Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 31, 2017

What a journey it has been! There have been high points (a new baby!), low points (trying to raise £21K), focus, dedication, commitment, success and failure. New skills have been learned, new challenges ticked off bucket lists and fears overcome.

I would like to extend a massive thank you to all of the seven women who have been involved in this project since December 2016. It is not easy to put yourself out there, and to share your story with the world (the tough girl podcast is listened to in 172 countries).

These women, all stepped up, they have shared honestly about their experience, the good bits and the bad and I hope you have all managed to take something away from all of their collective experiences.

For the full show notes - please visit

Please become a patron at


Dec 30, 2017

2017! What a year it has been!! So much has been achieved, but where has the time gone? The weeks have disappeared and flown by! I for one am so excited to be able to look back on the year and see what I've learned on this journey! Here is to a fantastic 2018 as well!!

You can listen to my reflections on 2016 and plans for 2017 here

Show notes

  • Tough Girl Challenges was started in 2014
  • What I do and why I do it
  • Questions to help you reflect on 2017
  • What went well? 
  • Setting the scene - writing my bio for Web Summit 
  • Not being able to admit what I wanted to do in 2017
  • Deciding to go for it
  • Breaking the year down into thirds.
  • Having the support of the Tough Girl Team
  • Getting 3.5 months of podcasts uploaded
  • Watch the vlogs from the Appalachian Trail - HERE
  • Listen to my interview about the AppalachianTrail - HERE
  • Vlog 97… the emotions…
  • October - starting my Masters…
  • Not giving 100% to everything I’m doing
  • The growth of Patreon - 150 Patrons
  • Number  - Tough Girl Daily - 22,000 downloads, Twitter 7,707, Instagram 6,677
  • What might not have gone so well?
  • Very comfortable in my bed and in my comfort zone
  • Wanting to get more into vlogging
  • What surprised me?
  • The kindness of strangers, the patrons, family & friends
  • What did this year teach me?
  • Completing 3 goals….out of 7!
  • What do you need to leave behind?
  • Knowing the value of my worth
  • It has to be a business and not an expensive hobby
  • 2018 areas of focus - podcast (500,000 downloads), masters, the tough girl tribe
  • I have to move out of home in 2018
  • 2018 is going to be the Year of the…. Tribe
  • Tribees… (Love this so much!!)
  • Big picture ideas…
  • Internship with the UN?
  • Travelling…?
  • Lots of variables…. 
  • 1000 patrons….. who knows what would happen!
  • Being open to new opportunities
  • Wanting to do another big challenge….. 
  • Top Goals…
  • Ideas for the tribe… events… leaflets…stash… meeting tribe members
  • Please do take the time to reflect on your own personal journey.
Dec 26, 2017

Megan has spent time working and living with native communities all around the world, from the San bushmen in Africa to the Sami reindeer herders in the Arctic to the Iban jungle dwellers in Borneo and many more.

Most of her expeditions involve working closely with native peoples and she always aims to support local communities where possible.

Megan’s primal drive to travel and explore means she can often be found breaking trail through waist deep snow, swinging in her hammock in the depths of a jungle or sharing stories sat around a campfire under the desert stars.

Megan’s Knowledge and skills make her a world leading expert in all aspects of remote wilderness area expeditions, survival and TV filming.

“In the wilderness the only person you are in competition with is yourself. You should constantly strive to be better, to push your own limits and explore your own relationship with the environment.”


Show notes

  • Working in the UK - for once!
  • Growing up as the oldest of 4 children
  • Heading up Snowdon at a young age
  • Finding the Military Cadets
  • Why it was never about gender
  • Careers outside academia?
  • Taking a gap year and going back to uni
  • Travelling the world
  • Going down the mountaineering route
  • Having a love - hate relationship with the jungle
  • Running into trouble
  • Developing a coping mechanism for dealing with stressful situations
  • Getting push back on decisions
  • Being chased by Drug Cartels with AK47s
  • Connecting with local communities
  • Moving back to North Wales
  • Maintaining her fitness
  • Building in yoga and stretching
  • Where the book came from
  • The mental aspects and psychology of survival 
  • What makes people resilient?
  • Advice for women trying to get into the industry
  • Do you enjoy being outside?
  • Her favourite pieces of gear
  • Plans for 2018
  • Would she leave it all for a 9 to 5 job?
  • A lifestyle or a job
  • Having a back up plan
  • Getting her dog - Tugg
  • How to get a signed copy of her book
  • Final words of advice

Learn more about Megan and visit her website -

Dec 19, 2017

Laura is a British adventure athlete with a passion for the endurance capability of the human body.  A strong believer in the positive impact that adventure and sport can have on children and adults alike, Laura uses her human powered journeys as a platform to inspire and encourage others to get outside.

Previous adventures include solo kayaking in Russia, solo cycling the world's longest coastal route in Ireland and circumnavigating three of the Channel Islands using three different sporting disciplines as part of a rather extreme triathlon!

Show notes

  • Learning more about Laura
  • Growing up on a farm then going to theatre school
  • Falling in love with sport again
  • What can I get my body to do?
  • How a pub quiz led her to wanting to kayak the longest river in Russia
  • 8 months to prepare for her first big challenge - Including funding…
  • Telling her parents about her challenge
  • Getting into Russia and the first 24hrs not going to plan
  • Having her trip go viral on social media…..
  • Tracking/being tracked? 8,000 views on her tracker map every day…
  • Where is Laura? Bring stalked? Enforced hospitality…
  • Feeling vulnerable and deciding what to do about it
  • “there is a fine line between being a badass and being a dumb-ass”
  • Her learnings from Russia and why she’s ok with failure
  • Deciding to cycle across Ireland
  • Being a women and being mindful when traveling and doing adventures
  • The Wild Atlantic Way….
  • Planning the trip and the challenges involved especially getting use to wild camping again
  • Wanting to prove something to herself
  • Dealing with the miserable days!
  • Paddling the Thames home as a fun mini challenge!
  • Making up her own triathlon around the Channel Islands!
  • Why she loved the cycling!
  • Pushing her body to her limits - her tips and tricks
  • Having a busy 2017 and working with Keen #TrailFit
  • Tackling her fear of running & why she thought she would never be a runner
  • Getting people to take the first step
  • Why fun is so important!
  • Future plans and adventures - working with schools
  • Mindfulness 
  • Struggling with balance
  • Final words of advice and why you should follow your own inner spark

Learn more about  Laura!

Website -

Twitter @KenningtonLA 

Instagram @laurakairos  

Facebook @kenningtonlaura 


Dec 12, 2017

An adrenaline junkie, Della has completed marathons, 100km walks and skydives, and is currently into walking, cycling and photographing nature along the way. 

Della was a circumnavigator on Hull and Humber in the 09-10 Clipper Race and then returned for numerous legs of the 11-12 race as a videographer/producer with then Clipper Race documentary makers, North One. She now works for Clipper helping to inspire other people to take on the challenge of a life time! 

During this podcast we learn more about Della, what drives her and why she wanted to take on this challenge!

“The race was a hugely challenging, positive and inspiring experience for me. It was a huge learning curve and it did change my life”

Show notes

  • Who is Della?
  • Why she wants to live an adventurous life
  • Being happiest in nature and having a love of the water
  • What is was like for her growing up
  • Adventurous jobs and leaving home at 18!
  • How she got into sailing!
  • Wanting to make a change - but not being brave enough 
  • Having no money…
  • Starting her training and not knowing what to expect
  • Getting out of her rut and what she has leant 
  • Achieving all of her goals
  • Having a career break - Doing Camp America & doing a ski season!
  • Following her gut instinct and knowing she wanted to sail around the world
  • Making the decision and getting to the start line
  • Using your friends and working with other women to make it happen - make sure you do ask for help
  • 9 months to get ready for the first stage of the race
  • Working with local school so children could follow the race
  • Going in with an open mind and her first day stepping onto the boat
  • When reality struck… and getting to meet new people on each leg of the trip
  • The days that stand out! The good and the bad!
  • Dealing with challenges while out on the sea…
  • Reflecting back on what she learnt from the experience
  • Having more confidence in her own abilities
  • Working for the Clipper Yacht Race!


Social Media Links


Della’s Website - 

Twitter - @MissDellarella 

Clipper Yacht Race

Clipper Yacht Race Website -

Twitter - @ClipperRace 

Facebook - @clipperroundtheworld 

Dec 5, 2017

Jen was born without legs & put up for adoption, her amazing adoptive family, gave her one simple rule, “Never say the word, Can’t.”

As a child, she was obsessed with gymnastics, and her idol was gold-medalist, Dominique Moceanu. 

Seemingly against all odds, she went on to compete against able-bodied athletes, and became a State Champion in power tumbling. As part of her story, and also as a twist of fate, she later learned that her childhood gymnastics idol, Dominique Moceanu, was actually her biological sister!

Jen transitioned into an accomplished acrobat and aerialist. She traveled internationally with Britney Spears’ World Tour, and appeared as the headliner at the prestigious Palazzo hotel in Las Vegas, New York’s Lincoln Center and the Shangri La Hotel in Dubai.

Jen is currently living in Los Angeles, and her goal is “to inspire & motivate others to BELIEVE that anything is truly possible.”

Show notes

  • Growing up, her childhood & the amazing memories!
  • Being passionate about community and why she is a product of her community
  • Knowing she was adopted from a young age
  • Having her identity linked to sports and being an athlete
  • Gymnastics and becoming obsessed
  • Moving away from home and leaving the protection of family and friends
  • Dealing with new reactions
  • Learning more about people and controlling her emotions
  • Writing her book - “Everything is Possible”
  • Getting a new tattoo
  • Life on the road and travelling the world
  • Working with Britney Spears
  • Dealing with the pressure
  • Developing new skills that she could apply to other areas of her life
  • The dream list
  • Her love of travel and why it has changed her life
  • Visiting the great wall of China
  • Her idol in gymnastics
  • Finding out about her biological family
  • How her whole life changed in 2008 
  • Future plans - heading to New Zealand 
  • Words of advice


Learn more about Jen

Visit her website 

Follow on Twitter - @JenBricker1 

Facebook - Jen Bricker  

Instagram - @Jenbricker  


Nov 28, 2017

Anna Blackwell - The Going-on of an Adventurer! Walking 500 and 1000 miles across France and Spain along ancient pilgrimage routes

Anna is a 24-year-old adventurer who has a love of the great outdoors and pushing her limits. This has led her to completing a series of adventures over the last few years: trekking across the wilderness of arctic Sweden with just reindeer for company, walking 500 and 1000 miles across France and Spain along ancient pilgrimage routes, summiting the highest peak in North Africa, and hitch-hiking to Morocco (amongst plenty of others!)

2017 has been a slightly unusual year for her as she’s been working full-time for the majority of it, but she’s still found time for some fun, whether in the form of tackling my first 4000m mountain in North Africa, attempts at trekking in Arctic Norway, or just setting up her bivvy bag to sleep under the stars on a hillside in Oxfordshire!

Show notes

  • Finishing university 
  • Not being sporty but loving the outdoors
  • Camping with her Dad
  • Hating the Duke of Edinburgh
  • What changed?
  • Dropping out of uni and travelling solo
  • Figuring out what she wanted to do with her life 
  • Deciding what adventures to go on
  • Why walking 500 miles wasn’t enough of a challenge
  • Deciding to walk 1000 miles
  • Not doing that much planning and throwing herself into it
  • Not needing all the stuff she had
  • The lifestyle
  • Getting up at 4.30 in the morning to catch the sunrise
  • Coming to the end of her first adventure
  • Not living in the past
  • Being underwhelmed by the finish
  • Thinking about what she was going to do next!
  • Lonely?
  • Getting through the challenging sections
  • Know yourself - know your body
  • Getting away from it all - including the people
  • Deep thinking - Deep Questions
  • Kindle - Camera - Journal
  • Remaining positive through out the bad weather
  • What’s next?! April 2018…. The Plan
  • Having an adventure mindset
  • Advice for you!
  • Tribes!
Nov 21, 2017

Melissa Urie - Nurse from Australia who was the 2nd Women to ever finish the EPIC 5 - 5 Ironman in 5 days across 5 different islands in Hawaii!

Melissa is the second woman ever to finish the Epic 5 - an event which consists of doing 5 Ironman distance triathlons (that’s 224km or 140 miles of swimming, cycling and running) every day over 5 days on 5 different Hawaiian Islands!

Melissa lives in Melbourne, Australia working as a nurse. 

Show notes

  • Growing up and moving to Melbourne
  • Getting into health and fitness
  • New Years Resolution that stuck
  • Around the bay in a day - a cycle race in Melbourne
  • Being naive and not really thinking about it
  • Getting involved in a triathlon and how it has become her lifestyle
  • Nursing and doing shift work and how she fit her training into her life
  • Her 1st Ironman….
  • Getting a coach
  • Working on her nutrition
  • Not going for a specific time
  • Just surviving the day….
  • Ultra-man event in Canada
  • Taking it to the next level - why?!
  • Getting injured before a big race and finding out if she could still race
  • Dealing with flat types and being exhausted
  • Being mentally tough
  • Learning from her experience 
  • EPIC 5 - what it is and why she wanted to do it
  • Training and preparation for EPIC 5
  • What a training day/week looks like 
  • Being on the cusp of over training but managing to get the balance right
  • Being motivated to get up out of bed - “Don’t think just do”
  • Heading out to Hawaii
  • Finding it easy to relax and taper
  • Being the only female & why it is a big deal
  • Dealing with internal pressure that comes from her
  • Celebrating!!
  • Not getting the challenge blues
  • Next challenge!!!

Learn more about Melissa

Follow on Twitter  @rangamel  

You can also listen to Melissa on Sparta Chicks Radio - which goes into more detail about the EPIC 5 Race

#014: Melissa Urie on Using Your Mind to Achieve the “Impossible” [Podcast]


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You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on the go via iTunes, Soundcloud & Stitcher!



Nov 13, 2017

Alice believes that learning to swim is a human right, and that whether you’re swimming your first 25metres, splashing in tarns or crossing the English Channel, swimming can empower our lives both in and out of the water.

Alice discovered open water swimming after being knocked off her bike by a lorry on her way to work, the day before her 31 birthday. Waking up on the tarmac as commuter traffic circled around her, too busy to stop to help, she realised it was time to change her path.

Since then Alice has pursued her passions of writing, social justice, water and the outdoors. She is contributing Editor of Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, lead scientist at the International Institute of Swim Cake Studies, a qualified swim teacher, Mandarin speaker,  and consultant focusing on projects relating to anti corruption, responsible business, water scarcity, the rule of law and the impact of technology on social and economic development.

When not in or writing about water, her research and advocacy  have taken her to China, India, No.10 and the UN.

Her swims include: a 4 woman English Channel relay; 2 woman Lake Zurich relay; the Solent; the Thames Marathon; Dart 10k, Sydney Harbour Swim, Scilly Swim Challenge, and the swimmer for Team Mel C vs Team Pendleton in the Human Race Women only triathlon, and competing in the International Winter Swimming Championships in China.

Show notes

  • Living in London
  • Getting out into the mountains for the first time
  • Wanting to spend more time outside
  • Going to China!
  • Heading up to Sheffield to study
  • Deciding to be a lawyer
  • The big dream
  • Problems that put life into perspective
  • Losing her connection with health and wellbeing 
  • When it all changed for her
  • Who do I call?
  • Knowing she was going to change her life
  • A Lotus Rises
  • Moving out to Chamonix
  • Getting back into swimming
  • The community of swimmers and how they supported her
  • The Lake Zurich swim and how it changed her life
  • Top tips for outdoor swimming
  • Did you swim today (Forum)
  • Body image issues and getting your body out there
  • The International Institute of Swim Cake!
  • Increasing the amount of people participating in swimming
  • The connection between the pool and the pond
  • Ensuring women are involved in water policy
Nov 7, 2017

Zoe Langley-Wathen - Walking Adventures include the South West Coastal Path, Wales Coast Path & Offa’s Dyke.

Show notes

  • Where her love of walking came from?
  • Growing up without a car
  • Going on night hikes
  • Getting married young and having her daughter at 24
  • Wanting to do something bigger
  • Letting her dreams stay dormant
  • Fears?
  • Are you sure you can do that?
  • Don’t put yourself in a position where you will be disappointed
  • The South West Coastal Path!
  • Deciding to follow her dream
  • How to celebrate her 40th birthday in 2011
  • Accountability
  • Planning - and giving herself 7 months to sort it all out
  • Did women walk the path on their own? Is it done?
  • Dealing with short sharp shockers
  • Her first lesson
  • Egg holder, frying pans!!!
  • Being on her own
  • Wild camping V staying with friends
  • Where was suitable to wild camp?
  • Meeting people on the way
  • The grief of leaving the trail
  • Why did I waste so much time!
  • Looking for the next challenge and how her life changed after the challenge
  • Supporting Arry Berresford-Webb (Now Cain)
  • Walking with other people
  • The ultimate walk
  • The Great Trail in Canada
  • The Ridge way
  • Walking around Dorset
  • Advice and tips for getting out walking and why you can walk yourself fit


Twitter @WathWalk - 

Facebook @WathWalk -



Oct 31, 2017

Anoushé is a champion for all those experiencing barriers and self-limiting beliefs.

Born missing her right arm below the elbow, living with multiple health conditions, a cancer survivor, a Muslim and coming from an ethnic minority, Anoushé has never let what society or culture thinks she should do limit her or dictate the direction of her life. She is constantly breaking the mould and challenging not only her own beliefs about her own potential but also that of society and her own culture.

She has become a role model to anyone facing a self-limiting belief or barrier and is sharing her journey to help others unlock their potential. Anoushé candidly talks about her life, how she has remained resilient in the face of huge obstacles and talks about issues that we as a society do not talk about enough. In particular, Anoushé highlights the plight of those stigmatised by society in order to change the misconceptions around these groups. She is heavily driven by teaching others learn to shed their self-limiting beliefs and help empower them to reach their potential.

A policy advisor by day, Anoushé is currently ranked 2nd in the UK as a paraclimber in just a year of training. She is also an Ambassador for LimbPower, the leading charity for amputees and those with limb differences.

Anoushé is the 2017 Asian Women of Achievement Award winner for Sport.


“Energetic, charismatic and overflowing with enthusiasm and a force for good. Anoushé Husain has overcome immense challenges of her own and yet she’s determined to have a positive impact on others.”

Judges of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards


Show notes

  • Who is Anoushé? - Living a diverse life!
  • Being born in Luxembourg, speaking multiple languages and growing up sporty
  • Dealing with heath issues, from being born with one arm, to have cancer and suffering from a genetic disorder
  • Getting in contact with - Reach a UK based charity
  • The concept of being different?
  • Sports at a young age and their impact on self confidence
  • Dealing with discrimination and being treated fairly 
  • Getting diagnosed with cancer at 22
  • Entering a surgical cycle and the impact on her life
  • Living in a cycle of fear and being afraid of what was going to happen next? How much worst is it going to get?
  • The impact on her career and her Masters course
  • Crossing the line and becoming a cancer patient
  • Scanxiety
  • Making the move to London 
  • Where does her resilience come from?
  • “If you fall - you get back up”
  • Climbing & wanting to get to the top of the route
  • Needing to find a way to get her arm better
  • Let’s go try!
  • Learning about the British Mountaineering Council - Para-climbing Series
  • Being ranked 2nd in her category
  • When there is pain there must be something you can learn from it
  • Being able to forget the world and all her problems
  • Getting over self-limiting beliefs
  • Not wanting to rest
  • Taking time off from climbing
  • Blogging for - This Girl Can campaign
  • Final words of advice



Visit her website to learn more!


Oct 24, 2017

Adelaide suffered with moderately severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - CFS/ME) for 3 years, along with other chronic conditions.

Her life was transformed in 3 days with with the powerful combination of Neuro Linguistic Programming, life coaching and hypnosis. During this podcast we learn more about Adelaide and the personal journey she has been on to rebuild her life, and get back to full health and fitness.

Adelaide has gone on to build her own adventure brand, and has started the podcast - The Lilly Wild Show where she interviews other adventurers, and game changers! This year she went on to complete her first Ironman - a gruelling test of endurance that pushed her both mentally and physically!

Show notes

  • Being ill for 4 years from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 
  • Being in a loop of tiredness
  • Starting from zero
  • Being an only child
  • Sports at school
  • Coming out into endurance sports…
  • Where did the love of adventure come from
  • Getting into the Arctic
  • Explorers Connect
  • The drive to recover
  • Taking a gap year and spending time travelling in South America, India
  • The mental toll of being ill
  • Turning to alternative methods to get better
  • What is the lightening process?
  • Live a life you love!
  • The power you have over yourself and the power of Du
  • Becoming well again and how the people around her reacted
  • Where the idea for an Ironman came from
  • Getting her coach onboard
  • The physical training
  • Using the App - Training Peaks
  • What she struggled with…
  • Why nutrition is so important when training
  • The mental preparation involved
  • Her favourite thing about the brain
  • Running with Rich Roll!
  • Being super chilled at the start of the race!
  • Doing affirmations
  • Her first Ironman!
  • Being able to draft during the swim
  • Dark moments!
  • Having her brain drained of energy
  • Rocket Fuel!!!
  • Waiting for it to sink in
  • Will she do it again?
  • Crazy Extreme Triathlons in 3 years time!
  • The Lilly Wild Podcast - what you can expect
  • Advice to getting back on your feet
  • Starting with Google!
Oct 23, 2017
At the start of 2017 after feedback from the Tough Girl Tribe. I started 7 Women - 7 Challenges.
Throughout the year I will be interviewing 7 women as we follow them on their journey of going after their own personal challenges.
We will learn what really has to happen for people to achieve their goals, we will hear about their frustrations, disappointments, set backs, as well as their successes and achievements.
It is real stories, from real women, living real lives.
This is part 5
You can listen to Part 1 - Now!
1st January 2017
You can listen to Part 2 - Now!
12th February 2017



Listen to Part 3 Now!

2nd April 2017





Listen to Part 4 Now!

28th May 2017



Rachel Wise


  • From the

  • Being in St Lucia in the Caribbean 

  • Leaving Switzerland on the 2nd August

  • The run up to getting on the road

  • Dealing with bad news and being in limbo

  • Saying goodbye to everyone

  • Deciding what to do and figuring out what was best for everyone

  • Heading to America for a road trip!

  • Wild camping

  • Why things started to change once they got to Utah

  • Catching up with friends and homeschooling the girls

  • How the girls are adjusting to life on the road

  • How Rachel is finding it all…

  • Being together all of the time

  • Holiday or lifestyle?

  • Money!

  • Spending time with the family

  • The main learning so far

  • The plans for the next few months

  • What a typical day is like

  • Meeting people 

  • Shout out to the blog!

  • The website -


You can read about Rachel’s family’s adventures at!


Rae Read


  • Due date in 2 weeks! 

  • Being pregnant over the summer!

  • Exercising while pregnant?

  • Loving walking!

  • Getting a puppy!

  • 7 minute HIIT training

  •  Mental health?

  • Disconnecting emotionally with the pregnancy

  • Pregnancy depression 

  • This is how I feel

  •  Speaking to Matt about it all

  • Making new friends

  • Dealing with loneliness

  • Are you sure that’s of for the baby?

  • The pressure

  • What she has learnt over the past few months?

  • The plan over the coming weeks

  • Blogging about her experience @


Laura Try



  • What a difference a couple of months can make

  • Needing to raise the final £2,000 

  • Making a video and sharing it on Facebook

  • 16 hours to go!!

  • Leaving the marina

  • What’s going through her mind?

  • Relax your mind

  • The first few days…

  • Being on the water for 56 days…

  • Feeling uncomfortable at the start 

  • A typical day.. starting from midnight

  • Rowing for 2 hours on, 2 hours off every day

  • The biggest challenge she had to face

  • The day from hell

  • Keeping a video diary

  • What she enjoyed most?

  • Why it was the best thing she has ever done

  • Reality….

  • Why it was the people who made the challenge so incredible

  • Laughing herself to happiness

  • Getting off the boat

  • What’s changed since the challenge?

  • Depression

  • Being Real - Laura is back

  • Raising money for Centre Point

  • Training to row across the Atlantic!

  • Follow Laura on her social media channels @LTFactor 


Connect with Laura - Facebook, twitter, Youtube, and visit her website


Jen Dyxhoorn


  • Running an ultra marathon in June

  • Eventful and challenging few months

  • Being humbled by the experience & why it was also a confidence boost

  • The self talk… while running by herself

  • The moments that stood out for her…. awful & amusing!

  • Having a low key summer in preparation for LEJOG

  • Getting to the start!

  • Wild camping during the trip-the pro’s and the con’s

  • Getting use to cycling the distances everyday

  • What she learned on the way and the changes that needed to be made

  • Having nothing left in the tank

  • Cycling with her sister

  • Comparisons is the thief of joy

  • The Adventure Race!

  • Everyday magic goals!

  • Balance in her life?

  • Getting back into her London life


You can follow Jen’s adventures at, or on Twitter @jendykxhoorn and Instagram @lovelyoutlier


Follow her Sister - Karen Dykxhoorn  on Instagram @hopefulgoat & twitter @hopefulgoat 


Jo Jo Rogers


  • Catching up with Jo Jo

  • The summer months spend working at a running camp

  • Running with the children and having her training take a back seat

  • Inspiring the girls who are new to running

  • Coach - I want to get better, I want to become a better runner

  • Tips and tricks for women who want to get into running

  • Getting the shoes right!

  • Recovering from injury

  • Running a night time 50K in 102 degrees!

  • Coming in 1st female!

  • Dealing with bugs!!

  • Update on goals

  • Running the fastest 50K for women over 50 in the USA

  • Focusing on core work

  • The December race and why she’ll be giving it everything she’s got!

  • Speed work!

  • Meeting Jo Jo at the end of the Appalachian Trail

  • Not knowing my tail name!

  • Coming down the trail….

  • Crying on the trail!!

  • Let’s just go!

  • THANK YOU JO JO!!! Food & goodies!!

  • Road trip to Boston

  • Eating!

  • 9th December!

  • Why it is not about the goal 



Georgie Akin-Smith


  • Being on the quest to complete 12 challenges in 12 months

  • What she’s been up to;100k cycle ride with a friend, doing a Tough Mudder with her family, running a half marathon

  • Making June into a recovery month and taking a few weeks off

  • Changing her challenges and trying to still fit in work, friends and pay for them

  • The pressure we put on ourselves

  • Enjoying it more because the pressure was off

  • Cycling 100 K with a friend and why it was a confidence boost

  • Hot shower & tea!

  • The family Tough Mudder challenge!

  • Would she do it again?!

  • Why you should give it ago!

  • Marathon training…

  • Working with a coach….

  • How she is feeling mentally about the marathon which is coming up

  • 18 mile long run!

  • Still enjoying herself?

  • Future challenges to finish off the year

  • Running or cycling?

  • How is the blogging going?

  • Having structure and focus during the year and why she’s liked it

Georgie is blogging about her challenges at 



Gemma Smith


  • Everything and nothing has been happening!

  • Forcing herself to leave work on time and saying no

  • Wanting to do more training and more exercise 

  • Dealing with housemate issues

  • Understanding where her limits are by walking on the Thames Stone Path

  • The climbing academy experience - what it was like

  • Focus on high altitude medicine

  • Gamal Bag

  • Flying out to the Alps for 2 weeks

  • 9 days with a guide

  • Horrific weather….

  • Why there is no guarantee

  • Money

  • The unknown factors in adventures

  • Getting through the disappointment

  • Stepping stones and working towards bigger long term goals

  • What she did with the guide

  • £6k - £10K 

  • Plans for the coming months…

  • Working on her climbing grade - 6A - 6A+

  • Doing pull ups on rings

  • Follow along on her blog -


Gemma is on Instagram @GemLaurenSmith & also on Twitter @GemlaurenSmith




Future Episode


Part 6 - 31st December



Feeling inspired week after week? 


You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!


  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode

  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!

  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 


Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!


Want to do more?


Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 


Oct 17, 2017

Tough Girl - Meike Stones  “Powered By Me” - A year-long human-powered lifestyle adventure

Mieke Stones, is a 32-year old female living and working in London and the creator of Powered by Me, a year-long lifestyle adventure where she is only using human-powered transport to get to wherever she need to go.

She has been bloging, vloging and fundraising along the way, hoping to raise as much money for different causes and to inspire others to see active travel as a viable and sustainable way to get to places. 

Her story so far is one of physical and mental endurance, trial and error, with some key learnings thrown in. But most of all her story is about doing what she can with what she has, and doing her bit for the environment. Making better choices and growing her skills and experiences along the way!


Show notes


  • Where the idea came from?
  • Deciding on what the next challenge was going to be?
  • Having a brain wave!
  • The planning stage
  • The rules
  • Starting on the 1st January and raising money for a different charity each month
  • Being able to commute to work
  • Battling the elements
  • Starting to tell friends and family 
  • Starting a count down to the start
  • The question’s she was being asked
  • The start of the year - what it was like
  • Being terrified at the start
  • The mental challenge in the first week
  • When it all started to become normal!
  • What was the impact on her life
  • Starting to feel more productive
  • Having to change her nutrition needs
  • The biggest challenges she’s had to face - the big journey’s
  • Going through a divorce
  • Cycling over to France for a wedding
  • Looking for water in strange places!
  • Getting to the 6 month marker!
  • Starting to feel a little bit knackered 
  • Plans for the rest of the year
  • Advice for women who want to integrate running and cycling into their everyday routine




Oct 10, 2017

Christine and her husband Stephen, have always loved to cycle and cycling has played a huge part in their lives. During this podcast Christine shares more about how she got into cycling, why they decided to pack up and head off on an adventure of a lifetime!

Show notes

  • Why Christine reached out to me
  • Why she started cycling
  • Her first cycling adventure!
  • Meeting her husband and their join love for cycling
  • Starting to take regular cycling holidays
  • Having children and going on holiday with them to Northern Europe
  • The cycle holiday that stands out to her
  • Getting the idea to cycle the world - how the idea first started..
  • Giving themselves 16/17 months to prepare
  • Why the world!
  • One year or two years?!
  • Who they told first and their reaction!
  • Her friends and what they said!
  • “How are you going to manage being with your husband everyday?”
  • Getting married in 1984 
  • Did she have any fears/worries before the trip?
  • Being - Flexible
  • The planning….
  • The start and how she was feeling..
  • Getting into their routine by day 2!
  • The challenges she faces… breaking her arm
  • Taking a 5 month break
  • Deciding where to go next…
  • The challenges of cycling in New Zealand
  • The daily routine while on the road
  • The challenges of cycling in Japan
  • Advice for women who want to go on a big cycling trip
  • Deciding to come home
  • Plans to head back to South America
  • Settling back into home life!
  • Blogging about their adventure!
  • Final words of advice!




& on Twitter @CycleGBCoast


Oct 3, 2017

Alex has always has a love for the outdoors and has always been fiercely independent. Her love of adventure began when she first went travelling in Africa. 

In 2015 Alex hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2700 mile trail that starts at the border of Mexico and goes through America to the border of Canada. Returning to work was an impossible task and after 4 months back in an office she quit to become a permanent adventurer.

First stop back to America, second stop New Zealand (with a few thousand miles of hiking in between). Listen as Alex shares more about her adventures on the Tough Girl Podcast

Show notes

  • Going back to her childhood and what she was like growing up
  • Being inspired by her granddad
  • Having a normal life!
  • Spending 6 months over in Africa
  • Questioning what she was doing and why she was doing
  • Deciding to take a sabbatical from her job!
  • Dealing with the obstacles….  & facing up to her fears
  • Why she choose the Pacific Crest Trail?
  • Taking us back to the start!
  • Getting her tourist visa for America!
  • Getting to America and what was happening in her head before she started
  • The moment that stood out for her while on the trail
  • Meeting Kat Davies while on the trail - Listen to her PCT hike here!
  • Overcoming fears on the trail
  • Finishing the trail on her birthday!
  • Making the transition back to “normal” life and going back to work
  • Heading to the Himalaya’s to climb Mera Peak (6,476m)
  • Quitting her job and what she did next!
  • The differences between walking North and South on the PCT
  • Being under time pressure to get through the Sierra before the snowfall
  • Having no responsibility and being free
  • Her trail name!
  • Dealing with the time pressure while heading Southbound
  • What’s happening inside her head while being out in the woods
  • Why she wasn’t trying to “find herself”
  • Being able to share the trail with a friend
  • How she’s funded these trips and how she funds her lifestyle
  • Her monthly budget
  • Learning more about Love her Wild - (You can listen to Bex on the Tough Girl Podcast as well!)
  • Her cycle tour in Australia (Sydney to Darwin)- why she decided to do, what inspired her, planning the route, buying her bike!
  • Having low points and how she handles it
  • Being a hiker at heart
  • What she’s learnt from leading this life
  • Her beliefs
  • The charities she supports


Feeling inspired week after week? 

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 


Sep 26, 2017

On Tuesday 16th May 2017, Mollie Hughes successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest from the North side. This was Mollie's second time standing on top of Everest having already summited the South side in 2012.

Achieving this feat at 26 has made her the youngest woman in the world and the first English woman to successfully summit from both the north and south sides of the world’s highest mountain!

Show notes

  • Intro - how would Mollie describe herself
  • Not climbing her mountain until she was 17
  • Growing up in South Devon
  • Lacking confidence at a young age
  • The stages she took to get to where she wanted to go
  • Arriving back from Kenya and deciding on her next challenge
  • Travelling at a young age
  • Her journey to Everest
  • When the seed got planted to climb Everest
  • Her search for women who had climbed Everest
  • Giving herself 12 months to achieve her goal
  • Having the conversation with her parents….
  • The money..
  • A record to be had in 2012 - being the youngest women to summit Mount Everest from the UK
  • Dealing with rejection week after week
  • Getting herself fit and prepared for Everest
  • Doing everything she could to raise the funds needed!
  • Needing a killer auction prize
  • Dealing with an expedition that’s gone wrong
  • How to balance the risk and the rewards
  • Her 2012 Everest expedition & how she felt about it
  • Suffering for 2 months
  • “seeing everyday as a success”
  • Being able to separate your emotions
  • 3 British Women all in their early twenties on the mountain
  • Being interested in Tibet and wanting to explore the North side of Mount Everest
  • How much it costs to climb Everest
  • Her thoughts on reaching the top
  • What she's learnt most from going on these expeditions
  • What’s going to be next?!
  • Top tips for resting and recovering after a big challenge?


Please find all my social media links below!


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✩ YouTube - 


If you have questions about me, the podcast, what I’m doing… then please check out my website

If you want to do more to help increase the amount of female role models in the media, please, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode.

If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review and share the podcast with your friends, to spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 


If you have questions regarding the Marathon des Sables - Please read  - Tough Girl Sahara Challenge 

If you have questions regarding climbing Kilimanjaro - Please read - Kilimanjaro Tips for The Top


Want to do more?

Become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund my mission

If you want to support my mission - you can also donate via PayPal 

Sep 19, 2017

On the 3rd June I started my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, 2,190 miles in 100 days.  This was a dream I had last year, and if you've been following my daily podcast you'll know the challenges I've faced to get to the start line. 


During this podcast I’m being interviewed by my awesome sister, Caroline Wellingham. We discuss in detail the challenge, what it was like every day, how I dealt with the high points & low points, what I loved, what I learned and why I won’t be doing the trail again!

Show notes

  • Starting at the beginning  - why did I want to walk the Appalachian Trail?
  • Learn more about my preparation 
  • How I was feeling at the start
  • Day 1 of the trail - 3rd June
  • Getting into routines
  • How I coped physically at the start
  • Key milestones
  • The kindness of strangers
  • Meeting members of the Tough Girl Tribe
  • Meeting Stan the Man
  • Reaching the half way point at Harpers Ferry
  • Dealing with the pressure of the challenge
  • Emotional vlogs!
  • How I kept myself motivated during the challenge
  • Mantras
  • Thinking about life
  • A quick fire round of questions!
  • Food on the trail….
  • Being inspired by the women on the trail
  • Crossing state lines
  • Being miserable on the trail
  • Sleeping at high altitude
  • Embracing the suck
  • Highlights from the trail
  • Trail magic & animals on the trail
  • Dealing with bears and snakes on the trail
  • Mental preparation and training - “what if”
  • One of my best decisions I’d made on the trail
  • Bad decisions..
  • Blister watch!
  • The final week!
  • Meeting Jo Jo at the finish
  • Not quite believing it’s done
  • Missing the trail?



Feeling inspired week after week? 


You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!


  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 


Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!


Want to do more?


Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 

Listen to the podcast

You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on the go via iTunes, Soundcloud & Stitcher!


Please find all my social media links below!

✩ Twitter - 

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Sep 12, 2017

Caroline has spent over 10 years working in ski  patrol rescue and most recently as a SAR  (Search and Rescue) dog handler. She is passionate about ski touring and generally being outside in nature.  She enjoys sharing her professional experience with others, helping to train adults and youngsters in snow awareness so they can go out and enjoy the mountains to the full.

During this podcast we will learn more about Caroline and how her love for skiing grew and what path she choose to get to where she is now, from training over in the Southern Hemisphere in Australia, to following a man to France where she is now based, and doing what she loves. 

Caroline talks about her passion for the mountains, and what her role is like on a day to day basis, as well as the emotional toll working search and rescue can have. Caroline is also working on getting the message out regarding health and safety on the mountains and provides tips and advice to help you when you’re over there. 

Show notes

  • Being based in the Pyrenees
  • Her job titles
  • Her dog Fjord
  • How she got to France
  • Spending time in an Australian Ski Resort
  • Having to get re-qualified in France
  • Learning to ski when she was 10 years old
  • Her love of skiing
  • Going to study Germany and being a freestyle skier
  • Breaking her leg in Austria and not being put off
  • Working in Austria as a ski instructor
  • Dealing with her fear of going skiing again
  • What she loves about skiing
  • Why she wanted to become part of the ski rescue team
  • What it’s like on a day to day basis
  • Being trained in snow observations
  • Bombing the slopes
  • Dealign with avalanches
  • Being caught in an avalanche
  • Working with her dog Fjord
  • Why she decided to call her do Fjord
  • What they will do, if there is an avalanche 
  • How she stayed focused while working in high stress situations
  • Dealing with the emotions both positive and negative and why sometimes you need to take a step back
  • Her pet hates on the mountains
  • Advice and tips for the mountains
  • Why it’s important to know your own level
  • Follow your gut instinct
  • Working in a male dominated environment
  • Why she is moving into the educational side 
  • Teaching children safety in the mountains
  • How she has developed her own mental resilience
  • Taking her ski test
  • What she has leant over the past 10 years being a female and a foreigner 
  • French men…


Social Media 

Website -

Twitter - @FjordSar 

Twitter - @Caroline64SAR


Feeling inspired week after week? 

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 

Sep 5, 2017

At 35, Sam Taylor struggled to leave the sofa in the evenings and prioritised a wine over a walk. Working full time and running around after three children, she was facing a sedentary future. And then she decided to try something different.

One hundred different things in a year, in fact. 

As a self-confessed gymphobe, with a fear of heights and a questionable pelvic floor, she experienced challenges within challenges as she set about trying 100 different sports and fitness classes in a year. Her quest took her over 10,000 miles, as she tried everything from American Football to Archery and Boxing to Underwater hockey. She faced Olympic hopefuls, World Champions, European Champions and participated with people from 8 to 80, in all shapes and sizes.

During this podcast we learn more about her story, the challenges she faced, what she leant about sport, herself and others. 

This episode will encourage you to get out there and to try new things!

Show notes

  • Who Sam it
  • How the idea came about 
  • Being into hockey and what community sports can do for you
  • Coming from a sporty background
  • Growing the junior section of her hockey club
  • Why sports are so good for you
  • Her family 
  • How she got back into sports after having children
  • Getting the t-shirt and not thinking about the practicalities
  • Coming up to her 36th birthday
  • Telling people, putting it out on twitter and making yourself accountable to other people
  • Being determined and not giving herself time to think
  • Compiling the list of sporting activities
  • Doing the things she was scared of
  • Writing a blog about her experiences
  • Her first challenge
  • Which challenges pushed her outside of her comfort zone
  • The challenge she had the most difficulty with 
  • Why heights were an issue
  • Getting injured playing croquet
  • The challenges that were the most fun!
  • Trampolining as a mother of three…. an extreme sport!!
  • Life savings with the little nippers
  • Challenge 66 and why she didn’t care what people thought anymore
  • Hating the gym and feeling terrified 
  • Being intimidated by the instructors and how she became friends with many of them
  • How what she has leaned has impacted on her life
  • The dark side of the challenge
  • Getting to the end of the challenge
  • Getting her back fixed
  • Feeling emotional at the last channel - wake boarding
  • Taking up squash and playing golf
  • Her book
  • The work she is doing in primary schools to help children
  • HerMoJo
  • Advice for women who want to get back to health and fitness


Social Media


Twitter - @SofaDodgerUK 

Website -



HerMojo is a joint initiative between two of the leading UK activity finders ( SofaDodger and ACTIVEMapX ). Our focus is identifying #FemaleFriendly locations where women can get ACTIVE together. HerMojo is the largest UK activity finder and the only one in the world focusing on getting more women, more ACTIVE.


Buy her book!



Aug 29, 2017

Show notes

  • Starting running 2 and half years ago
  • A mid life crisis?
  • How she came to be a runner
  • Hearing about Project Awesome!
  • Being persuaded to give it a go!
  • Showing up and giving it ago
  • Her running journey 
  • Making running part of her life, by running to work (9 miles)
  • Saving money by running
  • Not being a fast runner
  • Running a marathon tomorrow with 3 weeks training
  • Why it’s easier than you think it is
  • Running home from Rome - where the idea came from
  • Reading a book by Andrew P. Sykes and being inspired by the route
  • Not having the belief that she could do it
  • Letting the idea grow
  • Why not do it all!!
  • Being inspired by Anna McNuff!
  • Wanting to feel popular at the end
  • Why long distance running is mental
  • Her mental preparation for her run
  • Taking an accidental lift
  • Her main struggle in France
  • The mental difficulty with having no mental stimulation
  • What she learnt from the experience
  • Why you don't know who you’ll be in the future
  • Why going to Project Awesome changed her
  • Her highlight from running home from Rome
  • Her life plan…
  • Why she decided to stop flaffing and plans to move to Italy
  • Her final words of advice and tips for you
  • Just do it!
  • Where she blogs:- Love Her Wild, Etch Rock, Huffington Post



New- twitter handle!!- @Maisey24


My Links!


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Tough Girl Podcast

You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on the go via iTunes, Soundcloud & Stitcher!


Aug 22, 2017

Professionally; Catherine has worked on the beaches of Costa Rica protecting leatherback sea turtles and their nests, and as a jungle guide in the Corcovado rainforest… She held the position of Forest Operations manager for Operation Wallacea, running jungle training courses, and organising logistics for extremely remote scientific biodiversity studies in the forests, mountains and coral islands of Buton, Kabaena, and Wakatobi national park, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia... 

She has trekked for 700km down the ephemeral rivers of Namibia, tracking, (and being charged by), desert elephants, whilst leading groups of 17-25 year olds... 

She’s built harpy eagle hack boxes in the jungles of Belize, explored hidden sinkholes, crystal caves and Mayan ruins, performed reconnaissance trips and developed a new county project for Operation Wallacea in the cloud forests of Honduras, Central America... 

Most recently, she led The Matriarch Adventure, an all-women expedition to Namibia to track desert elephants and experience true wilderness. 

Show notes

  • Being based in Kingston Upon Thames
  • How Catherine would describe herself
  • Growing up in London with 4 younger brothers
  • Being good at school, and being misguided with careers advice
  • Going to university to do humanitarians and deciding to change subject
  • Following her first passion, and starting a theatre company
  • Buying a one way ticket to Costa Rica!
  • Being caught in a landslide
  • Training to be an expedition leader
  • Why she loves being in the Jungle
  • Coming home after expeditions
  • Her first expedition heading out to Indonesia working as a jungle trainer
  • Deciding to move onto the next adventure and challenge
  • Meeting her future partner and having her first daughter
  • Underestimated the impact of having children
  • Deciding to take her children with her on adventures
  • Heading out to Thailand to work with elephants
  • Training as a Dive Master
  • Why she thinks the adventure world has opened up
  • Why she has moved into leading expeditions for women
  • The Matriarch Adventure, how it came about and what it was
  • Building a website!
  • Wanting to head back to Africa
  • Her family trip to Everest
  • Preparing the children for the trip
  • What she found most challenging about Nepal
  • Her plans for the future, which include heading off to the Maldives
  • Taking another group of women out into the wilderness in November (The Matriarch Adventure)
  • Ted Talk and a potential TV documentary
  • Working with Bex Band from
  • Going on a BIG family reunion
  • What coral bleaching is and what the impact is on the reef
  • What’s on her bucket list
  • Final words of advice and why you should go and run with your idea


Social Media

Facebook @matriarchadventure

Twitter  @cathadventure 


The Matriarch Adventure - Next date November


Feeling inspired week after week? 

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 


Aug 15, 2017

Tough Girl - Pip Hare - Professional ocean racing sailor who was part of the all female team who won the 3 Peaks Yacht Race in 2016

Pip Hare is a professional ocean racing sailor, with a wealth of experience over the past 16 years in the marine industry, clocking up over 120,000 miles across the worlds’ oceans, including the Pacific, the Atlantic and as far south as Patagonia.

With steely determination and a high ambition, Pip achieved has taken part in a major short handed Ocean Racing campaign every year since her first OSTAR in 2009.

Since this first race Pip has become the Only British Sailor to every finish the coveted international mini transat race twice as well as winning the 2010 Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland Race overall with co-skipper Phil Stubbs.

In 2016 Pip was part of Team Aperito, for the 3 Peaks Yacht Race, which was led by Elin Haf Davies – (Who has also been on the Tough Girl Podcast)– the sailors on the team were Pip and Nikki Curwen, – and the runners were TV presenter and Ultra racer Lowri Morgan and Jo Jackson.


Show notes

  • Suffering from the cold
  • Being based in Poole
  • Racing in the Caribbean 
  • Getting Pip to introduce herself
  • Growing up in London before moving over to East Anglia
  • Sailing from a young age, but not really enjoying it
  • Developing a passion for sailing while doing her A’level
  • Taking a year out after A’levels and getting her Yacht Master & sailing on tall ships
  • Starting to become aware of single handed ocean racing
  • Making a decision about university and telling her family
  • Could she have a career in the sailing industry
  • Remembering back to the first time she was out of site of land
  • The big difference between being isolation and being lonely
  • Dealing with a lack of confidence and not going after her dreams until she was 35
  • Her first single handed ocean race from Uruguay to the UK which took 58 days
  • Finding a sponsor and why she decided to try
  • How to plan for sailing across the Atlantic!
  • Physical fitness and how she gets herself ready for a crossing
  • How sleeping works while out on the ocean, and why she has learnt how to capnap
  • Training her body over the years to cope with the conditions on the ocean
  • The race which stands out as the most memorable
  • How to qualify for the Mini Transat 
  • Taking the next step up
  • Winning the 2010 Round Britain & Ireland Race
  • Planning and strategy for racing 
  • What she loves about ocean racing
  • The Three Peaks Yacht Race  - one of the most epic endurance races the world has to offer
  • How the team came together in a very short time period
  • The sailing and the transitions
  • Doing the Three Peaks Yacht Race in July 2017 as a pair!
  • Top tips and advice for you! 


“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead”


Social Media

Website -


Tough Girl Podcast

You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on the go via iTunes, Soundcloud & Stitcher!



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Aug 8, 2017

Suzy was the US Junior Record Holder at 1500m and won 3 National Junior Titles in High School.

Competing professionally, Suzy won seven USA National titles, set two American Records, was a three-time Olympian, ran her specialty 1500m under 4:00 five times and at the time was the second fastest American Woman in history. In 2000, Suzy was the fastest woman in the world, but came last in her race at the Sydney Olympics.

Triggered by feelings of inadequacy, Suzy slipped further into darkness and was eventually misdiagnosed with depression. The prescribed drug made her high, too high in fact, and soon, she was working as an escort in Las Vegas.

Only being outed to the world and an eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder led her to begin the slow process of recovery. Years later, she is sharing her story about her experiences with bipolar disorder as well as her struggles with life during and after running. 


Show notes

  • Growing up and wanting to be perfect, the reasons behind it and what drove her to this level of perfection
  • Her older brother and how his illness impacted on her life
  • Finding running at 11 years old
  • Dealing with the pressure from a young age
  • Loving running, and when it all started to change
  • Being ranked number 1 in the country 
  • How she used food to help manage the pressure 
  • Dealing with an eating disorder 
  • When she started to think about the Olympics
  • Feeling carefree while running
  • Her first Olympics - 1992 Barcelona 
  • Not getting the support from her coaches that she needed
  • Competing against athletes who were doing drugs
  • No focus on the mental side of racing while competing at the Olympics
  • The highlight from her running career - making the US Olympic Team and beating her idol
  • Her downfall
  • Going into the 2000 Olympics after having run the fastest time in the world in Oslo
  • Losing her brother to suicide before the Olympics
  • The 1,500 Olympic race - What happened with 100 metres to go
  • The fall out and what happened afterwards
  • Falling out of love with running
  • Being diagnosed at 42 years old
  • Her rock bottom…
  • Having her daughter in 2005
  • Being given drugs for depression
  • Deciding to jump out of a plane and heading to Vegas to celebrate 20 years of marriage
  • The spiral into destruction and how she started to cope
  • Sex was becoming her escape and dealing with hyper sexuality
  • Fast Girl  - A Life Spend Running From Madness 
  • Working as an escort in Vegas - Kelly
  • Your power as a women
  • Hiring a male escort
  • The escorting world…
  • What is hyper sexuality?
  • Being exposed via the Smoking Gun Website and the impact it had on her life, her husband and her marriage
  • The journey of how she got from where she was to where she is now
  • Taking baby steps and how life is not perfect
  • How she recovered thanks to her husband
  • Being bi-polar and the relief that came from the diagnosis
  • Being able to share her story and be an advocate for mental health
  • Dealing with shame
  • Running for fun now!
  • Loving yoga and how it brought out all of the pain
  • Her final words of advice 


Social Media

Website -

Twitter - @favorhamilton 

Instagram - @favourhamilton

Facebook  - @favourhamilton


Book - “Fast Girl – A Life Spent Running From Madness”


Feeling inspired week after week? 

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 



Aug 1, 2017

Return to Kyrgyzstan is focused on raising awareness about the local community and a Kyrgyz man named Hayat Tarikov who is dramatically changing Kyrgyz children’s lives through skiing. It also tells the compelling story of Nayla’s own return back to Kyrgyzstan 4 years after a catastrophic accident there left her on the brink of death. She organises adventure travel trips with a focus on filming stories of interest in far corners of the world.

Nayla was born in the French Alps to an Egyptian father and French mother and has been a devout traveler for her entire life. She is an avid skier and snowboarder with a true passion for the outdoors, adventure and global travel.

 “To me snowboarding is not just an obsession, it is an insatiable craving that has lead me to discover new cultures, speak new languages, and form irreplaceable friendships.”

Show notes

  • Moving out to Costa Rica for 4 months
  • How Nayla would introduce herself
  • Being born in France, moving to the states when she was 2 years old
  • Loving to travel from a young age
  • Being a student at UCLA 
  • How the opportunity came about to go to Kyrgyzstan and make a film
  • The type of film she wanted to make
  • Getting equipment together to take
  • Putting the project together in 2 months
  • When the problems started…
  • The accident in the middle of nowhere
  • Remembering everything and being the only person not to have a head injury
  • Living in slow motion
  • Trying to get out of the car
  • Being the only one who could get help
  • Breaking her back in 3 places, breaking her sternum…
  • Doing what she needed to do, to survive
  • Getting help and being focused
  • The danger of catching AIDS
  • Managing to contact her friends 
  • Being as nice as possible
  • Speaking to her dad, who is a doctor
  • Getting back to the States, worrying about a spinal cord injury
  • Reaching Dubai and it was getting time critical
  • Getting misdiagnosed in Dubai
  • The recovery process…
  • 2 years before she’d be able to snowboard again
  • The mental recovery… how she got through it
  • Why she needed to focus on the stuff that she could do
  • Dealing with PTSD, having nightmares, not being able to control her thoughts
  • Deciding to go back to Kyrgyzstan
  • Developing a relationship with the village
  • Becoming part of the story
  • Travelling back with Lexie
  • Having her dad join the team!
  • Heading back to the village
  • Being able to teach the girls!
  • Working with the men
  • Being in post production of the documentary 
  • Feeling blocked while trying to exit the movie
  • Planning her next trip back!
  • Having the opportunity to go to the Arctic!
  • Creating a documentary from the footage
  • Wanting to start a non profit
  • Following her passion to do some good
  • Final words of advice


Social Media

Twitter - @NaylaTawa 

Instagram - @NaylaTawa

Learn more about her return to Kyrgyzstan 


Feeling inspired week after week? 

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 


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