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: 2020
Apr 16, 2020
Phoebe Smith is an adventurer, presenter, broadcaster, author, editor, photographer, speaker and filmmaker.
By day she is award-winning travel writer, broadcaster and presenter, host of the Wander Woman Podcast, Sleep Storyteller-in-Residence at and contributing editor for Wanderlust Travel Magazine. By night she’s an extreme sleeping outdoors adventurer who thrives on heading to the wildest locations she can find to sleep in the strangest places she can seek out.
She was the first person to sleep at all the extreme points of mainland Britain – including the centremost point – which she did solo, on consecutive nights in 2014. In December 2017 she gave up her Christmas to complete the self-devised Sleep the Three Peaks challenge – in which she overnighted on the summits of the highest mountains in Wales, England and Scotland - successfully raising over £8,000 and awareness for Centrepoint (the young people's homeless charity) ending on Christmas morning on the summit of Ben Nevis. In 2018 she gave up Christmas again to walk the Hadrian Hundred for Homeless dressed as Wander Woman.
In 2020 she will embark on a world first in Antarctica with her teammate Dwayne Fields, in a bid to raise awareness about climate change and how it effects the wildlife who call the place home, and as part of a bigger project to take a group of underprivileged young people to the White Continent in 2021 with her #WeTwo Foundation (LINK
She is the author of 10 books including the bestselling Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper,Wilderness Weekends: Wild Adventures in Britain's Rugged Corners, The Wilderness Cookbook and the Travel Writer’s Field Guide.
Show notes
  • Who is Phoebe
  • Extreme Sleeping
  • Getting more involved in charity work
  • Deciding to sleep the 3 peaks
  • What was involved and the challenges involved
  • Deciding to sleep off 10 UK Landmarks
  • Walking the width of Britain dressed as WanderWoman
  • The WE TWO Foundation 
  • What it was like on Snowdonia in winter
  • Being in a cloud inversion
  • Dealing with gale force winds 
  • Her motivations
  • Sleeping better outdoors 
  • Sleep stories for an app called 
  • The process behind sleep stories 
  • Becoming a slow traveller
  • Portaledges…
  • Sleeping in a harness
  • How to poo and pee from the tent
  • Using a pee bowl…
  • The Night Vision Challenge in 2019 
  • What Three Words 
  • Not having any kayaking experience 
  • We Two Foundation
  • The challenges of talking about gender and race with companies
  • Having to change the goal due to lack of funding
  • Doing the challenge in the UK - Seabirds to South
  • Planting seeds for the next generation
  • The challenges of the UK weather and dealing with the rain…
  • Human kindness seen on the trip
  • Maintaining moral during the tough times
  • The Wander Woman Podcast 
  • Wanting to go to Easter Island in Chile
  • Katherine Routledge who helped us understand the origins of the Easter Island moai.
  • Getting mad and getting even by telling women’s stories
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you
Social Media
Instagram @phoebersmith
Twitter @PhoebeRSmit 
Apr 14, 2020
Miriam Lancewood was born in a loving home in a small village in the Netherlands in 1983. After completing her university degree, she worked for a year in Zimbabwe, and then traveled to India. And in India she met her now husband Peter Raine.
Peter had resigned from his job as university lecturer in New Zealand and had moved to India to live like a ‘modern nomad’. He had lived five years in India when they met.
Together they hiked over eight mountains ranges in the Himalayas, journeyed for years through South East Asia, including Papua New Guinea, and eventually they ended up in Peter’s home country: New Zealand.
Miriam worked for a while as a teacher, then they decided to give up all their worldly belongings and move into the mountains with a tent and bow and arrow.
They wanted to learn how to hunt and survive in the wilderness, and they wanted to find out what happens to the mind and body, when living in the beauty of the wildest nature on earth.
Show notes
-   Growing up in Holland
  • Wanting to be a sports teacher
  • Heading off travelling at 21 years old
  • Meeting her husband Peter and travelling together
  • Climbing 8 mountain ranges in the Himalayas 
  • Deciding to live in the wilderness
  • Making it to New Zealand and having to work as a teacher for a year
  • Tramping in the mountains
  • Deciding to spend a year in the mountains
  • How to afford to live
  • What it was like living in the wilderness
  • Learning how to hunt…
  • Deciding to catch possums
  • Not knowing what to do
  • Learning the art of doing nothing
  • Walking the Te Araroa Trail, 3,000km from the North to the South
  • Keeping clean and healthy
  • Dealing with periods
  • Keeping in contact with friends and family 
  • Not taking anything for granted
  • Her relationship with Peter
  • Deciding to write a book about her life
  • Having to find a house 
  • Stress and anxiety in the wilderness
  • Thinking short term to not get overwhelmed
  • Lessons learned from living in the wilderness
  • Walking the Lycian Way in Turkey
  • Second book on it’s way with plans to release it in October 2020
  • Plans for the future
  • Attending writers festivals around the world
  • Learning how to cook and skin the animals
  • The roles in the relationship
  • Why you should read the book and how it will inspire you
  • Not understanding social media
  • Final words of advice
  • The power of sleeping
Social Media
Website - 

Apr 9, 2020
In 2019 Mollie set off on her most ambitious expedition to date, skiing solo from the coast of Antarctica to the Geographic South Pole.
29-year-old adventurer and motivational speaker, who was born in Devon and lives in Edinburgh, started her world record attempt at 1.40 pm (Chilean time / 4.40 pm UK time) on Wednesday 13 November. 
After 58.5 days and 650 hours of skiing alone in whiteouts, storm-force winds and temperatures hitting minus 45C, Mollie reached the Geographic South Pole on the 10th January 2020 at 8.50 am (Chilean time / 11.50 am UK time) – achieving her second world record by becoming the youngest woman in the world to ski solo from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.
Listen to Mollie as she shares more about her polar challenge, discussing sponsorship, learning how to ski, coping in a whiteout, and the power of positive affirmations. 
Show notes
  • What Mollie has done before
  • Her desire to go to Antarctica 
  • The starting point with the plan
  • Figuring out the sponsorship 
  • Creating a “war room” - in the living room
  • Being a visual learner
  • Being £15k short before the start of the trip
  • Getting the final sponsor on board
  • Learning how to cross country ski
  • Training in Norway
  • Learning how to cope being solo
  • Her fears and concerns before the trip
  • Feeling happy and excited 
  • Having a degree in psychology 
  • The importance of having a routine
  • Flying over to Chile
  • Taking advantage of the small weather window
  • The first couple of days on the ice
  • Entering an horrendous weather front for 2 weeks!
  • Letting her emotions out
  • What it’s like skiing in a whiteout
  • Getting into the rhythm of skiing big miles every day
  • Not being able to get the negative thoughts out of her head
  • The power of positive affirmations
  • Figuring out priorities and making better decisions
  • Supported or unsupported
  • Mini challenge for the tribe
  • Breaking the record
  • The lessons learned 
  • Heading home and returning to normal
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • The power of getting started
Apr 7, 2020

Alyssa is the youngest Australian to Summit Mt Everest which she did at 19 years old on the 21st May 2016. Alyssa is also the youngest woman to Summit Mt Everest from both the North and South sides after successfully reaching the summit of Mt Everest from the North Side (Tibet) on the 19th May 2018 at just 21 years old.

 Alyssa began trekking in 2005 with her first challenge, crossing the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. Alyssa then trekked in Nepal, completed treks such as Everest Base Camp and Kokoda numerous times, Mt Kosciuszko in Australia, the Aussie 10 (the 10 highest peaks in Australia), Mt Kilimanjaro.

After completing Mt Kilimanjaro in 2011, Alyssa began climbing by doing a mountaineering course in NZ. Since then she has climbed in South America, Russia and Nepal on various expeditions to different peaks including: Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, Manaslu, Elbrus and four Everest Expeditions.

Alyssa was on Everest both in 2014 and 2015 when the Avalanche and the Nepal Earthquake occurred and closed the mountain. She returned in 2016 to make her first successful summit of Mt Everest.

After taking one year off Everest Season in 2017 she decided to go back in 2018 and make her successful north side attempt via Tibet.

Show notes

  • Who is Alyssa
  • Her relationship with her family
  • Finding her passion
  • People not understanding her goals
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro at 14
  • Deciding to go and climb Mt Everest
  • Struggling in school socially and feeling like an outcast
  • Setting the goal 
  • The lack of female role models growing up
  • Being surrounded by like minded individuals
  • Her 5 year journey to the summit of Mount Everest
  • Doing a climbing course in New Zealand
  • Working with a coach to get physically fit
  • Having mentors 
  • Putting her training to the test and making sure progress was being made
  • Doing a climbing expedition to the Andes in South America
  • Trekking into Everest Base Camp
  • The challenges in 2014 and 2015 at Everest
  • Trying to decide what to do next?
  • Going for her 3rd attempt in 2016
  • Dealing with her emotions
  • Perfect Performance Line
  • Keeping focused while dealing with set backs
  • Paying for the adventure
  • The team dynamics on Everest
  • Caring what other people thought
  • Why the goal to climb Everest was the most important thing
  • What summit night was like
  • 20 mins at the top!
  • The biggest challenge of climbing Everest
  • Life after Everest….
  • Going to uni to study Psychology 
  • Goals and dreams for the future
  • Final words of advice to help you achieve your dreams

Social Media

Website -

Instagram - @alyssaazar 

Facebook - @AlyssaAzarAdventurer  


Apr 2, 2020
Anna McNuff is an adventurer, speaker, author and mischief maker. Named by The Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time, Condé Nast Traveller included her in a list of the 50 most influential travellers in the world. She is also the UK ambassador for Girl Guiding.
Anna’s major journeys include cycling a beautiful pink bicycle through each and every state of the USA, running the length of New Zealand, and exploring the peaks and passes of The Andes mountains – a journey in which she ascended the equivalent to eleven times the height of Everest on a bicycle.
In the summer of 2019, she set off on her most ambitious adventure yet – a 2,300+ mile (90 marathon) run through Britain… in her bare feet. Starting in the Shetland Islands and ending five months later in London, she weaved her way along rugged coastlines, through small villages, across moors, along beaches, over farmland and even pitter pattered down the odd picturesque A-road too. All the way along, she gave talks to the young women of Britain about taking on challenges of their own.
Much closer to home, Anna has also spent a month cycling across Europe directed entirely by social media, run the length of Hadrian’s wall dressed as a Roman Soldier, and the length of the Jurassic Coast, dressed as a dinosaur. As you do.
She can often be found writing in a local café in her home city of Gloucester, and will never turn down a slice of lemon meringue pie.
Show notes
  • What Anna enjoys doing
  • Why she loves doing big challenges
  • The Barefoot Britain Challenge 2019
  • How 50 barefoot marathons turned into 100…
  • Building awareness for the Girl Guiding
  • Preparing her feet for the run
  • Running the London Marathon April 2019 - 26.2 miles 
  • Dealing with other people’s opinions about you
  • Why you know what you are capable off
  • Asking for help…
  • Starting the challenge in the Shetland Islands
  • Having a kit bag called “Barry Buttercup”
  • Dealing with the logistics and how challenging it was
  • Making it 1000 miles….
  • Getting a small cut in her foot
  • Homeless?
  • Looking for a Doctor who could help!
  • Being off her feet for 2 weeks
  • Getting running coaching to help minimise injury
  • The Running Lab - London
  • Dealing with injury
  • Trigger Point Therapy 
  • Sadness
  • Defaulting to happiness
  • Pink hair and maintaining it!!!
  • Making sacrifices?
  • Choosing happiness 
  • Managing a relationship while doing adventure
  • Trying to have babies!!
  • Let’s talk about periods and moon cups
  • Finishing Barefoot Britain in London and moving the finish date
  • Running multiple marathons on running tracks around London
  • Book update!
  • Llama Drama…. coming out in July!
  • New Kids book - 100 Adventures to Have Before You Grow Up
  • Advice for self publishing your own books
  • The Creative Pen Podcast
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire you.
Social Media
Instagram @annamcnuff 
Facebook @AMcNuff 
Twitter @AnnaMcNuff 

Mar 31, 2020
Catherine Wallis is a 43 year old, mother of 3 who is a plus-size adventurer. 
In her later 30s after realising she leads a very boring life, Cathy wanted to make some changes. She signed up for her first 100k ultra and has been doing challenges and adventures ever since. 
Along the way Cathy has shared more of her journey via instagram (@plus_size_adventurer) and in the process has been inspiring other women to get out and see the world – regardless of their body type.
In March 2019 Cath took part in the Rat Race Adventure Sports Mongol 100, a 100 mile long, four-day challenge across a frozen lake in northern Mongolia, in which temperatures plunged to minus -25 degrees celsius. 
Cathy has also completed numerous other adventures from the; The Canberra 100, The Big Red Run, The Oman Desert MarathonHellespont Race (swimming from Europe to Asia) and Race to the Wreck in Nambia! 
During this episode Cathy shares more about her life and the different challenges she has undertaken, she shares what she has learned and gives you advice and top tips on how you can get more adventure in your life. 
Show notes
  • Leading a boring life and wanting to make a change
  • Growing up in the 1980s
  • Realising that she needed to make a change
  • The first step to making a change
  • 100km hike in a loop
  • Starting off by making some little changes
  • Being completely underprepared for the 100K walk
  • The key lesson from this experience 
  • Starting to do 1 big event per year
  • Doing The Big Red Run
  • “How hard could it be?”
  • Training for endurance walking 
  • Noticing improvements in your life
  • The first multi stage endurance race
  • Meeting the supportive ultra running community
  • Finding day 3 to be the hardest
  • Changing her mental mindset during a race
  • “How lucky I am I to be here on my own two feet”
  • Starting to share more of her journey on social media
  • Training to run across a frozen lake in Mongolia!
  • Dealing with extreme cold
  • Being able to adapt to different challenges
  • Confidence 
  • Deciding to swim from Europe to Asia!
  • Challenges in 2019 and plans for 2020
  • Rest and recovery and dealing with post adventure blues
  • Doing a multi stage running event with her 12 year old daughter in Kenya
  • Testing out a new challenge in Russia
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Website - 
Instagram @plus_size_adventurer  
Facebook @plussizeadventurer 
Mar 26, 2020
We first spoke with Wendy for the Tough Girl Podcast in August 2019, when she shared more about her life and dreams of skiing to the South Pole. 
In January 2020, Wendy completed that goal! 
Wendy became the 7th woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported, she was the 4th fastest and completed the challenge in 42 days, 16hrs, and 23mins, she took no rest days, had no showers, and skied 720 miles in total. 
The condition were brutal and hard, with temperatures dropping to -35. This was a journey 5 years in the making and shows what hard work, commitment and focus can achieve. 
Listen to Wendy on the Tough Girl Podcast Extra as she shares more about this extraordinary challenge. 
Show notes
  • Wendy introduces herself
  • 5 years of her life
  • Paying the final bill in USD
  • The final 2 weeks before the trip
  • Getting Christmas all sorted in October
  • Getting the plane over to Antarctica 
  • Getting to the start line
  • Going after the speed record
  • Women supporting women
  • 86kg of sled weight
  • The focus you need to have every single day
  • The routines and the consistent while out on the ice
  • Dealing with a snowstorm on day 3
  • Meeting Mollie Hughes on the ice!
  • The mental challenge of the expedition
  • Not wanting to get out of the tent in the morning
  • Dealing with the isolation in such an extreme environment
  • Feeling all the support from home
  • Missing her children
  • Counting down the days
  • Doing a power pose to the sun every morning
  • Realising that the record wouldn’t be broken
  • Giving everything, every single day
  • Seeing the South Pole for the first time
  • Listening to audio books
  • Skiing into the South Pole 
  • Getting home
  • knowing that she has changed from the experience
  • Overcoming self doubt
  • The joy of sitting in a chair
  • Working on the legacy of the expedition
  • Not being a big completed finisher
  • Quick Fire Questions
Social Media
Website - 
Instagram @betweensnowandsky
Twitter  @betweensnowsky
Mar 24, 2020
Melanie Vogel - Explorer, thru-hiking Canada’s Great Trail, 24,000km from the Atlantic Ocean, to the Arctic Ocean and then on to the Pacific Ocean.
Melanie, ‘Mel’ is coming up to her 3rd Year on The Great Trail in Canada.  
Mel 44, started her journey on June 2, 2017. She began in Cape Spear on the Avalon Peninsula near St. John’s, Newfoundland, the most Eastern point of the country, and will finish at Mile Zero in Victoria, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia—after going via the Arctic Ocean. Initially she started walking with a backpack, but she has now changed over to a cart which she pulls behind her. Mel has also gained a new furry companion on the trail, Malo her dog. 
Mel spent 11 months preparing for the trail; researching, saving money, getting her gear figured out and sorting out logistics. 
During this podcast Mel shares more about her early years, her passion for travel and why doing this journey was so important. She shares more about the challenges and frustrations as well as the joy and kindness of strangers. Mel will be the first women to complete the trail when she finishes. 
Show notes
  • Living and growing up in Germany
  • Deciding to move to Vancouver in Canada
  • Taking 2.5 years to go low budget travelling around South East Asia
  • Not wanting to come home
  • How her live had changed after travelling
  • Embracing a minimalist lifestyle
  • Feeling stuck and depressed
  • When she started to think about the Great Trail
  • Deciding to move to Toronto
  • Feeling fragile and lonely 
  • Making the decision in July 2016
  • Planning and preparing for the trip
  • Doing it all alone
  • Failing to get sponsorship at the start
  • How everything just fell into place
  • Being told she was crazy
  • Feeling insecure about the trip
  • Gaining new knowledge to take on this challenge
  • Having to constantly defend her decision to walk The Great Trail
  • Dealing with her own fears and doubts
  • Gaining new skills and gaining confidence
  • Human interactions on the trail
  • Funding the challenge
  • The physicality of the challenge
  • Carrying a pack or pulling a cart
  • Dealing with the extreme cold temperatures
  • Going for more comfort
  • Having a dog and the new challenges that came along
  • Needing a hug on the trail
  • Planning on going to the Arctic Ocean
  • Having many end dates on this journey 
  • Blogging while on the trail
  • Advice for other women on how to take on their own personal challenge
  • Learning patience 

Social Media

Website -

Twitter - @BetweenSunsets 

Instagram - @betweensunsets 

Mar 19, 2020

Sarah decided to tackle the Murray River in her home country of Australia, less than eight months after completing the Nile expedition.  

While there weren’t any hippos and crocs to deal, it wasn’t without its risks. There were snakes (and of course being Australian they were deadly), extreme weather conditions, sections with little water thanks to the drought and plenty more challenges to deal with. 

In 60 days Sarah covered 2,500km. 

The first four days were trekking to the source with a small team and then sticking within a stone’s throw until it was time to get in her kayak. 

For the next 56 days Sarah was solo. 

On 13th February 2020 Sarah reached the Southern Ocean and the end of the Murray River. It was another expedition that tested her mentally as much as physically. 

Listen to Sarah as she shares more about this challenge on the Tough Girl Podcast EXTRA!

Show notes

  • Sarah introduces herself
  • The Murray River Expedition
  • Source to Sea on each continent?
  • Wanting to do an adventure in Australia
  • The start of the River in the Snowy mountains 
  • How long to plan, train and prepare…
  • Trying to write a book
  • Starting the challenge on the 16th December 2019
  • Having to get a different type of kayak
  • Figuring out how to get to the source of the Murray River!
  • Dealing with low water levels
  • Reaching the start!
  • The physical side of the challenge
  • The challenge of not making progress
  • Dealing with frustration
  • Resupply via towns every 4 days or so
  • The highlights from the river
  • Getting the time to do some deep thinking 
  • Doing the challenge solo
  • Going back to uni?
  • Update on the book….fun?!
  • Having a bit of a break…
  • Thinking about an ocean row….
  • Time and money!
  • Heading to Nepal for the Annapurna base Camp Trek
  • Adventure blues?
  • Quick Fire Questions

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @Sarah_paddles  

Youtube @SarahDavis - 

For more info on Paddling the Nile -

Mar 17, 2020
Tiffany Coates has explored six continents by motorcycle, riding many hundreds of thousands of miles through countless countries during more than twenty years of adventurous journeys. Tiffany’s travels continue, both solo and through her work as a motorcycle tour guide, and her talks and presentations are always in demand at adventure travel events around the world.
Tiffany began her very first motorcycle trip with her best friend, riding two-up, reaching the ground on tip-toe on a quarter-tonne BMW called ‘Thelma’. 
Having recently passed their tests they had just two months of riding experience between them when they set off. Breaking bones, doing bad Abba impressions, and reading maps upside down, they wobbled out of the UK and across Europe all the way to India.
That first journey was supposed to last nine months, but once they reached Delhi, they found they couldn’t stop and so they ended up crossing four continents and staying on the road (or trail!) for two and a half years. Tiffany was well and truly bitten by the motorcycle travelling bug.
Show notes
  • Her passion for travel and her desire to see the world
  • How it all started
  • Deciding to go overland to India via motorbike
  • Learning to ride a motorbike in London 
  • Filtering through traffic
  • Crossing Europe
  • Crossing into Iran and what it was like
  • Crossing through Pakistan 
  • Reaching India
  • Deciding to carry on the adventure 
  • Heading down to South East Asia
  • Ending up in Sydney and running out of money
  • Working 3 jobs to save money for the trip home
  • Deciding to go home via Africa!
  • Being able to pick the bike up while on her own
  • Wanting to share the experiences with someone else
  • Reaching out to her friend Maggie
  • The challenges of riding through Africa
  • Making a career of giving up jobs
  • Being a frugal traveller and making money last a long time
  • The reason why behind the motorcycle journey’s
  • Solitude or loneliness 
  • Borneo!
  • What happens when something goes wrong
  • Dealing with sexism 
  • Handling stress
  • Ride with Tiffany 
  • Being a free lance tour guide 
  • A book?
  • WRWR - Women Riders World Relay 
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Facebook @TiffanyCoates 
Mar 12, 2020

Kate has cycled a distance greater than twice around the world at the Equator. On August 16th 2010 she became the first person to cycle an unbroken line from Africa’s most westerly to its most easterly points; from Pointe des Almadies, Senegal to Cape Hafun, Puntland, Somalia.

Cycling 22,040 km over ten months, Kate’s Breaking the Cycle in Africa Expedition was not only a physical quest but an odyssey to highlight the development needs and activities of war-torn and poverty-stricken nations.

Cycling through twenty countries, Kate aimed to find out what is being done to give a ‘leg up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ – to shine a positive light on the issues, cultures and geography of Africa.

Kate has two earlier world firsts under her belt – the Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition (1993) when she became the first woman to cycle across the new Russia unsupported (aiding the children of Chernobyl), and the 25,000km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (2004/05) which included the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route by a woman.

In June 2019, Kate completed another original expedition when she became the first person to cycle the entire Namibian coastline, a 1621km sand cycling expedition from the mouth of the Kunene River on the Angolan border to the Orange River mouth on the South African border.

Kate’s latest challenge, Breaking the Cycle South Pole, will result in the first bicycle crossing of the Antarctic continent via the South Pole (2020).

The Breaking the Cycle education programme aims to help prepare our future leaders to make informed decisions to create a better world. Students across the globe can follow her preparatory activities and Antarctic expedition and partake in the Breaking the Cycle Education learning modules and lessons with the end goals of creating their own projects.

Show notes

  • A brief introduction to Kate and some of her previous challenges
  • Developing new bike technology
  • Setting up an education program
  • Doing too many expeditions in 2018
  • 2019 expeditions down the Namibian coastline
  • The current 2020 expedition - The Andes, the Altiplano & the Atacama (South America).
  • Being in Cusco ready to start the next expedition 
  • 2017 spending time in Canada
  • Experiencing the cold
  • Trying to fit everything in 
  • The planning for the expeditions
  • Paying for expeditions 
  • How the education piece was developed
  • When the logistics of the trip get really complicated
  • Training and maintaining fitness
  • Dealing with stress and mental health 
  • Plans for 2020
  • Getting an Honorary Doctorate Degree
  • Final words of advice


Social Media

Visit - and sign up to the newsletter! 

Twitter: @Leeming_Kate

Mar 10, 2020

In 2016 Sophie Rooney set off with the bold intention of becoming the first woman to run the length of Scandinavia. From Nordkapp (the northernmost point of mainland Europe) to the German border with Denmark (3000 km south) carrying everything she needed on her back.

Initially accompanied by a fellow trail runner, Sophie finds herself thrown into a solo adventure running through some of the most rugged scenery Europe has to offer.

Heading out to Norway, bears are top of Sophie’s worries. However, she is soon to find that these big grizzly creatures would be the least of her concerns. 

In the first month alone having to battle extreme fatigue, dehydration, relentless bog, hunger and eventually illness, the odds are quickly stacked against her. 

However, not willing to give in Sophie pushes on, often against the advice she has received from people back home. In doing so she finds herself on a journey of self-discovery which creates memories that will last a lifetime. 

Listen to Sophie on the Tough Girl Podcast as she shares more about this incredible journey. 

Show notes

  • Her olympic dream
  • Growing up with 6 siblings
  • Starting swimming from a young age
  • Wanting to do everything properly
  • How her swimming evolved into kayaking
  • Being inspired to do a big running challenge!
  • How the run challenge evolved 
  • Having 5 months to plan and prepare
  • Flying off on the 1st August
  • Having a good level of base fitness
  • What training looked like
  • Building up a kit list
  • Funding the trip 
  • Deciding how to share her story
  • Getting into blogging 
  • Struggling at the start
  • Being scared of being left on her own
  • Knowing that she could do it solo, but needing to be brave enough to make that decision
  • Deciding to switch to the road
  • Not feeling ready when starting the run
  • Dealing with the fears and how they never went away
  • Starting to get really really tired
  • Having to call a doctor 
  • Carry on or go home?
  • Building her own self confidence
  • Daily routines while out running
  • Turning her blog posts into a book in 2019
  • Don’t over think things
  • Supporting Mimi Andersons’s run across the USA
  • Dealing with the disappointment of failure 
  • Doing a relay race from Lands End to John O’Groats
  • Moving to the Lake District and plans for 2020

Social Media

Blog -  DaringMightyThings.Blog  

Facebook @thesophierooney 

Instagram @rooneysophi  

Twitter  @thesophierooney 

Book: Rundinavia: Running 3000km through Scandinavia 

Mar 5, 2020

Jacki Hill-Murphy MA, FRGS is an explorer, teacher, film maker and speaker and has spent the past few years exploring and filming some of the most inhospitable and remote places on earth. There are many reasons why she loves  being an explorer including gathering memorable experiences that last forever recorded on film and in writing, pushing herself to the limit and being loosed from her cultural moorings.

Recreating the Journeys of the Early Women Explorers Project 

Jacki has recreated the journeys of:

Isabella Godin, the first women down the Amazon in 1769. This was done by travelling down the River Bobonaza in Ecuador and onto the River Pastaza in Peru in a dugout canoe and investigating the real truth behind her story at each landmark.

Mary Kingsley, who climbed Mount Cameroon in Africa in 1894 by a new route and nearly perished from the shear enormity of the the undertaking.

Isabela Brookes, who died in the Llanganates in Ecuador in 1912. This was part of the ‘Search for Gold’ expedition that she organised with Ken Hames of BBC Beyond Boundaries as survival leader.

Isabella Bird, who crossed the Digar-La Pass in Ladakh on a yak in 1889. Jacki relived every aspect of Isabella’s book during her 150 mile trek which included finding the house she stayed in and having tea with the King of Ladakh.

Kate Marsden who undertook a gruelling journey by horse, sledge and cart thousands of miles across Siberia to take relief to the lepers in 1892. Jacki replicated her journey as closely as possible on buses, trains and boats.

Show notes

  • Where her passion for adventure comes from 
  • The different adventures she’s done since we last spoke
  • The Amazon expedition
  • Why you should announce your plans and share it with the world
  • Figuring out how to make the journey happen
  • Finding the one person who could get her down the river safely
  • Funding the adventure 
  • Liking to create opportunities for others
  • The safety challenges of going to such remote places
  • The impact of oil and logging on local tribes in the jungle
  • The risks and dealing with fear
  • Meeting the other members of the team
  • Day to day life
  • Figuring out the food
  • The anti climax at the end of the journey
  • Reflecting back on 2017
  • Moving house from the city to the countryside
  • 2018 - The Lost Inca Trail
  • The challenges of the jungle
  • Following a 500 year old map…
  • Leading a team of all women
  • Walking the length of the River Thames
  • Under the Sky Events
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Heading to Nigeria
  • The next dream - Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail (Sudan-Uganda) 
  • Final words of advice to encourage you to explore the world!

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter:  @jackihillmurphy  

Director of Under The Sky CIC 


Mar 3, 2020

Sonya is a 42 year old Canadian who is currently hiking across Canada on the longest multi-use recreational trail in the world with her partner Sean. 

The 24,000 km long Great Trail stretches from Cape Spear, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, and from Edmonton, Alberta to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. 

They began their journey in Cape Spear, Newfoundland on 1 June 2019 and hiked just over 3,000 km to Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec before the winter arrived.  They will head back to the trail in spring, and estimate they will complete their journey in fall of 2022.

Sonya's love of hiking, camping, and the outdoors began as child during multiple school trips into the wilderness.  She built on these experiences in university, where she studied Conservation Biology and Forestry, and spent as much time as possible outside, doing field research on forest songbirds. 

Her love of long-distance hiking began with Ontario's 900 km long Bruce Trail, and grew when she hiked the 800 km Camino Frances in Spain with Sean in 2016. 

Together Sonya and Sean hiked across France on the Via Podiensis (GR 65) in 2017, and along Newfoundland's East Coast Trail in 2018.  After that they decided to make hiking a more central part of their lives, and after selling the house, donating most of their possessions, and leaving behind Sonya's desk job, they did a warm-up hike along the Camino Portuguese in early 2019 and then began their adventure on the Great Trail.

As they hike, their goal is to share positive images and stories of their travels across Canada to showcase the amazing and diverse people, places, history, and landscapes that make up this country. 

By sharing their passion for birds, hiking, and nature in person, on their blog, and through social media they hope to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds, but especially youth, to get outside, explore, and connect to nature through birding and Citizen Science.

Show notes

  • Who is Sonya
  • Growing up in Canada
  • Getting into hiking and nature
  • The Bruce Trail, Canada
  • Accommodation on the Bruce Trail
  • Walking the Camino’s in Europe
  • GR65
  • Her love of hiking
  • The Great Trail in Canada - 24,000 km
  • Their reasons for walking the Great Trail
  • Planning to hike the trail
  • How long would it take?
  • Starting in the East
  • Breaking it down into sections
  • Time and money
  • Walking for a cause
  • Having a passion for birds
  • Selling their home
  • Being ready for a change
  • The reactions of friends and family
  • Concerns before the start
  • Dealing with Hurricane Dorian
  • Problem solving while on the trail
  • Day to day life on the trail
  • The highlights so far
  • Bird watching on the trail
  • Getting fit for the trail
  • Taking it slower at the start
  • Budgets and accommodation
  • Stating section 2 in March 2020
  • What happens during the winter months
  • Advice and tips for you to undertake your own challenges
  • Why you need to try things out first

Social Media

Website: (has links to blogs for our hikes across Canada, the Camino Frances, Via Podiensis, and East Coast Trail) 

Facebook: @WalkWithUsAcrossCanada

Twitter: @TransCanadaWalk 


Feb 25, 2020

Sunshine People was set up to highlight the changes in our society and the need to stay connected through kindness.  It has never been as important in our education and leadership with the shift towards technology to keep human connection at the forefront of our conversations. 

Set up after her partner died on a charity cycle challenge the founder, Nahla Summers completes a challenge each year and asks people to show their support not by donating money to a charity but by doing an act of kindness for a stranger instead. 

She had started by doing smaller challenges just asking her friends and family to do the acts of kindness. What started to emerge was a wave of kindness stories that was changing hearts and minds.  Ultimately, changing the way people saw the world and it inspired her to keep going and make her challenges even bigger. 

In 2018 Nahla cycled 3,000 miles across America after purchasing her bike just six weeks prior.  She is a woman who understand the power of the mind and a ‘can do’ attitude. 

2019 she walked from Swanage, Dorset to Gretna Green 500 miles visiting schools along the way promoting kindness through speaking, workshops and more sunshine people events.  She promotes the ties that kindness and a higher emotional intelligence and wellbeing has on society and wants to promote this from the bottom up.

2020 will see Nahla take on 20 challenges in 20 countries.  With a dedicated social media team and cinematographer on board.  A film will be produced and you will be able to follow the progress and antics of the challenges through social media. 

All the challenges will be based on the principal of kindness.  Feed 100 people with £10, a day of free listening, give 100 hugs, build a well and so on.  The idea is start the biggest global movement towards kindness.

Show notes

  • Who is Nahla
  • How Sunshine People started
  • Losing her partner on a charity cycle ride
  • The healing power of horses
  • Grieving and going to climb Kilimanjaro
  • Coming out of deep sadness
  • Memories and Money?
  • Doing acts of kindness
  • Deciding to cycle across America 
  • The goal of 1 Million acts of Kindness
  • Being a yes person
  • Being very corporate led
  • Changing her job
  • Accidental researcher of kinder
  • Starting her American Cycle ride in San Diego
  • Recording Daily Vlogs for Youtube
  • Getting to the end of the trip
  • The kindness of strangers
  • The biggest challenge while cycling in America
  • The lack of hard shoulders and dealing with trucks
  • Dealing with real fears
  • Not wanting to do this anymore…
  • Knowing what the purpose is
  • Finishing the journey across America 
  • Wanting to keep on going
  • Dealing with the adventure blues
  • Wanting to keep busy 
  • Walking 500 miles from Swanage, Dorset to Gretna Green
  • The power of 10 mins…
  • Free school talks and kindness workshops…
  • The logistics of the walk and figuring out accommodation on the way
  • The power of social media
  • The challenge of accepting kindness
  • “you inspire the uninspired”
  • 2020 - 20 challenges in 20 countries
  • Figure it all out!
  • 1 Million Acts of Kindness
  • Kickstarted stating on the 1st March
  • Final words of advice

Social Media 

Website  -

Website  -

Kickstarter Campaign - Find out more HERE!

For any organisations to join up withe the 1 million acts of kindness they simply need to fill out this form.  

Instagram - @sponsorkindness

Twitter - @sponsorkindness 

Facebook - @sponsorkindness 

YouTube @SunshinePeople 

Feb 20, 2020

We first spoke with Mimi in December 2015, where she shared more about her early life, how she got into endurance running.

During the first episode we go into more depth about some of the bigger challenges she has done, for example breaking the world record for fastest women running JOGLE (John O’Groats to Lands End - 840 miles) in the UK in 2008.

(This record has since been broken in 2019 by Sharon Gayter - You can listen to Sharon share more about this on the Tough Girl Podcast.)

“The only way of finding the limits of

the possible is by going beyond them

into the impossible”

During this episode we catch up with Mimi and find out what’s she’s been up to since. We talk in detail about her dream of running across America, we talk about fears and failure and having to let go of running and try new sports. 

Mimi talks really openly and honestly during this episode, I had a tear in my eye when I was recording it and a tear in my eye when I edited it.

You have been warned it does get emotional!

Show notes

-  Quick update from Mimi

  • Her dream of running across America in 2017
  • The planning and the preparation for the challenge
  • Applying to Guinness for the World Record
  • Starting in LA City Hall and running to City Hall in New York City
  • Getting a hard time from other runners
  • Planning with Google Maps
  • Driving the route in advance 
  • Getting the money together for the challenge
  • Getting a crew together
  • Speaking with Sophie Rooney (also on the Tough Girl Podcast coming 10th March!)
  • Training and race strategy
  • Having a sports psychologist 
  • Having to postpone the run in 2016
  • Running for 1 minute at a time
  • Dealing with the frustration
  • 6 am, 7th September on the start line
  • Having the whole world watching
  • Switching off from everything and becoming very calm
  • Dealing with criticism
  • 2 women going for the world record….
  • The good and the bad of social media
  • Getting stalked on the run and having to call the police
  • The structure of her days
  • Fuelling her body
  • Her evening routine
  • What’s going on in her head while running
  • The 40th day…
  • Recovery 
  • The end of her running career
  • Ride Across Great Britain 
  • Riding a bike!
  • Cycling!!! 
  • Marv and Mavis 
  • Cycling the Pacific Coast Highway 
  • Hills on the PCH
  • New book coming out in Spring 2021
  • Overcoming her fear of water
  • Zoe Langley-Wathen - #100ScaryDays 
  • Being a goal driven person 
  • Plans and goals for 2020
  • 5 Parks in America
  • Ride Across America
  • Naming her bikes!
  • The footage from the run across America…
  • Wise words from Mimi - “Small steps will lead to big things”

Social Media

Website -

Instagram @marvellousmimi 

Facebook @MarvellousMimi 

Twitter  @MarvellousMimi  

Feb 18, 2020

Bruna is a dedicated adventure sport explorer. 

Bruna has solo-climbed the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere (Aconcagua, 23,000 ft), whitewater rafted the entirety of the Grand Canyon (226 river miles), and sailed across half of the Pacific Ocean, 6,100 nautical miles!

During this podcast Bruna shares more about her early years, how she got into hiking and how her love of adventure has evolved. Bruna shares stories from hiking in the mountains and kayaking down rivers.  

We also learn more about Conquer a new website to connect adventurers to new challenges! 

Show notes

  • Getting into the outdoors at the age of 20
  • How going to college changed her life and discovering the world of hiking
  • Visiting the White Mountains in America
  • How she added hiking into her life 
  • Heading off to climb Aconcagua in South America
  • Her reasons for wanting to climb Aconcagua 
  • Ranked as number 4 for difficulty out of the 7 summits
  • Deciding to do it as a solo trip
  • Planning for 18 months
  • Dealing with the logistics of weight and gear
  • Deciding not to use porters
  • The different emotions during the challenge
  • Experiencing insecurity 
  • Dealing with the lack of oxygen and how it affects you
  • Base camps and weather windows
  • Dealing with storms and a whiteout
  • Going for the summit 
  • Dealing with the aftermath 
  • The deadly conditions of the mountain
  • Making the smart choice
  • Going back for another go
  • Setting a big challenge every year 
  • 2018 Challenge  - White water rafting the Grand Canyon
  • Applying for the lottery 2 years in advance!
  • Pulling a team of 8 together!
  • Struggling to find women to do the trip
  • Taking on a new sport and the challenges of breaking into the community 
  • Founder of Conquer  - “Push Your Limits” 
  • Building resilience in tech and how it has applied to the outdoors

Social Media

Website - 

Sign up for Conquer  - 

Feb 11, 2020

Beth in her own words….

I’ve traveled a lot and have had what many would consider some pretty adventurous trips.

I’ve completed (twice) the 25-day, 220-mile Snowman Trek in Bhutan (one of the most difficult treks in the world), climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and reached the top at 19,341 feet, finished marathons in Hawaii, Tokyo, Portland and Seattle.

I ran my first marathon at 50, ran five marathons that year (including two back-to-back marathons where one was an ultra at 31 miles), ran the Seattle Quadzilla (four marathons in four days) and have qualified for the Boston Marathon twice.

I’m currently working on my next book, Be Bold: Discover Your Best Self Through Travel and Adventure.

I’ve also written a guide For Women Traveling to India.

In 2019, I ran the Epic5 Ultra (5 ultras in 5 days on 5 Hawaiian islands). 

In 2020, I am running the 4 Deserts which consists of running 155 miles over six days in four deserts–the Gobi, the Namib, the Atacama and Antarctica. 

Show notes

  • Where her love of travel came from
  • Being inspired by the National Geographic 
  • Growing up in New Jersey, USA
  • Starting to travel while in college
  • Travelling to India for her first big trip
  • Wanting to move closer to Asia
  • Bringing a unique perspective on female solo travel
  • Being able to be alone for long periods of time
  • Travelling in the 90s 
  • Not having structure while travelling 
  • Starting her website in 2006
  • Encouraging other women to travel solo
  • Starting a tour company
  • Having the opportunity to lead a tour to Bhutan
  • Fears of travel
  • Victim blaming 
  • The kindness of strangers
  • The places she goes back to over and over again
  • Getting into running
  • Staring running at 45/46
  • P90X
  • Training for the Snowman trek in Bhutan
  • The limiting stories we tell ourselves 
  • Deciding to run her first marathon at 50!
  • Running 4 marathons in 4 days
  • Running Epic 5 - 5 - 50k on 5 different islands
  • What the Snowman Trek was like! - 220 miles, 25 day trek in Bhutan
  • The physical and mental challenges of the trek
  • Getting use to the repetition of the journey 
  • How it changes when you are responsible for a group of people of the trek
  • How journalling helped
  • Why you have to keep on moving forward and to keep a good attitude.
  • Epic 5 Ultra 2019
  • The 4 Deserts Race in 2020
  • Be Bold….
  • Expectations versus reality..
  • Training for the 4 deserts race - with the fist race happening in April 2020
  • She’s Bold Podcast 
  • Final words of advice from Beth

Social Media

Personal Website -

Website Wander Tours- 

Be Bold Podcast - 

Facebook - @ShesBoldPodcast 

Instagram - @wandergal  @bethwhitwa  



Feb 4, 2020

Helen shares more about her journey into cycling as well as the different challenge she’s undertaken. 

In September 2015, Helen took her first foray into multi-day, solo bike touring by cycling the classic route from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG). Helen cycled a distance of 1,000 miles in 13 days!

In January 2016, Helen met Mike on Tinder! Through a mutual love of cycling and wanting to travel the world. They started planning a cycle trip around the world! After moving in together, working multiple jobs to save money. They started their adventure on the 4th April 2017. They returned in August 2018, married, completely in love with the world and one another! They rode over 30,000 km, through 30 countries. Helen shares more about the planning and preparation as well as the challenges of being on the road and what she learned from the experience.

Helen also shares more about her next big challenge in 2020! It’s a BIG challenge!!!!!

  • Please note during this podcast episode we do talk about mental health, and depression. Please make sure you are in a good space before you listen.

Show notes

  • Starting cycling in 2011 
  • Being nervous while commuting 
  • Growing up by the sea in Dover
  • Where her passion for cycling came from 
  • How it helped her mental health 
  • Signing up for a 3 day trip from London to Paris with the British Hearth Foundation
  • Deciding to do LEJOG (Lands End to John O’ Groats)
  • Having a year to plan the trip 
  • Why it was so tough getting to the start line 
  • Wanting to do something for her
  • Some of the issues with the route
  • Learning to be flexible 
  • Doing the LEJOG challenge solo
  • The kindness of strangers
  • The mental side of the challenge 
  • Learning how to become self sufficient 
  • Dealing with the breakdown of a relationship 
  • Getting the support needed to help with depression 
  • How Tinder turned her life around 
  • Meeting Mike…
  • Wanting to cycle around the world 
  • Is it possible….
  • Taking multiple jobs to save money
  • Building the bikes from scratch 
  • Connecting on a deeper level
  • Turning a joke/dream into a reality 
  • Taking about the money and starting from scratch 
  • Selling everything they owned, doing extra jobs, & getting small amounts of sponsorship
  • Making the plan!!! 
  • Saving £26,000 
  • What it was like in the run up to leaving 
  • The route, leaving Glasgow and getting the Ferry to Amsterdam  
  • Making changes to the route and how they made that decision 
  • 2.5 months in China 
  • Documenting the journey while out on the road
  • Cycling from Perth to Brisbane
  • Knee and glue problems
  • The wedding!!!!!
  • The honeymoon and why it wasn’t the best
  • The end of the trip….
  • The transition back to normal life
  • The next big challenge!!!!!! 
  • Dealing with the pressure of the next challenge 
  • Costs of the challenge and doing as much preparation as possible before 1st May 
  • The power of setting a date 

Social Media 

Website - 

Twitter - @HelenCycling 

Instagram - @helen.langridge  

Jan 28, 2020

Chris is a wife, mother, and business owner who loves to get her hands dirty and feet wet. Her adventurous spirit shines through in her work as a writer, speaker, trainer, and consultant. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, teenage son, and two labs, Winston and Kiya.

Chris and her husband Marty became the first American married couple to ski without guide, resupply or other assistance to the South Pole and became Guinness World Record holders.

When not outdoors playing in the wild, you’ll find Chris leading creative discussions in corporate conference rooms and at off-site locations around the country.

Show notes

  • Chris introduces herself
  • Working full time and doing adventures
  • Not coming from an adventurous family
  • Growing up with 4 siblings
  • Enjoying spending time outside
  • Not having access to the mountains
  • Leaving college and taking her first professional job
  • Starting to feel as though she didn’t below
  • Taking a 4 month leave of absence 
  • Deciding to travel solo 
  • Going back to work….
  • Wanting to build a different type of life
  • Starting her own consulting business
  • Building a life which had more flexibility
  • The steps taken to get into challenges 
  • Developing skills in mountaineering 
  • Climbing Mount Denali the highest mountain peak in North America
  • Meeting her husband Marty on the Mountain!
  • Switching from mountains to trail running
  • Being all in on ultra running for 13 years
  • Fitting family, work and adventure into life
  • Taking it one day at a time
  • Why you can’t do it all 
  • Deciding on the next challenge - The South Pole
  • Was it possible to do it on their own… 
  • Do they have the skills?
  • The planning and preparation needed to do this challenge
  • Leaving their 12 year old son behind
  • Balancing the risks of living a life of adventure while being a parent
  • The 3 year journey to the start line
  • Defining roles in the partnership 
  • Working as part of a team
  • Dealing with the fears of the unknown 
  • How knowledge helped to calm fears
  • Getting onto the ice for the start of the adventure!
  • Keep moving forward with the goal of 15 miles per day
  • 40 days….. 45 days worth of food…
  • Running out of food…
  • The reality of the situation and enjoying the journey?
  • Dealing with the low points 
  • The attraction of the challenge
  • Can I do it
  • Enjoying the journey…
  • Writing a book about the challenge
  • Quick Fire Questions

Social Media

Website - 

Instagram @chriscfagan 

Twitter @chriscfagan  

Facebook @chriscfagan  

Youtube  @3belowzeroexpedition  

Book - The Expedition: Two Parents Risk Life and Family in an Extraordinary Quest to the South Pole (She Writes Press, September 3, 2019)

Jan 23, 2020

Nienke in her own words…

I am an equine veterinarian and have travelled the world pursuing my career. 

Although I have always been an active person I found the love for sports later in life and ended up reasonably good at it! I dreamt of becoming a professional athlete on the mountain bike and as an adventure/multi-sport racer and with the belief of my coaches I starting racing elite in 2013. I was however still working full time as a veterinarian and I ended up overtrained with a serious back injury which put a halt to my sporting aspirations in 2016. 

I couldn’t really let go of what I was so passionate about and although running was not an option with the persistent pain I was feeling in my legs, I started to focus on mountain bike adventures. 

This led to the dream of traversing the Great Himalaya Trail by mountain bike through Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan. 

The first leg was Nepal which I completed in December 2019 achieving a world first by mountain biking the Great Himalaya trail from Hilsa in the West to Phaplu in the east covering 1700kms, 85000m ascend and around 15 passes between 3500m-5000m with two passes over 5000m high.

Show notes

  • Who is Nienke 
  • Getting into mountain biking and adventure racing 
  • Being sporty as a child and growing up around Europe
  • Getting into running while at university
  • Moving over to New Zealand
  • Being very shy
  • Wanting to improve in the sport
  • Meeting a guy…
  • Qualifying for the World Championships
  • Making huge improvements
  • Having the right people around 
  • Working full time while competing at an elite level
  • Paying the price with over training
  • Breaking her back
  • Needing to slow down
  • 6 weeks to recover
  • Not understating what was going on 
  • Pushing though pain…
  • Chronic Pain or Chronic Injury
  • How she coped 
  • Not being able to be the athlete she once was
  • Learning to love her body
  • The dream of mountain biking in Nepal
  • Being goal driven 
  • The first step in making the dream a reality 
  • What Nepal is like
  • Going solo for the first time
  • The plans for Stage 2
  • Doing the research
  • The learning’s from this experience 
  • Needing to have a positive mind
  • Being grateful for everything she’s been through
  • The adventure blues…
  • Making some changes in her life
  • Feeling really positive
  • Advice for other women who want to make changes in their life

Social Media

Challenge Website - 

Personal Blog - 




Jan 21, 2020

Fenella shares more about her journey to becoming a professional triathlete. We learn more about her childhood and growing up, her loves of sports and competition. Fenella, also shares more about what day to day life is like, we go into training, recovery, nutrition, dealing with injury and the pressure to perform. 

“Triathlon is achieving the unbelievable and pushing yourself beyond limits, to find inner power in the drive for success”

Show notes

  • Who Fenella is 
  • Where she grew up 
  • Falling in love with sport an physical education 
  • Wanting sports to be a part of her future 
  • Making money from triathlon 
  • Life as a professional triathlete 
  • The pressure to perform 
  • Meeting her coach & partner
  • The decision to go professional 
  • The start of her triathlon journey 
  • Making the leap to longer triathlons 
  • Why the training is the most challenging part 
  • Wanting to be World Champion 
  • Mental Preparation - PPPPPP (Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance)
  • Dealing with injury and staying positive 
  • What off season is like 
  • The most memorable race 
  • Making the right decisions at the right time 
  • What goes through her head during training and racing 
  • Being committed to the decisions she’s made 
  • Race recovery 
  • Quick Fire Questions 


Social Media


Instagram @fenella.alicia  

Facebook @Fenella-Langridge-Triathlon  

Twitter @Fenella_Alicia  

Jan 16, 2020

Kathryn Bertine is an author, athlete, activist and documentary filmmaker. During her pro career in cycling, she was a three-time Caribbean Champion, six-time national champion of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN) and raced five years on pro circuit  with four UCI domestic and World Tour teams Colavita, Wiggle-Honda, BMW and Cylance Pro Cycling. Now retired from professional racing, Bertine serves as Trek’s Ambassador for Equality in Cycling.

Off the bike, she is a filmmaker, activist, journalist and author of three nonfiction books, All the Sundays Yet to ComeAs Good As Gold, and The Road Less Taken. From 2006 through 2012, Bertine was a columnist, author and senior editor for ESPN. When she pitched a documentary film on women’s pro cycling to ESPN in 2012, they rejected the proposal. So Bertine decided she would make it herself. After a two-year labor of love and crowdsourcing adventures, in 2014, HALF THE ROAD: The passion, pitfalls and power of women’s professional cycling was released. It won five film festivals, debuted in 16 nations, scored international distribution and successfully brought the hammer down on the corruption and sexism in sports. Half the Road is now available on iTunes, Vimeo, Amazon Prime and DVD. Five years later, she continues to receive royalties on a film ESPN said no one would watch. 

As an advocate for equality in women’s sports, Bertine then started the social activism movement Le Tour Entier in an effort to bring parity to women’s professional road cycling, starting with the Tour de France. She and her team succeeded, and women’s field was included in 2014 with the addition of La Course by Tour de France. In 2017, she founded and serves as CEO for Homestretch Foundation, which provides free housing to female professional athletes struggling with the gender pay gap. Bertine was featured on the cover of Bicycling Magazine and profiled in Outside Magazine for her platforms of implementing change in the world.

 As an activist, Bertine continues to serve as a public speaker/lecturer on equality and advocacy. She shares her journey and her message—that through passion, disruption, opportunity and focus, anything is possible and we’re all capable of effecting change—with corporations, universities and other professional outlets. She is currently at work on her fourth book.

Show notes

  • Kathryn introduces herself 
  • Being an activist and athlete 
  • Going back to the start of 2016
  • Why endurance athletes get better with age
  • Deciding that 2016 would be her last year of racing professionally
  • The big crash in April 2016 
  • TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury 
  • Recovery 
  • Doing one final race
  • Fear of getting back on the bike?
  • How her body remembered what had happened 
  • Friends and family’s fears 
  • Preparing to transition out of the sport
  • Opening a non profit foundation
  • What’s happening in women’s cycling 
  • Thoughts on the Tour de France
  • Getting angry…
  • Increasing awareness 
  • How Kathryn is making change happen 
  • Being a voice in her sport 
  • Pro contracts that stop women talking about inequality 
  • Being exhausted 
  • Why anyone can create change 
  • New book and the challenges of publishing 
  • To self publish or not?
  • Funding her lifestyle 
  • Big shout out to TREK BIKES 
  • Am I worthy
  • The need to keep proving yourself 
  • How we can support Kathryn with her work 
  • Quick Fire Questions 

Social Media

CEO, Homestretch Foundation:

Author/Activist/Pro Cyclist: 

Documentary Filmmaker:












Jan 14, 2020

Kristina shares more about her journey into running and how she ended up becoming the World Record holder for  - 48 hour treadmill running! Kristina is an introvert by nature, but she asked herself the question; “What can I do with this ability to run?”.  

In 2015, Kristina took it upon herself to challenge her own  personal fears and prejudices. Kristina made the decision to run alone across Iran, a distance of 1,840 kilometres. 

In the process, Kristina, became the first women to have run across Iran. She was running an average of 37 kilometres per day. She started in Bazargan by the Turkish border and finished in Bajgiran on the north-eastern border, the run took her 59 days to complete. 

Kristina filmed the journey and created a film called:  Alone Through Iran - 1144 Miles of Trust.

During this podcast, we will learn more about Kristina, her life, the challenges she has faced, how she has overcome failure, how she set a world record for treadmill running, as well as life on the road while running across Iran. We also talk about kindness, learning how to say no and why you have to be yourself. 

Show notes 

  • Some of the challenges Kristina has done
  • Her early years growing up and being shy 
  • Taking the first steps of adventure 
  • Having her life turned upside down
  • Losing everything that she thought was important at 32
  • Being afraid of failure 
  • Travelling around China and SE Asia
  • Starting to run more and more 
  • Deciding to set a world record for running on a treadmill
  • “What can I do with this ability to run?”
  • Deciding to run through Iran
  • Planning the run
  • Dealing with all of the What If’s
  • Writing down her fears (22 in total)
  • What can I do to prevent the fears?
  • Creating a network in Iran 
  • The kindness of strangers offering support
  • The fear of never being left along
  • Being introverted 
  • What life was like on the road while running through Iran
  • Miscommunication and cultural confusion 
  • Being an introvert on the road 
  • Needing to be alone
  • Having to be careful about what she wrote in her blog
  • Writing a book about her run, 2 years later
  • Needing time to digest everything that happened 
  • How the run impacted her life going forward
  • Having a great belief in human kindness 
  • Quitting her job to do the run and coming back unemployed 
  • Making a documentary about the run
  • Dealing with the huge amount of publicity after the run
  • How the run has changed her life
  • Contributing to reforms in Iran 
  • Introducing a 10K run in Iran in 2018
  • Courage and why it’s good to be a woman 
  • Why feelings are just feelings 
  • Why it’s ok to be scared 
  • Why you have to focus on what you want to create
  • How to handle fear 
  • Staying focused on your goal 
  • The motivation to carry on when things are tough 
  • Focusing on the - ‘Right Now’  
  • Let it go
  • Not being able to say no 
  • Needing her own space
  • Why being kind to ourselves can be the hardest thing to do 
  • Quick Fire Questions 
  • Be Yourself 


Social Media 

Personal Website - 

Website Alone through Iran -

Facebook @kristina.palten 

Instagram @kristina_palten 

Jan 9, 2020

Emily is an ocean advocate, skipper, international public speaker and advisor on issues relating to our ocean, her goals are around shifting mindsets and making changes for our future society. 

Emily is on a mission to inspire and facilitate a community of change makers through her organisation eXXpedition. This will be done by training athletes and celebrities to be impactful advocates on ocean issues. 

Emily believes in developing upstream solutions to the ocean plastic issue by working with corporate partners, scientists and government bodies. During this podcast we talk more about eXXpedition, its formation, plans and goals. 

Emily has previously been on the Tough Girl Podcast (July 12th 2016), where she shared more about her early life and career.  

Show notes

  • Working on projects to combat plastic pollution
  • Brief overview of her career
  • The idea behind eXXpedition and how it came about
  • Micro plastics in her blood
  • The power of bringing women together
  • Getting blood tests done
  • The changes in plastics over the past 12 years
  • XX - why and how it has evolved
  • Scaling the project up and funding
  • The run up to launch day….
  • 300 women joining the journey
  • Kicking off with a 4 day event in London
  • Solving problems with diversity of solutions
  • Deciding on the women 
  • The power of transformative journeys
  • Feelings of overwhelm when dealing with the plastic pollution 
  • Why you have to break the problem down.
  • Keeping things in perspective 
  • Why every action counts
  • Why there is not one solution
  • Superpowers  - what makes us brilliant 
  • What’s been going on….. 2016 and 2017
  • Working with Sky
  • Sailing….
  • Going on the first leg of the voyage 
  • How the sailing works on the boat
  • Getting the thinking time to think about the problem 
  • What is the dream, what is the ambition
  • The 3 overall aims
  • Why the following up is so important
  • Mission Leaders, scientists, & sailors
  • The concept of SHIFT
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • How you can make a change in your life


Social Media

Website  - 

Instagram - @missemilypenn 

Twitter: @emilypenn 

eXXpedition - All women's voyages to make the unseen seen, from the #toxics in our bodies to the #plastics in our seas.  

eXXpedition is a Community Interest Company and not-for-profit organisation that runs pioneering all-female sailing research expeditions to investigate the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution.

Founded in 2014, they have run expeditions all over the world. Previous scientific research has highlighted the endemic nature of micro plastics within our ocean environments globally. 

Their focus now is to advance a better understanding of the plastics issue as a whole and to work with industry to pinpoint solutions and policy at a global level by addressing knowledge-gaps and delivering evidence to inform effective solutions.

Website - 

Twitter - @eXXpedition  

Instagram - @exxpedition_   

Facebook - @eXXpeditionCIC  

Youtube - eXXpedition 

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