Info

Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - www.toughgirlchallenges.com and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
2022
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: December, 2021
Dec 30, 2021
Born the youngest of 6 children and raised in small town in Northern B.C. Canada, Julie never expected she would end up in Mongolia, feeding, caring for and educating hundreds of Mongolian children in need at her two Children of the Peak Sanctuary or Narnii Huuhduud charity kindergartens. She and her husband, Chelvan, a Mining Engineer and the President of Veloo Foundation, have lived and worked in Indonesia, Australia and The United States before settling in Mongolia.
 
During her 10 years here, Julie has taken up horse back riding and now, every year, with Saraa and Baagii of Horse Trek Mongolia hosts and rides the longest annual charity ride on the planet – The Gobi Gallop – along with a suite of other charity rides across Mongolia. 
 
In 2022 she will ride the record breaking 3,600 km / 84 day Blue Wolf Totem Expedition to raise funds for her charity project projects. 
 
All of the money the people pay for these rides stays in Mongolia and helps the children, local businesses, artists and artisans and local herders. Julie, herself, works running these rides and the charity projects on a volunteer bases. Since first riding here at the age of 50 Julie has logged in excess of 35,000 km on horseback across the wilds of Mongolia and all of it to help the children.
 
Julie is passionate about Mongolia and all things Mongolian and is committed to sustainable and fiscally transparent philanthropy. She is thrilled to be able to incorporate her love of Mongolian culture and history into Veloo Foundation’s Soaring Crane Summer Camp out in the countryside of Sonjin Boldog. 
 
The camp is a traditional Mongolian themed camp experience in English and Mongolian alike and offers 3 paying camps a year in English to fund the remaining camps for 250 Mongolian children in need. In addition to the two Narnii Huuhduud Kindergartens and the Soaring Crane Summer Camp, Veloo Foundation also operates the Fran London Centre for the Fabric Arts.
 
Now 60, Julie expects to continue her epic long distance riding her in Mongolia and will continue making a difference in the lives of children in need as long as she is able.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
 
  • Who is Julia
  • Being based in Mongolia, Central Asia for the past 10 years
  • Growing up in a small town in Northern Canada
  • Being the youngest of 6
  • Being fascinated with the idea of travel
  • Being stuck in hospital for 4 years as a child
  • The plight of the children in the garbage dump
  • Being terrified of horses growing up
  • Sitting on a horse for the first time at 50 and falling in love
  • Her life before Mongolia 
  • The work the Veloo Foundation does in Mongolia
  • Moving to Mongolia in 2010
  • Dealing with harsh winters due to over grazing and climate change
  • Magical moments and how the idea for the Gobi Gallop came about 
  • Using the Gobi Gallop as a fundraiser for the Veloo Foundation
  • Working with Horse Trek Mongolia 
  • Taking on a solo challenge…
  • Riding 700km in 8 days
  • The Blue Wolf Totem Expedition happening in 2022 - 3,600 km challenge in Mongolia 
  • The mental side of the challenge
  • Training with Sarah Cuthbertson - Ride Like an Athlete Program 
  • Get back on the horse
  • Riding with a rockstar…
  • Having a weak moment in your endurance adventure doesn’t mean it’s over
  • Life in Mongolia and what it’s like
  • Starting a new project 
  • Eating traditional Mongolian food
  • Learning the language 
  • How to connect with Julie
  • #AdventurerForGood
 
Social Media
 
Veloo Foundation - Helping Mongolian children and families in serious need through a series of educational, health and vocational programs.
 
 
Instagram: @VelooFoundation 
 
Horse Trek Mongolia - Ride. Explore. Help Children. We connect travellers to authentic Mongolian adventure . Home of the #gobigallop - 700 km / 10 days for charity!
 
 
Instagram: @HorseTrekMongolia 
 
Personal IG: @JulieVeloo 
 
Mongolist, Sharing horseback & other adventures with you all.  LIFE PLAN= DO Good. HELP Children. KEEP going. No plans to stop… #AdventurerForGood
 
Dec 28, 2021
Gowri is a naturalist and environmental educator who loves finding an excuse to be outdoors in nature—and climbing is one of her favourite excuses. 
 
Gowri grew up climbing trees and scrambling on rocks in India, she went on to become an outdoor guide in the Peruvian Amazon. 
 
Gowri currently teaches nature connection to kids in Upstate NY and India and also teaches Indian women climbing. 
 
A few years ago she received the Live your Dream Grant given by American Alpine Club and the North Face to climb her hardest project to date, called French Indian Masala (7b+/5.12c), in India.
 
In 2018 she initiated the first-ever Indian women's climbing meet up in India to mentor and teach women climbing, called CLAW or Climb Like A Woman. She hopes to keep teach climbing, inspire more women to climb, and teach nature connection to the larger outdoor community through her new initiative Wilderness Ways. 
 
Listen to Gowri now!!!
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Gowri
  • Her passions and her work
  • Growing up in India
  • Going to a non conventional school
  • Being obsessed with snakes 
  • Getting into nature and wildlife from a young age
  • Her dreams as a little girl
  • Going to college over in America
  • Her journey into climbing
  • Working in Peru as a guide
  • Going to an indoor rock climbing gym in the US
  • Her first climb outdoors
  • Climbing the French Indian Masala route
  • Applying for a grant
  • CLAW - Climb Like A Woman 
  • Wanting to teach Indian women how to climb
  • Holding the first event in 2018
  • Going against gender norms
  • Climbing in Hampi
  • Women teaching women
  • The false stories we tell ourselves
  • Dealing with fears when climbing
  • The women who have inspired Gowri in climbing and nature
  • Being inspired by Flash Foxy
  • Planning a climb and starting a new project
  • Producing a film of the French Indian Masala route climb
  • Starting training 2 months before
  • Figuring out your weaknesses and strengths
  • The importance of rest 
  • Taking on a new challenge every 2 years
  • The next project…..
  • Training for one move 
  • The move….
  • Watch the video on Youtube - French Indian Masala - Gowri Varanashi
  • Wilderness Ways
  • Teaching children - Nature connection
  • How to connect with Gowri
  • Final words of advice 
  • Be curious, observe and ask questions!
 
 
Social Media
 
 
Women's Climbing Meet Up in India. 
 
CLAW <<Climb Like A Woman>> 
 
Breaking barriers through rock climbing
 
www.climblikeawoman.com 
 
Instagram:
 
@gowrivaranashi 
 
@climblikeawoman 
 
Wilderness Ways - reconnects you to the power of nature through unique experiences in the outdoors promoting love & care for the natural world. 
 
Website - www.wildernessways.org 
 
Instagram: @wilderness__ways. 
 
Dec 25, 2021
Anna is an up and coming British trad climber based in the Lake District. She has multiple climbs in the E6-E8 range on her CV and favours bold and often unprotectable climbs
 
Anna started climbing at age 10. 
 
Competitions didn't really suit her, and she quit the sport in her teens for a while before getting into outdoor bouldering age 17. 
 
At 19, on a family holiday, she discovered she had a taste for hard trad and hasn't looked back.
 
Anna has lived in the Lake District all her life and works as a route-setter at Kendal Wall.  
 
Anna's 2019 climbing spree*
Lake District climbs
 
8 July, Disorderly Conduct E8 6c, lead, Reecastle Crag, Cumbria
26 June, Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow E5 6b, solo onsight, Hare Crags, Cumbria
27 May, Right Hare, Right Now E7 6c, lead, Hare Crags, Cumbria
22 May, Scrogbank Ravers E7 6c, lead, White Mines, Rusty Wall, Cumbria
20 May, No Nuts (Just Balls) E7 6b solo, Harrop Tarn Crag, Cumbria
4 May, Relentless Rage E7 6a, lead, Gouther Crags, Cumbria
29 April, Hang the Gallows High E6 6b, lead, Black Crag (Wrynose), Cumbria
17 April, Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid E6 6b, lead, Tilberthwaite Quarry, Cumbria
21 April, Big Tree Corner, E1 5b, lead, Tilberthwaite Quarry, Cumbria
 
Notable climbs from trips away
 
22 June, Bad Life Choices E7 6b solo, Polldubh Crags, Glen Nevis
17 May, My Halo E7 6b, lead, Serengeti, North Wales slate
13 April, Nosferatu E6 6b, lead, Burbage South, Peak District
 
 
Commenting on Instagram, Anna wrote about her challenge: 
 
'Well that's that. Two months ago I set off from Penzance with the intention of linking all of the Classic Rock routes together by bike. I didn't have a clue how to cycle tour, or how I was going to get all the climbs done if the weather crapped out, but bit by bit I learned, and here we are. So that's just over 1,500 miles on the bike, and 83 out of 83 climbs (68 of which were solos, either free or with rope), in a mostly continuous round (I did have to duck out for a work trip at one point).
 
'Big thanks to @neil.gresham for coming up to do the last few climbs with me in appalling conditions. The weather has often been unkind throughout this trip, and because of this things were difficult and pretty treacherous right up until the very last second. Still, we had a fun, mildly epic adventure sliding around on the Cioch, and the Cuillin Ridge was, to put it frankly, f**king grim. It wasn't quite the scenic finale I had in mind, but was quite a fitting ending in the sense that virtually nothing about this trip has ever gone according to plan.

'There's been some good and very memorable moments though. Climbing The Long Climb on the Ben in a bubble of mist feeling like I was the only person in the world was ace, as was the watery fight to get out of The Chasm (though that was perhaps more of a type 2 fun sort of day). Routes like The Devils Slide on Lundy and The Clean Sweep on Hells Lum were also highlights, and all that definitely made up for the times I was frozen, wet and off-route, or regretting my life choices cycling up endless hills. It's not been a perfect trip by any means, but I've learnt a lot (mostly about soloing), and I'm looking forward to putting some of that knowledge to good use on future projects. For now however, I'm just appreciating being warm and dry, and I'm pretty relived to have got this over with before it starts snowing.'
 
Anna was also part of a large expedition in 2019 to climb the prow of Mount Roraima (a giant Tepui deep in the Amazon rainforest).
 
Take a listen to Anna now!
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Anna
  • Just finishing the classic rock tour
  • Her childhood growing up in Windermere
  • Where the idea for the challenge came from
  • Wanting to try cycle touring
  • Telling her friends and family about the challenge
  • Wanting to start in April 2021 but having to push it back to August 
  • Working as a full time climber
  • Figuring out how to take 2 months off
  • How much would it cost and paying for the challenge
  • Why it wasn’t an expensive trip
  • Figuring out how to keep costs down
  • Filming the challenge and getting pictures of the climbs
  • Getting to the start of the challenge
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the challenge
  • Dealing with the reality of the situation 
  • Taking it one day at a time
  • The biggest challenge on the trip
  • Why the Scottish climbs were so challenging
  • Being solo on a rock face
  • What’s going on inside her head while climbing
  • Magical moments from the experience 
  • The physicality of the challenge
  • The challenges of going with someone else
  • The rough route throughout the UK
  • Finishing in the Isle of Skye
  • Celebrating the end of the challenge and settling back into normal life
  • What’s next?!
  • Advice for women who want to get into climbing
  • Working on improving her skills
  • What type of climbing Anna does
  • Follow and connect with Anna on Instagram
  • Her first big expedition to South America
  • Connecting with Leo Houlding
  • Lesson learned from taking on climbing challenges
  • Final words of advice and why you should go and do it!
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @anna_taylor_98 
 
Dec 23, 2021
Annie in her own words:
 
“My adventure career began with climbing, when I ticked off nearly every single box of "Mistakes to Avoid While Trad Climbing Outside" on my first ever outdoor trad climb. I survived and went on to see what other mistakes I could make that would not kill me. 
 
I took my bike on the 3000KM solo ride to the Nordkapp at age of 26. 
 
My latest adventure feat is successfully running a solo 1000KM Ultramarathon from the Lowest to Highest point of Germany, after having started running only six months prior. 
 
I am also the comic artist for BotsAndBrainz, and have set my base camp in Berlin, Germany, where I’m working on my PhD in neuroscience on the mechanics of learning and memory.
 
And here's something a little more personal on me (and my book): The Nordkapp trip changed my life not because I actually physically managed to cycle 3000K. It changed my life because it was something I did entirely on my own, dependent on only myself, after coming out of years of abusive relationships. I thought I was scarred and broken beyond repair when I set out on that trip - but I should have known from the start that there was a part of me that had stayed intact, all of these years, because no drive like the one I felt going for the Kap had ever been as strong in my life before as this one had been. I cried so much on that trip, for what I lost, for what I had allowed to be done to me, and out of plain gratitude - that I was still here, still alive and kicking and still, somehow, so, so in love with life. 
 
I wish I could have had someone tell me that a bike ride to a place I hadn't even heard of just 5 days before I left for it, would change my life as it did. That's why I want to publish my book and share my story. So whoever needs to hear it knows that they are not alone, they can survive and they will make their life their own again - if only they dare take the first steps on that path.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Annie
  • Starting out in climbing and moving into running and cycling
  • Becoming an endurance athlete
  • Being based in Berlin
  • Moving to Georgia, USA at age 6
  • Studying for her PHD in learning and memory 
  • Spending time in the outdoors
  • Her academic life and growing up around scientists
  • PHD update…
  • PHDs and ultra challenges
  • Deciding on a 1,000km ultramarathon
  • Getting into running
  • 16 weeks to run a marathon..
  • Running from the lowest point in Germany to the highest point 
  • Feeling excited and intimidated at the same time
  • How much strain is an ultra marathon on the body…
  • Vo2 Max results
  • The mental side of taking on a 1000km ultramarathon
  • Hating running and trying to avoid it
  • Preparation for the challenge
  • Getting the runners high
  • Wanting to quit on day 4
  • Figuring out where to sleep
  • Getting back into running and arranging the King Snail Race
  • Taking on a 3,000km bike ride
  • Leaving a negative relationship which wasn’t serving her anymore
  • Being made to feel small and starting to doubt herself
  • Wanting to get out and discover the world
  • Wanting to see what she was capable off 
  • What is Nordkapp?
  • Being terrified and the lead up to the start
  • When everything started to go wrong
  • Being supported by her brother 
  • Figuring out where she belonged
  • Working on herself and processes the lessons learned
  • Writing a book about her experience
  • Speaking to Chris Fagan
  • Learning to appreciate the small moments in life
  • Follow Annie online and visit her website (links below)
  • Final words of advice for women who have been made to feel small
 
Social Media
 
Website: www.thebotbeyondthebrainz.com 
 
Instagram: Personal - @thebotbeyondthebrainz 
 
Art -  Tales of a Traveling Scientist in doodles, scribbles & dad jokes: @botsandbrainz
 
Dec 21, 2021
About Pammy:
 
Born in the 60’s in inner city Coventry to a Sikh immigrant family. At 16, a school trip introduced her to the mountains where she experienced the WOW moment that changed her life. A force much bigger than her took her to explore wild landscapes of the world! Not something her parents or community were keen on. “It’s not what our girls do!.. what will everyone say??!!” Her drive was so strong she did it anyway at the risk of totally losing her world.
 
She encountered many complex and painful challenges with people of all backgrounds including her own family/community. Through these emotional and physical challenges, she discovered her own core values. This was a journey of self-discovery, understanding and respecting differences and a passion for environmental protection.
 
Pammy has been an outdoor/environmental practitioner since 1979 and in 1995 it struck her hard as she noticed the lack of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic role models in the sector, at every level, from service users to Board level and felt very strongly this had to change.
 
In 1995 she laid the foundation for what is now Backbone..
 
Backbone is a leading Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic outdoor environmental education organisation acknowledged on a national and global platform for successfully addressing diversity and inclusion in the sector. 
 
The key to their success is partnership working based on the values of:
  • Genuine Intention
  • Trust and Integrity
  • Direct Benefit of All Communities
 
They provide a safe and comfortable space for people and organisations to grow in their uniqueness.  
 
Together with their partners they are making a difference in the sector and to the communities they serve.
 
‘Adventure’… For some is climbing an unknown peak and for others it is leaving the City. The commonality is leaving the comfort of YOUR home and entering the unknown.. a journey of discovery to magical places!
 
Learn more about Pammy and the work that Backbone is doing. Listen now via the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Pammy and what she does
  • Being an outdoor practitioner for over 40 years
  • Working in America and all over the world
  • Coming back to the UK in 1995
  • Growing up in Coventry, UK
  • Getting exposed to the outdoors
  • Going against family expectations
  • Living up in the highlands of Scotlands
  • Having to have difficult conversations with her family
  • Entering the outdoors in the 70s and what is was like being a female
  • The struggle of being taken seriously
  • Leaving America and headed back to the UK
  • What Backbone is about
  • Why the name Backbone
  • Why change is happening so slowly
  • Competitive Research Syndrome
  • The excuses for inactivity
  • Changing Landscapes - Actioning Change 
  • Being fed up of talking 
  • FREE OPPORTUNITIES
  • FREE TRAINING
  • Going national
  • Handling frustration and what can be done to make change happen faster
  • Why the sector is a service industry 
  • Why organisations need to change
  • Why groups need funding and money
  • What does adventure mean to Pammy
  • Helping to break barriers down
  • Wanting to inform on policy 
  • What training is offered
  • The unethical behaviours 
  • Dealing with the mental and emotional toll 
  • Going on the big challenges and expeditions
  • The power of spending time in the mountains
  • Getting into skiing
  • Advice for women who want to spend more time in the outdoors
  • Why aren’t you doing it?
  • The pleasure of building up your skills
  • Go and learn how to read a map
  • Connect with Pammy on the socials (See below)
  • FREE TRAINING
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why - Life is too short to wear tight shoes
  • Listen to your internal soul
  • Why you need to be doing it. 
 
Social Media
 
 
 
Facebook: @backbone.cic 
 
Twitter: @BackboneCIC 
 
Dec 18, 2021
Minnesota native. Earned a teaching degree from the University of Oregon and taught a short few years before joining a team to dogsled to the North Pole. 
 
As first known woman to travel across the ice to the top of the world, I made a promise to not only follow my dreams but create something bigger than my own personal ambitions. 
 
All my expeditions since have education with them - thus inspiring millions of kids. One focus always is helping girls and women find their voice and potential in whatever they do. 
 
This theme traveled as I became first women to ski to both poles, lead the first all women's expedition to the South Pole in 1992/93 - Lead a team of all women across Greenland 1992 and later cross Antarctica with Liv Arnesen. 2000/01. Many wonderful trips in between on rock and snow, or on water - frozen and liquid. 
 
I started the Ann Bancroft Foundation in Minnesota that gives small monetary grants to girls to try an experience to find courage to find their way in the world as strong and confident and engaged humans.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Ann
  • Going to college to become a teacher
  • Following her childhood dream
  • 65, years young 
  • Spending the past 20+ years working with Liv Arnesen
  • Feeling very blessed about her life
  • How her life diverted and changed into the adventure and expedition world at 29 years old
  • Wanting to go to the South Pole
  • How the opportunity came about 
  • Finding herself on the team and how it changed her life
  • Why you have to just go for it
  • Lessons learned from the South Pole
  • The moments of truth 
  • Her love of long expeditions
  • How have polar expeditions changed over the years
  • Wanting to do something for women and girls
  • Being a teacher outside of the classroom
  • Do challenges get easier….
  • Why you can not short cut preparation
  • Going back to focus on the basics
  • Dealing with setbacks and failure 
  • Why it takes courage to put yourself out there
  • Being able to learn from past mistakes
  • Wanting to cross all of Antarctica in 1992 
  • Having no money and no sponsors
  • What is the legacy they wanted to leave behind
  • Making the most painful decision in her life
  • Connecting with Liv Arnesen
  • Tent life….
  • Focusing on raising the voices of girls and women
  • Bancroft Arnesen Explore - Access Water 
  • The next challenge on the Mississippi 
  • Quick Fire Questions
  • Honesty - Integrity - Courage
  • Final words of advise for women and girls who want to divert to a different path
  • “I can because she did”
  • The power of living your potential.
 
Social Media
 
The Ann Bancroft Foundation empowers girls to imagine something bigger through grants, mentorship, and ongoing development opportunities. The Ann Bancroft Foundation is giving Minnesota girls the strength to achieve their full potential.
 
 
Instagram: @abfdreamers
 
 
Twitter: @ABFdreamers 
 
Dec 16, 2021
As she approached middle age, Marcia discovered a love for getting on her bike and riding a long way. In fact, when things got tough cycling regularly saved her sanity. 
 
In 2020 she had her sights on riding the Race around the Netherlands, but Covid put an end to that, at least for that year. 
 
But feeling the fittest she had ever been, and not wanting to waste a winter of hard training she cooked up a domestic adventure instead, and because the first woman to have attempted cycling the 1,725 miles from Lands End to John o’Groats and back!
 
By completing this long distance challenge, Marcia raise £'000's for her local branch of mental health charity MIND and bagged herself a Guinness World Record!
 
Learn all about Marcia, her passion for cycling and what she’s learned from taking on this challenge. 
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Marcia Roberts
  • Working a full time job in IT
  • Discovering her love of riding bikes
  • Encouraging other people to ride their bikes
  • Getting into cycling 10/12 years ago
  • Going through a divorce in 2000
  • Moving to Hampshire 
  • Looking for a new challenge
  • Having time to herself
  • Entering a charity challenge to ride across Vietnam
  • Avoiding the hills!
  • 9 months to train and get ready
  • Wanting to do a bigger challenge
  • Lessons from Vietnam 
  • Cycling over to the Alps
  • Dealing with “bonking”
  • Wanting to do a challenge in the UK
  • Managing her cycling while working full time
  • Cycling around main coast Britain
  • Breaking down big trips into smaller chunks
  • Loving the simplicity of cycling 
  • Setting up a local women’s riding group
  • The planning and preparation for cycling LEJOG (there and back)
  • Going back to March 2020
  • Breaking it down into blocks…. 4 hrs, 3hrs, 3.5 hrs
  • Planning on 12 days…
  • Looking for a Guinness World Record
  • Support crew, nutrition and meeting points
  • Dealing with the wet, windy and stormy weather!
  • Behind schedule all the time
  • Being stubborn and setting her mind to the challenge
  • Mental resilience and determination and not stopping
  • Tricks to stay awake
  • Sleeping
  • The bike setup for cycling LEJOG
  • Figuring out nutrition and being able to eat
  • Magical moments
  • Adventure blues and having a foolproof plan to avoid it
  • Dealing with lockdown and feeling very low
  • The Great British Escapades
  • The evidence needed for a Guinness World Record
  • Blogging and sharing content online especially around problems and how she overcame them
  • “Why you can do incredible things, if you just put your mind to it”
  • Final words of advice for middle aged women
  • Find a friend who you can go cycling with
  • Don’t focus on speed or millage - just get on your bike
 
Social Media
 
Blog: https://mawonavelo.com/blog/  
 
Instagram: @Mawonavelo 
 
Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/marcia-roberts to donate.
 
Dec 14, 2021
Preeti in her own words:
 
“I come from the land of beyuls, the sacred valleys according to Himalayan Buddhism, where the physical and spiritual world connect with each other. 
 
Running through some of the most spectacular landscapes and remote regions of Nepal has made me experience that the health and wellbeing of people largely depend on the natural environment around them and vice versa. 
 
Through my work as both an engineering consultant and trail run organizer, I try to present this experience to both Nepali and international diaspora that I get to work with. 
 
While my company, Nepal Trail Series is at the very early stage of its operation, but it is moving ahead intentionally to bring forward both physical and spiritual experiences of my country in a running package. 
 
The company is female-run and provides professional opportunities for rare talented strong female athletes of Nepal."
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Preeti
  • Being based in Nepal
  • Her childhood and growing up in India
  • How she ended up in Nepal
  • Working as an engineer in rural areas
  • Getting into running 
  • Becoming a race director for trail races
  • Being pushed into fitness at a young age
  • Seeing running in a different way
  • Getting into running events in 2012
  • Just wanting to finish races and enjoy it
  • Remembering her first ultra in Katmandu in 2016
  • Dealing with the altitude and what works for her
  • Moving into multi stage ultras
  • Training for ultras
  • Not wanting to be a competitive runner
  • Figuring out her energy management
  • Having fun during races
  • Running with a watch and using strava
  • Food, nutrition and hydration for energy management
  • Following her body and her menstral cycle
  • Figuring out what works for her
  • The Nepal Trail Series
  • Hosting trail running camps in different regions throughout Nepal
  • Advice for running taking on a multi stage trail race in Nepal
  • Mantras and daily meditation 
  • The women who inspire Preeti
  • Girls and sports in Nepal
  • Mira Rai - Nepalese trail runner and sky runner.
  • Noticing an increase in female runners
  • Advice about being a responsible tourist in Nepal
  • The Great Himalayan Trail and her dream project
  • Advice and top tips for health and well being
  • What Preeti name means
 
Social Media
 
Website: nepaltrailseries.org 
 
Instagram:
 
@nepaltrailseries  
 
@preeti.khattri 
 
Catalogue for 2022 Training Camps - www.canva.com/design/DAEqpnA4xHI/W06W1cnkMz-fuxZ18WyURQ/view 
 
Dec 11, 2021
Since becoming a wheelchair user Debbie has campaigned tirelessly to break down barriers in all aspects of promoting accessibility for all.
 
Debbie lives on a sheep farm in Cumbria, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  She is a member of the Local Access Forum for the YDNP and chair of the Access For All group. She is a volunteer for the National Park with the responsibility of auditing the ‘Miles Without Stile’ routes.
 
For the past 6 years Debbie has been the expert in inclusion and diversity for The Outdoor Guide, a free online resource dedicated to enjoying the outdoors. Co-founded and fronted by television personality Julia Bradbury.  
 
Debbie is a Get Outside Champion with Ordnance Survey. In 2020 she was nominated for 'Outdoor Personality of the Year' by TGO magazine readers.
 
Debbie is a presenter, motivational speaker, writer and consultant and is able to deliver tailor made training and presentations. She is a regular contributor for the BBC Countryfile Magazine
 
Although Debbie specialises in walks for wheelchair users, she is able to create multi- sensory walks for people with visual and hearing impairment.
 
Her motto is “Making the inaccessible accessible”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Living on a sheep farm in Cumbria
  • Being a wheelchair user since 2011
  • De-stressing from school life
  • Spending time in the hills
  • Starting to look at ways she could get back outside
  • Struggling to access the countryside
  • Working with Terrain Hopper 
  • Losing her husband Andy to cancer
  • Setting up the charity “Access the Dales”
  • The Outdoor Guide 
  • Spending time in the open and growing up in Sheffield 
  • Meeting Andy while teaching at the same school
  • Doing the coast to coast walk not really knowing each other…
  • Deciding to make some changes
  • Putting pen to paper
  • Getting back outside again and going on her first walk in a wheelchair
  • Facing challenges out in nature
  • Why accessibility should be the starting point of any new project
  • Magical moments of spending time in the outdoors
  • Getting a new dog
  • Having her first Scottish solo holiday
  • Batteries on wheelchairs
  • Going downhill
  • New books
  • Launching the charity and the book in April 2022
  • Final words of advice 
  • Why we all have our own Everest 
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @debbienorth29n 
 
Facebook: @debbieNorth 
 
Twitter: @debbienorth29 
 
Dec 9, 2021
“In the blink of an eye, I went from being an active, autonomous athlete to  suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that took 70% of my vision and nearly my life. Now I aim to be mindful in every moment and strive to make every second count while adventuring in mountains around the world.”
 
Jill in her own words:
 
“On a day that began like any other in a high school Physical Education class, September 2014 began an expedition of survival. A line drive, a hardball to the head, began a climb testing personal strength and human potential. A medical team, hundreds of hands from 7 hospitals across 3 countries, guided me towards a peak that felt impossible to climb, traumatic brain injury (TBI). While I craved to climb alone, they got me to the summit but my work was just getting started. Now I am traversing an avalanche triggered by the TBI which left me days from death, with 70% vision loss and a life threatening eating disorder.
 
No mountain can challenge me the way traumatic brain injury has. I chose to adventure in massifs around the world with the intention to adapt to vision loss and acceptance of the trail my life had taken.
 
From surviving to thriving, I have run, climbed, and skied my way around the world embracing the 30% vision I am fortunate to have. My trails have connected with the Andorra Pyrenees, Italian Dolomites, French and Swiss Alps, Slovenia’s Julian Alps, Iceland, India and Nepal Himalaya, New Zealand, Argentina, Peru, and the American Rockies.
 
As a traumatic brain injury survivor and visually impaired athlete adventuring in mountains around the world, I have a complex story of resilience to share. Speaking to resilience, head injuries, eating disorders, visual impairments, trauma, or mental health or simply sharing my story, I can make connections through authentic tales of my trails from depths of darkness to adventuring in the highest of the Himalayas.”
 
CONTENT WARNING - We discuss; Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD and thoughts of suicide.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Speaking to us from Nepal
  • Who is Jill in her own words
  • Growing up in a sporty, adventurous family
  • Becoming a teacher and following her passion for travel
  • Teaching in Singapore, Russia, Switzerland and Germany 
  • Taking advantage of the opportunity to travel
  • September 2018 and how her life changed in an instant
  • Being hit by a hard ball on the side of her head
  • Going to hospital and being send home
  • Ending up in intensive care with a bleeding and swelling brain
  • Dealing with a Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Finding out she would never see out of her right eye again
  • Losing depth perception 
  • The impact the TBI has had on her appetite and relationship with food
  • Seeing multiple specialists and spending a lot of time in hospital
  • Starting to get her independence back while in Colorado 
  • Looking out to the mountains 
  • Feeling very lost and grieving her past life
  • Needing to go and heal in the mountains 
  • Starting to travel again
  • Creating a blueprint and plan for the future
  • Being open to change….
  • Falling in love with Nepal and being inspired to get back into running
  • Not wanting to share her story
  • Being authentic with her feelings and being vulnerable
  • Starting her website and starting to share her story
  • Not wanting to do social media 
  • Accepting that her life had changed
  • Testing herself at altitude
  • Getting connected with the running and climbing community in Nepal
  • Dealing with pneumonia 
  • Starting to climb higher in the Himalayas
  • Planning to climb mountains over 6,000 metres
  • Dealing with covid in Nepal and being in lockdown for 8 months
  • Trying ice-climbing in early 2020
  • Escaping the lockdown and heading up into the mountains
  • Not being able to run while in rundown and having to try different types of training while indoors
  • Losing her father suddenly and supporting her family from afar 
  • Spending time alone in the mountains
  • Training to climb the 8th highest mountain in the worlds - Manasulu 
  • Visa’s for Nepal and being on a student visa
  • Managing depth perception while climbing mountains 
  • Spending time in the mountains as part of the healing process
  • Acceptance of what’s happened?
  • Dealing with dark days and using different tools to help manage the feelings
  • Why meditation is a significant part of her daily practice
  • Hiding behind her sunglasses and not being comfortable with the way she looks
  • Being a work in progress and being aware of her mindset and thoughts
  • The good wolf and the bad wolf - choosing which one to feed
  • Wanting to build on the good
  • Connecting with Jill
 
Social Media
 
 
Instagram: @mtnsofmymind 
 
Facebook: @mountainsofmymind 
 
Twitter: @mtnsofmymind 
 
Dec 7, 2021
Anja Madhvani is a writer and drinks industry worker with a passion for adventure.
 
Anja studied classical piano performance at The University Of Huddersfield, and has gone on to perform as a violinist and singer with a number of post-rock bands, most notably Her Name Is Calla. 
 
She has spent 13 years in the beer industry, managing venues, hosting brewery tours and tastings, and working in sales and communications. She also works with Club Soda, a mindful drinking movement who aim to create a world where nobody feels out of place if they aren’t drinking.
 
In 2018 Anja completed her first ultra, the Marathon Des Sables, with undiagnosed Pulmonary Tuberculosis. She is now back to running and also enjoying the challenge of pole dancing.
 
She is currently studying to become a personal trainer, and hopes to channel her unique experiences into helping others to shift their mindset and find joy in movement.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Anja 
  • What she does 
  • What Anja was like a child
  • Growing up in North Yorkshire
  • Being involved in dancing 
  • Making excuses to get out of PE
  • Finding a love for beer
  • Exercise and fitness in her 20s
  • Deciding to make a change in her life
  • Getting back into fitness and her first steps
  • Needing a really big challenge
  • Signing up for the Marathon des Sables and getting back into running
  • Having 16 months to train
  • Where did she start
  • Her first run down by the canal
  • Going solo but meeting other people online through the FB group
  • Her method for training
  • Making changes to her lifestyle and getting into a better routine
  • Being cagey with sharing her running challenge
  • Working with a personal trainer
  • Focusing on the small tangible goals and celebrating the wins
  • Building up her confidence via weight training
  • How strength training impacted on her running
  • Just wanting to finish the race
  • Cagey or protective ?
  • Being supported by friends and family
  • Fears and concerns before the race
  • Being a worrier or a planner?
  • What if I fail? What does that say about me? 
  • Running the Marathon des Sables in April 2018
  • Feeling under the weather at Christmas 2017
  • The determination and grit to push on through the pain
  • Being motivated by self loathing
  • Enjoying the race
  • Feeling disappointed on the finish line
  • Wanting to go back and do the race in full health
  • What happened after the race when back in the UK
  • Tuberculosis (TB)…. what is it
  • Being in isolation for 11 days 
  • Getting back her health and fitness
  • Taking 20 mins to walk 100 m
  • Having panic attacks when training
  • Going to therapy and working on her mindset
  • Training for the London Marathon in 2022
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @anjaism 
 
Twitter: @anja_madhvani 

 

Dec 4, 2021
Having only started cycling in 2018, Biola immersed herself in the community, showing great enthusiasm for her own progression and that of other women too. 
 
She is the chair of Velociposse, a club for women and non-binary people in London. 
 
Biola is relentless in her energy to push the club forward and increase diversity, collaborating with the Women of Colour Cycling Collective.
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Biola
  • Being based in Brixton, South London
  • Being a cycling club for ALL women 
  • Her passion for all types of riding
  • Her love for cycling and the community
  • Friends, fitness and having fun
  • Her childhood and growing up in Brixton
  • Going to the BMX track at 5 years old
  • Teenage years and her fitness journey 
  • Getting into running and starting to take training more seriously
  • Getting into weight training and commuting on the bike
  • Getting her mum to go to the gym at 63
  • Working out with other people and being encouraged
  • Moving from running into cycling
  • The Power of Community and joining the Velociposse Club
  • Advice for joining a cycling club
  • Her first race experience in January 2019
  • Dealing with being dropped
  • Making friends through racing 
  • Breaking down the informational barriers
  • Why there is no such thing as a typical racer
  • Why Biola races
  • Sharing passions and encouraging others to give it ago
  • Bikes….
  • Commuting to work 
  • Her journey with Velociposse and becoming the chairperson.
  • Knowing her strengths 
  • A higher order ask
  • Regent Park Laps on Saturdays
  • Final words of advice 
 
Social Media
 
Instagram: @biolasarah 
 
Velociposse - A cycling club for all women, all trans, and all non-binary people in London.  
 
Website - www.velociposse.cc 
 
Instagram: @velociposse 
 
 
Dec 2, 2021
Rosemary in her own words, talking about Nellie Bly and her record breaking race around the world:
 
“Crusading journalist Nellie Bly jumped off the page at me. She appeared as I was researching Victorian women adventurers… and she wouldn’t go away.  The more I got to know her, the more I was intrigued by this spirited woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer despite living in a world where women ‘knew their place.’  
 
Nellie knew her place alright, smack dab on the front page of the world’s newspapers.
 
She pioneered investigative journalism and paved the way for female reporters like me. Nellie’s crusades in print brought about huge reforms in women’s asylums, sweatshops and prisons.
 
2015 marked the 125th anniversary of her best known adventure — circling the globe in a record-breaking 72 days. In celebration of the remarkable Nellie Bly and her amazing journey, I followed in her footsteps around the world.
 
Now there is a book chronicling our two journeys: Following Nellie Bly: Her Record-Breaking Race Around the World.  
 
My aim is to put Nellie 'back on the map' as an inspiration for adventure, and a reminder that (as Nellie said) "'nothing is impossible if one applies a certain amount of energy in the right direction.”
 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time. Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and support - Quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
 
 
Show notes
  • Who Rosemary is and what she does
  • Being in journalism since graduating from university
  • Wanting to help to change the world
  • Trying to make a difference
  • Drawing attention to female explorers 
  • Why we need to hear these stories
  • Wanting to get contemporary female explorers on the map
  • What we can learn from these women
  • “Follow your dreams and move out of your comfort zone”
  • Why it’s ok to take calculated risks
  • Discovering women in adventure 
  • Wanting to follow in inspiring women’s footsteps
  • Doing her research and discovering Nellie Bly
  • Sharing inspiring stories 
  • Getting these women on the map
  • Who is Nellie Bly!
  • Starting with her childhood and why she was such a determined woman
  • Getting into journalism and becoming a writer
  • Deciding to go to NYC to make her name
  • Getting her first assignment to go undercover
  • The beginning of investigative journalism
  • Wanting to go around the world
  • Setting off with 2 days notice
  • Wanting to help the most vulnerable members of society 
  • Planning to travel around the world recreating her journey 
  • The challenges and difficulties of re-creating the itinerary
  • Packing lightly
  • Knowing when to stop planning and to start going
  • Around The World In Seventy-Two Days by Nellie Bly
  • Feeling close to Nellie at certain places on the trip
  • Sometimes you have to get off the path!
  • The risks and concerns before the trip
  • Why the best thing you can do, is to just get started
  • What would Nellie Bly do?
  • Dealing with a typhoon (level 8) in Hong Kong
  • Walking straight out into the typhoon!
  • Synchronicity while on the train
  • Self funding the adventure 
  • The dramatic ending of the trip
  • Racing against - Elizabeth Bisland 
  • Finding Nellie Bly’s grave in Woodlawn Cemetery Bronx, NYC
  • Visiting her hometown and birthplace in Cochran's Mills, Pennsylvania
  • Needing to have a happy/meaningful ending to the story
  • Sitting down to write the story and having to be very disciplined
  • Putting together a conference at the RGS on historical women
  • Why you need to put your all into everything that you do
  • Advice for women who want to go on more adventures
  • “nothing is impossible if one applies a certain amount of energy in the right direction” - Nellie Bly
  • Why you need to take that first step
  • Leap and the net will arrive!
 
Social Media
 
Website: https://nelliebly125.wordpress.com 
 
Instagram: @rosemaryjbrown 
 
Twitter: @Rosemary_Nellie 
 
Book: Following Nellie Bly: Her Record-Breaking Race Around the World (Trailblazing Women) 
Dec 1, 2021
We first spoke with Jessie on October 19th 2021 where she shared more about her cycle challenge of riding 570 miles to Glasgow for COP26. During this episode we catch up with Jessie to find out about her journey, the challenges faced and overcome, what it was like arriving in Glasgow and her thoughts on COP26 as well as her plans for the future.
 
Jessie in her own words:
 
I am a youth activist who cares deeply about the power of people to create change and this is exactly what I want People Pedal Power to do. The idea to start the movement came from my fears that more inaction would come from COP26. 
 
I knew that we didn’t have time for this to occur, as this summit has to be the one where real change is created, if not by our leaders but by the power of individuals creating collective action. 
 
As can be seen from the youth climate movement across the world, individuals really do have the power to create change, and so I decided to harness this!
 
I also believe in the immense power that words and storytelling have in helping us as individual to learn, understand and ultimately engage in the climate crisis. I have been trying to do this for the past 2 years with my monthly newspaper columns and other writing projects which discuss the climate crisis from the youth perspective.
 
Listen to Jessie now on the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. 
 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. 
 
Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and support. Thank you.
 
Show notes
  • Who is Jessie
  • The day before the start of the challenge
  • Getting going and feeling relief
  • Partnering with the Adventure Syndicate 
  • Film maker - Catherine Dunn 
  • Starting with 50/60 people
  • Meeting people along the way 
  • Magical moments from the experience
  • Why everyday was special
  • One of the hardest days on the bike
  • Tips and tricks for dealing with the tough times
  • Using music to change her state of mind
  • Coping with riding 100km per day
  • Why it was harder mentally
  • Arriving in Glasgow for COP26
  • Feeling unsettled in Glasgow
  • Partnering with Eco-Schools
  • Trying to get the youth voice in the media
  • The challenges at the event
  • Thoughts on COP26
  • Did attending the event help to make a difference
  • What it was like inside the conference
  • What it was like outside the conference
  • People power and feeling empowered 
  • What’s next for Jessie?
  • COP27?
  • Cycling during the winter months
  • Final words of advice
 
 
Social Media
 
People Pedal Power - Demanding Climate action and greener more accessible transport.
 
Website: httpspeoplepeddlepower.wordpress.com/
 
Instagram: @people_pedal_power
 
Personal IG: @climate_jess_ 
 
The Adventure Syndicate is a collective of extraordinary cyclists who happen to be women and who aim to challenge what others think they are capable of.
 
Website - theadventuresyndicate.com 
 
Instagram: @adventuresynd
 
 
1