmlt 
 
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/helsonwheels?fan_landing=true
 
Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UChGPMqRpwEtIHsDWR50pGZA
 
Jan 18, 2022
Nocciola The Drawer (Hazel Oakes) is an artist and designer from the UK. She has lived in 8 different countries, visited almost 40 countries between 5 continents. She’s hiked the peaks of the Balkans, completed half marathons and the Athen’s marathon. 
 
Hazel is military trained and has a joy for life, for sharing and inspiring other women to become more adventurous. 
 
Hazel has a nomadic spirit and feels her sense of community with women anywhere in the world.
 
She specialises in bright, colourful, bold artwork that combines female characters with lively patterns. All with the aim to uplift, inspire, empower and celebrate women.
 
She is inspired by the seasons, women, childlike imagination, travel, making the most of the moment, street art and graffiti. She spends her time illustrating, creating large murals and drawing on anything (paper, canvas, plates, walls). 
 
Nocciola The Drawer is spreading her joy of life one splash of colour at a time!   
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Hazel
  • Being based in Italy at the moment
  • Her aims and goals 
  • Spreading her joy for life - one splash of colour at a time!
  • Wanting to move her body and to follow her passions
  • Being a creative explorer
  • Where her passion for art and adventure came from
  • Getting her creative side from her mum
  • Getting her adventurous side from her dad
  • Doing all the dance classes from a young age
  • Her teenage years - and the pressure to get a normal job
  • Loving art at school
  • Wanting to learn about fashion design
  • Joining the Officer Training Core OTC
  • Following both of her passions
  • The next step in her career
  • Deciding to do a Masters course at Kingston University 
  • Working with brides and helping them to feel comfortable in their bodies
  • Wanting more adventure and booking a one way ticket to Australia 
  • The different pathways and journeys that can be taken
  • Spending time in Australia!
  • Loving to travel and spending time in Canada and Italy
  • What does Adventure mean to Hazel
  • The why and the how of challenge
  • The power of taking small steps
  • Don’t compare yourself to how other people have done it
  • Living a nomadic lifestyle 
  • Taking advantage of the travel opportunities that become available
  • Getting to know a new place 
  • Her love for walking and exploring
  • Peaks of the Balkans
  • Working as a trip manger in Italy 
  • Taking on new challenges every few years
  • Dealing with the heat
  • Why Nocciola? What it means
  • Being a full time artist…
  • Tips for being more creative
  • Curiosity and amazement 
  • The Tough Girl Mural and how it came about 
  • Follow Hazel on line 
  • Future plans for 2022
  • Top tips and advice to motivate and inspire you
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.nocciolathedrawer.com
 
Instagram:
 
@nocciolathedrawer
@nocciolatheexplorer 
 
Facebook: @nocciolathedrawer 
 
Youtube: Nocciola The Drawer 
 
Jan 13, 2022
Bio written by her friend:
 
“Sam, 47, has an interesting and diverse background, having Indian and English heritage and growing up between the UK, USA and Middle East. 
 
Over the past few years she has set herself multiple challenges raising money for charity or just doing for fun. 
 
In 2019, Sam set herself 12 challenges: 
  1. Cold Water Swimming Championships
  2. 10K Winter run
  3. Climbing one of the more challenging routes up Snowdon
  4. Swimathon (5k swim)
  5. Great Northern SwimRun (Lake Windermere)
  6. Selkie Henley Classic - night / dawn swim
  7. SwimRun Tooting Bec
  8. Running a half marathon
  9. Not drinking any alcohol for 28 days
  10. Marathon run
  11. North Downs 50k walk
  12. Trekking two marathons in two days through the desert
 
Unfortunately in late 2020, she was diagnosed with stage four cancer which was a huge blow to her, her family and friends. I certainly thought that would be the end of her adventuring and it felt immensely sad. 
 
However Sam has a remarkable positive energy and outlook on life and has been determined to carry on as normal. 
 
This year, while managing ongoing cancer treatment, she has already completed the Arcticbear swim challenge over winter, the 100km jurassic coast walk challenge, the great north 5km swim in lake Windermere, the lake Windermere trail walk challenge, The Selkie Henley classic 2km upstream swim at dawn, and Henley mile swim (I’ve probably missed more!). 
 
I have been lucky enough to share some of these adventures with her and have learnt so much along the way. 
 
From learning to enjoy those precious moments in the outdoors or in the water, to persevering even when things seem impossible. 
 
I think a lot of your listeners would benefit from hearing her story, knowing where she has come from, what she is battling today and her vision for the future.”
 
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
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Show notes
  • Who is Sam
  • Living inLondon with her husband and 2 boys
  • Not being sporty growing up but enjoying spending time in the outdoors
  • Moving to America at 8 years old
  • Being put off running at a young age
  • Going to boarding school in the UK
  • Spending time abroad with family
  • How her parents met
  • Studying psychology and music at university 
  • Not following her passion at a young age
  • Meeting her husband and moving to London
  • Having her children at 39 and 42
  • Asking herself - What am I doing with my life?
  • Needing to get her life back on track
  • How having children changed her priorities 
  • Loosing her identity
  • Signing up for a 100k walk from London to Brighton
  • Getting to the half way point…
  • Mind over matter and how it has played a huge part in her life especially in recent years
  • Being inspired by Dr. Joe Dispenza 
  • Learning to believe in herself again
  • Needing to make a lifestyle change
  • Setting out in 2019 to do 12 challenges
  • Cold water….
  • The challenges of lockdown and not being able to swim
  • The power of consistency
  • Planning 12 challenges at the end of 2018
  • Wanting to be prepared 
  • Involving her family in the training and the challenges
  • Doing something that she’s not good at
  • The South Down’s 50k Walk and taking on the desert
  • Doing events with Ultra Challenge
  • Going through woodland at nighttime
  • Dealing with the heat of the desert
  • 2020 and the challenges faced
  • Wanting to make a career change
  • Being diagnosed with breast cancer 
  • Stage 4 cancer and being given all the options
  • Going through the menopause in 3 weeks
  • Getting back into cold water and how it helped 
  • Starting treatment at home
  • Taking on a 5k swim in Lake Windermere
  • Balancing life, challenges, family and treatment
  • Making sure the children are aware of what’s going on
  • The next 2 challenges…
  • Wanting to take on a relay swim across the channel!
  • Putting the group together
  • Swimming for an hour at a time
  • Getting swimming lessons
  • Connect and follow with Sam
  • Final words of advice for other women
  • Do things that bring you joy 
  • Believe you can do it
 
Social Media
 
Website: walkingwithsam.com 
 
Coaching Website: www.samanthaturner.co.uk 
 
Facebook: @samantha.turner.1042 
 
Linkedin: @samantha-jane-turner 
 
Fundraising pages with details about her challenges:
 
www.justgiving.com/Samantha-Turner22
 
www.justgiving.com/fundraising/samantha-turner42
 
Jan 11, 2022
About Person Irresponsible in her own words:
 
"In 2020 the world went to hell in a handbag. This isn’t exactly headline news - although it was then. I went from perfectly locatable in the Cotswolds to utterly baffled in the American wilderness when I embarked on a quest to walk from Mexico to Canada for reasons that escape me. It was most probably nothing more dramatic than a mid-life crisis.
 
Perhaps I should have come ‘home’ but I lived in the deluded optimism the pandemic would all be over by the summer. Besides, I’d given up my home: shoving my belongings into storage, persuaded someone to look after my cat and someone else to look after my car. 
 
I did think about returning but each time I popped into civilisation to top up my supplies, I discovered a new reason to run for the hills. So 'home' became a tent: a mere flimsy bit of fabric to protect me from every conceivable terror that exists in the wilderness - bears, rattlesnakes, deserts, avalanches and other human beings. Most dangerous of all was the racket inside my head.
 
Everything you ever taught me is my journey, relying on nothing other than the twelve steps of recovery, teaching me to take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and one bloody ginormous mountain at a time as I staggered my way along the Pacific Crest Trail. 
 
As mid-life crises go, I remain utterly clueless why mine took me from my sofa to the Canadian border via the fridge, powered only by two chubby legs and a fat arse.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Being called Person Irresponsible (PI)
  • What life was like before the mid-life crises
  • Getting married and getting divorced
  • How her home drinking increased and how it took over her life
  • Turning 41 and failing at dry January and dry February 
  • Having a bigger problem than she wanted to admit to
  • Joining Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Following the 12 step program
  • Learning more about herself
  • Why it’s never too late to make changes
  • Applying for a permit for the Pacific Crest Trail 
  • Taking life more as it comes
  • Being inspired by the film - “Wild”
  • Getting obsessed with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)
  • 6 months to plan and prepare
  • Funding the challenge
  • March 17th….
  • Learning to deal with her anxiety 
  • Learning to not worry about the future
  • The ethics behind the decision to walk the PCT during the pandemic
  • Trail angels and life on the trail
  • The first mile on the PCT
  • When the doubts crept in
  • What it was like spending time alone in nature 
  • Learning how to switch off her thoughts
  • Attending online AA meetings while on the trail
  • Making connections on the trail and waking with other people
  • Wanting to write a book about the journey 
  • Carrying a laptop on the trail!!!
  • Magical moments from the trail
  • Losing a close friend
  • Wanting to quit every single day
  • Not knowing how she would finish the final 500 miles
  • The simple joy of a hot bath
  • Putting the book together
  • Connect with PI and how to buy the book
  • Final words of advice for women going through a mid-life crisis
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.mlconaquad.com
 
Instagram: @person_irresponsible 
 
Facebook: @person.irresponsible.3 
 
Twitter: @BikeMlc 
 
Book: Everything You Ever Taught Me: If you've a lot on your mind, go for a walk… 
 
Jan 6, 2022
Leah was born in Canada, conceived in Israel, and raised in Vancouver, B.C. by new immigrant parents.
 
Growing up in Richmond, B.C., daughter of a boxer. Leah became involved in martial arts, Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing. After being told she should never fight again because she had herniated disks in her back, Leah won the Bantamweight World Kickboxing Championship at age 17, against a 25 year old fighter a foot taller than she was!
 
Leah felt a deep desire to serve her time in the Israeli Army, (a mandatory 2 years for women and 3 years for men). 
 
Leah knew that she wouldn’t be satisfied just being a soldier, she wanted to become the first woman ever to be an Elite Commando. She didn't just become an elite commando, she became a Krav Maga specialist, and became the first female Elite Commando Instructor.
 
After leaving the Army, Leah pursued a career as a professional cyclist in Europe and North America. After a serious accident in 2005, Leah spend 2.5 months in the hospital where she was informed by doctors that she would never race again, let alone walk without a cane. 
 
Leah proved them all wrong, and came back stronger than ever before, she went on to win the Women’s Solo Division of Race Across America (RAAM) - the Ultra Endurance, 3000 Mile, 12 day, single stage race in 2011, and coming in second in the women’s division and fifth overall in 2019. She came back again in 2021 and at 52 years old made history by becoming the 1st female ever to WIN the overall SOLO division of RAAM.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Her background in athleticism 
  • Joining the IDF - Israel Defence Force
  • Discovering the bike
  • Wanting to become a pro racer at 30
  • Discovering ultra endurance racing 
  • Her childhood and growing up
  • Dealing with bullies
  • Her dreams for the future
  • Being one of the only female instructors
  • Training the elite soldiers/commandoes  
  • Krav maga as a martial art
  • Learning how to defend yourself
  • How you can train your mind
  • Making the transition from the military to a different way of life
  • Deciding to become a pro racer and taking 8 years to get to her goal
  • Wanting to stay and keep physically active 
  • Being a professional cyclist and living out of her bag
  • The pressure to perform and to reach the podium
  • Her love and passion for cycling
  • Using cycling as therapy
  • Race Across America (RAAM) 
  • Needing to qualify for RAAM
  • Why it’s a one year process and why you need a good crew
  • The planning and preparation for the race
  • Why your crew is the most important thing
  • Replicating the race in her training 
  • Working with trainer - John Howard
  • Why you have to cross the finish line
  • Learning lessons from her first experience of RAAM in 2011
  • Recovery from training and keeping her body injury free
  • Keeping fit and active and doing things for fun
  • Not smoking, not drinking and being plant based
  • Focusing on core work and strength work
  • The key of being consistent
  • The challenging condition of RAAM in 2021
  • Dealing with extreme heat
  • Limits and suffering
  • Being 52 and dealing with menopause
  • The mental side of challenges and mental resilience
  • Learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable
  • Being prepared for the worst in every scenario 
  • Being mentally ready for the challenge
  • Staying focused and looking at the positive things
  • Working with her crew
  • Nutrition and bodily functions
  • Needing to feel comfortable on the bike
  • Suffering from Shermer's Neck
  • Dealing with failure and going after it again
  • Doing the things she has a passion for 
  • Not wanting to live a life of regret
  • Writing her book No Limits
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Connect with Leah
 
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @goldstein_leah_ 
 
Facebook: @leahgoldstein1 
 
Twitter: @NoLimitsLeah 
 
 
 
Jan 4, 2022
Kristen (she/her) is originally from Toronto and has been living in the Northwest Territories for nearly four years. 
 
Kristen is a former journalist that enjoys writing about social issues and outdoor lifestyles. 
 
When she's not cooking delicious meals, Kristen can be found exploring the Northwest Territories and promoting diversity in outdoor spaces with her organization Amplify Outdoors.
 
About Amplify Outdoors:
 
“Amplify Outdoors was established to elevate and encourage diversity in outdoor spaces. Recognizing a lack of representation of people of colour (POC) and marginalized groups in marketing campaigns geared towards outdoor lifestyle, Amplify Outdoors hopes to change existing narratives that perpetuate societal stereotypes about 'who' should enjoy nature and 'who' is considered outdoorsy.
 
Amplify Outdoors believes that representation is important, and we strive to provide products that empower and amplify diversity in outdoor landscapes and activities. 
 
Ultimately, our goal is for outdoor spaces to be inclusive and safe for everyone to enjoy, because 'Nature is for Everyone’."
 
Listen to Kristen now!
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Kristen
  • Relocating to the Northwest Territories in Canada (the subarctic)
  • Making the decision to make a change in her life
  • Growing up in Toronto
  • Being a city girl at heart
  • Not being given the opportunity to spend time outdoors hiking and camping
  • Wanting a more laid back lifestyle and a slower pace of life
  • Looking for a new job 
  • Moving to Yellowknife
  • Wanting to take advantage of the opportunity
  • Wanting to have new experiences
  • Moving in January
  • Going with the flow of life
  • The transition from the city to the country
  • Being shocked at how expensive housing was
  • Getting use to the darkness
  • Creating a routine and making new friends
  • Her first experience with hiking and spending time outdoors
  • Wanting to bring people with her on the journey 
  • Feeling the power of nature and the benefits for her mind
  • Seeing the beauty in nature
  • Documenting her journey 
  • The women who inspire Kristen
  • Matthew Henson - 1st person and first Black man to reach the North Pole
  • Founding Amplify Outdoors and what’s its goal and purpose is
  • Building a supportive community 
  • Looking to create more events in 2022
  • Advice for Black women for getting into the outdoors
  • Acknowledging the barriers for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) who want to go outdoors
  • Why you should start slow
  • Nature makes me feel….
  • Chasing waterfalls
  • How you can connect with Kristen
  • Plans for the future
 
Social Media
 
Personal Website/blog: www.Twentiesandfabulous.com
 
Personal Instagram: @Travel_Adventurehers 
 
Amplify Outdoors. 𝙉𝙖𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙀𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙚. 𝐀𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞, 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐝𝐨𝐨𝐫𝐬
 
Website - www.amplify-outdoors.com 
 
Instagram - @AmplifyOutdoors 
 
Jan 1, 2022
Eleanor Carey is the first Australian woman to row across the mid-Pacific Ocean. Rowing 2,400 miles from California to Hawaii. Spending 62 days at sea in a 7.5m ocean rowing boat with two other women, as she battled extreme seasickness, sleep deprivation, multiple hurricanes and forty foot waves to set two Guinness World Records as part of a trio.
 
A true adventurer at heart, Eleanor has also cycled solo across Europe, conquered a 100km ultra-marathon and completed many more multi-day human powered journeys worldwide.
 
Through these extreme journeys, Eleanor has learned the power of adventure therapy and nature’s ability to assist in healing, overcoming trauma and to fuel personal growth.
 
Eleanor is driven to help others experience the power of adventure for themselves, improve wellbeing and nurture the ability to step into the unknown.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Being based in Australia on the gold coast
  • Using adventure to help people build grit and resilience
  • Her adventure story
  • What her childhood was like
  • Moving over the UK and not knowing anyone
  • Being inspired by - Cycling home from Siberia by Rob Lilwall 
  • Taking a year before taking action
  • Not knowing many women doing these types of challenges
  • Taking action - the HOW
  • Thinking about taking on a cycle journey 
  • How her Europe cycle trip came about
  • Booking a one way flight to Norway…
  • The fears and concerns before the trip
  • Having 3 months to get sorted
  • Wanting to try
  • The reality of cycling day after day
  • Why it was one of the best things she’s ever done
  • The challenges while out on the road
  • The internal dialogue and dealing with it
  • Using adventure as a building block
  • Looking for a career change
  • Being a planner and a goal setter?
  • Being willing to try anything once
  • Making a career change
  • Moving back to Australia and setting up an innovation hub
  • The path to ocean rowing and being inspired by Losing site of Shore
  • Connecting with Pacific Terrific 
  • Saying yes to the opportunity with 6 weeks to go
  • Would it be possible to get the qualifications in time
  • The mental side of preparation
  • Team dynamics…. in a trio
  • Having open conversations
  • Expectations versus reality of the row
  • Learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable 
  • Tips for getting through the day 
  • Managing her mental health while out on the ocean
  • Being better while on the ocean
  • The simple way of living while rowing
  • Magical moment from rowing across the Pacific Ocean
  • Feeling safe while out on the water and being at peace
  • How the row changed her 
  • Writing a book about her experience
  • Crossing the finish line
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you 
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.eleanorcarey.com
 
Instagram: @eleanorjcarey
 
Twitter: @eleanorcarey 
 
Dec 30, 2021
Born the youngest of 6 children and raised in small town in Northern B.C. Canada, Julie never expected she would end up in Mongolia, feeding, caring for and educating hundreds of Mongolian children in need at her two Children of the Peak Sanctuary or Narnii Huuhduud charity kindergartens. She and her husband, Chelvan, a Mining Engineer and the President of Veloo Foundation, have lived and worked in Indonesia, Australia and The United States before settling in Mongolia.
 
During her 10 years here, Julie has taken up horse back riding and now, every year, with Saraa and Baagii of Horse Trek Mongolia hosts and rides the longest annual charity ride on the planet – The Gobi Gallop – along with a suite of other charity rides across Mongolia. 
 
In 2022 she will ride the record breaking 3,600 km / 84 day Blue Wolf Totem Expedition to raise funds for her charity project projects. 
 
All of the money the people pay for these rides stays in Mongolia and helps the children, local businesses, artists and artisans and local herders. Julie, herself, works running these rides and the charity projects on a volunteer bases. Since first riding here at the age of 50 Julie has logged in excess of 35,000 km on horseback across the wilds of Mongolia and all of it to help the children.
 
Julie is passionate about Mongolia and all things Mongolian and is committed to sustainable and fiscally transparent philanthropy. She is thrilled to be able to incorporate her love of Mongolian culture and history into Veloo Foundation’s Soaring Crane Summer Camp out in the countryside of Sonjin Boldog. 
 
The camp is a traditional Mongolian themed camp experience in English and Mongolian alike and offers 3 paying camps a year in English to fund the remaining camps for 250 Mongolian children in need. In addition to the two Narnii Huuhduud Kindergartens and the Soaring Crane Summer Camp, Veloo Foundation also operates the Fran London Centre for the Fabric Arts.
 
Now 60, Julie expects to continue her epic long distance riding her in Mongolia and will continue making a difference in the lives of children in need as long as she is able.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
 
  • Who is Julia
  • Being based in Mongolia, Central Asia for the past 10 years
  • Growing up in a small town in Northern Canada
  • Being the youngest of 6
  • Being fascinated with the idea of travel
  • Being stuck in hospital for 4 years as a child
  • The plight of the children in the garbage dump
  • Being terrified of horses growing up
  • Sitting on a horse for the first time at 50 and falling in love
  • Her life before Mongolia 
  • The work the Veloo Foundation does in Mongolia
  • Moving to Mongolia in 2010
  • Dealing with harsh winters due to over grazing and climate change
  • Magical moments and how the idea for the Gobi Gallop came about 
  • Using the Gobi Gallop as a fundraiser for the Veloo Foundation
  • Working with Horse Trek Mongolia 
  • Taking on a solo challenge…
  • Riding 700km in 8 days
  • The Blue Wolf Totem Expedition happening in 2022 - 3,600 km challenge in Mongolia 
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • Training with Sarah Cuthbertson - Ride Like an Athlete Program 
  • Get back on the horse
  • Riding with a rockstar…
  • Having a weak moment in your endurance adventure doesn’t mean it’s over
  • Life in Mongolia and what it’s like
  • Starting a new project 
  • Eating traditional Mongolian food
  • Learning the language 
  • How to connect with Julie
  • #AdventurerForGood
 
Social Media
 
Veloo Foundation - Helping Mongolian children and families in serious need through a series of educational, health and vocational programs.
 
 
Instagram: @VelooFoundation 
 
Horse Trek Mongolia - Ride. Explore. Help Children. We connect travellers to authentic Mongolian adventure . Home of the #gobigallop - 700 km / 10 days for charity!
 
 
Instagram: @HorseTrekMongolia 
 
Personal IG: @JulieVeloo 
 
Mongolist, Sharing horseback & other adventures with you all.  LIFE PLAN= DO Good. HELP Children. KEEP going. No plans to stop… #AdventurerForGood
 
Dec 28, 2021
Gowri is a naturalist and environmental educator who loves finding an excuse to be outdoors in nature—and climbing is one of her favourite excuses. 
 
Gowri grew up climbing trees and scrambling on rocks in India, she went on to become an outdoor guide in the Peruvian Amazon. 
 
Gowri currently teaches nature connection to kids in Upstate NY and India and also teaches Indian women climbing. 
 
A few years ago she received the Live your Dream Grant given by American Alpine Club and the North Face to climb her hardest project to date, called French Indian Masala (7b+/5.12c), in India.
 
In 2018 she initiated the first-ever Indian women's climbing meet up in India to mentor and teach women climbing, called CLAW or Climb Like A Woman. She hopes to keep teach climbing, inspire more women to climb, and teach nature connection to the larger outdoor community through her new initiative Wilderness Ways. 
 
Listen to Gowri now!!!
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Gowri
  • Her passions and her work
  • Growing up in India
  • Going to a non conventional school
  • Being obsessed with snakes 
  • Getting into nature and wildlife from a young age
  • Her dreams as a little girl
  • Going to college over in America
  • Her journey into climbing
  • Working in Peru as a guide
  • Going to an indoor rock climbing gym in the US
  • Her first climb outdoors
  • Climbing the French Indian Masala route
  • Applying for a grant
  • CLAW - Climb Like A Woman 
  • Wanting to teach Indian women how to climb
  • Holding the first event in 2018
  • Going against gender norms
  • Climbing in Hampi
  • Women teaching women
  • The false stories we tell ourselves
  • Dealing with fears when climbing
  • The women who have inspired Gowri in climbing and nature
  • Being inspired by Flash Foxy
  • Planning a climb and starting a new project
  • Producing a film of the French Indian Masala route climb
  • Starting training 2 months before
  • Figuring out your weaknesses and strengths
  • The importance of rest 
  • Taking on a new challenge every 2 years
  • The next project…..
  • Training for one move 
  • The move….
  • Watch the video on Youtube - French Indian Masala - Gowri Varanashi
  • Wilderness Ways
  • Teaching children - Nature connection
  • How to connect with Gowri
  • Final words of advice 
  • Be curious, observe and ask questions!
 
 
Social Media
 
 
Women's Climbing Meet Up in India. 
 
CLAW <<Climb Like A Woman>> 
 
Breaking barriers through rock climbing
 
www.climblikeawoman.com 
 
Instagram:
 
@gowrivaranashi 
 
@climblikeawoman 
 
Wilderness Ways - reconnects you to the power of nature through unique experiences in the outdoors promoting love & care for the natural world. 
 
Website - www.wildernessways.org 
 
Instagram: @wilderness__ways. 
 
Dec 25, 2021
Anna is an up and coming British trad climber based in the Lake District. She has multiple climbs in the E6-E8 range on her CV and favours bold and often unprotectable climbs
 
Anna started climbing at age 10. 
 
Competitions didn't really suit her, and she quit the sport in her teens for a while before getting into outdoor bouldering age 17. 
 
At 19, on a family holiday, she discovered she had a taste for hard trad and hasn't looked back.
 
Anna has lived in the Lake District all her life and works as a route-setter at Kendal Wall.  
 
Anna's 2019 climbing spree*
Lake District climbs
 
8 July, Disorderly Conduct E8 6c, lead, Reecastle Crag, Cumbria
26 June, Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow E5 6b, solo onsight, Hare Crags, Cumbria
27 May, Right Hare, Right Now E7 6c, lead, Hare Crags, Cumbria
22 May, Scrogbank Ravers E7 6c, lead, White Mines, Rusty Wall, Cumbria
20 May, No Nuts (Just Balls) E7 6b solo, Harrop Tarn Crag, Cumbria
4 May, Relentless Rage E7 6a, lead, Gouther Crags, Cumbria
29 April, Hang the Gallows High E6 6b, lead, Black Crag (Wrynose), Cumbria
17 April, Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid E6 6b, lead, Tilberthwaite Quarry, Cumbria
21 April, Big Tree Corner, E1 5b, lead, Tilberthwaite Quarry, Cumbria
 
Notable climbs from trips away
 
22 June, Bad Life Choices E7 6b solo, Polldubh Crags, Glen Nevis
17 May, My Halo E7 6b, lead, Serengeti, North Wales slate
13 April, Nosferatu E6 6b, lead, Burbage South, Peak District
 
 
Commenting on Instagram, Anna wrote about her challenge: 
 
'Well that's that. Two months ago I set off from Penzance with the intention of linking all of the Classic Rock routes together by bike. I didn't have a clue how to cycle tour, or how I was going to get all the climbs done if the weather crapped out, but bit by bit I learned, and here we are. So that's just over 1,500 miles on the bike, and 83 out of 83 climbs (68 of which were solos, either free or with rope), in a mostly continuous round (I did have to duck out for a work trip at one point).
 
'Big thanks to @neil.gresham for coming up to do the last few climbs with me in appalling conditions. The weather has often been unkind throughout this trip, and because of this things were difficult and pretty treacherous right up until the very last second. Still, we had a fun, mildly epic adventure sliding around on the Cioch, and the Cuillin Ridge was, to put it frankly, f**king grim. It wasn't quite the scenic finale I had in mind, but was quite a fitting ending in the sense that virtually nothing about this trip has ever gone according to plan.

'There's been some good and very memorable moments though. Climbing The Long Climb on the Ben in a bubble of mist feeling like I was the only person in the world was ace, as was the watery fight to get out of The Chasm (though that was perhaps more of a type 2 fun sort of day). Routes like The Devils Slide on Lundy and The Clean Sweep on Hells Lum were also highlights, and all that definitely made up for the times I was frozen, wet and off-route, or regretting my life choices cycling up endless hills. It's not been a perfect trip by any means, but I've learnt a lot (mostly about soloing), and I'm looking forward to putting some of that knowledge to good use on future projects. For now however, I'm just appreciating being warm and dry, and I'm pretty relived to have got this over with before it starts snowing.'
 
Anna was also part of a large expedition in 2019 to climb the prow of Mount Roraima (a giant Tepui deep in the Amazon rainforest).
 
Take a listen to Anna now!
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Anna
  • Just finishing the classic rock tour
  • Her childhood growing up in Windermere
  • Where the idea for the challenge came from
  • Wanting to try cycle touring
  • Telling her friends and family about the challenge
  • Wanting to start in April 2021 but having to push it back to August 
  • Working as a full time climber
  • Figuring out how to take 2 months off
  • How much would it cost and paying for the challenge
  • Why it wasn’t an expensive trip
  • Figuring out how to keep costs down
  • Filming the challenge and getting pictures of the climbs
  • Getting to the start of the challenge
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the challenge
  • Dealing with the reality of the situation 
  • Taking it one day at a time
  • The biggest challenge on the trip
  • Why the Scottish climbs were so challenging
  • Being solo on a rock face
  • What’s going on inside her head while climbing
  • Magical moments from the experience 
  • The physicality of the challenge
  • The challenges of going with someone else
  • The rough route throughout the UK
  • Finishing in the Isle of Skye
  • Celebrating the end of the challenge and settling back into normal life
  • What’s next?!
  • Advice for women who want to get into climbing
  • Working on improving her skills
  • What type of climbing Anna does
  • Follow and connect with Anna on Instagram
  • Her first big expedition to South America
  • Connecting with Leo Houlding
  • Lesson learned from taking on climbing challenges
  • Final words of advice and why you should go and do it!
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @anna_taylor_98 
 
Dec 23, 2021
Annie in her own words:
 
“My adventure career began with climbing, when I ticked off nearly every single box of "Mistakes to Avoid While Trad Climbing Outside" on my first ever outdoor trad climb. I survived and went on to see what other mistakes I could make that would not kill me. 
 
I took my bike on the 3000KM solo ride to the Nordkapp at age of 26. 
 
My latest adventure feat is successfully running a solo 1000KM Ultramarathon from the Lowest to Highest point of Germany, after having started running only six months prior. 
 
I am also the comic artist for BotsAndBrainz, and have set my base camp in Berlin, Germany, where I’m working on my PhD in neuroscience on the mechanics of learning and memory.
 
And here's something a little more personal on me (and my book): The Nordkapp trip changed my life not because I actually physically managed to cycle 3000K. It changed my life because it was something I did entirely on my own, dependent on only myself, after coming out of years of abusive relationships. I thought I was scarred and broken beyond repair when I set out on that trip - but I should have known from the start that there was a part of me that had stayed intact, all of these years, because no drive like the one I felt going for the Kap had ever been as strong in my life before as this one had been. I cried so much on that trip, for what I lost, for what I had allowed to be done to me, and out of plain gratitude - that I was still here, still alive and kicking and still, somehow, so, so in love with life. 
 
I wish I could have had someone tell me that a bike ride to a place I hadn't even heard of just 5 days before I left for it, would change my life as it did. That's why I want to publish my book and share my story. So whoever needs to hear it knows that they are not alone, they can survive and they will make their life their own again - if only they dare take the first steps on that path.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Annie
  • Starting out in climbing and moving into running and cycling
  • Becoming an endurance athlete
  • Being based in Berlin
  • Moving to Georgia, USA at age 6
  • Studying for her PHD in learning and memory 
  • Spending time in the outdoors
  • Her academic life and growing up around scientists
  • PHD update…
  • PHDs and ultra challenges
  • Deciding on a 1,000km ultramarathon
  • Getting into running
  • 16 weeks to run a marathon..
  • Running from the lowest point in Germany to the highest point 
  • Feeling excited and intimidated at the same time
  • How much strain is an ultra marathon on the body…
  • Vo2 Max results
  • The mental side of taking on a 1000km ultramarathon
  • Hating running and trying to avoid it
  • Preparation for the challenge
  • Getting the runners high
  • Wanting to quit on day 4
  • Figuring out where to sleep
  • Getting back into running and arranging the King Snail Race
  • Taking on a 3,000km bike ride
  • Leaving a negative relationship which wasn’t serving her anymore
  • Being made to feel small and starting to doubt herself
  • Wanting to get out and discover the world
  • Wanting to see what she was capable off 
  • What is Nordkapp?
  • Being terrified and the lead up to the start
  • When everything started to go wrong
  • Being supported by her brother 
  • Figuring out where she belonged
  • Working on herself and processes the lessons learned
  • Writing a book about her experience
  • Speaking to Chris Fagan
  • Learning to appreciate the small moments in life
  • Follow Annie online and visit her website (links below)
  • Final words of advice for women who have been made to feel small
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.thebotbeyondthebrainz.com 
 
Instagram: Personal - @thebotbeyondthebrainz 
 
Art -  Tales of a Traveling Scientist in doodles, scribbles & dad jokes: @botsandbrainz
 
Dec 21, 2021
About Pammy:
 
Born in the 60’s in inner city Coventry to a Sikh immigrant family. At 16, a school trip introduced her to the mountains where she experienced the WOW moment that changed her life. A force much bigger than her took her to explore wild landscapes of the world! Not something her parents or community were keen on. “It’s not what our girls do!.. what will everyone say??!!” Her drive was so strong she did it anyway at the risk of totally losing her world.
 
She encountered many complex and painful challenges with people of all backgrounds including her own family/community. Through these emotional and physical challenges, she discovered her own core values. This was a journey of self-discovery, understanding and respecting differences and a passion for environmental protection.
 
Pammy has been an outdoor/environmental practitioner since 1979 and in 1995 it struck her hard as she noticed the lack of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic role models in the sector, at every level, from service users to Board level and felt very strongly this had to change.
 
In 1995 she laid the foundation for what is now Backbone..
 
Backbone is a leading Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic outdoor environmental education organisation acknowledged on a national and global platform for successfully addressing diversity and inclusion in the sector. 
 
The key to their success is partnership working based on the values of:
  • Genuine Intention
  • Trust and Integrity
  • Direct Benefit of All Communities
 
They provide a safe and comfortable space for people and organisations to grow in their uniqueness.  
 
Together with their partners they are making a difference in the sector and to the communities they serve.
 
‘Adventure’… For some is climbing an unknown peak and for others it is leaving the City. The commonality is leaving the comfort of YOUR home and entering the unknown.. a journey of discovery to magical places!
 
Learn more about Pammy and the work that Backbone is doing. Listen now via the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Pammy and what she does
  • Being an outdoor practitioner for over 40 years
  • Working in America and all over the world
  • Coming back to the UK in 1995
  • Growing up in Coventry, UK
  • Getting exposed to the outdoors
  • Going against family expectations
  • Living up in the highlands of Scotlands
  • Having to have difficult conversations with her family
  • Entering the outdoors in the 70s and what is was like being a female
  • The struggle of being taken seriously
  • Leaving America and headed back to the UK
  • What Backbone is about
  • Why the name Backbone
  • Why change is happening so slowly
  • Competitive Research Syndrome
  • The excuses for inactivity
  • Changing Landscapes - Actioning Change 
  • Being fed up of talking 
  • FREE OPPORTUNITIES
  • FREE TRAINING
  • Going national
  • Handling frustration and what can be done to make change happen faster
  • Why the sector is a service industry 
  • Why organisations need to change
  • Why groups need funding and money
  • What does adventure mean to Pammy
  • Helping to break barriers down
  • Wanting to inform on policy 
  • What training is offered
  • The unethical behaviours 
  • Dealing with the mental and emotional toll 
  • Going on the big challenges and expeditions
  • The power of spending time in the mountains
  • Getting into skiing
  • Advice for women who want to spend more time in the outdoors
  • Why aren’t you doing it?
  • The pleasure of building up your skills
  • Go and learn how to read a map
  • Connect with Pammy on the socials (See below)
  • FREE TRAINING
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why - Life is too short to wear tight shoes
  • Listen to your internal soul
  • Why you need to be doing it. 
 
Social Media
 
 
 
Facebook: @backbone.cic 
 
Twitter: @BackboneCIC 
 
Dec 18, 2021
Minnesota native. Earned a teaching degree from the University of Oregon and taught a short few years before joining a team to dogsled to the North Pole. 
 
As first known woman to travel across the ice to the top of the world, I made a promise to not only follow my dreams but create something bigger than my own personal ambitions. 
 
All my expeditions since have education with them - thus inspiring millions of kids. One focus always is helping girls and women find their voice and potential in whatever they do. 
 
This theme traveled as I became first women to ski to both poles, lead the first all women's expedition to the South Pole in 1992/93 - Lead a team of all women across Greenland 1992 and later cross Antarctica with Liv Arnesen. 2000/01. Many wonderful trips in between on rock and snow, or on water - frozen and liquid. 
 
I started the Ann Bancroft Foundation in Minnesota that gives small monetary grants to girls to try an experience to find courage to find their way in the world as strong and confident and engaged humans.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Ann
  • Going to college to become a teacher
  • Following her childhood dream
  • 65, years young 
  • Spending the past 20+ years working with Liv Arnesen
  • Feeling very blessed about her life
  • How her life diverted and changed into the adventure and expedition world at 29 years old
  • Wanting to go to the South Pole
  • How the opportunity came about 
  • Finding herself on the team and how it changed her life
  • Why you have to just go for it
  • Lessons learned from the South Pole
  • The moments of truth 
  • Her love of long expeditions
  • How have polar expeditions changed over the years
  • Wanting to do something for women and girls
  • Being a teacher outside of the classroom
  • Do challenges get easier….
  • Why you can not short cut preparation
  • Going back to focus on the basics
  • Dealing with setbacks and failure 
  • Why it takes courage to put yourself out there
  • Being able to learn from past mistakes
  • Wanting to cross all of Antarctica in 1992 
  • Having no money and no sponsors
  • What is the legacy they wanted to leave behind
  • Making the most painful decision in her life
  • Connecting with Liv Arnesen
  • Tent life….
  • Focusing on raising the voices of girls and women
  • Bancroft Arnesen Explore - Access Water 
  • The next challenge on the Mississippi 
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Honesty - Integrity - Courage
  • Final words of advise for women and girls who want to divert to a different path
  • “I can because she did”
  • The power of living your potential.
 
Social Media
 
The Ann Bancroft Foundation empowers girls to imagine something bigger through grants, mentorship, and ongoing development opportunities. The Ann Bancroft Foundation is giving Minnesota girls the strength to achieve their full potential.
 
 
Instagram: @abfdreamers
 
 
Twitter: @ABFdreamers 
 
Dec 16, 2021
As she approached middle age, Marcia discovered a love for getting on her bike and riding a long way. In fact, when things got tough cycling regularly saved her sanity. 
 
In 2020 she had her sights on riding the Race around the Netherlands, but Covid put an end to that, at least for that year. 
 
But feeling the fittest she had ever been, and not wanting to waste a winter of hard training she cooked up a domestic adventure instead, and because the first woman to have attempted cycling the 1,725 miles from Lands End to John o’Groats and back!
 
By completing this long distance challenge, Marcia raise £'000's for her local branch of mental health charity MIND and bagged herself a Guinness World Record!
 
Learn all about Marcia, her passion for cycling and what she’s learned from taking on this challenge. 
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Marcia Roberts
  • Working a full time job in IT
  • Discovering her love of riding bikes
  • Encouraging other people to ride their bikes
  • Getting into cycling 10/12 years ago
  • Going through a divorce in 2000
  • Moving to Hampshire 
  • Looking for a new challenge
  • Having time to herself
  • Entering a charity challenge to ride across Vietnam
  • Avoiding the hills!
  • 9 months to train and get ready
  • Wanting to do a bigger challenge
  • Lessons from Vietnam 
  • Cycling over to the Alps
  • Dealing with “bonking”
  • Wanting to do a challenge in the UK
  • Managing her cycling while working full time
  • Cycling around main coast Britain
  • Breaking down big trips into smaller chunks
  • Loving the simplicity of cycling 
  • Setting up a local women’s riding group
  • The planning and preparation for cycling LEJOG (there and back)
  • Going back to March 2020
  • Breaking it down into blocks…. 4 hrs, 3hrs, 3.5 hrs
  • Planning on 12 days…
  • Looking for a Guinness World Record
  • Support crew, nutrition and meeting points
  • Dealing with the wet, windy and stormy weather!
  • Behind schedule all the time
  • Being stubborn and setting her mind to the challenge
  • Mental resilience and determination and not stopping
  • Tricks to stay awake
  • Sleeping
  • The bike setup for cycling LEJOG
  • Figuring out nutrition and being able to eat
  • Magical moments
  • Adventure blues and having a foolproof plan to avoid it
  • Dealing with lockdown and feeling very low
  • The Great British Escapades
  • The evidence needed for a Guinness World Record
  • Blogging and sharing content online especially around problems and how she overcame them
  • “Why you can do incredible things, if you just put your mind to it”
  • Final words of advice for middle aged women
  • Find a friend who you can go cycling with
  • Don’t focus on speed or millage - just get on your bike
 
Social Media
 
Blog: https://mawonavelo.com/blog/  
 
Instagram: @Mawonavelo 
 
Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/marcia-roberts to donate.
 
Dec 14, 2021
Preeti in her own words:
 
“I come from the land of beyuls, the sacred valleys according to Himalayan Buddhism, where the physical and spiritual world connect with each other. 
 
Running through some of the most spectacular landscapes and remote regions of Nepal has made me experience that the health and wellbeing of people largely depend on the natural environment around them and vice versa. 
 
Through my work as both an engineering consultant and trail run organizer, I try to present this experience to both Nepali and international diaspora that I get to work with. 
 
While my company, Nepal Trail Series is at the very early stage of its operation, but it is moving ahead intentionally to bring forward both physical and spiritual experiences of my country in a running package. 
 
The company is female-run and provides professional opportunities for rare talented strong female athletes of Nepal."
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Preeti
  • Being based in Nepal
  • Her childhood and growing up in India
  • How she ended up in Nepal
  • Working as an engineer in rural areas
  • Getting into running 
  • Becoming a race director for trail races
  • Being pushed into fitness at a young age
  • Seeing running in a different way
  • Getting into running events in 2012
  • Just wanting to finish races and enjoy it
  • Remembering her first ultra in Katmandu in 2016
  • Dealing with the altitude and what works for her
  • Moving into multi stage ultras
  • Training for ultras
  • Not wanting to be a competitive runner
  • Figuring out her energy management
  • Having fun during races
  • Running with a watch and using strava
  • Food, nutrition and hydration for energy management
  • Following her body and her menstral cycle
  • Figuring out what works for her
  • The Nepal Trail Series
  • Hosting trail running camps in different regions throughout Nepal
  • Advice for running taking on a multi stage trail race in Nepal
  • Mantras and daily meditation 
  • The women who inspire Preeti
  • Girls and sports in Nepal
  • Mira Rai - Nepalese trail runner and sky runner.
  • Noticing an increase in female runners
  • Advice about being a responsible tourist in Nepal
  • The Great Himalayan Trail and her dream project
  • Advice and top tips for health and well being
  • What Preeti name means
 
Social Media
 
Website: nepaltrailseries.org 
 
Instagram:
 
@nepaltrailseries  
 
@preeti.khattri 
 
Catalogue for 2022 Training Camps - www.canva.com/design/DAEqpnA4xHI/W06W1cnkMz-fuxZ18WyURQ/view 
 
Dec 11, 2021
Since becoming a wheelchair user Debbie has campaigned tirelessly to break down barriers in all aspects of promoting accessibility for all.
 
Debbie lives on a sheep farm in Cumbria, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  She is a member of the Local Access Forum for the YDNP and chair of the Access For All group. She is a volunteer for the National Park with the responsibility of auditing the ‘Miles Without Stile’ routes.
 
For the past 6 years Debbie has been the expert in inclusion and diversity for The Outdoor Guide, a free online resource dedicated to enjoying the outdoors. Co-founded and fronted by television personality Julia Bradbury.  
 
Debbie is a Get Outside Champion with Ordnance Survey. In 2020 she was nominated for 'Outdoor Personality of the Year' by TGO magazine readers.
 
Debbie is a presenter, motivational speaker, writer and consultant and is able to deliver tailor made training and presentations. She is a regular contributor for the BBC Countryfile Magazine
 
Although Debbie specialises in walks for wheelchair users, she is able to create multi- sensory walks for people with visual and hearing impairment.
 
Her motto is “Making the inaccessible accessible”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Living on a sheep farm in Cumbria
  • Being a wheelchair user since 2011
  • De-stressing from school life
  • Spending time in the hills
  • Starting to look at ways she could get back outside
  • Struggling to access the countryside
  • Working with Terrain Hopper 
  • Losing her husband Andy to cancer
  • Setting up the charity “Access the Dales”
  • The Outdoor Guide 
  • Spending time in the open and growing up in Sheffield 
  • Meeting Andy while teaching at the same school
  • Doing the coast to coast walk not really knowing each other…
  • Deciding to make some changes
  • Putting pen to paper
  • Getting back outside again and going on her first walk in a wheelchair
  • Facing challenges out in nature
  • Why accessibility should be the starting point of any new project
  • Magical moments of spending time in the outdoors
  • Getting a new dog
  • Having her first Scottish solo holiday
  • Batteries on wheelchairs
  • Going downhill
  • New books
  • Launching the charity and the book in April 2022
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why we all have our own Everest 
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @debbienorth29n 
 
Facebook: @debbieNorth 
 
Twitter: @debbienorth29 
 
Dec 9, 2021
“In the blink of an eye, I went from being an active, autonomous athlete to  suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that took 70% of my vision and nearly my life. Now I aim to be mindful in every moment and strive to make every second count while adventuring in mountains around the world.”
 
Jill in her own words:
 
“On a day that began like any other in a high school Physical Education class, September 2014 began an expedition of survival. A line drive, a hardball to the head, began a climb testing personal strength and human potential. A medical team, hundreds of hands from 7 hospitals across 3 countries, guided me towards a peak that felt impossible to climb, traumatic brain injury (TBI). While I craved to climb alone, they got me to the summit but my work was just getting started. Now I am traversing an avalanche triggered by the TBI which left me days from death, with 70% vision loss and a life threatening eating disorder.
 
No mountain can challenge me the way traumatic brain injury has. I chose to adventure in massifs around the world with the intention to adapt to vision loss and acceptance of the trail my life had taken.
 
From surviving to thriving, I have run, climbed, and skied my way around the world embracing the 30% vision I am fortunate to have. My trails have connected with the Andorra Pyrenees, Italian Dolomites, French and Swiss Alps, Slovenia’s Julian Alps, Iceland, India and Nepal Himalaya, New Zealand, Argentina, Peru, and the American Rockies.
 
As a traumatic brain injury survivor and visually impaired athlete adventuring in mountains around the world, I have a complex story of resilience to share. Speaking to resilience, head injuries, eating disorders, visual impairments, trauma, or mental health or simply sharing my story, I can make connections through authentic tales of my trails from depths of darkness to adventuring in the highest of the Himalayas.”
 
CONTENT WARNING - We discuss; Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD and thoughts of suicide.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Speaking to us from Nepal
  • Who is Jill in her own words
  • Growing up in a sporty, adventurous family
  • Becoming a teacher and following her passion for travel
  • Teaching in Singapore, Russia, Switzerland and Germany 
  • Taking advantage of the opportunity to travel
  • September 2018 and how her life changed in an instant
  • Being hit by a hard ball on the side of her head
  • Going to hospital and being send home
  • Ending up in intensive care with a bleeding and swelling brain
  • Dealing with a Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Finding out she would never see out of her right eye again
  • Losing depth perception 
  • The impact the TBI has had on her appetite and relationship with food
  • Seeing multiple specialists and spending a lot of time in hospital
  • Starting to get her independence back while in Colorado 
  • Looking out to the mountains 
  • Feeling very lost and grieving her past life
  • Needing to go and heal in the mountains 
  • Starting to travel again
  • Creating a blueprint and plan for the future
  • Being open to change….
  • Falling in love with Nepal and being inspired to get back into running
  • Not wanting to share her story
  • Being authentic with her feelings and being vulnerable
  • Starting her website and starting to share her story
  • Not wanting to do social media 
  • Accepting that her life had changed
  • Testing herself at altitude
  • Getting connected with the running and climbing community in Nepal
  • Dealing with pneumonia 
  • Starting to climb higher in the Himalayas
  • Planning to climb mountains over 6,000 metres
  • Dealing with covid in Nepal and being in lockdown for 8 months
  • Trying ice-climbing in early 2020
  • Escaping the lockdown and heading up into the mountains
  • Not being able to run while in rundown and having to try different types of training while indoors
  • Losing her father suddenly and supporting her family from afar 
  • Spending time alone in the mountains
  • Training to climb the 8th highest mountain in the worlds - Manasulu 
  • Visa’s for Nepal and being on a student visa
  • Managing depth perception while climbing mountains 
  • Spending time in the mountains as part of the healing process
  • Acceptance of what’s happened?
  • Dealing with dark days and using different tools to help manage the feelings
  • Why meditation is a significant part of her daily practice
  • Hiding behind her sunglasses and not being comfortable with the way she looks
  • Being a work in progress and being aware of her mindset and thoughts
  • The good wolf and the bad wolf - choosing which one to feed
  • Wanting to build on the good
  • Connecting with Jill
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @mtnsofmymind 
 
Facebook: @mountainsofmymind 
 
Twitter: @mtnsofmymind 
 
Dec 7, 2021
Anja Madhvani is a writer and drinks industry worker with a passion for adventure.
 
Anja studied classical piano performance at The University Of Huddersfield, and has gone on to perform as a violinist and singer with a number of post-rock bands, most notably Her Name Is Calla. 
 
She has spent 13 years in the beer industry, managing venues, hosting brewery tours and tastings, and working in sales and communications. She also works with Club Soda, a mindful drinking movement who aim to create a world where nobody feels out of place if they aren’t drinking.
 
In 2018 Anja completed her first ultra, the Marathon Des Sables, with undiagnosed Pulmonary Tuberculosis. She is now back to running and also enjoying the challenge of pole dancing.
 
She is currently studying to become a personal trainer, and hopes to channel her unique experiences into helping others to shift their mindset and find joy in movement.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Anja 
  • What she does 
  • What Anja was like a child
  • Growing up in North Yorkshire
  • Being involved in dancing 
  • Making excuses to get out of PE
  • Finding a love for beer
  • Exercise and fitness in her 20s
  • Deciding to make a change in her life
  • Getting back into fitness and her first steps
  • Needing a really big challenge
  • Signing up for the Marathon des Sables and getting back into running
  • Having 16 months to train
  • Where did she start
  • Her first run down by the canal
  • Going solo but meeting other people online through the FB group
  • Her method for training
  • Making changes to her lifestyle and getting into a better routine
  • Being cagey with sharing her running challenge
  • Working with a personal trainer
  • Focusing on the small tangible goals and celebrating the wins
  • Building up her confidence via weight training
  • How strength training impacted on her running
  • Just wanting to finish the race
  • Cagey or protective ?
  • Being supported by friends and family
  • Fears and concerns before the race
  • Being a worrier or a planner?
  • What if I fail? What does that say about me? 
  • Running the Marathon des Sables in April 2018
  • Feeling under the weather at Christmas 2017
  • The determination and grit to push on through the pain
  • Being motivated by self loathing
  • Enjoying the race
  • Feeling disappointed on the finish line
  • Wanting to go back and do the race in full health
  • What happened after the race when back in the UK
  • Tuberculosis (TB)…. what is it
  • Being in isolation for 11 days 
  • Getting back her health and fitness
  • Taking 20 mins to walk 100 m
  • Having panic attacks when training
  • Going to therapy and working on her mindset
  • Training for the London Marathon in 2022
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @anjaism 
 
Twitter: @anja_madhvani 

 

Dec 4, 2021
Having only started cycling in 2018, Biola immersed herself in the community, showing great enthusiasm for her own progression and that of other women too. 
 
She is the chair of Velociposse, a club for women and non-binary people in London. 
 
Biola is relentless in her energy to push the club forward and increase diversity, collaborating with the Women of Colour Cycling Collective.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Biola
  • Being based in Brixton, South London
  • Being a cycling club for ALL women 
  • Her passion for all types of riding
  • Her love for cycling and the community
  • Friends, fitness and having fun
  • Her childhood and growing up in Brixton
  • Going to the BMX track at 5 years old
  • Teenage years and her fitness journey 
  • Getting into running and starting to take training more seriously
  • Getting into weight training and commuting on the bike
  • Getting her mum to go to the gym at 63
  • Working out with other people and being encouraged
  • Moving from running into cycling
  • The Power of Community and joining the Velociposse Club
  • Advice for joining a cycling club
  • Her first race experience in January 2019
  • Dealing with being dropped
  • Making friends through racing 
  • Breaking down the informational barriers
  • Why there is no such thing as a typical racer
  • Why Biola races
  • Sharing passions and encouraging others to give it ago
  • Bikes….
  • Commuting to work 
  • Her journey with Velociposse and becoming the chairperson.
  • Knowing her strengths 
  • A higher order ask
  • Regent Park Laps on Saturdays
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @biolasarah 
 
Velociposse - A cycling club for all women, all trans, and all non-binary people in London.  
 
Website - www.velociposse.cc 
 
Instagram: @velociposse 
 
 
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