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: June, 2019
Jun 27, 2019

Alex first came on the Tough Girl Podcast in October 2017 to share more about her life, from going from a 9 - 5 office job working as a graphic designer to leaving it all behind to go travelling and go on adventures. On the first episode, Alex shared more about her transition back in 2015, her north and south bound hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, plus other adventures. 

During this podcast we catch up with Alex who in 2018 completed the Appalachian Trail! Alex shares more about the journey, the high points and the challenges, as well as the mental and physical aspects. Alex shares more about how she recovered from the adventure blues, and what her next challenge is going to be, we talk in detail about the money and what’s going to be happening over the next 12 months to make it happen. 

It’s been fantastic to catch up with Alex and to share more about what she’s been achieving in the world of adventure and challenge!

Show notes

  • Being on the road for 18 months and wanting to come home
  • Heading back home and catching up with friends and family
  • Coming home and surprising her parents!
  • Wanting to go travelling again….
  • Trying to decided what to do next
  • Deciding to go and hike the Appalachian Trail!
  • How she Alex decides what to do next
  • Comfort zone?
  • Knowing she can deal with the mental and physical challenge
  • Expectations for the Appalachian Trail
  • Starting the trail… ‘brutal start’
  • Trail family….
  • The biggest challenge on the Appalachian Trail
  • Dealing with time pressure
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • The memories and the moments which stand out
  • Seeing a Moose!
  • Finishing the trail on the 31st August (115 days!)
  • Getting back to England!
  • The cure for the post adventure blues
  • Being so tired for 3 months after the trail
  • Feeling so much better and getting ready for the next challenge!
  • Wanting to row an ocean!
  • Searching for the cause of Parkinson's
  • 2 oceans in 1 year! 
  • Being taken out of her comfort zone….
  • The make up of the rowing crews
  • Needing a year to get to the start line of the Atlantic challenge
  • The money!
  • £85k for both oceans….
  • Start date - January 4th 2020
  • Going for a World Record! 
  • Quick Fire Questions


Social Media

Instagram @masonalexandra 

Facebook - @alexmasonadventurer 

Twitter @masonalexandra

Jun 25, 2019

For the past two years Lucy and her dog Wombat have been walking in South America. Starting in Ushuaia (the southern most point) . They started on the 19th February 2017, and have walked the entire length of Chile through Tierra del Fuago, Patagonia, the coastal wine region, and most recently the Atacama Desert. Since then, they have continue forward with the plan to pass through the Andean Mountains of Peru, and heading towards Panama. 

By the end Lucy will have travelled through 15 countries and she expects the journey to take around 5 years…. Lucy travels only by foot, or when the terrain is impassable she will kayak or swim.  Lucy is self supported, sleeps in a tent, and is responsible for navigation and logistics, all without an on-road support team. We catch up with Lucy - 2 years into her challenge!

*Just FYI - there are a few roosters making an appearance during this podcast!

Show notes

  • Going to university and doing what was expected of her
  • Being inspired to live a different life at 33
  • What we need to know about Lucy
  • Dealing with a neurological condition - Prosopagnosia (face blindness) and being diagnosed at university
  • How she coped with the condition 
  • Roosters/chickens…..
  • Staying in a hostel in Peru 
  • How did she turn the dream into a reality
  • Getting to the start line
  • Dealing with a water crossing close to the start
  • Figuring out the logistics
  • Why you have to pick the people you tell what you want to do….
  • Her biggest concern before she started the walk
  • Learning Spanish
  • Let’s talk about the Money and being frugal
  • Dealing with financial stress, as the expedition goes on 
  • Starting in 2017 - taking us back to the start
  • How she handles her personal safety
  • Her dog - Wombat! - Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog)  
  • Learning to not be polite
  • How’s she handling everything mentally
  • Walking through the night in the desert
  • How her body is coping after 2 years on the road
  • Enjoy the food!
  • Staying on trail
  • Visa’s!
  • Having to change her route in Peru
  • Quick fire questions…

Social Media

Website - 

Instagram - @tanglesandtail  

Twitter - @tanglesandtail  

Jun 18, 2019

Liz Thomas is among the most experienced female hikers in the US and is known for backpacking light, fast, and solo. 

In 2011, she broke the women’s unsupported speed record on the 2,181-mile long Appalachian Trail, besting the previous record by almost a week. She has completed the Triple Crown of Hiking–the Appalachian Trail, the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, and the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail–and has backpacked over 20,000 miles across the United States on 20 long distance hikes, including the pioneering traverse of the Chinook Trail across the Columbia River Gorge and the pioneering traverse of the Wasatch Range, which she did solo. 

Liz is affectionately known as the “Queen of Urban Hiking,” having pioneered and completed routes in 5 cities across the U.S.

Show notes

  • How Liz would explain what she does
  • Being passionate about getting people outdoors
  • Growing up and being inspired by her teacher
  • Starting to go on bigger and bigger hikes!
  • The first thru-hike!
  • Hiking the Appalachian Trail
  • Back packing in the rail!!
  • What changed after she walked the Appalachian Trail
  • Reaching Mt. Katahdin 
  • Getting diagnosed with Lyme Disease
  • Going  through the adventure blues and how she coped with it
  • Hiking the PCT and the Continental Divide Trail (10 years ago!).
  • The biggest learning from the trail and dealing with the challenging weather conditions
  • Advice for other women to get out hiking
  • Trail names!! 
  • Why she got the name Snorkel!
  • Let’s talk about gear!
  • Treelike Review
  • The question she gets asked the most!!
  • Where do you get the time and money!
  • How she affords to thru hike
  • Making the commitment to thru hike
  • What is life like on the trail
  • Physical training before starting a hike
  • The struggle on hikes!
  • Sharing on social media
  • Book — “Long trails - Mastering The Art of The Thru Hike”
  • The idea for urban hiking!
  • The challenges of urban hiking….
  • How are her feet!
  • How urban hiking works…from the route planning and accommodation
  • The next hike in New York City and why it’s intimidating!
  • Quick Fire Questions!!!
  • Final words of advice 

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @EAThomas  

Facebook - @LizThomasHiking 

Jun 11, 2019

Tracy knows how to overcome adversity. At age 17 she was diagnosed with a disease that every medical expert said would kill her within 20 years. Tracy was diagnosed with childhood diabetes, which is now known as Type 1 diabetes. She uses the knowledge gained from living with Type 1 diabetes for almost 40 years to help encourage others to prevent, reverse, or control their own diabetes, Tracey wrote her first best selling book - "Diabetes Tragedy to Triumph".

Tracy recently rode her bicycle 3,527 miles from San Francisco to New York City to spread awareness about diabetes while providing hope for others who are suffering. She has also written about this challenge, “Ride for Hope: One Woman's Solo 3,527 Mile Bicycle Ride that Inspired the Nation”.

*Please note this is not medical advice, neither myself nor Tracey are medical doctors!!  

Show notes

  • The worst day of her life
  • Being diagnosed at 17 years old
  • Learning all about Type 1 Diabetes 
  • “You can be bitter or you can be better”
  • Doing something crazy every decade
  • Where did the positivity come from?
  • Mind - Mouth - Move
  • Having the right mindset
  • Positive quotes
  • Diabetes and what it is, the difference between Type 1 and Type 2
  • Proving the doctors wrong!
  • Audacious goals and doing things that frighten her
  • Being afraid of water and signing up for a triathlon!
  • “I probably can’t do it,but I’ll at least try it”
  • Why it all starts with the mind and having the right mindset
  • Deciding to go for a big bike ride!
  • Why she has changed her thinking
  • Dealing with fear
  • Planning her big solo cycle ride from San Fransisco to New York City.
  • Dealing with people who tell her - You Can’t Do That!!!
  • Training for 40 years for this moment.
  • Getting physically fit for the cycle ride
  • Her self care contract with her daughter.
  • Having bike issues 10 mins into the start of the cycle ride!!
  • Being lost and lonely in Nevada
  • Having to deal with the “killer hill”
  • Inspiring the younger generation
  • Doing a lot of self reflection while on the bike ride
  • Her new mantra - “Don’t lose hope”
  • Dealing with loneliness 
  • Being on the road for 90 days.
  • Riding into New York City!
  • Dealing with the emotions of finishing the ride
  • Dealing with the adventure blues
  • Writing books!
  • Quick Fire Questions!
  • Final words of advice

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @TracyHerbert  

Instagram - @tracyherbertdiabetesride  

Bestselling Author of two books:

◦Diabetes Tragedy to Triumph: Lessons From 40 Years of Beating the Odds

◦Ride for Hope: One Woman's Solo 3,527 Mile Bicycle Ride that Inspired the Nation


Jun 6, 2019

We first spoke with Stephanie back in 2016, where she shared more about her early years growing up, how she got into sports and running, she also discusses what it’s been like living and working in active conflict zones, including working in Afghanistan with the UN. Stephanie also shares more about her charity Free to Run, which supports women and girls in areas of conflict through running and outdoor adventure.

On 1 January 2017 Stephanie was in a life-threatening accident in the mountains, which is where we pick up with Stephanie for this podcast. Stephanie takes us back to the beginning of 2017 and shares more about what happened, the impact on her physically and mentally, as well as sharing more about her recovery and attitude to getting back to running and competing in ultra races. 

Since March 2018, Stephanie has been based back in Afghanistan (which is where she was for this interview) working for the UN. Stephanie shares more about her life and how she trains for ultra marathons while living in an armed compound. We also do a quick fire question round at the end, which reveals some surprising answers!

Show notes

  • Moving back to Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Living the life she had always wanted 
  • Leaving paradise behind
  • Going back to the start of 2017
  • Starting the year off in the Mountains
  • Being in an accident
  • Going through the options of what she could do
  • Waiting for 30 mins for the helicopter to come
  • Breaking 6 ribs, punctured lung and grade 3 liver laceration, hypothermia, an internal bleeding
  • Recovering mental from the experience
  • Getting over the feeling of being alone
  • Being in intensive care
  • Why she needed to get back to running as soon as she could
  • Listening to your body
  • Not changing her race schedule for 2017 & how it ended up being the best year she’s ever had!
  • Racing Tor des Géants (338km with 31000m of ascent) in 2017 and 2018
  • “You’ve got to find the reason why you came here”
  • Knowing the difference between damaging pain and normal pain
  • Why you have to - reset your pain threshold - create the new normal 
  • Wanting to run in Western States 100!
  • Winning a contest with Strava
  • Crossing the finish line and aiming to do it under 24hrs!
  • Coke cola  & pickle juice…
  • Barkley Marathon… why she entered in…
  • Let’s talk about failure - what does it mean to Stephanie? 
  • Training in Afghanistan while living in an armed compound
  • Future races 2019
  • Quick fire questions
  • Free to Run 

Social Media

Say hi on twitter @runningcase 

Learn more about free to run & support on twitter @FreeToRunNGO

Jun 4, 2019

Hollie has ticked off NZ's iconic Coast to Coast (both the 1-Day race and 2-Day race). Hollie has run 260km through the Sahara Desert in Morocco doing the Marathon des Sables and completed 240km in the Amazon Jungle in Peru! Her latest challenge involved crossing the Greenland Ice Cap which involved walking 560km, over 29 days while pulling a 60kg sledge!

Hollie grew up in rural Mid-Canterbury, New Zealand and spent her childhood outside exploring the mountains and rivers. An Outward Bound experience at the age of 27 led her to set 4 goals; the main one was to complete one BIG challenge each year that would take her outside of her comfort zone. 

Listen to the podcast to learn more about Hollie, the adventurers and challenges she’s been on and what she’s learnt along the way. Hollie shares the high points the low points, the lessons and provides advice and top tips to help you to achieve your dreams.

Show notes

  • Growing up on a farm in New Zealand
  • Doing outward bound at 27 
  • Writing a letter to herself with 4 goals…
  • What outward bound is and what’s involved
  • How it changed her life 
  • Loving sport at school
  • What the 4 goals were
  • What is the iconic NZ Coast to Coast Race (multi-sport race)
  • The difference between the 1 day race and the 2 day race
  • Why it’s an incredible race
  • The biggest challenge from the coast to coast race
  • What she learned from the experience
  • Why kayaking was so challenging
  • Why she thinks the 1 day event is easier!
  • What she has learned from doing these experiences
  • Marathon des Sables 2015 and having no idea what they were in for!!
  • The top two inches and the bottom two inches
  • How Hollie mentally prepares for races
  • Greenland - where the idea came from
  • Getting down to the final 6!
  • Family and friends reactions….
  • Skiing?!
  • Taking us to the start line of the challenge
  • Dealing with the cold, sorting out food and getting to grips with the final bits of preparation
  • Too big of a challenge?
  • The first day and being in shock
  • Trying to figure out how to cope
  • Stats about the challenge
  • What she’s doing when walking
  • Getting into a state of flow
  • The last week of the challenge, and the issues from extreme weather to running out of food!
  • Team dynamics
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Spending 29 days on the ice!
  • Not having anything to prove anymore
  • Dealing with the adventure blues
  • Quick fire questions!
  • Say Yes to Adventure


Social Media

The Adventurous Kiwi

Read about her  adventures:

Follow Hollie on Facebook & Instagram