Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Sep 13, 2022
Siobhan is 62 years old. She retired from the BBC two years ago, after 30 years working as a Reporter, Presenter and Producer in News. During that time she juggled being a single mother with working full-time. When she was nearly fifty and her daughter went off to university, she took a gap year from work and backpacked solo around the world. It was then she hatched a plan to one day travel around in a motorhome when she retired.
By her mid-fifties she felt burnt out after dealing with symptoms of the menopause, ageism and bullying. She realised she needed to find her escape plan.
So it was in 2019, aged sixty, she bought a motorhome and embarked on her solo trip around Great Britain, to champion positive ageing and to challenge ageism and ageist stereotypes of what society thinks a retired woman does. She wants to change narratives around ageing from ANTI-AGEING to POSITIVE-AGEING. She has faced her fears and weathered severe storms and a pandemic along the way but she feels the highs and lows are all worth it. 
She hopes her experiences inspire women, both young and old, to embrace ageing.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time. Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. 
Show notes
  • Who is Siobhan
  • Learning more about her background
  • Buying her motorhome and travelling Great Britain 
  • Her goal to promote positive ageing
  • Having a hysterectomy at 40 
  • Taking a gap year from the BBC and going solo backpacking around the world
  • Feeling ageless and alive
  • Wanting to retire and go travelling 
  • Planning her gap year with Trailfinders 
  • Going with the flow and meeting incredible people
  • Fears and concerns before the adventure
  • Magical moments which bring joy
  • Dealing with change
  • Facing each challenge and breaking it down into little bits
  • Running marathons in her 50s
  • Not being a planner - “My plan is to have no plan, to go with the flow and see where life takes me”
  • Losing family members and going through the menopause
  • Struggling with life 
  • Out of adversity comes opportunity
  • Being a stubborn Yorkshire lass
  • Finding a way to do things
  • Fitness and exercise and how it’s evolved over her life
  • Training for her first marathon and her feelings after crossing the finish line
  • Top tips and advice for new runners who want to take on a marathon
  • Why you are never too old for adventure 
  • What pro ageing looks like 
  • Changing the negative narrative
  • Retirement rebellion and why its a chance to have more adventures 
  • Working on a farm for 5 weeks in Dorset
  • Feeling liberated after selling everything
  • Confidence around driving the motorhome
  • Enjoying her own company
  • Sharing her life online and blogging 
  • Writing a book?! And signing up with a literary agent
  • Living her life by 4 values
  • Talking about bravery
  • Being an anti-agism campaigner
  • Being true to yourself and age as positively as you can 
  • Why you should enjoy and embrace ageing 
  • Plans for 2022
  • Taking the motorhome over to Europe
  • How to connect and follow Siobhan
  • Final words of advice for other women
  • What do you want to do? What would make you happy? 
  • You will work out a way to have your adventure 
Social Media
Instagram: @shuvonshuvoff 
Twitter: @siobhandaniels 
Sep 6, 2022
Abby in her own words:
“I used to be a competitive ultra-runner. I competed in 100-mile mountain races and was pretty decent at it. In 2013 I competed and won (female division) the Grand Slam of Ultra-Running. This is 4 x 100 mile races in a 10 week span.
But too much endurance + too little calories and carbs= Burnout. Anyone that doesn’t believe burnout or adrenal issues are real is a liar. It’s real and it’s debilitating to your body and mind.
I was forced to stop running and I eventually found weight-lifting. I tried my best at CrossFit but really gravitated towards heavy lifting and fell in love with Powerlifting. 
I worked with a Nutrition Coach and spent years reverse dieting to support my body and goals and un-do all the years of damage I did as an endurance athlete. My sole purpose was to lift as much as I possibly could in a weight class sport and I was pretty decent at it. In 2018 I competed in PowerLifting Nationals. At 138 pounds my best squat was 290 pounds, bench 190 pounds, and deadlift 325 pounds.
I ended up hurting my back while lifting in 2019. I eventually decided to walk away from all competitive sports and focus on living a normal life with food and fitness balance.
These days my goals include lifting weights to support health and hormones. I want to be fit and strong enough to keep up with Molly-dog and continue hiking some beautiful miles in the Colorado mountains. I enjoy eating all foods and consume over 2300 calories. I strength train for ~ 1 hour x 4-5 days per week. I walk 2.5-3.5 miles every-day with Miss Molly.
I am happier and confident with my body now than any time before. You don’t need to be extreme or restrict yourself to get results. I follow an all-foods fit approach. As a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach my mission now is to prevent other athletes from making the same mistakes I made. 
My purpose in life is to serve others (women) and help them fuel their bodies, improve their relationship with food + fitness, and body image.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode. 
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media by visiting
Show notes
  • Who is Abby
  • Living in Denver, Colorado
  • Working as a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach
  • What her early years were like
  • Being 1 of 4 girls
  • Being inspired by her older sister and getting involved in running from a young age
  • Running in college and being a mid range mid pack person
  • Post college getting into longer distances and finding her calling
  • Loving the people in the running community
  • Getting into the longer distances 
  • Running her first trail ultra and building a solid foundation
  • Enjoying the mental side of the physical challenge
  • Why 2013 was her break through year 
  • Putting in the hard work everyday
  • Entering the grand slam of ultra running 4x100 mile races and winning (2013)! (the Western States 100 in California, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run in Vermont, the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado, and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run in Utah.
  • Post season - and trying to recover
  • Struggling with insomnia, fatigue, blood sugar levels, being anaemic, and not having a menstrual cycle for 3 years
  • Trying to run through the symptoms 
  • Getting support and starting to help herself recover
  • Adrenal Fatigue - HPA Access Disfunction
  • Why Abby started strength training 
  • Having the goal to be as strong as possible
  • Running following a low carb diet - and following keto
  • Dr Stacey Simms - ROAR 
  • Why low carb isn’t the best for women
  • Needing to step away from competitive sports
  • Having more balance in her life with regards to food and fitness
  • Starting her own business
  • Having balance in her life?!
  • What a typical week of training looks like
  • Loving and appreciating rest days
  • Her philosophy with food now - all foods fit
  • How to connect with Abby
  • Final words of advice
  • Figure out why you are making changes
Social Media
Instagram: @abbymcpabby 
Facebook: @AbbyMcQueeneyPenamonte 
Aug 30, 2022
About Sabrina
Sabrina Pace-Humphreys is a 44-year-old mother of 4 and grandmother of 3, an award-winning businesswoman, an ultrarunner, a social justice activist and a recovering alcoholic.

She is a mixed-raced woman, the daughter of a white Scottish Roman Catholic woman and a Black man. 
In July 2020 she co-founded the fast-growing community and campaigning charity, Black Trail Runners, and is also a well-known ultra-marathon runner. She finished the 'toughest footrace on earth', a 250km multi-stage marathon across the Sahara Desert known as the Marathon des Sables, as 10th UK woman and most recently she completed the Spine Race, a non-stop 268 miles race down the Pennine Way. 
Sabrina is the author of Black Sheep: A Story of Rural Racism, Identity and Hope

“In Black Sheep, Sabrina reveals how she got from there to here: about growing up in a home, a school and a town where no-one looked like her and her subsequent struggle to understand and find her identity; about her lived experience of rural racism; about becoming a teenage mother and her determination to break that stereotype; about her battle with alcoholism and her mental health; about how running saved her life; and ultimately about how someone can not only survive but thrive in spite of their past.

Sabrina's experience will chime with anyone who has felt like an outsider. Poignant and eye-opening, and exploring themes of trauma, identity, mental health and addiction, Black Sheep is a tale of triumph: of grit and determination, of hope over despair.”
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Show Notes
  • Who is Sabrina
  • Previously chatting on the TGP - July 7th 2020
  • What was happening in late 2020
  • Launching Black Trail Runners (BTR) in July 2020
  • Black Trail Runners - writing an open letter to race organisers 
  • Taking about the issues and the lack of diversity in trail runners
  • Moving house, welcoming a new grandchild, running the Ramsey Round
  • Doing the 3 peaks challenge and seeing me at the top of Ben Nevis (Watch the vlog)
  • Building the community of Black Trail Runners and the impact 
  • Having the uncomfortable conversations
  • Collecting ethnicity data
  • Having a BTR race fund 
  • Taking real action and breaking down the barriers
  • Running the 4.5% challenge in 2021
  • Working with youth groups
  • Coping with the mental and emotional pressure
  • Running and mental health
  • Running as a form at activism
  • Understanding her why of running the Spine Race
  • The Spine Race 
  • Working with her running coach Damien Hall
  • Figuring out her race strategy and how her race goals changed over time
  • Focusing on the “B” goal - completing the race
  • Focusing on 10k stretches and reaching certain views 
  • Keeping in the moment and not thinking about the full distance
  • Struggling with sleep deprivation and figuring out a new sleep strategy
  • The power of sleep and needing 30 mins of sleep at every checkpoint
  • Dealing with food pain and having to implement a pain management strategy
  • Training for the Spine Race and what a typical week looked life
  • Doing more back to back training runs and weighted runs
  • Winning her first ultra marathon! 
  • Kissing a wall
  • The lessons learned from running the Spine Race
  • “You can do hard things - you can do this”
  • Being on the June cover of Women’s Running UK 
  • Book: Black Sheep: A Story of Rural Racism, Identity and Hope.
  • Black to the trails - 11th September 2022 - The FIRST trail running event designed, directed and run by Black Trail Runners for Black people, people of colour, and White allies who want to do their bit to diversify the UK trail running scene. 
  • The vision board and hopes for the future
  • Wanting to participate in the UTMB Race
  • Wanting to write a second book about running
Social Media
Instagram: @sabrunsmiles
Twitter: @sabrunsmiles
Black Trail Runners - A community and campaigning charity seeking to increase inclusion, participation and representation of Black people in trail running.
Community and campaigning charity. Registered in England and Wales, No. 1194094.
Black Trail Runners: 
Black to the Trails: 
Twitter: @RunnersBlack 
The Check Point Podcast 
A podcast hosted by Black Trail Runners which discusses access to, skills for and representation of Black people who want to experience, or are experienced in, trail running. Featuring tips, tricks, events, guest interviews and much more.
Aug 23, 2022
Sophie has spent the past 2 years trying to raise awareness of open water swimmers with disabilities in the hope that more people will become inclusive and accepting to people of all abilities. 
She has also spent the past year building a community of athletes with disabilities through her ADOWS Facebook group which now has over 600 people in it. 
Members include those with all sorts of disabilities from people with invisible conditions such as Fibromyalgia and brain injuries to those with visual impairments and amputees. There are also coaches, event organisers and carers in the group so that they can learn the best way to support and include those with disabilities within their work. 
Since starting the group Sophie has worked with The Henley Swim Company and The British Long Distance Swimming Association to help them improve accessibility at their events.
Sophie grew up in Hastings and was an active, fully able-bodied swimmer but in 2011 she was involved in a cycling accident, which resulted in a long diagnostic process before finally being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome; one of the most painful conditions in the world in late 2012. 

Suddenly finding herself struggling to walk and in constant pain was tough. She struggled with being constantly exhausted and to put the cherry on the top; due to hypersensitivity she was unable to wear trousers or leave the house if it was windy because it was too painful for her.
Triathlete to wheelchair user in under a year.
It took several years of struggling with different medications, physiotherapy appointments, hospital stays and falling into a deep depression before she was sent onto a pain management programme. The course was intensive for 3 weeks but in total lasted a year and it was as a result of this course that Sophie rediscovered her love of the water. 
It wasn’t an easy journey back into the water because anything on her legs hurt – including water! 
It was about 6 months before she could get in the local leisure centre pool and start swimming again but as soon as she did she knew it was where she was meant to be.
Since then (2016) she has gone on to not only get back into open water swimming but has taken on some huge swims including The Great East Swim 1 mile (2016) and 5km (2019), The Thames Marathon Swim (2018), 10km in lake Tallyn in Wales (2019), the Swim England Open Water National Championships (2019) and finally, in September 2021 Two Way Windermere, which she completed in 16 hours and 41 minutes!
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Sophie
  • Growing up in Hastings
  • How she got into swimming
  • Doing her first 5k at the age of 11
  • Being disqualified from her first swimming gala
  • Playing music in an orchestra
  • Wanting to be a sports physiotherapist
  • Choosing between music and sports or physical education
  • Being diagnosed with epilepsy as a child
  • Playing clarinet and piano as her way to relax
  • Studying music at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge
  • Going to university and swimming at the same time
  • Joining a local triathlon club
  • Before and after the accident
  • Being diagnosed with Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Being on her own while in the middle of her degree
  • From being active to absolutely nothing
  • Feeling all her plans are out of reach
  • Being away from her family
  • Experiencing bullying at university
  • Feeling lost for about five years
  • Being put on a pain management program at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge
  • Getting back into the water and tolerating the pain
  • Falling in love with swimming again
  • Wanting to be a swimming coach again
  • Getting her level two open water coaching qualification
  • Getting help from Straight Line Swimming run by Keri-anne Payne
  • Feeling herself again after 8 years
  • Campaigning for disabled swimmers
  • Creating the community Adaptive/Disabled Open Water Swimmers (ADOWS)
  • Magical moments for her when it comes to swimming
  • Making so many new friends through swimming
  • Doing the Aberdovey Swim in 2019
  • Her plans to do the Two-Way Windermere (2WW) in 2020
  • Using Windermere swim to raise awareness and fundraise for a disability sports charity The Arctic One
  • Having surgery before her two-way swim
  • Pushing through the challenge
  • Her whole experience while doing the Windermere swim
  • Her top tips and advice
Social Media
Instagram @sophie_adaptive_athlete 
Facebook @SEasaptiveathlete 
ADOWS (Adaptive/Disabled Open Water Swimmers) Facebook group 
Aug 16, 2022
Meaghan is a Canadian writer and ultra-endurance cyclist whose two-wheeled adventures have taken her from Haida Gwaii to Mexico’s high plateaus, across Canada and the United States, and from North Cape to Tarifa along some of Europe’s highest paved roads. 
She is a Trans Am Bike Race, NorthCape4000, and Paris-Brest-Paris brevet finisher, as well as the 2019 24-Hour World Time Trial Champion and current course record holder in the women’s division. 
In 2021, Meaghan took the overall win in the 2021 BC Epic 1000 and landed on the podium of the Alberta-Rockies 700. 
Her debut travel memoir, "South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels" (NeWest Press, 2019) was shortlisted for a two Canadian book awards. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media visit Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Meaghan
  • Living in British Colombia, Canada
  • Being on a journey of self discovery
  • Her love of sports and competing 
  • Being into sports from a young age
  • Her love of full contact sports 
  • Discovering more solo sports and getting into long distance cycling
  • Structuring her life around the things that she loves
  • The women who have inspired Meaghan
  • Being inspired by Lael Wilcox 
  • Taking on the Trans Am Bike Race across America 2017 
  • Having the courage to sign up for the race
  • Training and getting strong for spending long days on the bike
  • Getting her first Bivvy bag
  • Getting prepared for the race
  • Mental resilience and mental grit and the new lessons that have been learned
  • Having fears and insecurities and being worried about the race
  • Why showing up to the start line is a massive win
  • Taking the pressure off and focusing on the fun
  • Book: How bad do you want it?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle By Matt Fitzgerald 
  • Building up her own toolkit of resilience tips and tricks
  • Dealing with sleep deprivation
  • The balance between suffering and having fun
  • How her training has evolved over the years
  • Investing in an indoor smart trainer (Wahoo Kickr)
  • Focusing on short intense indoor rides and long rides outside
  • How many bikes?!
  • Rest and recovery and injury prevention 
  • Getting into a good routine
  • North Cape 4000 Race 
  • Setting goals and having a race strategy around sleeping for 4hrs each night
  • Food and nutrition while on the bike
  • Advice for women who want to sign up for a new challenge
  • Having people around you who support you
  • Magical moments and feelings of joy while cycling
  • Connect with Meaghan 
  • Writing her book: South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels
  • Plans for 2022
  • Her aim of being - consistently consistent 
Social Media
Instagram @meaghanhackinen 
Facebook @meaghanhackinen 
Book: South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels 
*Shortlisted for the Sixth Annual Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize - Nonfiction Category & Shortlisted for Best Trade Non-Fiction at the 2020 Book Publishing Awards!
Aug 9, 2022
Tayo is The Five to Nine Traveller who believes life is more than your 9 to 5. As an adventuring enthusiast she is always on the hunt for adventure both local & global and loves to share her stories to inspire the same in you! 
She truly believes adventure is what you make it so you can find her hiking up some mountain or discovering the latest immersive cultural experience in the city.
Tayo in her own words:
My name is Tayo and I am just a regular gal with a job (oh the inconvenience) who exhibits off the scale delight when she travels and explores!  I love travelling as it appeals to my inner childhood of being an explorer and finding something new in my surroundings, be it in the city I live or a new destination.  As a child I was an avid reader of The Famous Five by Enid Blyton who were always on adventures and I was always exploring around the estate where I grew up.  
Travelling for me is a collection of interactions, memories and personal development, and tells me more about the world I live in.  Some of my most vivid memories from travelling are moments I reflect on and smile, like seeing the gorgeous sunsets over Oxford city to meeting Frank in Cuba who kindly gave me a hat made of local leaves (which I still have to this day and use for fancy dress!)
Blogging is my outlet to share my eclectic narratives and photos of the beautiful world I get to see, packed full of adventure!  The main thing  though is that I hope it inspires you to go out there and have an adventure even with your 9 to 5!
Not all travels have to be in far flung exotic places
(although that is fun too!)
And who says who have to jack it all in to travel?
That’s what makes me The 5 to 9 Traveller!
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. 
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. By visiting .Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Tayo
  • Working as a pharmacist 
  • Growing up in Newcastle
  • Her early years
  • Being connected to her Nigerian heritage 
  • Learning more about her family history 
  • Being a curious child
  • Heading back to visit Nigeria 
  • Not taking a gap year after school
  • Deciding to start her blog at the end of 2015
  • Being inspired by Travel Noire
  • Not really knowing what blogs were
  • Not telling anyone about her blog
  • Using her blog as a creative outlet
  • What adventure means to Tayo 
  • Being willing to have her mind opened to the new around her
  • Deciding on where to go travelling 
  • Spending time in South Africa and Brazil
  • Having a wanderlist
  • Traveling solo and travelling with other people
  • Doing a summer placement in America
  • 2019 spending time in South America
  • Making the decision to go travelling 
  • Telling her parents about her trip
  • Making sure she had a reason to come back
  • Wanting to learn Spanish 
  • Need to get the balance between adventure and routine
  • Making changes to hair
  • Travelling on buses in South America
  • Visiting Machu Picchu 
  • Dealing with Covid 
  • Loving travelling and loving to learn 
  • How to connect with Tayo
  • Final words of advice 
  • Making time for travel
  • The joy of starting off small and staying local.
Social Media
Instagram: @the5to9traveller 
Twitter: @5to9traveller 
Facebook: The Five to Nine Traveller 
Aug 4, 2022
During this episode, I reflect back on the final 6 months of 2021 and the beginning of 2022.
I really enjoy doing the solo reflection episodes as it is an opportunity to look back on what's been achieved and where we currently are at the moment with regards to the Tough Girl Podcast, what I'm doing personally and where I expect to see the business go over the following 6 to 12 months. 
It also gives me an opportunity to answer any questions that patrons or members of the Tough Girl Tribe have.
During this episode I talk more about the Wales Coast Path and go into detail about money. How I afford to travel and go on adventures.
I also share more about my future plans which will be taking place in 2022 and what I hope will happen in 2023 
I hope you enjoy this episode. 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. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show notes
  • Welcome to the episode
  • What this episode is about
  • Where I am at the moment
  • What you can expect
  • Why I do these episodes 
  • Bringing you on the journey with me
  • Being committed to the journey
  • What’s been going on
  • Stats from the Tough Girl Podcast - Aug 2021
  • October 2021 - 28,000 downloads
  • What am I doing wrong, how can I improve
  • 2021 - Average of 45k - 50k per month
  • January 2022 - 90,753 downloads in 1 month
  • 2022 - Average of 77K per month
  • Hitting 2 million downloads 2nd Feb 2022
  • Working with Playstation and Glamour Magazine
  • What happened in March 2022 - Inov-8 and the March Daily Mile challenge, Sky Sports - International Women’s Day
  • New challenge with cicerone - Wales Coast Path in 2022 in 50 days
  • Having a structure and having a plan 
  • What happened in Aug 2021 - December 2021
  • Reflecting back on the Tough Girl UK Adventure Series 
  • Celebrating my 40th Birthday and visiting the tough girl mural in Liverpool
  • Special Birthday episode with Zoe Langley Wathern - Why so many women are scared to adventure and recognising our female role models with Sarah Williams  
  • Doing the Great Glen Way in a day - 77 miles in 2 days
  • 40 miles to celebrate my 40th - Youtube vlog - 
  • Figuring out how to edit my adventures vlogs and working with a new editor
  • Finding an editor - splitting the Tough Girl Youtube Revenue Split
  • Working with Sharon in New Zealand - @freewheelingkiwi 
  • Working with Georgia in Scotland @georgia.mercedes and Katy from the UK @tinytealtrekker
  • Wanting to walk the PCT and vlog it at the same time. Trying to figuring out how to do it….
  • Oct/Nov/Dec 2021 - Recording and editing podcasts 
  • Christmas 2021 and getting covid.
  • March 2022 - Sports Podcasts Awards - Winner Best Urban and Adventure Podcast 2022 - winner by public vote
  • Outdoor Expo in Birmingham - highly recommend
  • Walking with Arry Berresford Webb on the first day of the Wales Coast Path - starting in Chester
  • Where are the public toilet in Chester?!
  • Question from Dan re the Wales Coast Path
  • Climbing Aconcagua January 2013
  • The Altitude Centre London - Mountaineering Consultation
  • What do I want to do for the next 6 months - not having any plans 
  • Not having a plan and feeling unsettled
  • Dealing with uncertainty and focusing on fitness
  • Having a nephew in November - spending 3/4 months in Australia
  • Working with Inov-8 in 2023 #MarchDailyMile Challenge 
  • Doing an adventure with Adelaide Goodeve - helping to celebrate her 30th Birthday
  • The Outer Hebrides - 156 miles - vlogging the challenge
  • Doing an adventure with Gemma for 2 weeks in October
  • What does the next few months look like….
  • PCT - SOBO July - November 2023
  • Talking about money - Question from Franny
  • Having a safety net and being privileged
  • Financial worries….
  • Not making money 
  • Starting on Patreon in 2017
  • Not spending money at home
  • Costs of adventures and how I pay for them
  • “Feeling trapped”
  • What do you want your life to look like
  • Journal and ask yourself the simple questions
  • What can I be grateful for?
  • What are the little changes you can make
  • Focus on what you can control
  • Updates from the last episode - DProf, Women’s Adventure Institute, Yin Yoga Qualification
  • Project 7 - soft launch 7th August 2022
  • Any questions please do reach out or DM me on Instagram
  • THANK YOU for all your support
  • 1,000 episodes and 3 million downloads in 2023
  • Driving change and wanting to make a difference
Social Media
Instagram @toughgirlchallenges
Twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
Take a listen to the previous solo reflections episodes 
4th Aug 2021 - Sarah Williams - Reflects on the end of 2020 and the start of 2021
7th Aug 2020 - Sarah Williams - Reflections on 2019 & and the start of 2020. 
4th Aug 2019 - Reflections on 2018 and the start of 2019. Plus plans for Tough Girl Challenges. 
30th Dec 2017 - Reflecting on 2017 and the plans for 2018 
30th Dec 2016 - Reflections for 2016 & Plans for 2017
Aug 4, 2022
Abby in her own words:
“Growing up, the outdoors wasn't a place I spent much time, unless you count doing all nighters in the park guzzling Bacardi Breezers and shivering into my Jane Norman parka as a teenager.
It wasn't a place I felt I belonged. I hated exercise and actively avoided it at all costs, so much so, I'd hide in the showers to bunk PE lessons.
During lockdown, my dad gave me his 23 year old mountain bike and I set myself a challenge to cycle the distance from John O' Groats to Lands End around my hometown to keep myself from melting into the sofa.
I LOVED it! I felt strong and alive as I whooshed through the isolated streets. Is this what it felt like to enjoy exercise? Had I finally found 'my sport’? 300 miles in, I discovered an enormous Ovarian Tumour. 
2 weeks later I was having surgery and my virtual cycle adventure was paused.
The tumour turned out to be a rare form of Ovarian Cancer. I was lucky, it hadn’t spread to other organs which meant surgery was all I needed, however, I discovered the dire stats surrounding Ovarian Cancer and feeling lucky to be alive, I wanted to do something to raise awareness and vital funds for the disease.
I decided to cycle John O' Groats to Lands End for real, but this time, I'd make it as fun and spicy as possible. I strapped my gear to the bike and headed for an off road route following GB Divide and Great North Trail. I’d be camping most nights and carrying everything I needed.
I didn’t train, I didn’t even cycle much before I left, I just had blind faith that if I pedalled one foot at a time I’d eventually get there.”
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. 
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Abby in her own words
  • Growing up in a non-sporty family
  • Her teenage years
  • Hating all sports but enjoy skiing
  • Started climbing in Northumberland
  • Climbing and hiking with her ex
  • Spending a month in Grampians National Park
  • Breaking up with her ex and going out on her own
  • Plans to go together to Hampi in India
  • Being uncomfortable going out by herself
  • Driving a camper van to the North Island and South Island for two months
  • Back to working in the events industry
  • Wanting to do more
  • Feeling uncomfortable being seen as a climber
  • Pushing through the fear
  • GB Divide - her first ever bike packing trip
  • Cycling as a kid
  • Deciding to cycle from John o'Groats to Land's End
  • Discovering a big tumour in her ovary
  • Not having any symptoms aside from bloating
  • Finding out about her cancer at the start of COVID
  • Being isolated alone before surgery
  • Fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Action
  • Why is she raising funds for Ovarian Cancer Action
  • Getting support from her mum after her surgery
  • When did she decide to give back
  • Being unable to engage in any activities for six weeks
  • Missing the bike ride around her area
  • Feeling lucky despite going through a traumatic period
  • More details about GB Divide and how she learned about this challenge
  • Taking on the challenge on her father's old mountain bike
  • Borrowing and purchasing necessary equipment
  • Planning the cycle challenge
  • Procrastinating and panicking about being unprepared
  • Getting fit as she goes
  • Driving with her friends from Edinburgh to John O'Groats
  • Getting nervous and figuring out things as she goes
  • Her first night of the challenge
  • Enjoying cycling and feeling proud
  • Staying in Scotland
  • Doing the Cairnwell Pass
  • Being able to do 580 miles on the trail
  • Learned lessons that she can apply to the second half of the challenge
  • Having knee pain
  • Having no knowledge about nutrition
  • Where did @adventure_logistics_queen come from
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Aug 4, 2022

Nirjala, the "Mountain Queen," was born in Kumari Pati in Kathmandu, Nepal. Nirjala is one of two children, with a younger brother who is a keen road biker. Nirjala started out in her late teens as a professional model. For this career, she was required to keep fit, and it was through going to the gym that she got into first bodybuilding and then cycling.

In 2001, some friends suggested she try her luck in a mountain bike race, The Himalayan Mountain Bike Race Series, and she won the National Women's Category. This proved to be her inspiration to leave modelling and pursue a professional career as a cyclist for the Nepal National Team.

Nirjala's rise to fame and to working as a professional athlete for the Nepal National Team was beset by the difficulty that arose from the patriarchy-based society in which she grew up. Although she competed at a national and international level and at a higher level than the majority of Nepalese male riders, she was marginalized by her own national cycling association, which found sponsors and endorsements for her male counterparts. Despite this, she continued and found her own sponsors (like Qoroz Professional Titanium Bikes).

Nirjala's Notable Achievements:

  • First Nepalese Woman to cycle 22 days from Lhasa (Tibet) to Everest Base Camp (North) to Kathmandu (Nepal)
  • First female to Win (2 times) the Highest Altitude, Endurance race in the World, "The Yak Attack"
  • First Nepalese Female to win a cycle race in the UK
  • First Nepalese Cycle Athlete to compete in a UCI World Cup Finals
  • First Nepalese Cycle Athlete to compete in South Asian Games
  • First Nepalese Woman to complete a cycle race of the Annapurna Circuit
  • Recipient of the - "Tamrakar Award Fund" - Ugrachandi Award (Nepal)
  • Participated in the mountain biking competition at the 16th Asian Games in China in November 2010

She is now a keynote speaker and role model for young women in Nepal and all over the world who have grown up in oppressive societies but dream of being recognized for their sports and achievements. The British writer Jane Nobel Knight wrote a book titled "The Inspiring Journeys of Pilgrim Mothers" and included a chapter on Nirjala's struggle and eventual success in her field.

Nirjala is now married to her British husband, Daniel Wright, and has a son, Percy, and a daughter, Aurora. She is also a respected Mandala Artist (3-time Nepal National, Street Mandala Winner) and holds a Masters in Business Studies (MBS).

Nirjala recently completed her 10km swim race on 9th July in 5 hours, organized by MediaCity UK Swim Challenge.

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Learn more by visiting . Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Nirjala
  • Her passion for sports and fitness
  • Wanting to do more challenging things in her life
  • Her life in Nepal
  • Being sent to a very academic school
  • Her role as a girl in her household
  • Her destiny in life 
  • Trying to make her parents happy
  • Doing all the household chores from a young age
  • Her teenage years and realising that she wanted more from life
  • Getting into physical exercise, starting with yoga and then onto cycling
  • Winning her first mountain bike race
  • Meeting like minded people who enjoyed mountain biking
  • How winning the race changed her life
  • Not having the proper gear 
  • Feeling like somebody
  • Not knowing what she needed to do to get to number 1 in the sport
  • The next step in her journey 
  • Taking part in all the mountain biking races, while studying and working
  • Wanting to know how she compared to other athletes around the world
  • Wanting to compete with the best mountain biking athletes in the world
  • Getting the opportunity to race for 10 days in Northern India in 2009
  • Starting to win the international races
  • The challenges she’s faced, from getting gear to finding sponsorship
  • Racing for no prize money 
  • Funding her life and the financial struggle
  • Racing in the World Cup in France
  • The struggle of having to do everything by herself
  • Facing a very technical route
  • Having children and getting back on to the bike again
  • Moving to the UK 
  • Dealing with the cold lake water
  • Signing up for her first triathlon 
  • Dealing with pre race anxiety
  • The women who have inspired Nirjala
  • If you can dream big you can make it possible
  • Connect with Nirjala on Facebook
Social Media
Aug 4, 2022

Parvinder was doing well until she was 22, when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and ended up needing a wheelchair.

Despite her physical challenges, Parvinder has never let them stop her from pursuing her dreams to travel and to see the world.

At 38, she decided to follow her passions and became a solo traveller. While travelling she has undertaken numerous adventure activities from paragliding in Taiwan, snorkelling in Australia, parasailing and kayaking in Udupi, and zip-lining in Ecuador, South America.

At 52, Parvinder has now explored 59 countries and she’s not planning on stopping anytime soon.

For Parvinder, there are many lovely experiences and stories that she would like to share with the world and if she could inspire even one person, it would make her really happy.

Parvinder in her own words:

“I have been travelling solo for more than a decade using my wheelchair. I have a small budget and aim to use public transport and hostels where ever wheelchair friendly. In 2020 and 2021 I drove my car from Bombay to Delhi and then from Bombay to Kanyakumari.”

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Show Notes

  • Who is Parvinder in her own words
  • Not considering herself old
  • Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 15
  • Going through severe pain
  • Her love for all kinds of sports
  • Having a lot of faith in God
  • Being bedridden for 5 years
  • Taking herbal medicine
  • Getting onto a manual wheelchair
  • How her love for travel started
  • Wanting to travel on a budget
  • Being refused to travel without a companion
  • Life changes after receiving an automated wheelchair as a gift
  • Being on her own and being able to go wherever she wants
  • Going to Hong Kong with a friend
  • Deciding to travel to Bali alone
  • Getting herself a cheap flight and a budgeted hotel
  • Getting help from people wherever she goes
  • Encountered challenges while travelling alone in a wheelchair
  • Having faith and being fearless
  • Learned lessons from her trip to China
  • Magical moments while travelling to 59 countries
  • Travelling by bus and metro and staying in hostels
  • Getting into full detail about her time in China
  • Making travel videos to share and inspire others during lockdown
  • Getting used to highway driving
  • Driving from Mumbai to Delhi
  • Driving around nature and being closer to it
  • 2020 as the best year for her and many people
  • Not earning money from social media
  • Wheelchair-friendly places
  • Advice and tips for people in wheelchairs and solo travellers


Social Media
Instagram @wheelchairandeye 
Facebook @PammuParvinderChawla 
Youtube @wheelchairandeye 
Aug 4, 2022
Rebecca in her own words:
“First and foremost, I’m a mum of 5. However, I’ve always maintained and embraced sport throughout pregnancies and parenting. 
My love of the outdoors and especially running, was instilled in me from an early age having grown up with a very sporty family. Many holiday was spent walking and camping in Scotland
I started running, ballet and horse riding at a very early age. I grew up in a small village in the north and if I wanted to see friends I’d walk, run, ride a bike or pony ! 
It wasn’t really until 2014 that the ultra endurance big kicked in with full effect ! I wanted a new, bigger challenge to raise money for a charity which had helped me during one of my pregnancies. I’d heard about a brutal desert race ( the infamous Marathon Des Sables ) and decided that this would be a great challenge. 
It’s from here that the endurance bug really kicked in. I finished a respectable 10th lady on my first big challenge. What’s better is that I’d found this incredible community of like minded people who loved being outside and running for hours on end ! 
I competed globally racing in Colorado, Himalayas, Spain, France - picking up the occasional podium on my travels. 
Yet, it was the mountains which really set my heart on fire. Racing in the Himalayas, I’d often seen this beautiful mountain called ‘Ama Dablam’. I’d think to myself how wonderful it would be to climb it but I’d been told it was for really accomplished climbers only. 
It is a technical mountain. Unperturbed, I decided ‘why not try?!’ 
A running friend put me in touch with his climbing friend and we worked together last year climbing in Wales - around the lockdown. 
I summited Ama almost a year ago and from there, a love of high altitude mountain climbing was ignited. 
To find myself completing the Everest and Lhotse ‘High Double’ at the beginning of the season and then to summit K2’ was simply a dream!”
Learn more about Rebecca and her love and passion for the outdoors. 
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You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Becks
  • Being adopted and coming from a sporty family 
  • Growing up in North Yorkshire on a farm/small holding
  • Having sport parents
  • Being encouraged to go outside and try new things
  • Spending a lot of time with her dad 
  • Exploring in the Peak District
  • Spending 2 months in Australia at 15
  • Being active through her teenage years
  • Her running journey 
  • Looking for a running challenge in 2014
  • Running the Marathon des Sables (MDS) in 2015 
  • Being told that it was a stupid idea
  • Getting into the ultra running world
  • Making great friends in the community
  • Training by herself 
  • Getting to know ultra runner (and previous Tough Girl Podcast guest - 29th December 2015) - Elisabet Barnes 
  • Continuing to push herself with endurance challenges
  • Running the Everest Trail Race, Nepal (2017)
  • Feeling comfortable in the hills
  • Being inspired by Ama Dablam (6,812 metres (22,349 ft)) and wanting to climb it
  • Reducing her risk of injury, doing cross training, stretching, pilates, and gym work
  • How the body performs during a multi-stage ultra race
  • Nutrition and fuelling
  • Making the transition from endurance running to mountain climbing
  • Working with a high altitude expedition guide - Jon Gupta 
  • Climbing Island Peak and Ama Dablam in Nepal
  • Having the capacity to endure and keep going
  • Going with the flow and wanting to do the things that she enjoys
  • Preferring the quieter mountains
  • Having the adventure blues after the MDS
  • Adjusting back to normal life after expeditions
  • Living in the present and making the most of everyday 
  • How adventures and challenges can evolve
  • Climbing for 3 months in Nepal (Everest, Lhotse (4th highest mountains in the world at 8,516 metres) & K2)
  • Wanting to climb an 8,000 peak mountain and thinking about the “high double”
  • Not summiting Makalu (5th highest mountain in the world at 8,485 metres) and the lessons learned 
  • Struggling on the mountain and not feeling very well
  • Summit night arriving at camp 3 and dealing with too much wind and snow and having to head back down
  • Feeling proud of her achievement and never giving up
  • Why it’s more than just the summit
  • Her children’s thoughts on her climbing
  • Having a birthday on the mountain
  • K2 - “the savage mountain”
  • Being aware of the danger
  • Using oxygen 
  • Being able to move quicker on the mountain and the benefits
  • Feeling grateful in having the opportunity to climb such an incredible mountain
Social Media
Instagram: @becksferry 
Aug 3, 2022
It's always fantastic to speak about my adventures. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Hannah for Cicerone’s podcast.
I am also sharing this episode on my platform as well just in case you haven't had the opportunity to listen to it yet. 
Cicerone’s podcast is called - 'Footnotes' which is a podcast to inspire you about outdoor travel and activities in the UK and across the world. Through conversations with their guidebook authors, team members and other outdoor experts, the podcast offers plenty of inspiration and advice about exploring the outdoors. Whether you're an established long distance-trekker or have just rediscovered a love of walking or cycling, listen in to discover your next outdoor adventure.
I am on episode #49.
“In this episode, Hannah is joined by Sarah Williams of Tough Girl Challenges to talk about her experiences walking the entire Wales Coast Path in only 50 days.
The Wales Coast Path is 1,400km (870 miles) along the length of Wales from Chester to Chepstow, including Anglesey. The route passes through the Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire National Parks and many AONBs and can be linked with the Offa's Dyke Path for a complete circuit of Wales. You can find out more about the Wales Coast Path here.
If you'd like to walk the Wales Coast Path yourself, you can find Paddy Dillon's Cicerone guidebook here, and when you use the code "WALESLIVE25" at the Cicerone checkout, you'll receive 25% off all of our Wales guidebooks.”
Show notes
  • Doing the Wales Coast Path challenge
  • More details about the Wales Coast Path
  • Taking on the challenge in 50 days
  • Difference between fast-packing and walking
  • Being joined by Arry Beresford Webb
  • Walking, wild camping, and keeping stats
  • Talking about paid and gifted accommodation
  • Having stress-filled days
  • Finding people's kindness
  • Walking with Alex Mason
  • More on her wild camping experience
  • Her encounters with cows and dogs
  • Seeing interesting wildlife
  • Walking with Abbie Barnes of Spend More Time In The WILD
  • Challenging weather in Wales
  • Amazing sculptures in England
  • Getting to know more about Wales as a country
  • Walking the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path in 2021
  • Having many places to visit and explore
  • Talking about the guidebook author, Paddy Dillon
  • Speaking with Laura Kennington
  • The Wales Coast Path Guidebook
Social Media - Cicerone #ChallengeWithCicerone
Facebook Group - Cicerone Connect 
Sign up for the Cicerone newsletter to keep up to date with their news, events and guidebooks. 
Aug 2, 2022

An African-American from a family of modest means, Bonnie became an amputee at age five. Against tremendous odds, she used imagination and determination to push past the limitations of disability and win a silver and two bronze medals in downhill skiing in the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. As the first African-American to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in skiing, she has been honoured at the White House during the annual Black History Month Celebration.

More than an Olympic skier, Bonnie's other accomplishments include an honours degree from Harvard, a Rhodes scholarship, multiple awards for her innovations as an IBM sales rep, and a position on the White House National Economic Council. President Obama named her to represent the US in delegations to both the Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver and the Summer Paralympics in Rio.

NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.”  She has also been featured on the Today Show, CNN, and The Montel Williams Show.  In addition, the nation's leading publications, such as the New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Essence, and People Magazine have profiled Bonnie and noted her extraordinary achievements.

Drawing on her unique experience, analyses, and signature brands of resilience and inclusion, Bonnie St. John established Blue Circle Leadership with the mission to equip professionals with research based, rigorously tested, easily actionable tools and techniques that directly improve bottom-line business results.

Now, Bonnie focuses on bringing out the best in others through executive coaching and motivational speaking for corporations and associations, as well as writing books and articles.

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

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Show Notes
  • Who is Bonnie 
  • Some of the challenges Bonnie has faced becoming a ski racer
  • Getting into skiing at a young age
  • Having an amputation when she was 5 years old
  • Learning to ski on one leg
  • Training hard and qualifying for the Paralympics 
  • Competing in the 1984 Winter Paralympics in Austria
  • Dealing with a lack of snow
  • Was it life changing winning medals
  • Being picked as a Rhode Scholar
  • Learning to work with the press
  • Taking a year off from Harvard
  • Going to Oxford University for 4 years 
  • Working for IBM and working for President Clinton at the White House
  • Starting to focus on leadership development
  • Leadership for women
  • Having confidence 
  • Writing with her husband
  • Having to prove herself over and over again
  • Book: Live Your Joy 
  • Smiling through the challenges
  • How have things changed over the past 30 years
  • The rise of Trumpism and the increase in animosity 
  • Self care and making sure to make it at a priority 
  • The downside of socials media 
  • The power of polarising views
  • Trying to be seen and heard
  • Building resilience and embracing success
  • Focusing on micro-resilience
  • Why resilience doesn’t have to be big things
  • The biggest challenge is incorporating it into your life
  • Day to day routine and what that looks like
  • If you were to give a TED Talk…
  • Ted Talk - Be More Resilient with a FIRST AID KIT FOR YOUR ATTITUDE!  
  • Building your own “first aid kit”
  • Making a choice and the silence behind it - Martin Seligman
  • I choose to….
  • The importance of sharing what’s in your “first aid kit”
  • Figuring out what type of support you need in challenging situations
  • From training to failure to - training to growth
  • The power of your words
  • Reframing things - a great side and a good side
  • How you can connect with Bonnie
  • Blue Circle Leadership
  • Final words of wisdom from Bonnie
  • Learning to get up when you fall down
  • Get back into the race
Social Media
Leadership - 
Facebook @bonniestjohn 
Twitter @bonniestjohn 
Listen to the Straight Up Podcast: 
Jul 26, 2022
Tori is perhaps best-known as the first woman and first American to row a boat solo across the Atlantic Ocean, having accomplished the feat in 1999 after 81 days at sea. 
A decade earlier, she became the first woman and first American to ski to the geographic South Pole during a 50-day, 750-mile expedition.
Tori is author of the memoir, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean, which details her life and journey across the Atlantic. 
The book is the basis of a stage musical, called, Row, which made its world premiere at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in the summer of 2021.
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. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Tori
  • Growing up all over the east coast of the United States
  • Spending a lot of time outside as a kid
  • Having an intellectually disabled brother
  • Bullying that she and her brother experienced in the past
  • Going to Smith Collage and playing basketball
  • Meeting Rita Benson who had been at Smith since World War II
  • Learning to row and to ski
  • Skiing to the South Pole a few years later
  • Getting a degree in psychology
  • Working in the National Outdoor Leadership School in Alaska
  • Ending up at Harvard Divinity School
  • More details about her skiing journey
  • Falling in love with travelling in a very remote country
  • Applying for the expedition team to the South Pole at the age of 24
  • The 750-mile journey across Antarctica
  • Psychological challenges she experienced
  • Being the first woman and the first American to reach the Geographic South Pole
  • Having a cassette recorder and cassette tapes
    Solitude as the biggest challenge for them
  • Talking more about Harvard Divinity School
  • Wholeness in seeing nature
  • Changes to her after the challenges and adventures
  • Finishing Divinity School and returning to Louisville, Kentucky,
  • Working with homeless people in Boston
  • Going to law school
  • Working for the mayor of Louisville
  • Training rowing for the Olympic team
  • Being too slow to make the Olympic team
  • Signing up to do the Atlantic rowing race
  • Being asked by a sponsor if she would consider rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Getting into more detail about the sponsorship in 1998
  • Being hit by the hurricane Danielle
  • Hurricanes Dania and Earl
  • Having an overwhelming sense of failure
  • Spending almost a year working for Muhammad Ali
    Creating the Muhammad Ali Center
  • Being lifted up by Muhammad when she was broken
  • The difference between having a growth mindset and a fixed mindset
  • “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
  • Her fears on her second journey
  • Hurricane Lenny - first hurricane in recorded history to travel 1000 miles west-east
  • Getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere for weeks
  • Her book: A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean
  • Meeting and falling in love with her husband, Mac McClure
  • Adventures in her life at the moment
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram: @torimurden

Twitter: @toriposu
Book -  A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean 
Jul 19, 2022
Claire in her own words:
“I have always been a highly motivated person, but when I was younger, I was highly motivated to self destruct! 
Over the last ten years, I have learnt how to use my drive, ambition and general craziness for a better purpose. I completed my first marathon, Ironman and then Double Ironman... Many more ultra triathlons followed and also, Brutal Events was born.
I will be honest and admit I have struggled with addiction (and the depression and self-esteem issues that come with it), but almost eight years ago, I finally turned my life around and have not looked back since.  Of all my achievements, this is what I am most proud of, but it’s the one I don’t speak about. Well, until now…
I often get asked why I do the ultra endurance stuff, and I guess I love the fact that you can do anything if you train well and really want it. 
In other news, I am a mum of two children (that aren’t kids anymore), a graphic/website designer, a writer, and I also run Brutal Events -"
  • Content Warning - I’ve marked the episode as explicit as we do talk about weight and disordered eating. We don’t go into specifics but it is mentioned. 
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. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show Notes
  • Who Claire is in her own words
  • Setting up her business Brutal Events
  • Writing and publishing books
  • Moving back to Bournemouth from Hereford
  • Getting a bit more rebellious
  • Doing her own thing at school
  • Starting to run at 20
  • Challenges she faced as a single parent
  • Completing her first half marathon
  • Meeting her husband
  • Having no idea what Ironman is but wanting to participate
  • Not having a bike and being unable to swim
  • Splitting up with her husband
  • Getting a tattoo
  • Keeping friends with her ex-husband
  • Completing the Double Ironman
  • How important is it for her to complete the Ironman
  • Her Double Ironman finishing experience
  • Not working with coaches
  • How she balances training with two kids
  • Managing the pain from her ongoing injuries
  • Having Hyperlordosis
  • Focusing on her routines and plans
  • Things that help her manage her pain
  • Feeling like giving up
  • How and why did she keep going
  • Training for the Arch to Arc Triathlon
  • How she feels about the challenge
  • Being on the right track after 13 years
  • Struggling with panic attacks
  • Managing her stress and anxiety
  • What causes her panic attacks in the water and swimming through it
  • How much does it cost her to do this challenge
  • A big bag of crisps and Netflix
  • Being addicted to sugar
  • Having to eat more than she wants to gain weight
  • Needing to step away from junk food and eat better food
  • Struggling with an eating disorder and monitoring herself against it
  • Writing her book, Becoming Brutal
  • Getting into more detail about Brutal Events
  • Doing the Snowdonia marathon
  • Where does "brutal" come from
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram: @brutalclaire 
Facebook: @brutalclaire
Jul 12, 2022

Anisa Aubin, from Reading and Wokingham Cycling clubs, is an experienced ultra cyclist who has completed well know challenging events such as the Transcontinental Race (TCR) and Transatlantic way (TAW).

In 2020 she was one of 20 people who set off in the midst of a global pandemic to complete a different, rigorous format of the GBDURO adventure challenge where only 5 people finished.

The GBDURO20 required riders to be completely self-sufficient from start to finish while cycling the length of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats. They could receive no supplies or assistance whatsoever for the duration of the ride. With the exception of publicly available water outside, riders carried everything they needed to be able to reach the finish.

Anisa in her own words:

“I started cycling with the goal of riding a 4,000km ride for charity, and then realised there was a lot more to learn for the journey, about the bike, the training, and myself (mind and body).

I learned from everyone around me; at the local bike kitchen, on club rides, and from Audaxers. My introduction to long distance cycling started with the Transcontinental, followed by the North-cape Norway to Tarifa Spain, the Transatlantic way, and the Paris–Brest–Paris (PBP).

Eventually, I started dabbling in off-road and when the pandemic hit and GBDURO (self-sufficient) was the only event option I took the opportunity to see what was possible.

I want to see more people encouraged to try new things, and not let other peoples perceptions of what you should be capable of stand in your way.”

During this episode Anisa shares more about her passion for cycling, what it’s like being on the bike day to day, plus how her body copes with these challenges when she’s being pushed to her limits.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. 
Sign up as a Patron: Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Anisa
  • Being based in the UK
  • Growing up in Africa
  • Studying for her PhD
  • Her love for the outdoors and passion for cycling
  • Her cycling journey which started 4/5 years ago
  • Being inspired by her cousins who rode the Tour Divide 
  • Wanting to raise money for a Children’s Home
  • Deciding to get a road bike to learn the skills
  • Learning about the Transcontinental Race (TCR) and signing up for it
  • What is the Transcontinental Race
  • Being solo and having to look after yourself
  • Taking 15/16 days the first time doing the race
  • Magical moments from the TCR and falling in love with the bike
  • Learning more about herself from spending time alone in nature
  • Not knowing if it was possible to get to the end
  • Deciding to do the race again and why it was an accident
  • Having 24hrs to prepare before the race
  • Her experience the 2nd time around
  • Being able to relax once the race started
  • What a typical day looks like while out racing 
  • How her body copes with the physicality of riding hard every day
  • Recovering after the races and starting to take more rest
  • Losing small motor function in her hands 
  • Doing the GBDURO Adventure Challenge 2020 during Covid
  • Riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats (2,000km) and the challenges she dealt with
  • Being so focused that she doesn’t remember the weather
  • What cycling looks like now and how it fits into her lifestyle
  • How many bikes?!
  • Getting into rowing and working with a rowing coach
  • Being active everyday
  • Being a mentor to other cyclists 
  • The Ultra Distance Scholarship
  • Being inspired by Carla Molinaro 
  • The divide between the mental and physical side of the challenge
  • Top tips for mental toughness and resilience 
  • Plans for 2022 - rowing, hiking and plans for walking the Camino
  • Planning some smaller UK walks
  • Connect with Anisa on the socials 
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Instagram @anaubie
Facebook: @DreamRiderAnisa
Jul 5, 2022
Susanne in her own words:
“I think we have become dangerously complacent about referring to how we are disconnected from nature. 
Actually, we are inescapably connected to nature. 
For every single breath we rely on plants doing the photosynthetic work that also yields oxygen for us to breath, and half of that work is done by ocean dwelling microscopic plants.  
When you start looking into agricultural products you see how dependent these outputs are on rain cycles and aquifers. Marine bioprospecting is a frontier of hope in finding non-addictive treatments for chronic pain and novel chemicals for treating cancer.  
The deeper you dive the more connections you find between people and wild species. 
Perhaps I am more aware of the reliance we have on wild species because of my research on wildlife trade at Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Seeing the work of my academic peers who also look at supply chains feeding markets for products derived from wild species shows that wildlife trade spans both the earth and the phylogenetic tree of life far beyond the niche of wildlife trade that I work on (edible orchids). 
The problem is we are connected to nature, but we loose sight of that connection.
This is coupled with barriers in being able to commune with nature including public wildlife areas being difficult to reach by public transport, terrain presenting physical challenges, and social challenges to people being allowed to feel comfortable, safe, and welcome in outdoor spaces.  
Biodiversity and ecological illiteracy are additional limitations. 
So when I write about people outdoors or wildlife it feels more like introducing the reader to an entity—a landscape or a species— that they might consume in products they buy or forage, and that they might see when they are out and about.  
I love being out in wilderness. But I am particularly interested in nature that is easier to find—wild species hidden in products that appear on supermarket shelves, wildlife that inhabits cities, creeps along canal paths, or inhabits shorelines where you can find it without needing a boat or dive gear.”
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Show notes
  • Who Susanne is in her own words
  • What she does
  • Loving the outdoors, nature and wildlife
  • Studying and her progress as a scientist
  • Doing biology, chemistry, geography, physics and English literature
  • Choosing a degree as a teenager
  • Volunteering in the mental health service while at university
  • Moving to London
  • Working in mental health and substance misuse support services
  • Always having more interest in plants
  • Doing taxonomy studies on the side
  • Getting into more detail about taxonomy
  • Doing an 8-month journey around England, Wales, and Scotland in a campervan
  • Realising that knowing things about plants could be a job
  • Getting a Master's degree in Ethnobotany
  • Interviewing people about the plants they use for homebrew
  • Recognising how people connect with wild landscapes
  • Making her own homebrew
  • How she enjoys outdoor swimming
  • Having a dog around her
  • Moving to Bournemouth
  • Swimming at high altitude in Bhutan
  • Learning and understanding how the body works
  • Attending a big science conference in Bhutan - The International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE)
  • Hiking in Bumthang Valley
  • Her book: Wild Waters: A wildlife and water lover's companion to the aquatic world
  • Meeting and working with Alice Goodridge
  • Continuing swimming all throughout the year
  • Her plans for 2022 and 2023
  • Planning to finish her PhD next year
  • Having a sister with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Looking after her niece along with her mom and dad
  • Doing a PhD on the International Trade in orchids
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram: @mastersmiss 
Twitter: @Ethnobotanica  
Jun 28, 2022
Kelda started her sporting career playing netball at a national level as a teenager. Sport very quickly became the thing that defined who she was and the person she wanted to be. Her real passion lay with horses and her ultimate goal was to ride for her country and represent Great Britain at the Olympics. 

Unfortunately, after a serious leg injury in 2002, Kelda’s hopes of competing at an international level seemed to have disappeared. The leg injury had a huge impact on her life, leaving her no longer able to run or play many of the sports that meant so much to her. This had a huge impact on her confidence and self-belief, and she spent nearly 10years fighting to accept who she was. 

In 2002 she decided to climb Kilimanjaro, and this proved to be the start of a new direction in life. She returned and began retraining as an outdoor instructor. As a result of the dramatic effect the outdoors had on her own mental and physical recovery, Kelda decided she wanted to help others facing similar challenges to herself, and this led her to set up the charity Climbing Out.
Kelda went on to represent Great Britain in Paracanoe and competed at the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World Championships. The ultimate goal was the Rio Paralympics.
Unfortunately she just missed out on selection for Rio, but she went on to join an Adaptive Team attempting to climb Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America at 7,000m. 
On the 19th January 2017 she became the first recorded adaptive female to summit the mountain.
In summiting, Kelda found many of the answers she’d been searching for since her injury and this inspired her to attempt a solo row of the Atlantic. After 76 days unsupported at sea, Kelda became the first adaptive person to ever solo row any ocean.
But the challenges didn’t stop there. 12 months ago Kelda was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to set herself the goal of completing a triathlon as motivation to push through her recovery. 
She completed her first triathlon just 4 months post mastectomy and went on to complete 2 further triathlons last year, including the Snowman Triathlon, known for being the toughest triathlon in the country. She now has her sights set on completing a half ironman in 2022.
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Show Notes
  • Who is Kelda
  • Being based in Shropshire 
  • Her 4 legged family
  • Her early years and her passions for sports 
  • Playing netball at a national level
  • Her dream of wanting to ride at the Olympics
  • Hanging around the local stables
  • Getting her first horse at 16
  • The riders who inspired her
  • Being in an accident with her horse
  • Dealing with the trauma after the accident
  • The start of her resilience journey at 21
  • Losing her confidence and going back to riding too soon
  • Moving away from horse and going travelling to Australia 
  • Getting into eventing and gaining her confidence
  • The accident that changed her life completely
  • Trying to be the person she was before the injury
  • Feeling like a failure
  • Learning acceptance 
  • Deciding to climb Kilimanjaro and why that was the start of her recovery
  • Not being able to get the mental health support that was needed
  • Table legs…. 
  • Video resources to help with resilience
  • Being dumped…
  • Lessons from climbing Kilimanjaro
  • Needing to change her attitude and focus more on what she could do
  • Deciding to retrain as an outdoor instructor
  • Figuring out how to get sport back in her life
  • Aiming for the para-olympics for 2016 
  • Meeting Martin Hewitt - Adaptive Grand Slam 
  • “It’s not about saying I can’t, it’s about saying how can I”
  • How can I make it possible to climb Aconcagua?
  • Figuring out the how
  • Advice for people who are feeling like a failure
  • The importance of being honest with yourself
  • Being brave enough to try
  • Being judged by people and why it doesn’t matter
  • Deciding to solo row the Atlantic
  • Finding peace on the mountain
  • Fundraising for Climbing Out and wanting to raise £50K
  • Advice regarding sponsorship
  • Being super clear on her WHY
  • 3 questions about the row
  • The challenge of the solitude while out on the row
  • The challenges of 2020/2021
  • Being diagnosed with cancer and having a single mastectomy
  • Wanting to get back to normal and feel like herself again
  • Getting back into exercise and following a routine again
  • Why you have to try
  • Training for 4 triathlons in 2022
  • Challenging the belief that she had that she couldn’t run
  • Swimming after a mastectomy
  • Doing an half Ironman in June 2022
  • Connect with Kelda
  • Final words of advice - Keep Moving
Social Media

Website: Climbing Out

Instagram: @kelda_wood

Facebook: @ClimbingOutCharity


Twitter: @ClimbingOut_


Jun 21, 2022
Mary-Ann is a broadcaster, anthropologist and lover of the outdoors. She mostly makes TV shows about archaeology and anthropology, and her work has taken her from yak herders' camps on the Tibetan plateau to the slums of Dhaka in Bangladesh, the deserts of Australia and crofters' cottages on the Scottish islands. 
She's currently pinned in one place (give or take) by two small children, and is working out ways to live an adventurous life with kids and a mortgage. 
Mary-Ann is also passionate about helping people from diverse backgrounds find outdoor adventures, and challenging the systems that mean access isn't equal for all. She's a hillwalking ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council, and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
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Show Notes
  • Who is Mary-Ann in her own words
  • Growing up in Cheshire loving outdoors
  • Learning and working with adults as a kid
  • Wanting to be a vet back then
  • How she got into Anthropology
  • Her first research as an Anthropologist
  • Challenges getting on adventures as a mum of two kids
  • Joining a 40-day expedition in the Simpson Desert in Australia
  • Making positive choices rather than missing out
  • Her role as the British Mountaineering Council's hillwalking ambassador
  • 'Finding Our Way' Podcast and what this is about
  • Celebrating people who are making a difference
  • Seeing Sarah Williams as a role model
  • Being inspired by Izzy Lynch and Tessa Treadway of Motherload
  • Getting into more detail about her role as a Royal Geographical Society fellow
  • Future challenges she would like to take on
  • Wanting to hike the Cape Wrath Trail
  • Her goal of travelling more in the east and west of Africa
  • Wishing to go on a long journey with horses
  • Spending time with the yak herders
  • Having deep connections with animals and landscapes
  • Biggest challenges she faced in her 20's
  • Budget and travel with confidence
  • Gender and safety
  • Final words or advice
Social Media
Instagram: @Maryannochota 
Twitter: @MaryAnnOchota 
Jun 14, 2022
Lael Wilcox is an ultra-endurance bike packer from Alaska. In racing, she’s excited to compete against the whole field and sometimes wins overall. She’s extremely motivated to encourage more women & girls to try bike packing. 
She organizes a girls cycling mentorship program, women’s adventure scholarships & bikepacking challenges.
Lael started bicycling in 2008 at age 20, when she and her partner decided to tour the world. Working stints to collect money, the two set out on a bicycle tour of over thirty countries. They started in North America, then traveled in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, logging over 100,000 miles.
Lael entered the Holyland Challenge, a 1000-mile unsupported race across Israel. She was both the youngest rider and the only woman. She led the race by 25 miles the first day, and although she did not win the race, she became hooked on endurance racing. 
In 2016, Lael participated in the 4,400 mile Trans Am Bike Race that crosses the United States from west to east. Lael averaged 235 miles per day for 18 days, averaging less than 5 hours of sleep per night and ending up winning the race outright.
In 2018, Lael became only the second female to complete Switzerland's Navad 1000 bikepacking race, finishing in second place. The race features 627 miles distance and 99,770 feet of climbing. Lael's race was commemorated in the film I'm Not Stopping produced by Rugile Kaladyte (who is now her wife!)
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Show notes
  • Who is Lael in her own words
  • What was it like to grow up in Alaska
  • Being obsessed with sports
  • Starting to cycle at 20
  • How her passion for bikes started
  • Her travel and biking journey in the Middle East
  • Talking about her first race
  • Getting a job as a bicycle taxi driver
  • Working in a restaurant
  • Saving up money and getting back on her bike
  • Not expecting bicycling as her lifestyle
  • Riding in the US, traveling to Europe, Africa, Middle East, etc.
  • Seeing more remote places and meeting interesting people
  • Expecting to go to medical school and become a doctor
  • Working hard organising girls scholarships and mentorship programs while doing another job
  • Feeling stressed out for about 3 years
  • Getting worried about not having enough time to do everything to live a healthy and happy life
  • Getting support from people within the industry
  • Talking about the 1400 km bike race in Israel
  • Taking on the challenge as a woman
  • Utilising only the equipment she has to win the race
  • "I didn't know I'd love it until I did it."
  • Why does she love bike packing
  • Riding the Tour Divide in 2015
  • Her breathing experience in the Tour Divide race
  • "I don't have to quit; the race will keep going, but I can just rest and see how I'm doing."
  • Becoming sick and being diagnosed with asthma while on the race
  • Finishing the race and breaking the women's record
  • Experiencing tough situations and how she deals with it
  • Recovering from exhaustion physically and mentally
  • What is Trans Am and its history
  • Road racing is not as easy as it seems
  • Sleeping in a sleeping pad or sleeping bag
  • Averaging 183 miles per day for the Tour Divide and 237 miles per day for 18 days for the Trans Am
  • Eating while on the race
  • Talking more about her bikes
  • Getting into detail about the film I'm Not Stopping
  • Meeting her wife Rugile Kaladyte
  • How Rue asked to marry her in 2020
  • Her wedding and how it felt
  • How she encourages girls to get into bike packing
  • Starting a program in Tucson in 2022
  • Hosting 2 women's bike packing challenges with Komoot
  • Hosting 3 women's scholarships
  • Final words of advice
  • "It doesn't have to be the biggest goal or the biggest achievement but start doing some part of it."
Social Media
Instagram: @laelwilcox
Jun 7, 2022
After leaving her entire life behind to escape an abusive relationship, Jillian found herself living in a tent in the woods. 
Confused, depressed and feeling a lack of control over emotions and herself, she learned of her diagnosis of PTSD. 
Refusing medication, she shifted PTSD to fuel her drive to connecting back to fitness, health, nature, adventure and herself. 
She is now particularly known for her niche of integrating her imagery and story telling in powerful presentations, offering healing and connection for others. 
She has also reframed her definition of PTSD  to  - Perseverance - Trust - Strength - Determination
In the past few years Jillian has pushed herself to achieve a world first: Paddling a tandem sea kayak down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and becoming the first Canadian to paddle across America; a journey of  over 6,500km completed in 150 days. This involved going through 16 states with 23 portages (carrying the kayak), including 675kms over the Great Divide, which she did on a broken foot.
“Nothing is placed in front of us, that we don’t have the strength to overcome. It’s just believing in ourselves enough.”
* Content Warning - Abusive relationships are discussed as well as PTSD - we don’t go into specific but it is mentioned and talked about. 
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Show notes
  • Who is Jillian
  • What does she do
  • Growing up and spending half of her life in Winnipeg
  • How did her love for the outdoors and nature start
  • Growing up in an island with her entire family
  • Discovering and finding their own hobbies and activities in the woods
  • Wanting to be a naturalist and being creative as a kid
  • Taking photos and having camera in hand since 10 years old
  • Making plans of going to specific school or university to study photography
  • Struggling in university studying fine arts
  • Getting into Prairieview School of Photography
  • Feeling stuck again after finishing the program
  • Returning to the island in northwestern Ontario to reconnect with nature
  • Falling inlove with the mountains and oceans
  • Packing up and driving to the west coast with her dog
  • Landing a photography job
  • Becoming a live-in nanny
  • Getting fitness while doing photography
  • Having a musher partner and friends
  • Starting their own team and a dog sledding company
  • Having an abusive relationship and leaving everything behind
  • Living in a tent in the woods with her dog for seven months
  • Living in the best home she could ever have that moment
  • Dealing with trauma
  • Becoming concerned about her negative thoughts
  • Meeting a counselor and being diagnosed with PTSD
  • Believing a counselor is not for her
  • Discovering her own healing tool out in nature
  • Having a supportive family
  • Doing  a solo roadtrip across Canada
  • Wanting to reconnect with her passions and family
  • Not opening up about her abusive relationship to her family
  • Writing an article published in the Canadian Women's Foundation
  • Talking about her solo travel experience
  • Having others inspired by her article and her story
  • Shifting her mindset around PTSD
  • "I've been able to basically utilise that kind of diagnosis and what we affiliate as a negative to be my fuel to accomplish goals and allow me to accept saying yes to things, new experiences, and push myself. I believe wholeheartedly that nothing is placed in front of us that we don't have the strength to overcome."
  • Perseverance, Trust, Strength, and Determination
  • Being a CEO and lead guide of a camp
  • Being able to share all of her knowledge to help others get through life's challenges
  • Becoming the first Canadian to paddle across America
  • How she started the journey with Jaime Sharp @jaimesharp_adventures
  • Her journey on paddling a tandem sea kayak through the Grand Canyon
  • Getting into more detail about paddling across America
  • Ending up paddling up solo on a trip
  • Needing a break...
  • Being mentally broken back then
  • Getting support from people and her sponsors
  • Why she decided to keep going
  • Sharing more experiences about her journey
  • Getting injured and how she recovered
  • Most valuable lessons she learned on her journey
  • Doing a 75-day expedition flipping a 400lbs. tire up to mountains with 60 lbs. of steel chains in 2021 to raise awareness to PTSD
  • Being stationed as Ecoguardian at Race Rocks
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
May 31, 2022
Donna (@fitfetishtri) 52, mother of one (27yrs). Recently completed Ironman Barcelona (Oct 3rd 2021) her first full distance endurance triathlon after being inspired to sign up by 10 Ironwomen, a group who are working to increase female participation in Ironman races. 

Donna was one of 194 women that took part in the event out of 1500 athletes. 
It was only her third triathlon event, she had also never run a marathon before. 
Learn more about Donna, her early years, her reasons for wanting to do an Ironman, her training, journey to the start line, lessons from the race as well as advice and tips to help you take on your next challenge.
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Show Notes
  • Who is Donna
  • Growing up in London
  • Always enjoy reading as a kid
  • Starting to think about her future career
  • Acquiring a journalism degree
  • Getting into fitness in her early 20s
  • Having no interest in running a marathon
  • Signing up for her first triathlon at 46
  • Aiming to always be fit
  • Riding and owning three bikes in her teenage years
  • More details about Ironman training
  • Doing online workouts and keeping herself positive to stay fit
  • Getting into the details about Ironman
  • Being inspired by 10IronWomen @10ironwomen
  • Signing up for Ironman Barcelona 2020 at the age of 50
  • Representing and encouraging women of colour
  • Her main concerns about the challenge
  • What is it like to be part of 10IronWomen
  • Becoming more driven by achieving the goal
  • Forming a training plan with the help of the book Be IronFit
  • More information on her preparation and training
  • Not wanting to skip a session
  • Personal challenges associated with menopause
  • Listening to podcasts to keep herself mentally healthy
  • Working on strengthening her mindset
  • Dealing with anxiety when in Barcelona
  • What it was like prior to the event
  • Being determined to complete the challenge
  • Looking back to when she was out on the course
  • Biggest challenges she experienced throughout the Ironman
  • Her reaction when she crossed the finish line
  • Wanting to do more cycling challenges
  • Planning to sign up for another 10IronWomen event in Barcelona in 2023
  • Other future challenges she wants to take on
  • The story behind her name "The Iron Empress"
  • Final words of advice
  • "Signing up for Ironman and pushing myself to the limit physically, has really shown me that I am capable of so much more."
Social Media
Instagram: @fitfetishtri 
10 Iron Women - Striving for a 50:50 Gender Split in an Ironman Event 
Follow us as we inspire more women to take on the unthinkable, and our goal of a 50/50 gender split in an Ironman event in 2023 
Website - 
Twitter - @10ironwomen
Instagram - @10ironwomen
May 24, 2022
Kate Pilcher is the founder & guide of Globetrotting, a worldwide travel agency that specialises in horse riding experiences to all corners of the globe. Kate discovered this form of travel as part of a quarter-life crisis and ran away to Argentina and then Kenya to discover herself from the back of a horse. Now in her forties Kate leads globetrotting rides to some extraordinary places with her three daughters and husband in toe.
Kate in her own words:
“I started Globetrotting a bit over a decade ago, thanks to a quarter-life crisis. You see, I had turned 25 and went on a 10-day horse riding safari in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, where my mind was blown by witnessing the wildebeest migration astride a safari horse. 
It was THIS crazy, colourful, life-changing experience that led me to step away from my business (Salt magazine), my boyfriend (now husband – thankfully Steven is a very patient man), mortgage and flee to a remote 100,000 acre estancia in Patagonia only accessible via horse.
For the next nine months I jumped from saddle to saddle, driven by an unquenchable thirst to explore horse cultures in South America and Africa. When I finally returned home, Globetrotting took form alongside my business at the time, Salt magazine.
You see, I fell in love with this form of travel – Globetrotting – where the pace is slower and the experience richer.
Rather than travelling in a tour bus (conveyor-belt travel, I like to call it), when you’re astride a horse, you climb under the skin of a country, absorbing every nuance it has to offer.
I knew it was the only way for me to travel, and I was determined to share this passion with other horse folk and I have. 
This is a true calling for me.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
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Show notes
  • Who is Kate
  • What is Globetrotting
  • How they use horse riding to change people's lives
  • A little background about her family
  • Her first and earliest memory of horses
  • Having a little interest in horses back then
  • Never thought of horses as part of her career
  • Having no idea what she wanted to do
  • Working in small businesses alongside her degree
  • How sales and marketing interest her
  • She enjoys marketing and sales
  • Moving to the UK after finishing her degree
  • Returning to Australia and having the chance to ride a horse once again
  • Exploring Maasai Mara in Kenya for 10 days
  • Wanting to get away from everything
  • Feeling that she isn't living the life she was meant to live
  • Rejecting Steven's marriage proposal
  • How Globetrotting started
  • Background on how and why she took the risk of changing careers
  • Wanting to be invited to the world's oldest horseback riding event
  • Being able to open many people's doors through her space
  • Getting more detailed about horse riding
  • Different types of rides and items to carry on the journey
  • Ensuring that each client is well-cared for from start to finish.
  • Her favourite horse breeds
  • Talking about horse therapy
  • Road testing in European rides in 2018
  • Riding with a baby and just wanting to go home
  • The most challenging time she had during her riding journey
  • Having her husband's support and encouragement
  • Being a mother and how it affects her work
  • "Home is my family and we can go anywhere and have adventure."
  • Planning a six-week adventure in August with family and guests
  • Experiencing the most terrifying adventure with her girls back in 2021
  • Returning to horse riding after having children
  • More information on the Silk Road Adventure - Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan - Mongolia
  • Partnering with Katy Willings
  • Final words of advice

Social Media




Youtube: Globetrotting - Horse Riding Holidays
May 17, 2022
Sophie in her own words:
“I am a GP and mental health trainer practising in West London. My exposure to diverse pockets of humanity has taught me that social struggles, such as loneliness, don’t discriminate and that the resulting emotional distress is real and reaching pandemic levels. My heart lies in challenging perceptions of these problems and how we support those suffering.
I am striving to increase awareness and education around responding to distress within the current UK system through my work with the organisation 4MentalHealth, while seeking out ways to change the system through the undertaking of research into the root causes of distress and alternative approaches to healing globally.
My growing interest in the relationship between mental health and community led to the creation of 'The Patient's Voice Project' in 2016. I'm delighted this year to expand the project and focus in on cultural influences on mental health and healing through a Winston Churchill Fellowship exploring the potential translation of indigenous traditional practice elements to western society as alternative forms of therapy. 
I've also had the opportunity to relay my work more widely; engaging with corporate audiences through talks on community at the Airbnb London Headquarters and contributing to policy change through work with the Jo Cox Foundation and the ‘Campaign to End Loneliness’ .
My work has also fostered a growing awareness of the transformative potential of the natural environment on psychological well being. 
I enjoy getting outdoors as much as possible in the role of Expedition Doctor and most recently accompanied a group of young people to the Scottish Highlands with the British Exploring Society.
When not working you will usually find me Scottish country dancing, falling off a surfboard or practising the ukulele.”
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Show notes
  • Who is Sophie
  • Being based in London and working as a GP
  • Her Special interests
  • Doing mental health research
  • Being an expedition doctor
  • Her love of travel and expeditions
  • Her early years growing up in the Yorkshire Dales
  • Where her love of travel and adventure came from 
  • Being inspired by her Grandfather
  • Going to Kenya and doing her first expedition at 17
  • Trekking across the States on the Lewis & Clark Trail 
  • Going to medical school at St. Andrews
  • Getting into expedition medicine
  • Being afraid of taking the next step
  • Going on a trip to Antarctica in January 2020
  • How the trip on a tall ship changed her life
  • The mental side of adventures and challenges
  • Stress
  • Anticipation and preparation
  • Coping strategies for extreme environments 
  • Creating your own safety plan
  • The emotional kit list
  • Why strategies are very personal 
  • Having a safety plan for general life
  • Creating your own Safety Plan
  • Heading to the USA in 2019 for research
  • Winning a Winston Churchill Fellowship
  • Talking circles 
  • Going on a tall ship in Costa Rica
  • Personal boundaries and looking at your own mental health
  • Keeping expedition fit 
  • Having to want to be on the expedition
  • Visiting Antarctica and getting free vodka
  • Being an emerging film maker and what that means
  • The Patients Voice Project - 2016
  • Looking to do a Masters later on in 2022
  • Connect with Sophie
  • Final words of advice
  • Be curious about the world
Social Media
The Patients Voice - A global project researching and collecting patients’ stories from around the world to enhance our collective wellbeing.
Instagram: @drsophieredlin
Twitter: @DrSophieRedlin
May 10, 2022
Shikha is a writer based in Uttarakhand, India. Specialising in stories woven around nature and the outdoors, sustainable living, and those with a cultural insight from the remote mountains of India, Nepal and Bhutan. 
Her travel stories appear in a wide variety of publications such as the National Geographic Traveller, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveller, Lonely Planet, and more. 
Her environmental and social interest stories have appeared in newspapers such as The Hindu, The New Indian Express, and on platforms such as Nature InFocus and RoundGlass Sustain. 
Born and brought up in the mountains, she is a qualified mountaineer who has participated in expeditions in the Himalayas. Her mountaineering stories have appeared in The Outdoor Journal and online on the Red Bull forum. 
Shikha is the recipient of a Commonwealth Writers fellowship for her stories on Himalayan ecology, and has also authored an award-winning children's book on Northeast India's first female Everester, Tine Mena, for a literacy NGO, Pratham. 
Most recently, she authored a series of Lonely Planet pocket guide books on Nepal.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the tough girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media -  visit
Show Notes
  • Who is Shikha
  • Growing up in the mountains in India
  • Her love of exploration
  • Deciding to become a professional writer
  • Being curious about the world
  • Quitting her job to backpack across the Indian Continent in 2008
  • Her love of writing and not wanting to be confined to an office cubicle
  • Being drawn to the mountains and wanting to spend more time there
  • Her year of self discovery
  • Her childhood and early years
  • Going into higher education
  • Making the decision to quit her job and go on a gap year
  • Planning her year out and travelling on a shoe string budget
  • Wanting to get off the regular tourist circuit
  • Heading to the North East of India
  • Spending time in Nepal and Bhutan
  • Building her career as a freelance writer
  • Travelling solo in remote places
  • Advice and tips for solo travel
  • Why planning a little ahead can make things a lot easier
  • Advice for travel writing
  • Why you need to find your niche
  • Finding your writing voice
  • Telling the same story but in a different way
  • Learning mountaineering skills 
  • Encouraging more women to gain skills in the outdoors
  • Challenging times in the mountains
  • Walking on unmarked trails 
  • Being underprepared on the mountains and the lessons learned
  • Dealing with challenging situations and her process for handling it
  • Staying positive and having a back up plan
  • How to connect with Shikha 
  • Putting together her website
  • Writing her award-winning children's book on Northeast India's first female Everester, Tine Mena.
  • Wanting to inspire young girls
  • Advice for women and girls to spend more time in the mountains
  • Future dreams and goals 
Social Media
Instagram: @shikha_trip 
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