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Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - www.toughgirlchallenges.com and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 20, 2024

Melissa in her own words:

“After connecting with my now husband on match.com 20 years ago, we realized we had one key difference: he wanted a partner to ‘Sail around the world’. I, on the other hand, wasn't an adventurer. I was a professional woman with a degree in Psychology, dedicated to non-profit work and healthcare.

But my husband ignited a desire in me to embrace life's adventures while we were still healthy. The turning point came when he asked, ‘When are you going to quit your job and sail around the world with me?’

Despite my initial fears and attachments, I couldn't ignore the call to live life to the fullest. We set sail across the Pacific Ocean, and it changed me profoundly.

We continued our adventures by buying an RV and exploring the US, Canada, and Alaska, much to the surprise of our family.

These experiences made me resilient and fearless. 

Returning from a sailing journey and hiking the John Muir Trail at age 62, I realized that the world was full of opportunities.

I see people looking at me differently now, sensing my quiet confidence. My adventure started late, but it's proof that life-changing decisions can happen at any age. The question remains: “Do it now or not?””

 

*Content Warning: This episode contains an instance of strong/abusive language that some listeners may find offensive. 

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

 

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Melissa
  • Living is San Diego, California 
  • Not being born into an adventurous family 
  • Her early years and feeling connected to her dad (who died when she was 4)
  • Meeting her husband on match.com about 18 years ago
  • Blending 2 families together 
  • After 10 years of marriage starting to discuss the sailing adventure
  • Being a career girl and not focused on adventure 
  • Not having passion in her life
  • Doing little adventures but not committing to the big adventure of sailing around the world
  • Waiting for the kids to go to college 
  • Making the commitment and putting a plan in place
  • Getting the boat and needing to learn new skills
  • Having a 5 year plan and changing everything about their life
  • Not spending more that $25 unless speaking to another person
  • Working as a team in a partnership 
  • Having garage sales, saving money and making it happen
  • Starting to change and starting to get excited about the future adventure
  • Being called ‘Captain B*tch Slap’ 
  • Being a forgiving person
  • Proving people wrong
  • Noticing her confidence changing
  • Dealing with tangled anchors while a storm is rolling in
  • Stats from the trip - the boat (Island Packet 37)
  • Starting in San Diego and sailing down to Mexico
  • Stopping to take a 1,000 mile car tour throughout Mexico
  • Pacific Puddle Jump from America’s to French Polynesia  
  • Feeling done with sailing after 11 months and wanting to go home
  • The challenges of getting the boat back from Hawaii to San Diego
  • The dream vs reality 
  • Magical moments while out sailing and the challenges while being out on the water
  • Spending time on remote beautiful islands - the instagram moments
  • When the autopilot stopped working and having to steer the boat in 2 hour shifts for 24/7. 
  • Deciding what to do next and wanting to sell the boat, take the money and buy an RV and travel around the US, up through Canada and head up to the wilds of Alaska
  • The challenges of RV Life and wanting to do ‘Boondocking’
  • Feeling numb after traveling and feeling lost 
  • Having therapy and starting to feel again
  • Getting into voice overs and having a way to start earning an income again 
  • Learning to appreciate the little moments and the free moments
  • Being done with the corporate world and being a different person
  • Choosing to live a simple life and having more money than before, even though they’re earning less
  • Renting out the RV
  • Deciding to hike the John Muir Trail (211 miles)
  • Planning and testing out all the gear 
  • Why it was one of the toughest things she’s ever done
  • Climbing Mt Whitney and the challenges with the elevation gain and loss
  • Trying to get equipment and gear to fit her height at 4′ 11″ / 150 cm
  • Ending up with an Osprey EJA 58 
  • Trying to find trainers and shoes to fit 
  • Watch the videos from the Pacific Ocean on YouTube
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why you need to take an honest look at yourself and where you are in your life
  • Why you need to make a plan and get into the details
  • Give yourself little mini milestones to work towards 
  • Start by putting your plan down on paper

 

Social Media

 

Websites:

www.theadventuretravelers.com

melissaharlowvo.com

Instagram: @theadventuretravelers

Youtube: @theadventuretravelers

 
 
Feb 13, 2024

Join us today as we have a conversation with Dr. Katie Myint, an eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. Her journey takes us from her Midlands upbringing to becoming a doctor and the role running and exercise played in promoting mental well-being.

Katie candidly shares her battle with depression during her second year as a doctor, shedding light on how exercise and medication became transformative tools for enhancing her mental health. As we explore her running journey and marathon experiences, one theme remains constant: the pure joy of movement.

Throughout the episode, Katie discusses her marathon adventures, from running alongside her husband to using races as a gateway to explore the world. She passionately underscores the importance of running as a cherished hobby, never allowing it to encroach upon her daily life.

Katie offers advice on motivation and self-compassion and encourages women to embrace exercise with the conviction that it can be an enjoyable endeavour.

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Working as an eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, in London
  • Her early years growing up in the Midlands 
  • Being focused on academics 
  • Learning how to swim with her dad
  • Enjoying school and wanting to do well
  • Finding her way into sports and exercise as an adult 
  • Not enjoying sports at school 
  • Dealing with depression in her 2nd year of being a doctor
  • Feeling alone 
  • Using exercise to improve mental well-being 
  • Taking the first step to going out and doing exercise 
  • Not recognising in herself that she had depression 
  • Going to see her GP and being recommended exercise and medication 
  • Going on her first run in winter in the rain and the dark
  • Her running journey and what that looked like 
  • Being a solo runner for a long time
  • Running to help process her thoughts 
  • Not having any running goals and using running to improve her mental well-being
  • Working her way up to a half-marathon and marathon 
  • Why it wasn’t about times or PBs but rather the joy of moving
  • Running with her husband and using a marathon race as an excuse to go on holiday abroad 
  • Fitting in running around her job and life
  • Not following a structured running program 
  • Wanting to keep running as a hobby 
  • Doing 2 or 3 shorter runs throughout the week with one long run at the weekend
  • Not letting running get in the way of life
  • Magical moments while running
  • Running the Barcelona Marathon, Spain 
  • Marathon du Medoc, Bordeau, France 
  • Managing the tough times in a race and how to mange that
  • The race is just the final victory lap and the journey is in all the runs you’ve done before it. 
  • Why it can be tricky between mile 16 and 18 
  • Loving Park Run and starting Saturdays with a run followed by brunch 
  • Getting involved in triathlon 
  • Getting her first bike 
  • Training solo or with her husband
  • Doing her first triathlon and why it was a total wash out
  • Taking the race at your own pace and not comparing yourself to others
  • Being an Ambassador for ON 
  • Advice for when you don’t want to go out running
  • Remembering why you are doing it, but also being kind to yourself
  • Stretching….
  • Race plans for 2024
  • Where Katie is most active on social media 
  • Final words of advice to encourage more women to get exercise in their life
  • Encouraging you to run for the love of it and that exercise can be fun!

 

Social Media

Instagram: @katietriestorun   

 
Feb 6, 2024

Nicky is a self-confessed adventurer, loves a challenge, delights in cold shenanigans and is ready to embrace the next stage of her adventure life. Her super powers are making things happen and connecting people and she is the Queen of pushing herself out of her comfort zone.

Nicky lives in Brighton with her husband, 2 teenage boys and Daisy the camper van. 

At 52 her adventure journey has changed many times over the years, from a 20-year-old canoeing and sailing instructor, to a Mum with young children teaching them to embrace the outdoors through camping, building dens and cooking on open fires. Her boys are now in their late teens now and are slowly flying the nest, it is here she finds herself, ready to embrace the next stage of her adventure journey.

Her adventures have included; fire walks, abseiling down castles, coast steering, a cross country ski marathon in the Arctic Circle, a wing walk and running a half marathon in Greenland which included training in an Environmental Cold Chamber at the University of Sussex at minus 20!

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Her love of adventure
  • How her adventure journey has changed as she’s gotten older
  • Where her adventurous spirit came from 
  • Being inspired by her dad
  • Why you can have adventures on your doorstep
  • What does adventure mean to Nicky
  • Why adventure is so many things
  • Why you can fit adventure around your life 
  • Why adventure is there for the taking, but you may have to be creative.
  • Her first job working in a water sports centre
  • Working for World Challenge
  • Having children and going camping with 2 young children 
  • Making adventure part of family life
  • Having to put solo adventures on hold with having a young family
  • Parrot hunting on the Amazon (finding and taking photos)
  • Going to the Artic Circle to do a cross -country ski marathon 
  • Doing a big challenge every year from 40 - 50 to raise money for charity
  • Being drawn to the cold 
  • Needing to do the training to enjoy the experience 
  • Planning future challenges
  • Running her own business for 18 years 
  • Deciding to go wing walking!
  • Doing a fire walk 
  • Feeling empowered after doing challenges and stepping outside her comfort zone
  • Doing a half marathon in Greenland at 50 (a big, bold, cold, challenge)
  • Deciding to step down from her business 
  • Liking a spreadsheet and being organised with her training 
  • Working with a specialist performance coach 
  • Working with the Environmental Extremes Lab at Sussex University 
  • Getting to experience minus 20 and the impact on her body
  • Being set up for success and learning how to manage herself in extreme conditions
  • Going to Greenland and why it was outside her comfort zone 
  • Learning how to deal with panic on the start line 
  • Turning panic into power
  • Wanting to run a happy race and take it all in
  • Dealing with the adventure blues
  • Completing a 5k sea swim
  • Working with Genny Brown and helping her with her social media 
  • Looking at the North Pole Marathon 
  • Svalbard? 
  • Daisy
  • #pinknicky 
  • How to connect with Nicky on the socials
  • Working with Outside & Active
  • Doing an International Women’s Day Sea Swim with Land & Wave in 2024 
  • Wanting to elevate women 
  • Final words of advice for other women
  • Make an Adventure Action List 
  • Find people who inspire you
  • Take mini steps 

 

Social Media

Instagram: @daisyvw1 

Facebook: @nicky.chisholm 

 

Nicky runs an annual event in Brighton to celebrate International Women's Day (8th March), she organises a mega sea swim for over 500 "mermaids" supporting surfers against sewage. 

 

Land and Wave are an Official Event Partner. Join her Saturday March 9th 2024 

 

 
Jan 30, 2024

Christine Yu is an award-winning journalist whose work focuses on the intersection of sports science and women athletes. Her writing has appeared in Outside, The Washington Post, Time, Runner’s World, and other publications. She’s a lifelong athlete and yoga teacher who loves running, surfing, and skiing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

About the book: 

“In the past half-century, women have achieved remarkable progress in the realm of athletics. More women are participating in sports and maintaining an active lifestyle throughout their lives. Whether they're elite athletes striving for excellence or passionate amateurs enjoying their athletic pursuits, women deserve a sports culture that empowers them. 

This culture should offer training programs and equipment specifically designed to support their unique physiologies, along with nutrition and injury prevention guidelines grounded in scientific research and tailored to their individual experiences.

Unfortunately, women have often received guidance based on research that fails to consider their distinct experiences and physical characteristics. Much of what we've accepted as the standard in exercise and sports science is rooted solely in studies conducted on men.

But the landscape is changing for the better. Researchers are now conducting more inclusive studies to close the gender data gap. They're investigating how women can enhance their athletic performance, reduce the risk of injury, and maintain good health.

In 'Up to Speed,' sports and health journalist Christine Yu unravels myths and dissects gender bias in light of real science. She advocates for new approaches that empower female athletes to excel at every life stage, from adolescence through adulthood, encompassing pregnancy, menopause, and beyond. 

Christine delves into the latest research findings and shines a light on the researchers, athletes, and advocates challenging the status quo. They are pioneering innovative solutions to enhance the active and athletic lives of women and girls, ushering in a new era of gender equality in sports science and performance.”

***

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home. 

Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

🎙️ Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

***

Show notes

  • Who is Christine
  • Being based in New York
  • Growing up in Connecticut  before moving to San Francisco
  • Being sporty from a young age and always being active 
  • Getting into running, strength training and yoga
  • Working in the non profit sector for 10/15 years before making the switch to journalism
  • Wanting to write and tell more stories
  • Taking time off after having her first child
  • Combing her love for writing with her love for sports, science and health 
  • Wanting to focus on issues relating to women, women’s health and women’s sports
  • Being curious and wanting to know more 
  • The lack of easily accessible information available for women
  • Wanting to learn how to make her body more resilient
  • Wanting to improve her health and wanting to move her body in a way that makes her feel good
  • Wanting to be strong and healthy over the long term
  • The starting point with research
  • Knowledge from print magazines….. which wasn’t women specific 
  • Looking at more specific sports science research 
  • Dr Stacy Sims: ROAR 
  • The lack of knowledge for women who want to do strength training 
  • More women getting into strength training 
  • New Book: Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes
  • Where the idea came from and how easy it was to get it published 
  • Only 6% of sports science (2014-2020) studies focus on issues related to women
  • Why do we know so much less about women’s physiology?
  • What are the implication due to the gender data gap?
  • What you can expect from the book - information on the menstrual cycle, breast health, sporting gear, injury rates and chapters devoted to the life stages of a women’s life
  • Women are Not Small Men: a paradigm shift in the science of nutrition’ - TED Talk 
  • How to study women with the challenges of women’s menstrual cycle
  • The blindspots in science 
  • Leaving women out of the narrative
  • Hormones related to the menstrual cycle and how they can impact performance 
  • Noticing the trends when tracking your period
  • Don’t blame yourself - blame your hormones 
  • Peri-menopause and menopause where is the science?
  • Food and nutrition 
  • Weight and performance 
  • Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S)
  • How to connect with Christine
  • Final words of advice for women who want to learn more about the science
  • Pay attention to your own body, track your cycle and see how your body responds throughout the month
  • Dr Stacy Sims 
  • Feisty Menopause 
  • Be a critical consumer of the media you are consuming  

 

Social Media

Instagram: @cyu888 

Substack: christinemyu.substack.com 

Book: Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes

 
Jan 23, 2024

Nikki Love is an adventure runner, a sports psychology under-grad, and a motivator of dreaming big, taking action and achieving extraordinary goals.

Nikki turned 50 in 2017 and decided it was time to take her love for travel, marathon running, and cross-country running to a new level. 

She is now on a mission to run across, around, or through as many countries that her feet can take her, bringing as many people as she can along for the run.

Her big adventures include running 63 marathons in 63 days through the UK to celebrate her 50th birthday, a craic of a 750 mile run around Ireland, a runcation through Malta and around Gozo, a jolly jaunt across the Netherlands, an extremely muddy and cow-pat laden run from top to bottom of Wales, a 40 day x 1,000 miles treadmill run, and on July 16, 2023 at the age of 56 Nikki set the women’s record for running across Australia from Perth to Sydney 4,044kms in 76 days, 3 hours and 43 minutes.

Driven by her curiosity to answer the question “I wonder if I can do that…” 

Nikki shares her adventures – the highs, lows, fun, tears and her experience of overcoming fears, doubts and obstacles as she navigates perimenopause – through her writing, speaking and film-making. 

Her goal is to help women know and own their place and space in the world and to keep believing and backing themselves.

Listen to the previous TGP episode with Nikki.

30th July 2020 - Adventure Runner, Ran 63 marathons in 63 days in 2017

***

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home. 

Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

🎙️ Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

***

Show notes

  • Who is Nikki
  • Being an adventure runner
  • 56 years young
  • Speaking with Nikki in 2020 on the TGP 
  • A quick recap of Nikki’s previous challenges
  • Reflecting back on 2020 and 2021
  • Coming up with idea to do a ‘training run’  on a treadmill 
  • Running 1000 miles and tearing tendons in her toes which ended her adventure
  • Learning that she could do hard things 
  • Setting herself up to run across Australia for real 
  • Dealing with multiple peri-menopausal symptoms
  • 2021- deciding to run 100 marathons in 100 days
  • Getting a stress fracture in her pelvis 
  • Starting a process to understand what was going on in her body 
  • Getting advice to downgrade her ambitions and dreams 
  • Being stubborn and wanting to figure out a way to achieve her goal at 56 of running across Australia 
  • Figuring out what was going on and getting advice from doctors 
  • Starting on different versions on HRT
  • Being encouraged to stop doing her exercise 
  • Having bloods taken and doing MRI scans - privately 
  • Speaking to as many people as possible to come up with solutions
  • Figuring out that her body wasn’t absorbing the hormone therapy 
  • Going back to basics - getting back to a good diet and doing strength training 
  • Taking 2 years to recover from her pelvis stress fracture 
  • Feeling sad and frustrated 
  • Not being willing to give up on her goal
  • Starting to wonder if it would be possible for her to run across Australia 
  • Starting to do more planning and putting dates in place 
  • Dealing with setbacks along the way and why it wasn’t easy 
  • Setting the start date for 1st May 2023
  • Being supported by her partner 
  • Hiring a camper van and driving from Jhalong to Perth and getting to see the route in reverse. 
  • Going after a Guinness World Record to be the fastest women to run from Perth to Sydney 
  • 76 days 3hrs and 43 mins * (waiting to see if it will be accepted by Guinness)
  • Having to increase her running distances pretty quickly and averaging about 53km per day 
  • Getting into a flow with the running after 2 weeks
  • Dealing with the traffic which was much more intense than she was expecting 
  • What a typical day looked like
  • How her experiences helped her to keep on going when times got tough
  • Having a mantra in the morning  Start off slow and I’ll get into a flow
  • Challenges with animals!
  • Physically not feeling too bad, but mentally feeling very drained and tired
  • Listening to binaural music to calm her body down and the importance of sleep to help with recovery 
  • Dealing with the adventure blues after the challenge
  • Making the decision to go to university to study sports psychology
  • Applying to Loughborough University
  • Becoming more aware of her time line and getting older
  • How you can connect with Nikki and follow along with her journeys
  • Nikki is also blogging about her run on her website
  • Wanting to keep her adventure passion alive 
  • Feeling that you can - requires that you back yourself
  • Keeping telling yourself that you can.

 

Social Media

Website: www.nikkilove.co.uk 

Instagram: @nikkiloveruns 

 
Jan 16, 2024

In 1996, Sue Stockdale achieved a remarkable feat: she became the first British woman to set foot on the Magnetic North Pole, a journey she never thought possible. 

What followed was a realisation that her success held a profound purpose—to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and unearth their untapped potential.

Sue's captivating memoir, "EXPLORE: A Life of Adventure," chronicles her life's journey, commencing from challenging beginnings and extending into a lifetime of intrepid exploration in some of the world's harshest environments, including the North Pole, Antarctica, and Greenland. 

Within these epic adventures lie invaluable life lessons that Sue readily shares, illustrating how the mindset, discipline, and commitment honed in the crucible of extreme exploration are equally applicable in the professional sphere.

"EXPLORE" serves as a wellspring of inspiration, urging all of us to embark on our personal odysseys of self-discovery. Sue firmly believes that no endeavour is too daunting when undertaken with determination, a well-conceived plan, and a readiness to embrace discomfort.

***

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home. 

 

Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

 

🎙️ Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

 

Show notes:

  • Who is Sue
  • Describing herself as an adventurer
  • Not going on to guides
  • Growing up and not doing adventurous things
  • Going on a cycling trip at 15
  • Not having any role models
  • Being inspired by books like Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven
  • The unexpected death of her mom when she was 14
  • Wanting to make the most of her life
  • Challenging herself to see what she's capable of
  • Sue's memoir, Explore: A Life of Adventure 
  • Adventure mindset, inner voice, and risk-taking
  • Why did she write the book
  • Becoming the first UK woman to ski to the Magnetic North Pole
  • Deciding to apply despite feeling unqualified
  • Being determined and believing in herself
  • Overcoming fears and fundraising for an Arctic expedition
  • Being part of a team of 10 people
  • Her initial lack of experience in cross-country skiing
  • Being very optimistic and having an adventurous mindset at heart
  • Expedition leader David Hempleman-Adams
  • Engaging in an exercise as a team called "what if list" to share their fears and concerns
  • Advocates for facing fears by writing them down and talking about them
  • Successfully securing sponsorship for her expedition
  • Mental and physical challenges during her North Pole expedition in 1996
  • Talking about period while she's out on the ice
  • Bonding between her and Susanna, the first Swedish woman to reach the extreme
  • Learning to tolerate each other's differences and frustrations during the expedition
  • How her experience at the North Pole changed her perspective on life
  • Deciding to set up a business as a motivational speaker
  • Joining Robert Swan on an expedition down to Antarctica
  • The process of evolution and building up her business
  • Entrepreneurship and finding her unique calling
  • Pushing herself too hard and judging herself too negatively
  • Talking about her podcast
  • Final words of advice

 

Social Media

Website: suestockdale.com 

Podcast: Access to Inspiration 

Twitter: @suestockdale 

Youtube: @SueStockdale 

 

Jan 9, 2024

A self-proclaimed late outdoor bloomer, Kimberly began exploring life outdoors after purchasing a folding kayak, which she credits with changing her life. 

What started as an impulse purchase put her on a path of adventure, and she now travels around the world with her dog (Bentley), camping, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. 

Learning as she goes along, she documents her travels on her instagram page, in hopes of inspiring and empowering other women to have solo adventures.

***

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home. 

Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

🎙️ Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

***

Show notes

  • Who is Kimberly and what does she do
  • Kimberly's happy place
  • Always being drawn to water, even as a child
  • Learning to swim at a young age
  • Discovery of her passion for kayaking
  • Going on a 6-day kayaking trip in Canada
  • Not having her own kayak
  • Obtaining a folding kayak and practising in her living room
  • Overcoming barriers, pursuing her goal of spending time on the water
  • Solo kayaking safely
  • Being a very introverted person
  • Kayaking as therapy
  • Mountain lakes kayaking
  • Disconnecting from the world while connecting with nature
  • Giving peace of mind to friends and family
  • Bently, her little adventure buddy
  • Describing Bentley and matching hats with him
  • Not going into the same place twice
  • Using Google Maps to see where she can go
  • Paddling for hours without feeling hungry
  • Usually kayaking with canned wine
  • Naming her kayaks and their stories
  • Feeling judged for paddling alone
  • Having fears and concerns all the time
  • The struggle of being a woman of colour
  • Safety measures while camping
  • Solo kayaking experience in Norway
  • Insights on solo outdoor adventures, gear choices, and safety planning
  • Finding like-minded people for outdoor adventures
  • Final words of advice

 

Social Media

Instagram: @paddlingwithbae 

 

Jan 4, 2024

Meaghan Hackinen is a Kelowna-based bikepacker and writer 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 4X Everester as well as a Transcontinental Race, Trans Am Bike Race, and Paris-Brest-Paris brevet finisher. Meaghan holds the women’s course record for the World 24-Hour Time Trial Championships, among others. 

In 2023, Meaghan took the overall solo win in all but one of the endurance races she competed in, including the Buckshot and Lost Elephant in British Columbia, Silver State 508 in Nevada, and an Individual Time Trial of the Log Driver’s Waltz in Canada’s Capitol region. 

Her debut travel memoir, "South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels" (NeWest Press, 2019) was shortlisted for two Canadian book awards and her follow up, "Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race" was just released to critical acclaim.

***

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home. 

Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

🎙️ Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Meaghan
  • Her 2023 cycling plans and how she structures her training in the winter
  • Letting things fall into place and being opportunistic
  • Having a dislocated finger and getting COVID
  • Working with a coach in the past
  • Using TrainerRoad as her cycle training platform
  • Using the Dynamic Cyclist app for strength, stretching and mobility work
  • Writing the races down on her calendar
  • Preparing herself and her bikes
  • Choosing races with the goal of competing at her best level
  • Setting a new women's FKT
  • the importance of nutrition and recovery
  • Prioritising route prep using a combination of Strava, ride with GPS, and Google 
  • Creating a cue sheet with resupply points, elevation high points, and challenging features
  • Having a to-do list and a checklist
  • Journaling and giving yourself space
  • Meditating and feeling much better afterwards
  • Practicing visualization
  • Transitioning from road cycling to off-road gravel adventures
  • Enjoying the challenge and discovering unexpected places
  • Carrying a bike through obstacles like water crossings and steep hills
  • Not training very much on the TT bike this year
  • Having a friendly and supportive cycling community
  • Finding rivalries motivating
  • Finishing the Dark Divide race alongside her partner
  • Describing the Dark Divide and what it's like
  • Writing and releasing her new book, Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race
  • Having a transformative experience in 2017 that made her write a book
  • Lessons and realizations that made her grow
  • Reflecting on solo mountain biking experience
  • Her plans for 2024
  • Quick-fire questions
  • Final words of advice

 

Social Media

Website: meaghanhackinen.com

Instagram @meaghanhackinen

Facebook @meaghanhackinen

Book: Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race

 

Jan 2, 2024

Sarah Thomas, aged 41, is an ultra-marathon swimmer who achieved the current world record for the longest continuous swim in current-neutral conditions, performed without assistance or a wetsuit. This record-breaking feat spanned 104.6 miles over the course of 67 hours and took place in Lake Champlain, USA, in August 2017.

Shortly after this remarkable swim, Sarah faced an aggressive form of breast cancer diagnosis at the young age of 35. During her cancer treatment, which included chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, Sarah remained unwavering in her pursuit of an extraordinary swim that many considered impossible.

One year post-cancer treatment, Sarah made history by becoming the first person to complete a four-way crossing of the English Channel, accomplishing this incredible feat in a remarkable 54 hours and 10 minutes.

More recently, Sarah achieved another groundbreaking milestone, becoming the first individual in history to conquer a two-way crossing of the North Channel, enduring 21 hours and 46 minutes in frigid waters inhabited by enormous jellyfish.

***

The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home. 

Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

🎙️ Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

Show notes:

  • Who is Sarah
  • Her story of becoming a long-distance open-water swimmer
  • Early memories of comfort and joy in the water
  • Begging her dad to sign her up for the swim team
  • Getting introduced to open-water swimming by a friend and found her passion in it
  • Swimming through high school and in college for the University of Connecticut
  • Trying out other sports after college
  • Growing up in Texas where swimming is super competitive
  • How she transitioned to open-water swimming after college
  • How she returned to swimming after a 2-year hiatus
  • Discovering her passion for open-water swimming in 2007
  • Signing up for Catalina Channel in 2010
  • Training for the English Channel by swimming around Manhattan in 2011 and booking a slot for 2012
  • Struggles with cold water and building up tolerance
  • Refusing to take cold showers, and values warm showers as a luxury
  • Poor weather and not wanting to swim the English Channel
  • Returning to England with a reformed crew enjoying a beautiful, sunny swim across the channel
  • Falling out of love with swimming
  • Setting her sights on longer swims, including a 42-mile swim across Lake Tahoe
  • Swimming for 24 hours and the challenge of mentally preparing for such a long distance
  • Having her husband next to her helps her prepare for each swimming session
  • Sarah's experience of swimming 104.6 miles in Lake Champlain
  • Reflecting on her childhood and meeting her potential
  • Feeling on top of the world after completing an incredible swim
  • Having digestive issues during long swims and eating liquid-based nutrition
  • Swimming and craving for giant cheeseburgers
  • Finding a lump in her breast and being diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Her treatment and how it would impact her ability to swim
  • Finding solace in swimming during chemotherapy
  • Sarah and her doctor working together to find solutions
  • What makes her uncomfortable after a mastectomy
  • Being glad for keeping her left side intact
  • Swimming the English Channel in 2019 after completing an 80-mile swim in Lake Powell in 2016
  • The difficulty of her swims, particularly in the English Channel
  • Struggles with nausea and vomiting, seasickness and mental exhaustion during her swims
  • Battling a strong current caused hours of delay in the swim, causing mental and physical exhaustion
  • Her desire to complete the Oceans Seven Challenge
  • Having two remaining swims in the Oceans Seven Challenge
  • Swimming the Strait of Gibraltar and the Tsugaru Strait
  • Why the swimming organization in Japan stopped accepting swimmers
  • Final words of advice

 

Social Media

Website: sarahthomasswims.com 

Instagram: @SarahSwims04 

Twitter: @SarahSwims04 

Facebook: @SarahThomasMarathonSwimmer 

 

Dec 28, 2023

Rebecca's story starts in the North East of England, where she grew up on a smallholding in an area with little ethnic diversity. Influenced by her mom's passion for animals, she pursued a dream of becoming a vet and moved to Liverpool for University. 

As a young mom, she discovered tennis and joined a fitness group before her journey led her to running.

Residing at the foot of the Pennines in West Yorkshire with her husband and two children. Rebecca turned to running in 2021 as a way to escape life's demands of a busy family life and the stress of running a veterinary practice during Covid. In 2022, she set her first trail race goal, a 16k trail race in the Lakes. 

Rebecca's story also includes her involvement with Black Trail Runners, where she found community and purpose. She shares her experiences, from Endure 24 to the 3 Dales Marathon in North Yorkshire. 

Rebecca shares more about why she wants to  participate in challenging races, how she build inner strength, and expands her comfort zone. She candidly discusses her experiences, of training for and running in the mountainous  Adidas TERREX Infinite trails race in Austria. Plus how she completed her longest run to date, 77k on the Peak Divide running from Sheffield to Manchester through the Peak District.

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Rebecca
  • Her early years in the North East of England
  • Growing up on a small holding 
  • Living in the least ethnically diverse place in the whole of the UK
  • Being influenced by her dad who was super sporty
  • Her mum’s passion for animals and how it influenced Rebecca into wanting to become a vet
  • Having one cat 
  • Studying to become a vet at Liverpool University 
  • Being use to working hard and dealing with pressure and stress
  • Gaining work experience at every opportunity
  • Not being able to do sport while at university 
  • Moving to a more diverse city 
  • Growing up in white spaces
  • Not being a runner
  • Having her first child in 2014 and feeling a bit lost 
  • Getting into tennis and starting to play on a regular basis
  • Having her 2nd child in 2018 and joining a mums fitness group
  • The impact of covid while working as a vet  
  • Getting into running in 2021
  • Living in West Yorkshire at the foot of the Pennines 
  • Running to have time to herself and to get away from everything 
  • Deciding to set a running goal in 2022 and entering her first trail race (16k trail race in the lakes)
  • Her journey with Black Trails Runners, where it all started
  • Watching Martin 'MJ' Johnson in the film - ‘Run to the Source’ made with Patagonia 
  • Feeling uncomfortable, weird and isolated 
  • The sense of satisfaction after completing her first race
  • Finding her community and what she wanted to do
  • Getting more involved in BTR and what that looked like
  • Connecting with an online community via social media 
  • Endure 24 with BTR  
  • Signing up for the 3 Dales Marathon, North Yorkshire 
  • Not eating or drinking enough and how it impacted her race
  • Building inner strength and dealing with the hard moments while out on the race
  • Entering the growth zone and expanding your comfort zone
  • Signing up for 2 more races
  • Running The Haworth Hobble in winter 
  • Running the Peak Divide (a 2 day ultra - running from Manchester to Sheffield) 
  • Singing up to do Infinite Trails 
  • Fitting in training around her life and what it looks like 
  • Liking routine and liking to be busy
  • Why it’s about the journey 
  • Deciding to apply to run in her first mountain race and becoming part of the first all female, all black running team
  • Needing to be prepared
  • Working with a running coach - Sam from Kings of the Wild Frontier
  • Having the opportunity to train in Chamonix and Snowdonia and spending time as a team
  • Running the “Short Leg” as part of the relay - 21k, 1900m of climbing! 
  • Running the 10k technical descent and the concentration needed to get to the finish 
  • Recovery after the race and struggling to walk afterwards
  • Having a 77k ultra marathon (Peak Divide) the week after! 
  • Dealing with pain and nausea and not being in a good place 
  • Not knowing how she would be able to run the final 40k 
  • Trying to turn it around mentally 
  • Needing to stop thinking about the end and focusing on the next step
  • Taking things step by step and slowly starting to feel better
  • Finishing the race after a difficult and challenging internal battle!
  • Filming a short film for Kendal Mountain Festival
  • Being on the cover of German Trail Magazine 
  • Sharing her journey on Instagram 
  • Final words of advice to encourage and motivate you
  • This about the journey and don’t always think about the end goal
  • “You can achieve, you just have to take the first steps"

 

Social Media

Instagram: @rebecca_runs_wild 

Black Trail Runners - A community and campaigning charity seeking to increase inclusion, participation and representation of Black people in trail running 🏃🏿‍♂️🏃🏿‍♀️

Website: www.blacktrailrunners.run 

Instagram: @blacktrailrunners 

Facebook: @blacktrailrunners 

 
Dec 26, 2023

Bethan is committed to challenging the way we talk about running to encourage as many people as possible to find joy in the experience. She’s an advocate for pace inclusion, spending time outdoors and living well in the world.

Bethan in her own words:

“I live in South London with my husband Mike, our daughter Evie and Loki the Brussels Griffon in a flat that has views over the whole city. 

A few years ago I quit the city and went back to university to work on my PhD and I spend my days researching the representations and identities of women in ultra running in the Sport Business Research Centre at Birkbeck, University of London. 

I’ve struggled with my wellbeing and mental health for most of my life. Over the years I’ve found things that have helped make things more manageable and I’m passionate about sharing what I’ve learnt to help other people ‘Live Well In The World’.”

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Bethan?
  • Being a feminist sociologist of sport
  • Her academic approach to her insights 
  • Having a post modernist feminist perspective 
  • Being an activist with an agenda
  • Asking questions and wanting to learn and develop her thoughts 
  • Sharing about her life on social media 
  • Her manifesto and how it came about
  • Managing her mental health 
  • Wanting to live well in the world
  • Managing the physical and mental stress, rest and energy
  • Wanting to be content and to enjoy herself 
  • Mindset, gratitude and connection
  • The benefits of movement and why it always has a place in her life
  • Feeling better in nature and spending time outside 
  • Starting her running journey 10 years ago
  • Being in her late 20s, in a difficult relationship and a stressful job
  • Running in the dark in her old school t-shirt
  • Knowing that running would change her life 
  • Feeling good and capable
  • Entering her first race and starting to run with other people
  • Running her first half marathon and being inspired to run a marathon
  • Doing her masters part time while working and how running had to take a backseat
  • Running her first post baby marathon in April 
  • Finishing up her PhD and running 30mins here and there to keep things ticking over
  • Spending time around the running community 
  • Having an emergency c-section and returning to physical activity at 6 weeks
  • Working with a postnatal specialist
  • Doing couch to 5k NHS App 
  • Starting running too soon and getting injured and needing to postpone the October London Marathon
  • Finding joy in running (Tina Muir) and why London was her ultimate Joy PB
  • Using a run walk strategy and having a detailed plan in advance
  • Doing her long runs during the week as that’s when she’s got childcare available 
  • Doing her PhD studying the representations and identities of women in ultra marathon
  • Quitting her job and becoming a full time academic 
  • Wanting more women to take part in sport and physical activity 
  • Why sports are not just a boy thing
  • Post feminist narratives around participation in sports
  • Will women outrun men?
  • Black Trail Runners 
  • The million dollar question!! (When will the PhD be finished?)
  • What’s changed over the years and starting to understand post feminism more 
  • The costs of running and why it’s not free
  • Reductionist ideas and why we need to be mindful of what’s said and seen
  • Why you can’t “just do it”
  • The pressure for women to do a lot and to excel at what they do
  • You can have it all….
  • Working with her partner to balance the challenges of life 
  • Why your priorities can’t be everything
  • How to connect with Bethan on the socials
  • Final words of advice 
  • Examine what your privileges are when it comes to sport and physical activity
  • Avoid platitudes and how you can understand your journey better  

 

Social Media

Website: www.bethantaylorswaine.com

Instagram: 

@bethantaylorswaine 

@feministsportsociologist 

 

Dec 19, 2023

“On 5th September 2022, full of excitement for what lay ahead, I began my run from Land’s End to John O’Groats to show others that despite life throwing curveballs our way we can still achieve. I intended to cover a distance of 40-50 miles a day for 20 days, a total of approximately 855 miles, aiming to become the world’s fastest female, with single-sided deafness, to complete this journey by foot. However, after 4 days of running in continual torrential rain, things went very wrong on day 5."

During this episode Sara shares more about her run from Lands End to John O’Groats, the challenges, the setbacks and how she moved forward after failure. We discuss in detail her recovery, the changes she made and how she moved forward and tried again. 

This is an episode about endurance running, passion for making a difference and never giving up.  

Sara is a brain tumour survivor who is giving back.

“Brain tumours kill more adults and children under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this disease.”

Sara is fundraising for British Acoustic Neuroma Association and Manchester Skull Base Foundation (FBT).

Sara is also the founder of: The Beyond Recovery Project.

“It's all about bringing together others on the same or similar journey, creating a ‘safe’ space and sense of community, where brain tumour survivors can share experiences and discover how to push beyond the physical and psychological barriers they face together. It's very much nature based, so walks, hikes, challenges. Lots of talking therapy - because you can't beat sharing what you're going through with someone else who has been in that place. It also aims to bridge the gap in some services post treatment, when you're considered ‘fixed’.”

Upcoming events in 2024 

May -  Toubkal with a group of brain tumour survivors

June - Hiking the Langtang valley, Nepal. 

September - The Wadi Rum Ultra (now known as Ultra X Jordan). 220km over 5 days in the Wadi Rum desert.

We first spoke with Sara:  15th March 2022 - Overcome fear and achieve your potential. Author of #SickbedToSummits. 

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

 

Show notes

  • Who is Sara
  • Planning a 20-day route from Lands End to John O'Groats
  • Accepting a Guinness World Record for single-sided hearing loss due to category limitations
  • Training and preparation for a 1,000-mile run
  • Working with an endurance coach and focusing on physical and psychological preparation
  • Sacrificing much of their life to train and prepare for the event
  • Balancing family, work, training, and self-care
  • Feeling ready and focused on the starting line
  • Sharing their experience of the first day of the run
  • Experiencing a torrential downpour and strong winds during a marathon
  • Having discomfort and difficulty with balance and hearing
  • Challenges of running in adverse weather conditions
  • Having single-sided deafness due to a brain tumour
  • Struggling with balance issues, tinnitus, and fatigue during their training
  • Mindfulness training and how it helped in coping with the challenges
  • A challenging endurance run with physical setbacks
  • Experiencing extreme fatigue and the need to take naps to cope
  • Having a traumatic toenail incident
  • Struggling with hip flexor pain and later developing a painful left shin injury
  • Continuing to push through and finish their planned distance
  • Struggles with disappointment after injury and ends up running career goals
  • Missing an opportunity and struggling with the mindset shift towards rehab
  • The importance of treating rehab as training
  • Accountability and consistency in the recovery process
  • Resuming running after an injury and nutrition strategies
  • Running again in mid-November 2022 after a break
  • Being diagnosed with an iron deficiency in January 2023
  • Running a half-marathon despite injury and iron deficiency
  • Second attempt at charity bike ride after setbacks
  • Feeling physically and mentally drained during the second attempt
  • Focusing on the present moment and what is directly in front of them
  • Paul Betteridge and Aimee Tippins running 50 miles in horrendous weather
  • Being joined by her friend Andrew Reed, she connected via the British Acoustic Neuroma Association
  • Experiencing persistent pain in her Achilles tendon during her running journey
  • Using a bike as a backup plan to get to John O'Groats to manage the pain
  • Reflects on post-marathon life, feeling lost and struggling to readjust
  • Working on a project called "Beyond Recovery"
  • Overcoming self-doubt and fear after a brain tumour diagnosis through adventure
  • Lack of support for brain tumour survivors during their recovery process
  • Setting up The Beyond Recovery Project
  • Her journey of creating a Community Interest Company (CIC) to address gaps in brain tumour recovery services
  • Final words of advice from Sara

 

Social Media

Website: www.saracrosland.com 

Instagram: @saracrosland https://www.instagram.com/e3coach/ 

Facebook: @saracrosland https://www.facebook.com/sara.crosland 

The Beyond Recovery Project CIC is a non profit community interest organisation improving lives of brain tumour survivors.

Website: www.thebeyondrecoveryproject.org

Facebook: facebook.com/TheBeyondRecoveryProject

Instagram: @TheBeyondRecoveryProject

 
Dec 12, 2023

Louise is a journalist, broadcaster, podcaster and writer.

She presented BBC Breakfast for 20 years and before that was a news anchor on the BBC News Channel and the BBC’s One O’clock News. She has also presented The One Show, Five Live Drive, Real Rescues and Missing Live and has been a contestant on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Time Crashers and Celebrity MasterChef.

Her first book, Dare to Tri, charted her journey from the Breakfast sofa to representing the Great Britain Triathlon team in her age-group at World and European Championships.

Her second book Fearless, Adventures with Extraordinary Women was published by Bloomsbury on 25th May 2023.

It reflect her passion for celebrating women’s success. In each chapter Louise takes on a different challenge with a courageous woman, to get to know them and tell their incredible stories.

About the book: Fearless, Adventures with Extraordinary Women

JOIN LOUISE MINCHIN ON 17 EXHILARATING ADVENTURES WITH TRAILBLAZING WOMEN WHO ARE BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS, SMASHING RECORDS AND CHALLENGING STEREOTYPES. 

'To get to the heart of who these women are… I decided to do it the way that I know best, by taking part, spending time right beside them to experience the things they love.'

Driven to bring more attention to female stories of courage and endeavour, Louise Minchin pushes herself to the extreme and embarks on thrilling endurance adventures with trailblazing women.

She freedives under the ice in the dark in Finland with Cath, the first woman to swim a mile in the Antarctic Circle; she cycles across Argentina with Mimi, one of the world's most famous female endurance runners; and she swims from Alcatraz with Anaya and Mitali, two young sisters who have braved the shark-infested waters over 70 times.

With her natural empathy and sense of humour, Louise forms close bonds with 18 incredible women. She explores what drives them and how they find the resilience and determination to go on despite life's setbacks. Lizzie overcame a life-threatening illness and now paddleboards whilst cleaning up the planet with her community; Rhian set up a charity in the face of grief and fundraises through hikes; and Zee took up rugby alongside her busy nursing career and motherhood.

Louise reminds us of the bravery inside us all, and how essential it is to celebrate women's achievements. Prepare to be touched and inspired by these fearless women.

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Louise?
  • Why you might know who Louise is (if you live in the UK)
  • Taking up sport at 45
  • Calling herself an endurance athlete
  • Her early years and passion for sports
  • Being a water baby and why swimming was her thing
  • Stopping swimming at 15
  • Doing a Christmas Challenge in the velodrome for BBC Breakfast in 2012
  • Having 1 hour of training before race night
  • Buying herself a road bike with drop handle bars 
  • All the gear….
  • Making mistakes on the bike
  • Being encouraged by a friend to try a triathlon
  • Being a goal driven person and why having a goal helps with training 
  • Advice for taking your first step 
  • Telling other people and feeling a sense of accountability/responsibility to achieve goals
  • Being willing to say yes to new challenges
  • Being pushed out of her comfort zones at work 
  • Fears and concerns before her first triathlon 
  • Her attitude of - lets give it a go
  • Not worrying about negative outcomes or failure
  • Having a life changing moment when her daughter was born 
  • Thinking she might die and how the experience changed her
  • Having a more positive attitude to life 
  • Feeling so lucky to do what she does
  • Her love for cycling and spending time on the bike (both indoors and outdoors)
  • Becoming a Team Great Britain (GB) Triathlete  
  • Representing her country at triathlon at the World and European Championships at Olympic distance.
  • Feeling extra pressure when competing in the UK
  • Training for a triathlon and fitting it around her work and job
  • Waking up at 3.40am every day to host the breakfast show
  • Book: Dare to Tri: My Journey from the BBC Breakfast Sofa to GB Team Triathlete
  • Chapter 14 - Kit list - What to take and why to take it.
  • Book: Fearless: Adventures with Extraordinary Women
  • Loving stories about adventure
  • Why do we never hear about women doing these adventures and challenges?
  • Making changes at the BBC around equal pay and being allowed to say hello first
  • Wanting to drive change, by going and doing it 
  • Doing 17 different adventures with fearless women 
  • Needing to amplify women’s voices 
  • Needing different heroes 
  • Trying to get Fearless on the TV
  • Noticing change 
  • Do you know who Mimi Anderson is?
  • Do you know who Cath Pendleton is?
  • Free diving under the ice in Finland with Cath 
  • How hard could that be?
  • Why being fearful and having fear is a good thing
  • Deciding to cycle across Argentina with Mimi Anderson 
  • Feeling the fear and wanting to stop
  • Listening to her gut
  • Doing running with Susie Chan
  • Being part of a wonderful sisterhood of amazing women
  • Running the London Marathon with her daughter
  • Fitting in training while travelling for the book tour
  • How menopause has impacted on exercise and taking HRT
  • How to connect with Louise on the socials
  • Final words of advice for women who want to be fearless and embrace new adventures 
  • Words from Belinda Kirk   

 

Social Media

Instagram: @louiseminchin 

Twitter: @louiseminchin 

Books: 

Dare to Tri: My Journey from the BBC Breakfast Sofa to GB Team Triathlete 

Fearless: Adventures with Extraordinary Women 

 

Dec 7, 2023

Raquel Vélez is the Founder and CEO of Alpine Parrot, an outdoor apparel company that caters specifically to people of size and people of color. She brings with her almost two decades of engineering experience, having received her degree in mechanical engineering from Caltech, worked and studied as a robotics engineer, and eventually shifting over to software engineering and engineering management. 

Now, as an apparel engineer, she's creatively tackling one of the oldest (and most polluting) industries by creating sustainable, inclusive clothing for a market of people who have so often been neglected in the outdoor space. 

As a plus sized Latina who discovered her love of the outdoors later in life, Raquel has put an incredible amount of careful consideration into the design of each product, focusing on great fit and quality construction. She was named one of Outside Magazine's Outsiders of the Year 2021 and one of Well+Good Magazine's Changemakers 2023.

Raquel has lived in 4 countries, speaks 5 languages, and currently lives in California.

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Raquel?
  • Living in California, USA 
  • Her early years
  • Loving to read and explore through books
  • Getting into the outdoors in her 20s
  • Learning how to ski and falling in love with it
  • Her gateway to the outdoors
  • Climbing, camping, surfing and backpacking
  • The lack of Latina role models
  • Growing up being surrounded by whiteness 
  • Making friends in the outdoors
  • Learning how to sew and make patterns
  • Having a degree in mechanical engineering
  • How hard could it be?!
  • Designing an 8 piece plus size women’s ski/snow line
  • Being miserable but earning good money and doing interesting work
  • Starting to think about quitting her job
  • How Alpine Parrot came about
  • The reason behind the company name
  • Putting a plan in place to quit her job
  • The transition from full time employment to being an entrepreneur 
  • Figuring out personal finances and if there was a market for a plus sized focused clothing company 
  • Making plans and metrics for success
  • Engaging with her audience, designing hiking pants and getting feedback
  • Launching a kickstarter in 2021
  • Starting to sell clothing in August 2022
  • Needing to understand what the problem was with plus sized hiking clothes
  • How clothing is made
  • The fit model 
  • Making clothes that fit people in bigger bodies
  • Making the outdoors more inclusive 
  • Happy tears 
  • Making people feel they belong
  • Why there is nothing wrong with your body 
  • 2 different fits for pants - Mountain and River
  • 2 different fits for tops - Coastal and Forest 
  • Using the outdoors to help manage stress
  • Having to make hard decision and needing to let people go 
  • The power of being in nature 
  • Expanding internationally 
  • Buy Alpine Parrot in Australia/New Zealand - Plus Snow
  • Buy Alpine Parrot in the UK - Vampire Outdoors
  • How to connect with Raquel and Alpine Parrot 
  • Final words of advice - on how to get into the outdoors
  • The power of taking one step
  • Walking with purpose

 

Social Media

Alpine Parrot - 🌲🚶🏽‍♀️Outdoor apparel for sizes 14-30 and 1X-5X!
✨ Latina owned and operated ✨

Website: alpineparrot.com 

Instagram: @alpineparrot 

 

Dec 5, 2023

In this episode of the Tough Girl Podcast, we delve into the inspiring journey of Maite Rojo, a passionate ultra runner who has taken on some of the toughest challenges in the world of endurance racing. 

Born in a small fishing village in Northern Spain, Maite's love for sports and running ignited at a young age. Encouraged by her family, she discovered the simplicity and joy of running, eventually becoming an integral part of a supportive running community.

Over the years, she embarked on marathons, ultra marathons, and eventually 24-hour races, pushing her body to its limits.

Maite's perseverance and dedication paid off when she won two 24-hour challenges, with her second victory securing her a direct entrance to the prestigious Spartathlon Race in Athens. In the gruelling Spartathlon, Maite ran an astonishing 247 km and placed 9th female, proving her indomitable spirit.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Maite recently tackled the Ultr'Ardèche ultra race in France, covering a distance of 222 km and finishing in an impressive 4th place. Her relentless pursuit of new challenges and her ability to adapt to the demands of each race showcase her extraordinary strength and tenacity.

Beyond her own personal achievements, Maite also dedicates her races to her father, who battles a degenerative illness that affects his mobility. Her running journey serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the ability to find strength even in the face of adversity.

Join us as Maite Rojo shares her insights on training for 24-hour races, the importance of rest and recovery, nutrition for endurance athletes, and the mental preparation required to conquer monumental challenges. Her story is one of passion, perseverance, and the unwavering belief in following one's heart.

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

 

Show notes

  • Who is Maite
  • Born in Northern Spain in a small fishing village
  • Currently living in her brothers house, close to Santiago, Spain
  • 50 years old 
  • Spending time around boats from a young age
  • Learning dingy sailing with her brother at 18 years old
  • Having a love for sports from a young age
  • Starting running at 13 years old 
  • Her running journey and how it progresses 
  • Being very shy as a child and being encouraged by her family to do sports 
  • Loving the simplicity of running
  • Finding fellow runners and being part of a community 
  • Competing for 6 years in running before stopping due to other commitments 
  • Sailing full time and trying to train for her first half marathon
  • Running 1 or 2 marathons a year
  • Training for 24hr races 
  • Supported her brother running the Spartathlon 2018 (he was the only Spanish finisher)
  • Being inspired and wanting to race the Spartathlon 
  • Entering the Spartathlon lottery for 3 years before going for a direct entrance
  • Doing her first 24hr race In New Zealand (23rd Self-Transcendence 24 Hour Track Race) and running 206km and placing 1st female. 
  • Running a 24hr track race in Barcelona (24 hores d'ultrafons en pista de Barcelona (ESP)) and qualifying for the Spartathlon by running 216.9km
  • Quitting her sailing job to focus on running and training for 4 months before the Spartathlon Race
  • Wanting to be super prepared
  • Working as a running coach
  • Wanting to challenge herself with training and to see how much her body could adapt to the challenges of the race
  • What training looked like 
  • Looking at her strengths and weaknesses 
  • Being able to do hard sessions and being able to recovery quickly
  • Focusing on strength training while working on a boat when not able to run
  • How sailing helped prepare her for sleep deprivation while running through the night
  • Starting to increase her millage on a gradual basis and doing back to back training sessions at the weekend 
  • Tips for rest and recovery and why its good to have a regular massage
  • The benefits of stretching 
  • Working on her weaknesses and focusing on building strength in her legs through weights
  • Ensuring enough food is consumed to support her body and training needs 
  • Nutrition for fuelling her body as a vegetarian, wanting to eat as natural as possible (avoiding gels)
  • The mental preparation for the Spartathlon Race
  • Race strategy for running including dealing with cut off points and the challenge of the mountain in the middle
  • How meditation helped during the race - focusing on the beauty of the running environment from the stars to the moon.
  • Reducing her caffeine consumption before the race and then having caffeine again before the mountain 
  • Being supported by her crew and seeing her brother at aid stations along the way
  • Running Ultr’Ardèche, in France (222km) and getting 4th place  
  • How to connect with Maite 
  • Why it’s important to have passion for what you do and why you should follow your heart. 

 

Social Media

Instagram: @mairedrunner 

Facebook: @mairedrunner 

 
Nov 30, 2023

Ellen is a 27-year-old pilot, flight instructor, and adventure traveler, with a background in writing, acting, and modeling. She grew up on a farm in rural Texas. In her short adult life, she’s been on five expeditions by bicycle, paddle, and oars, both domestic and international. Those journeys add up to a total of 18 months and roughly 10,000 miles - nearly all of which were human-powered and half of which were solo.

In 2017, Ellen, then 22, completed a solo descent of the Missouri from Three Forks to St. Louis. Ellen had previously paddled a tributary of the Amazon and cycled from England to Greece. Ellen is the youngest person to solo paddle the Missouri River from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis.

In September 2022, Ellen Falterman paddled her 18-foot Grumman canoe to her family's Trinity River home in East Texas, completing a full descent of the Mississippi River and then some.

Her motivation and mentor for these trips have always been her brother Patrick, who died suddenly in 2016. She dedicates all of her expeditions to him, and even when she’s traveling by herself, she never feels as if she’s traveling alone.

***This episode was recorded at the end of 2021 to be released in early 2022. Ellen lost her fiancé in 2022 so we decided to delay the release of the episode until now. Our hearts and hugs go out to Ellen.***

 

New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe 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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Ellen
  • Her trail name
  • Being based out of East Texas
  • The big challenge - gong around the world by rowboat
  • Being inspired by her brother
  • Her family 
  • Wanting to make her own way in life
  • Thinking of becoming an actor
  • Losing her brother suddenly in September 2016
  • Starting to live life like there is no tomorrow 
  • Dealing with the dark and tragic situations that happens in life
  • Going to Brazil with her brother in 2014
  • Talking about her grief 
  • Hitching around Brazil and making money while on the road
  • Learning from her brother while travelling together
  • Doing a river trip after he died
  • Her first solo expedition on the Missouri River, the longest river in North America
  • Planning verses going with the flow 
  • Daily life while on travelling on rivers
  • River time and working with tides and rowing in open water
  • Figuring out resupply and knowing what rations you have
  • The lessons from her first solo expedition 
  • Why everyone should do a solo challenge at some point 
  • Dealing with loneliness 
  • Funding and paying for challenges
  • Working as a flight instructor to self fund challenges
  • Learning to fly and getting her pilot license at 17
  • Deciding to row the length of The Mississippi River
  • How her expeditions have tied together 
  • Naming her boat after her grandma 
  • Gaining ocean rowing experience
  • Doing a sea school course in the UK and gaining qualifications 
  • Handling concerns before the journey 
  • Creating a non-profit and how it works
  • Documenting and sharing the challenge
  • Working with UK non-profit IMMAs 
  • Keeping stuff in storage 
  • Creating a cozy cabin 
  • Wanting to be in Panama in 12 months
  • Launching on September 4th 2022
  • Falling in love and the challenge of leaving 
  • Wanting to be the captain of her ship and being alone for the first year
  • How you can support Ellen 
  • How to connect with Ellen on the socials 
  • Final words advice - The 3Ds - Desire, Decision, Details 

 

Social Media

Website ellenmagellanexpeditions.com 

Instagram @ellenmagellanexpeditions 

Facebook Ellen Magellan Expeditions

 

Nov 28, 2023

Josephine in her own words:  

“I’m a middle aged mother of three. Also, adventurer, rock climber, former Mountain Rescuer, wilderness addict, lover of Nature, doer. Oh, and professional author and award-winning photographer.

Many hats, but a common thread of being outdoors, helping people and sharing a love of wild places.

Having moved on from the confines of Mountain Rescue, I am on a journey with Mountain Training Association to get qualified so that I can introduce people, and especially women, to the indescribable benefits of outdoor adventure. 

Too many women feel that it is beyond them. I want to show that it is not.

I love polar adventure and have been to Norway many times and skied across Svalbard on a 9 day expedition. 

Mountains, moors, wilderness, old mines and rock faces all vie for my time so that it feels there is never enough! 

My mantra is: “Do it now. Life is too short.”

I am not one for “ests” the longest/fastest/highest etc. To me, it is all about being there, in that moment.

My work as an author and publisher includes the Dartmoor Tors Compendium, the Official Visitor Guide to Dartmoor National Park and the Geology of Dartmoor. I also design unique infographics and poster art about Dartmoor in particular. My photography, when not illustrating books, is photographing architectural properties and interiors. Mainly though, photography is about showing how beautiful and amazing our world is.”

***

Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, airing every Tuesday at 7am UK time. Hit the subscribe button to stay updated and connected.

Join us in our mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Show your support by visiting www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you for helping to make change happen.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Josephine
  • Wearing lots of hats 
  • Her love for going out and exploring and spending time in wilderness
  • Studying geo-physics at university down in London
  • Making the move to Devon
  • Deciding to re-train in photography 
  • How her career focuses on photography, design and being outdoors
  • Having 3 grown children 
  • Her love and passion for the outdoors 
  • Growing up in Acton, London
  • Spending more and more time in Dartmoor 
  • Age 14, having the opportunity to do an outward bound course (3 week residential)
  • Discovering different possibilities and wanting to live a life outdoors
  • Meeting her husband at the Officer Training Core at University 
  • Making the decision to move to Devon to raise her family
  • Asking herself the question - what does she really want to do
  • Buying an old barn to renovate, while raising 3 children and going back to college for 3 years to study photography and media production
  • Why we have to take a risk and make things happen
  • Not doing any adventures for 20 years while raising the kids
  • Starting to do more solo activities at 52
  • Booking to do a polar training course with Newland Expeditions
  • Spending time walking on Dartmoor
  • Losing her mum to Ovarian Cancer 
  • Skiing across Svalbard on a 9 day expedition (being the only woman and one of the oldest there)
  • Camp life, dealing with Polar bears and why it’s so challenging 
  • Imposter Syndrome?
  • Feeling like an explorer and an adventurer
  • Cycling the Hebridean Way, Scotland 2022
  • Being inspired by watching the Reality TV Show Castaway (2000) 
  • Dealing with the tough days while on challenges
  • Suffering from covid
  • Challenges with mental health and seeking therapy  
  • Dealing with setbacks and failure 
  • Spending time in the Cairngorms, Scotland and going exploring 
  • Doing her Hill & Moorland Assessment 
  • Wanting to train for her Mountain Leader (ML) Award 
  • Her healing process and wanting to learn new skills
  • Trying to identify what you want to be
  • Doing what’s achievable first
  • Signing up for the Rock Climbing Instructor Course in 2022 
  • Wanting to share her love for the outdoors and encourage more people to spend time outside
  • Mountain Rescue and the training program
  • Hitting a glass wall and dealing with bad people management
  • Deciding to resign from Mountain Rescue 
  • Advice and tips for other women who are in a similar situation
  • Not wanting to rock the boat and what she would do differently now
  • Why the old school way of thinking has to change
  • Why we don’t have to put up with bad behaviour 
  • How the ML training is going 
  • How you can connect with Josephine
  • The meaning behind the name ‘Tavicinity’ 
  • Using Instagram in the old fashioned way - black and white photos
  • The importance of learning how to navigate
  • Why you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people 
  • Why you should try something new
  • “Make it happen and do it for you”.  

 

Social Media

Website: www.tavicinitypublishing.co.uk 

Instagram: @tavicinity 

 
Nov 21, 2023

In this episode of the Tough Girl Podcast, we dive into the incredible journey of Fadeelah Kenny, an endurance runner, cyclist, and hiker. Fadeelah, a hijabi woman, shares her inspiring story of becoming a mother and the challenges she faced along the way.

Fadeelah opens up about her experience as a late starter, having her baby at the age of 38. She candidly discusses the struggles she encountered in adjusting to motherhood and her battle with severe postpartum depression. Despite these obstacles, Fadeelah's determination shines through as she shares her story of recovery and resilience.

As an endurance runner, Fadeelah has completed several ultra marathons, including the renowned Comrades Marathon three times. She reflects on her running journey, from discovering her endurance capabilities to pushing herself in longer distances. Fadeelah recounts the mental challenges of running, emphasising the importance of a positive mindset and self-belief.

The conversation delves into Fadeelah's experience of running the Comrades Marathon, an 89-kilometre race that changes direction every year. She shares the mental and physical obstacles she faced during the race, including the last few kilometres where she needed to dig deep to finish with only minutes to spare.

Fadeelah also discusses her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety, highlighting the importance of seeking support and opening up about one's struggles. She shares her desire to help others by sharing her own journey and offering advice to women facing similar challenges.

Don't miss this empowering episode filled with insights on endurance running, motherhood, and the strength of the human spirit.

 

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

 

Show notes

  • Who is Fadeelah
  • Working as an electrical engineer while having a love for endurance running
  • Having a new baby 14 months ago age 38
  • Her early years growing up in South Africa
  • Her older sister Rogeema Kenny (who has also shared her story on the Tough Girl Podcast - 4th August 2023)
  • Not enjoying athletics when she was younger as she wasn’t good at it
  • Learning she had a little bit of endurance while running 1,500m at school
  • Only been competitive with herself
  • Starting running 13 years ago and why she prefers the longer distances
  • How her running journey progressed and what that looked like
  • Being asked to run a 5k race on National Women's Day in South Africa (9th August)
  • Getting the bug for running and starting to enter more races
  • Needing a running licence - through the Athletics Association South Africa
  • Deciding to join a running club and meeting so many like minded people
  • Signing up for longer and longer races
  • Running Comrades Marathon 3x (89 km)
  • Two Oceans Ultra Marathon 
  • Why it’s a mental challenge running longer distances 
  • Keep on running - don’t stop, even if you think you aren’t going to make the cut off
  • How the Comrades Marathon changes direction every year 
  • Needing to convince herself that she could finish the race
  • The importance of having a positive mindset and having belief in herself
  • Needing to understand WHY she was running and WHY she was doing this race
  • Dealing with the physical pain during the race
  • Running with a pacer and not being able to keep up for the final few kms
  • Being encouraged to keep on running by supporters 
  • Completing the race with 2mins to spare!
  • Sharing more about motherhood and running
  • Suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety 
  • Not knowing where to turn
  • Talking about her struggles and wanting to help others
  • Starting to feel more like herself 
  • How to connect with Fadeelah
  • Final words of advice for women listening 

 

Social Media

Instagram: @fadeelahk 

Twitter: @fadeelahk 

Facebook: Fadeelah Kenny 

LinkedIn: Fadeelah Kenny 

 
Nov 14, 2023

Majka Burhardt is a professional climber, certified climbing guide, conservation entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker; she is also the founder and executive director of the international conservation and development organization Legado and the author of More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood, released in 2023. 

Majka currently lives with her 7 year old twins and her husband, the internationally certified mountain guide Peter Doucette, in Jackson, New Hampshire.

About the Book: More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood. 

An intense and emotional epistolary memoir by one of the world's top ice climbers, born at the confluence of motherhood, adventure, career, and marriage. 

As one of the world’s leading female professional rock and ice climbers, Burhardt and her husband led globe-trotting, adventure-seeking lives.  When she learns that she’s pregnant—with twins—Burhardt at first tries to justify her insistence on pursuing extreme risk in the face of responsibility.  But she is  ultimately forced to grieve the avalanche of emotions that accompanies any major life transitions along with the physical changes in her own body.

Based on the letters and journals Burhardt diligently kept over the course of those six years, More takes the reader on an around-the-world journey as Burhardt explores the transformative, identity-shifting experience of motherhood and its irreversible impact on career, identity, marriage, and self.

In the early weeks of her children's lives, Burhardt immerses herself in adoration for her twins and grappling with the tremendous guilt and struggle around having to return to risk-laden work and that ever elusive balance mothers everywhere seek amidst it all. 

As the newness of her twins fades into a permanent reality, Burhardt turns her attention towards her marriage and the collateral damage as she and her husband, Peter, struggle to navigate their new normal. As anger and resentment threaten the foundation of her family, Burhardt courageously looks to her past—and her own mother's tumultuous and confusing history of success, violence, and ragged divorce—to better understand her own way forward.  How will she break free from the legacy of her own childhood to start fresh with her own family? 

Raw, candid, and galvanizing, More is a passionate and poignant testament to the enduring power of love and our lifelong journey to understand ourselves as we strive to always pursue more.

***

Don't miss out on new episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast that are released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Hit the subscribe button to stay updated.

By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can help increase the representation of female role models in the media especially in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to contribute. Thank you for your support!

 

Show notes

  • Who is Majka
  • Living in Jackson, New Hampshire
  • Her early years growing up
  • Being very sporty and adventurous
  • The toughen up Majka campaign
  • Doing a 45 day canoe expedition in the Arctic
  • Her love for being on trail
  • Mentors and role models
  • Kitty Calhoun - Alpinist & Activist 
  • Lynn Hill 
  • Getting into climbing at at 15/16 years old and how it started gradually 
  • Taking a year off from college to climb full time 
  • Feeling drawn to ice climbing 
  • Wanting to make climbing her job
  • Writing for climbing magazines to make money and to combine her passions
  • Climbing in Ethiopia, Africa
  • Climbing a first ascent - The Sandstone Towers of Tigray, in northern Ethiopia.
  • Book: Vertical Ethiopia published by Shama Publishing, an Ethiopian Publisher.
  • Legado
  • Brining in scientists to climb around the vertical granite terrain on Mount Namuli in Mozambique 
  • Shifting the focus of Legado from being a conservation organisation to one that activates climate justice with indigenous people and local communities throughout the world
  • Working in Mozambique, Kenya and Peru to help create a thriving future 
  • Motherhood and not being sure if being a mum was part of her agenda
  • Meeting her partner, Peter in 2008 in New Hampshire at an Ice Climbing Festival
  • Getting pregnant and finding out it was twins
  • Book: More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood. 
  • Trying to hold onto her career during pregnancy and motherhood
  • Working with Patagonia 
  • Micro moments of balance 
  • Training and exercise during and after pregnancy
  • The impact of pregnancy on her core
  • Getting outside and adventuring with the children
  • Writing the book and reflecting back over that time
  • Focusing on showing up and being as present as possible
  • Practical advice and tips for new mothers
  • The importance of friends and community 
  • Dividing up domestic labour and having systems
  • Waking up at 5.30am
  • Morning routine 
  • Rest and recovery
  • Mantra and words of empowerment
  • Being a warrior goodness
  • How to connect with Majka
  • Final words of advice to encourage women to go after their own dreams

 

Social Media

Website: majkaburhardt.com 

Instagram: @majkaburhardt 

Facebook: @majka.burhardt

Legado Activates the Power of Legacy - So that people and nature can thrive together - now and into the future. 

Buy the book: More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood

 
 
Nov 7, 2023

In this episode of the Tough Girl Podcast, I speak with Lucy Coppack, a finance manager by day and an outdoors enthusiast by weekend. 

Lucy shares her love for the hills, her experiences as a female in the outdoors industry, and her personal challenges including the loss of her mother to breast cancer. 

Lucy talks about her decision to raise money for the East Cheshire Hospice by completing the Peak District 88 Trig Point Challenge, and how the outdoors helps her process her emotions and grief. She also shares advice and tips for girls who want to spend more time in the outdoors.

***

Subscribe to the Tough Girl Podcast to listen to more inspiring stories of women breaking barriers and pushing boundaries. New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time. To support the mission of increasing female role models in the media, visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.

***

Show notes

  • Who is Lucy
  • Living in Macclesfield, just outside the Peak District, UK
  • Working as a finance manager during the day
  • Her love for the outdoors, the hills and living van life during the weekends
  • Her early years growing up and spending loads of time outdoors
  • Being into climbing, biking and hiking 
  • Her teenage years and spending time in Guides and Explorers 
  • Cheshire Hike 
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award 
  • Being the only girl 
  • Starting to see more women in the outdoors
  • Female instructors and leaders
  • Studying Adventure Sports at Reaseheath College 
  • Getting other basic qualifications for use in the outdoors
  • Struggling after leaving college to find work
  • PGL Summer Camps 
  • Doing ski seasons for 3 years
  • Teaching herself how to snowboard
  • Working long shifts, but having the best time of her life
  • Working her summer seasons in Cornwall, UK
  • Wanting a bit more of a normal job
  • Losing her mum at 3 years old to breast cancer
  • Deciding to raise money for
  • Wanting to do a local challenge to raise money and awareness for East Cheshire Hospice
  • Deciding to do the 'Peak District Trig Point Challenge’ 
  • Wanting to complete the challenge in 88 days
  • Dislocating her knee and needing to go to hospital 
  • The outdoors and how it helps with her mental health
  • Being a mental health first aider 
  • Using hiking to help process her emotions and feeling of grief over losing her mum
  • Van life and the realities 
  • Pooing and peeing 
  • Wanting to hike all 214 Wainwrights 
  • Becoming a Boobette with Coppafeel
  • The importance of checking your boobs on a regular basis
  • The BRCA Gene - BReast CAncer
  • Starting to get breast screening at 25 years old
  • Coming to terms with her risks of getting breast cancer
  • Thinking about doing her Mountain Leader Qualification 
  • Thoughts on working full time in the outdoors industry full time
  • Wanting to work with outdoor brands as an ambassador/influencer 
  • Thinking about the financial side of working in the outdoor industry
  • Advice and tips for girls who want to spend time in the outdoors
  • Starting with local walks to build up your confidence
  • App: All Trails 
  • OS Maps 
  • Check out FB Groups, Meet ups and connect with people on Instagram
  • How to connect with Lucy online
  • Nicky - IG @nicky.walks 
  • Anna Blackwell - @annablackwell 

 

Social Media

Instagram: @lucy.does.trigs 

Just Giving: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-coppack1 

 
Nov 2, 2023

Today, I'm excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at the planning and preparation for my upcoming adventure on the 3,000km Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. I recorded this episode, hours before I headed down to London to catch my flight to first Korea and then on to Aukland, New Zealand. 

In this podcast, I'll take you through the meticulous planning and preparation that goes into making these epic adventures come to life. From the nitty-gritty details on my to-do list to managing setbacks and equipment challenges.

I share the story behind my sponsorship with ZOLEO and the invaluable benefits I've gained from their products. I'll also break down my approach to planning big adventures. Starting by dividing it down into the mental, physical, logistical, and practical aspects, offering insights that hopefully will add value as you plan your adventures.

Throughout this episode, I'll candidly share the intricacies and hurdles I've encountered and why I take full responsibly for all my decision, even when those decision put me under huge amounts of pressure/stress to deliver. 

So, if you're curious about what goes into planning an adventure as massive as the Te Araroa Trail while running a business and keeping that business going while travelling. Then this podcast is a must-listen!

Join me on my journey as I navigate the world of planning, preparation, and ultimately, adventure. 

Follow my Te Araroa Challenge on Instagram @toughgirlchallenges. I’ll be sharing daily updates on the main page and instagram stories.

A massive thank you to ZOLEO for sponsoring the challenge #ChallengeWithZOLEO 

 

***

This episode is sponsored by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home. 

Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

 www.zoleo.com 

***

Show Notes

  • Planning and preparation episode for the Te Araroa hike
  • 10.50pm the day before heading down to London 
  • Setting the scene - Working from my bed ‘aka my office’
  • Why I’m not complaining - I’m just sharing the challenges and loving my life
  • Blessed, lucky and very privileged
  • 9th year of the Tough Girl Podcast in 2025
  • Why I’m grateful and full of gratitude - This is what I dreamed about
  • Do I complain all the time? Vlog 5/17 Camino Frances
  • Sharing the realities of what it is like while on challenges
  • Why can I do so many challenges in a year?
  • Planing, planning, planning and more planning 
  • Pitching for work in 2024/2025
  • Having to look far ahead
  • Planning to go to New Zealand since April/May time
  • Future adventures and challenges need to be planned quite far in advance
  • The work that goes on behind the scenes
  • Working super far ahead to ensure Tough Girl Podcast episodes go live every week
  • Being home in March and then away on the 1st April
  • National Outdoor Expo 23rd - 24th March 
  • Me putting pressure on myself 
  • These are my choices 
  • Wanting to walk the main 7 camino’s by the end of 2025
  • Doing the Camino Primitivo as a training hike 
  • Total Stats from the hike 
  • I should have worked out the average time on feet
  • Planning to do list and using my apple notes while hiking 
  • Very specific to do list and really breaking it down into small manageable points
  • Trying to reduce the overwhelm
  • Setbacks and challenges over the past 23 days
  • Having a detailed daily plan of what needs to be done e.g. 4 days to edit 16 days worth of vlogs into 7 vlogs and for them to be uploaded to Youtube.  
  • Broken laptop and needing to send it off to be repaired - there were tears
  • Editing and getting caught up with the vlogs
  • Getting my laptop back up and running and setting everything up again from scratch 
  • Editing - loving the creative process - the stress comes from not having the time to dedicate to it
  • When good enough is good enough 
  • Why I edit the TGP how I edit them. 
  • Why my priority is my guest and their story. 
  • Having challenging conversations and navigating through that
  • Thinking about how to approach these topics, what’s the best way to support the guests 
  • The challenges of batch interviewing and having multiple interviews per day 
  • Building work being done and not being able to record during the day
  • Earning money and taking a one day job in Manchester with OfftoWork and the opportunity cost of earning money and not having time to do my podcast/editing work
  • Taking responsibility for my choices
  • What it means being a sponsored hike. Not all my costs are going to be covered. 
  • First world problems 
  • How did the ZOLEO sponsorship come about?
  • Starting to use ZOLEO in April 2023
  • The benefits I’ve found 
  • Needing to figure out a way to attach the ZOLEO to my pack when running
  • Reaching out to ZOLEO for sponsorship, putting a pitch together and having a meeting.
  • New Zealand - Land Safety Code 
  • Carrying emergency food - apricots and walnuts 
  • The hiking community and the amazing supportive people out there
  • Sharon Evans @freewheelingkiwi 
  • Breaking down the planning into 3 parts; mental, physical, logistical & practical 
  • Starting to plan during the covid years
  • How I start off my research and using apple notes 
  • Facebook: Te Araroa Trail: Women's Group 
  • Working backwards, dates, timeframe, flights accommodation, getting to the start line and getting home from the finish line,
  • Having a plan B, C, D
  • Discover how to get anywhere 
  • Going from Auckland to the top of the North Island 
  • Not being able to plan for everything 
  • Using booking.com for accommodation - cheapest in the best location for me
  • Insurance 
  • Visa for New Zealand - British Citizens don’t need a visa - they get a 6 month visa waiver
  • Having another start date for the South Island 
  • Booking the ferry to the South Island 
  • Why sometimes you can’t just go with the flow
  • Gear - Upgrading my tent from a Terra Nova Laser 2 person tent to MSR 2 person tent (900g) the red palace.
  • Can I get lighter in my gear? Maybe change my backpack next year
  • Clothes and trainers provided by Inov-8
  • Get a 15% discount - using this link 
  • The challenges with the waterproof trousers
  • Food boxes? Why I don’t do them 
  • Facebook groups and why I don’t like them in relation to challenges
  • Wanting to figure out stuff for myself 
  • Is it adding value - no - then step away
  • Mental side of planning for a challenge and why I haven’t done a huge amount this time
  • The tools in my tool kit
  • Why the TA is in my comfort zone (which doesn’t mean it’s not going to be tough or hard)
  • Feeling mentally prepared and ready but thinking I could have done more
  • Am I feeling physical ready for the challenge - yes and no….
  • Being joined by Sara Crosland for a walk
  • Wishing I had longer to train and prepare, but doing the best I could do with the time available. 
  • Working with my PT - Franco @HumalForces 
  • Getting my hiker legs back after 7/10 days and being able to push bigger miles towards the end of the trip
  • My weight and being very lean at the moment (which I like, but need to be aware of especially when taking on a big physical challenge like this)
  • Having a vision board on my laptop and phone (created in canva.com)
  • Flight on Sunday, Korea for 3/4 days, before flying to Auckland.
  • You can follow along on Instagram @toughgirlchallenges
  • Should I share my ZOLEO phone number and e-mail so people can contact me?
  • Having tomorrow morning to do the final bits of work
  • How to reach out - send me an e-mail sarah@toughgirlchallenges.com or send me a DM via Instagram 
  • Thank you to ZOLEO for sponsoring the podcast and the Te Araroa Challenge. 

 

Previous Challenge Solo Episodes 

Apr 26, 2016 - Sarah Williams - Shares her journey of getting to the start line of the Marathon des Sables (MDS) & running the toughest footrace on earth!

Sep 19, 2017 - Sarah Williams - Thru hiking the Appalachian Trail (2,190 miles) in 100 days!

Sep 4, 2018 - Sarah Williams - Planning and Preparation for the Pacific Coast Highway & the Baja Divide!

Dec 25, 2018 - Sarah Williams - Cycling the Pacific Coast Highway & Baja Divide

 

Oct 31, 2023

Born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised by immigrant parents from China and Japan, Mari has always been drawn to stories that celebrate and examine identity, multiculturalism, and diversity. 

After completing her Masters at the Royal College of Music in 2019, Funabashi continued to work in London, working closely with production houses Far Away Films and 84 East. 

Since then she has composed for many award-winning films, particularly enjoying providing thoughtful and nuanced underscores for films that center around the human condition, although she would never say no to bombastic superhero themes with french horn solos. 

Curious and creative by nature, Funabashi often mixes sound design with her musical underscores in order to create truly unique pieces of work that are inseparable from the films they were created for.

Beyond music, Mari is a dedicated outdoors enthusiast, and can be found participating in ultra-endurance cycling trips as well as competing in triathlons. Having found outdoor movement after the difficult passing of her father in 2015, introverted Mari finds the long and solo hours of ultra-endurance sports comforting—a quiet and safe space to check-in with herself. 

Her most recent events include a solo bike packing trip from London to Scotland in 2020 (430 miles), the half-ironman distance Castle to Coast Triathlon in 2021 (totalling 81.2 miles) and her 24-hour Manchester to London attempt in 2022 (she made it to 177 miles).

***

Don't miss out on new episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast! Tune in every Tuesday at 7am UK time by hitting the subscribe button. By subscribing, you'll be supporting our mission to increase the number of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge. If you would like to contribute even further, please visit our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you for your support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Mari?
  • Growing up in Arizona in the USA
  • Working as a film composer 
  • Living in the South of England, for the past 6 years
  • Getting into the outdoors in 2016 after the death of her father
  • Her childhood was very focused on music
  • Learning music and playing; piano, guitar, pipe organ, flute, french horn and clarinet
  • Feeling lucky to have connected with the outdoors when she was older
  • Living in New York City  as an introverted person
  • Starting to go on long walks which turned into running
  • Wanting to physically move her body forward
  • Starting to run with friends and finding it enjoyable 
  • Finding triathlon and signing up to race in 2016
  • Preferring the longer distances 
  • Moving to the UK in 2017
  • Use a bike to commute on
  • Getting into ultra distance cycling during covid 
  • Using running to process thoughts 
  • Feeling calm while moving her body and being able to connect with herself on a deep level
  • Starting to do a few solo bike-packing trips
  • Not thinking about distance, but rather time on the time
  • Deciding to cycle from London to Scotland
  • Using Strava to plan the route
  • Having trust in herself to take on this challenge
  • How the challenge helped to boost her confidence
  • “I could probably do it and if I can’t that’s fine, I’ll figure it out someway or another”
  • 24hr Manchester to London attempt in 2022
  • Making it to 177 miles 
  • The lessons learned from the experience and trying again
  • Wanting to break the 200 mile mark
  • Working on a film called - Beyond Words 
  • Working with Play Outdoors Productions - Diversity-focused film collective 
  • Combining art music and the outdoors
  • Composing music while outdoors
  • The goal with creating the film
  • Running a crowd funder and raising the £3K needed to cover the film costs
  • How to connect with Mari
  • Final words of advice for women who want to get into bike packing
  • Struggling to get back on the bike after going through a breakup
  • Women supporting women
  • Being supposed and encouraged by women only Facebook Groups

 

Social Media

Website: www.marifunabashi.com 

Instagram: @marifunabashi

Crowdfunded: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/beyond-words-combining-film-music-bikepacking#/ 

 
Oct 24, 2023

Dierdre grew up in New York City in the 1940s and 50s and helped care for her mother who had polio. Going to high school opened her eyes to new possibilities, and she eventually moved to California after spending time in France and Japan. Dierdre's life took a big turn when she divorced her husband and started focusing on her own goals and dreams. 

At 55, she began running, and has gone on to complete multiple marathons. At 59, she began rock climbing, and at 66, she became the oldest woman to climb Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan (with her son, Alex Honnold, of “Free Solo” fame). 

In 2021, she celebrated her 70th birthday by climbing El Capitan again and camping on the summit. 

At the end of 2023, the documentary about her life, “Climbing Into Life,” will be available to watch.

Climbing into Life is a feature-length documentary detailing the inspiring life story of Dierdre Wolownick-Honnold, the mother of Free Solo’s Alex Honnold. 

This is the story of how she went from a completely consumed mother and professor, and ended up on the wall of El Capitan. From an unhappy wife and lonely mother to the status of athlete later in life, Dierdre confronts fear and ageism and gains a wonderful new community in the outdoors. 

At age 71 Dierdre pushes back against the societal norms that assume her retirement years will be spent slowing down.

***

Don't miss out on new episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast that are released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Hit the subscribe button to stay updated.

By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can help increase the representation of female role models in the media especially in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to contribute. Thank you for your support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Dierdre
  • Being a teacher and writer
  • Growing up in NYC after WW2 had ended
  • Being a city girl
  • Helping to care for her mother who had polio
  • Her responsibilities as the girl 
  • How going to high school changed her life
  • Having her eyes opened to possibilities 
  • Growing up in a Polish-American family
  • Not being able to rebel
  • Going to a catholic school
  • Getting out into the real world
  • Spending time in France and Japan
  • Moving to California 
  • The beginning of the big change 
  • Doing everything for everybody
  • Living in a non marriage
  • Teaching herself how to swim in her 40s
  • Her battle against fear
  • Being able to leave her marriage
  • Divorce being a dirty word
  • Taking up running in her 50s
  • Completing her first 1 mile run
  • Pushing herself to go further
  • Taking baby steps 
  • Climbing with her son
  • Climbing the Royal Arches route in 2017 
  • Looking at El Cap and wondering if she could climb it
  • Jugging in climbing - have her feet on the rocks but not her hands
  • Needing to get specialist gear 
  • Training and getting fit for the climb at 66
  • Going up and down El Cap in 1 day
  • Feeling exhausted and getting back in the dark
  • Celebrating her 70th Birthday climbing El Cap via the descent route 
  • Planning a trip to Spain 
  • Book: The Sharp End of Life: A Mother's Story.
  • Documentary - Climbing into Life - out at the end of 2023
  • How to connect with Dierdre
  • Final words of advice 

 

Social Media

Website: dierdrew.us 

Instagram: @dierdre_wolownick_honnold 

Book: The Sharp End of Life: A Mother's Story. 

 

Oct 17, 2023

In this episode, we learn about Meghan J. Ward, a writer based in Banff, Canada, who is passionate about outdoor adventure and travel. Meghan is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and the author of Lights to Guide Me Home: A Journey Off the Beaten Track in Life, Love, Adventure, and Parenting. 

Meghan has written several books, as well as produced content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications.

Meghan shares her journey as a writer, her love of travel, and how she balances parenting with her passion for exploration. 

Meghan also provides practical advice for new moms who want to continue travelling and going on adventures with their children. We also learn about her current project, a documentary film about early 20th-century mountain explorer Mary Schäffer Warren. Finally, Meghan shares some words of advice for women who want to spend more time travelling and going on adventures.

***

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 www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast Thank you.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Meghan
  • Being based in Banff, Canada
  • Having 2 daughters aged 4 and 10
  • Being a writer and releasing her first travel memoir 
  • Her passion for travel and for being outside 
  • Growing up in Ottawa, Canada
  • Her love of travel and where it came from 
  • Being inspired by National Geographic Magazines 
  • Meeting her husband, Paul in the summer of 2005 
  • Starting a writing career after university 
  • Being encouraged to pursue writing 
  • Her writing process while travelling 
  • Book: Lights to Guide Me Home: A Journey Off the Beaten Track in Life, Love, Adventure, and Parenting
  • Advice for new mums who have children and want to continue travelling and going on adventures
  • Practical pieces of advice for travelling with children
  • Travelling with children on planes
  • Travelling in a way which is good for the environment
  • Slower travel and making micro adjustments 
  • Artists for Air - Brave travellers cleaning up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 
  • Raising awareness for carbon removal and carbon offsets 
  • Working on a documentary film about 20th-century mountain explorer, Mary Schäffer Warren 
  • Going on a road trip through the Baltic Nations
  • How to connect with Meghan
  • Final words of advice for women who want to spend more time travelling and going on adventure.

 

Social Media

Website: meghanjoyward.com

Substack: meghanjward.substack.com

Instagram: @meghanjward

Twitter: @meghanjward

Facebook: @meghanjoyward

Book: Lights to Guide Me Home: A Journey Off the Beaten Track in Life, Love, Adventure, and Parenting

Documentary - www.wildflowersfilm.ca

 

Oct 10, 2023

Arati Kumar-Rao is an exceptional National Geographic Explorer, independent environmental photographer, writer, and artist dedicated to documenting the slow violence of ecological degradation. With unwavering passion, she traverses the South Asian subcontinent, embarking on captivating journeys that span seasons and sometimes years. Through her profound storytelling, Arati chronicles the ever-changing landscapes, climate, and their profound impact on livelihoods and biodiversity in South Asia.

Arati's profound impact is not confined to her lens or pen; she employs a multidimensional approach, utilising the power of photos, long form narratives, and art to communicate her insights. Recently, she unveiled her debut book, "Marginlands: Indian Landscapes On The Brink," a poignant exploration now available in bookstores across India and on Amazon.

Currently, Arati is engaged in a significant undertaking as she explores forced human migration in India, supported by a prestigious National Geographic grant. Her remarkable body of work has garnered recognition and has been featured in esteemed publications such as The National Geographic Magazine, Emergence Magazine, The Hindu, #Dysturb, The Guardian, BBC Outside Source, Hindustan Times, Mint, and other reputable outlets. Additionally, her artistic endeavours have been exhibited both in India and internationally, leaving an indelible mark on the global stage.

When not immersed in her assignments, Arati finds solace and inspiration in the Western Ghats and Bangalore, where she cherishes being a loving mother to three rescued cats.

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Arati?
  • Being based in Bangalore when not travelling 
  • Her role as an environmental chronicler 
  • Being a slow journalist or a slow storyteller
  • The types of story she tells 
  • Her passion for photography and art 
  • The tools she uses to tell the story 
  • Working in the corporate world and making the decision to leave her job (2013) and start telling environmental stories 
  • Her early years growing up and spending time in nature 
  • Being inspired by the National Geographic Magazine 
  • Wanting to tell stories of the land by walking 
  • Making the transition from the corporate world to following her passion for storytelling 
  • The practical steps involved
  • 2 pivotal moments in her life
  • Studying for a Masters in Physical and working in a lab and deciding it wasn’t the right job for her
  • Having to choose between the Arts and the Sciences
  • Moving back to India and working with Intel doing Market Research
  • Falling ill with Typhoid in her 30s and starting to reflect on her life and thinking about what she really wanted to do
  • Needing to make new connections and build new networks 
  • Slowly starting to find her way and the power of social media to publish stories
  • Slow story telling verses the speed of the internet
  • Needing to upskill in photography, writing and art
  • Taking out personal loads and writing for grants
  • Getting the grant from National Geographic to study forced Human Migration across India due to environmental degradation 
  • Doing a transect walk from the most easterly point of India to the most Westerly point. 
  • Planning and starting a story - what that looks like 
  • Following the threads and seeing where it leads
  • Knowing when you are on the right path?
  • Not finding any path to be wrong - there is always something to learn
  • Taking a pause to reflect on the information that’s been gathered 
  • Dealing with dead ends and moving on
  • Her first time in Bangladesh 
  • New book: Marginlands: Indian Landscapes on the Brink 
  • The speed and impact of climate change 
  • Why it’s important to listen to the local geography’s
  • Sounds in storytelling - Soundscapes
  • Recording a sound signature throughout the journey 
  • Paul Salopek’s - Out of Eden Walk
  • Art as part of the storytelling
  • Wanting to train herself to pay attention to detail 
  • How to connect with Arati on the social media platforms 
  • Final words of advice for other women to follow their passions 
  • Why it’s important for women to speak up
  • The stories that are in your backyard
  • “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ~ Mary Oliver.

 

Social Media

Website: www.aratikumarrao.com

Instagram: @aratikumarrao 

Twitter: @aratikumarrao  

Facebook: @aratikumarrao  

Book: Marginlands: Indian Landscapes on the Brink

 
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