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Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - www.toughgirlchallenges.com and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: June, 2023
Jun 27, 2023

Mardi Fuller advocates for racial equity through writing, speaking and community building.  

A lifelong backcountry adventurer, in January 2021 she became the first known Black person to hike all 48 of New Hampshire’s high peaks in winter.  She lives in Boston where she works as a nonprofit communications director and volunteers with the local Outdoor Afro network.  

She writes for Outside magazine, SKI magazine, Melanin Basecamp and more.  

Mardi is committed to personal and corporate Black liberation and thereby, liberation for all humanity.  She believes deeply in nature's healing power.

Mardi was involved in the short film, “Mardi & the whites”

Film Abstract

“Mardi Fuller has a rich relationship with nature that has evolved and deepened throughout her life. In the last 20 years she’s dedicated much of her time to exploring the landscape in the White Mountains (unfortunately coined “The Whites” by New Englanders) on Abenaki land. 

In that time Mardi summited all forty-eight 4,000 footers several times in all four seasons, often as the only Black person on the mountain. She has experienced great joy from communing with this landscape, but the overwhelmingly white hiking community that is so seeped in white supremacy and colonialism complicates her experiences. 

Recently, she has focused on creating more opportunities for Black folks to join her in appreciating this magnificent wilderness. Enjoying this land with her community has been a liberating balm that has strengthened her sense of identity as an outdoorswoman. 

“Mardi & the whites” is a peek into Mardi’s relationship with the White Mountains, the great outdoors, and the community that surrounds them; Above all, it’s a celebration of Black liberation in the wild.”

Mardi’s Quote about the film “The film is about my 20-year journey as an outdoorswoman in the super white White mountains of New Hampshire. It's about the pain and loss I experienced amidst a hiking community wed to the invisibility of whiteness. At the same time, I benefited from the grounding force that is Nature. Over the years and through much identity formation and development, I found a path of Black liberation.”

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you. 

 

Show Notes

  • Who is Mardi
  • Living in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Her passion for the outdoors and spending time outdoors
  • Growing up in the suburbs close to NYC  
  • Discovering backpacking while at college
  • Starting to explore the White Mountains 
  • Studying Spanish and French at College and spending time studying abroad
  • Spending time in Europe
  • The joy of travelling and experiencing other cultures 
  • Making the decision to move to Boston and her reasons for staying
  • Her love of the mountains 
  • Hiking in the summer or winter?
  • The importance of being prepared for winter hiking
  • Up skilling and gaining new knowledge 
  • Why Mt Washington is one of the most deadly mountains in America
  • Appalachian Mountain Club - is dedicated to the protection, enjoyment & understanding of the outdoors across the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic regions. 
  • Figuring out your own layering system to keep warm while walking in Winter
  • Learning how to set your own personal expectations
  • Wanting to hike all 48 mountains in New Hampshire over 4,000 feet (1219 meters)
  • Her motivation for finishing off the remaining mountains to complete the 48 mountains in New Hampshire
  • The film - Mardi and the Whites
  • Paula Champagne - Visual Storyteller 
  • Talking about her personal experiences in the mountains 
  • Learning about the history of racial exclusion for people of colour
  • Having to suppress her identity while out in the mountains and why it’s an ongoing journey 
  • How have things changed over the past 20 years with regards to race and racism
  • Speaking out against white supremacy and white dominance 
  • Shilletha "Dragonsky" Curtis - Hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2021 
  • “Redlining” all the trails in a state and the racial undertones from the name
  • The importance of acknowledging tribal land - as a way of honouring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land.
  • Hiking Mt. Katahdin in Winter and her goals for winter 2023 and wanting to finish the New England 67 mountains 
  • Hiking all 67 New England 4,000 Footers
  • How to connect with Mardi 
  • Final words of advice for women who want to spend more time in the outdoors.

 

Social Media

Instagram @wherelocsflyfree

Watch the Film - Mardi & The Whites 

Linktree - https://zez.am/wherelocsflyfree 

 

 

Jun 20, 2023

Steph is a Mum to a her nearly 6 year old son, a soldiers wife, and Operations manager for Forces Wives Challenge (FWC). In July 2019 Steph and her families' world was turned upside down when she became suddenly very unwell, and was subsequently diagnosed with a neurological disorder. 

Going from an active, full time working Mum and a keen horse rider, to fully dependant on a wheelchair, with complex health issues and requiring 24/7 care to support with everyday tasks, was life changing. With sheer determination, an incredible support network and a passion for adventure, less than two years later Steph was back in the saddle and aiming for the next challenge in life. 

Steph found her new 'place' within the FWC community and her role quickly developed from there, with her now being FWC's operation manager. 

This year Steph will take on a huge challenge alongside a team of Forces Wives when she takes on the 'Ride to Freedom' (R2F). Created by Steph, R2F will see the team tackle the challenging terrain surrounding the WW2 freedom across the Pyrenees mountains. The team will spend 5 days on horseback covering 130km of technically difficult mountain tracks, with the only the team supporting Steph in every aspect of the expedition.

Join us as we follow Stephanie Quintrell's incredible journey of resilience, determination, and empowerment as she takes on the challenging Ride to Freedom and inspires others to never give up on their dreams.

***

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast Thank you.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Steph
  • Being based in the East Midlands
  • Working as the Operations Mangers for Forces Wives Challenge (FWC)
  • The founder of FWC - Heather Sharp 
  • Wanting to be involved with FWC but not being able to participate in the hikes and the mountaineering expeditions
  • How her role has developed over the years 
  • Her early years growing up and her love for horses
  • Having her own horse from when she was 12
  • Being a member of The Pony Club 
  • Working in the care sector 
  • Getting ill at 28 and having to use a wheelchair 
  • Struggling with chronic pain and exhaustion when she was younger
  • Being diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS) in her early 20s but still having an active lifestyle 
  • How her whole world changed within 48hrs 
  • The challenges of treating her condition 
  • Adapting to a new way of living 
  • Not being able to look after herself or her son
  • Getting back to horse riding after 2 years 
  • The feeling of freedom
  • The Ride to Freedom - what it is and what’ s involved 
  • Wanting to get involved in a new challenge and making the challenge accessible 
  • WW2 Freedom Trail (chemin de la Liberté) escape route to Spain 
  • Being supported by an amazing team of women 
  • The power of adventure and how it can bring people together
  • Wanting adventure to be inclusive and accessible 
  • Doing practice expeditions/training weekends in the UK
  • Working through her fears and concerns before the start of the challenge 
  • Wanting to create a short film about the journey 
  • How people can connect with Steph and FWC
  • Final words of advice and wisdom for other women who would like to take on new challenges and adventures 

 

Social Media

Website - www.forceswiveschallenge.org/ride-to-freedom

Instagram: 

@forces_wives_challenge 

@steph_backinthesaddle

Facebook : @forceswiveschallenge

Twitter: @ForcesWivesChal 

 

 

Jun 15, 2023

An ex city-lawyer whose first qualification was as a tennis coach, and whose first love has always been sport, Catherine has spent the second half of her career combining her twin passions of sport and leadership through her business, Sport and Beyond Ltd. 

Catherine brings a unique perspective to the mindset and approaches that deliver exceptional and sustained performance. She has had the privilege of working with many of our elite athletes and coaches, as well as a large number of the leading CEOs in the sports sector and elsewhere. She maintains strong links to the legal sector both through coaching senior lawyers, and through her role as Chair of O Shaped, an organisation aimed at making the legal profession better. Catherine is also a Trustee on the Board of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

About The Book: 

Staying the Distance showcases the much-needed leadership lessons that sport can teach us: how to improve, perform and achieve, in ways that are effective and sustainable.

Leadership can be hard. It can certainly be relentless. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the well-being, health and sustained performance of many senior leaders, and yet strong leadership remains central to the performance of every single organization.

Business leaders are very familiar with drawing lessons from elite sport, particularly around teams, leadership and high performance. But we have all been missing a trick. Day in, day out, sport has been showing us not only how to improve, perform and achieve, but how to do so on a sustained basis, consistently delivering results when it matters. This book shines a light on these unseen lessons, and provides a clear and practical roadmap for how to deploy them in the reader's own leadership practices.

With Catherine Baker's unique view into world-class sport and top-level business, and with insights from top performers in both worlds, this book provides a fresh and dynamic take on how - consistently and over the long term - to bring out the best in yourself, and in those you lead.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you. 

 

Show Notes

  • Who is Catherine?
  • Having a varied work life from tennis coach to corporate lawyer
  • Working as a leadership and mindset coach
  • Mother of 3 sons
  • Being sporty from a young age and being labelled as a tomboy
  • Being a twin and the twin relationship 
  • Being 1 of 2 girls in an all boys school 
  • Going to boarding school at 8 
  • Playing both tennis and hockey
  • Going down the route of becoming a lawyer
  • Trying to balance work and hockey training 
  • How team sports took a back seat to work
  • Being on secondment in Singapore for 5 months
  • Having a set of core principles and how they developed
  • Wanting to make most of the opportunities 
  • Recognising her privilege 
  • Practical tips for taking advantage of those opportunities 
  • The importance of having really clear goals
  • Getting the idea for her new book - Staying the Distance: The lessons from sport that business leaders have been missing
  • Working out her own personal mission
  • Balancing career, family and sports 
  • Wanting to do everything to the best of her ability
  • You can do anything, but you can’t do everything
  • Who is the book for?
  • The Huddle - a free resource to help you strategise, motivate and perform.
  • Thoughts on decision making - going with your gut, your emotions, or values….
  • Confirmation bias
  • Why it’s sensible to give yourself time to make decisions
  • Deciding to do the The Great North Swim 
  • Dealing with setbacks and failure 
  • Chapter 2 - How to leave behind fear
  • How to connect with Catherine
  • Final words of advice - “Success really is a team sport, so think carefully about who you have around you.” 

 

Social Media

Website: sportandbeyond.co.uk  

Twitter: @sportandbeyond1 

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/catherinehbaker/ 

Book: Staying the Distance: The lessons from sport that business leaders have been missing 

 

 

Jun 13, 2023

Genny is aiming to be the first Aruban to ski to the North and South Poles to raise awareness on the devastating effects of Lyme Disease.

Genny was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in the summer of 2016 after suffering from its debilitating effects and misdiagnosis for three harrowing years. She went from being a fit and active person to being so fatigued that she was bed bound for months. 

A few years on from diagnosis, Genny has recovered and become passionate about making diagnosis affordable, available and prompt in the UK, where she now lives. She is determined that no one else should suffer as she did.

Genny is excited and a little bit nervous about the challenge of skiing to the South Pole. She hopes to inspire others to aim high, dream big, work hard, and never settle for someone else’s interpretation of what they can achieve. 

As the first Aruban woman to attempt such a feat, Genny sees it as an honour to represent her home country and inspire others to pursue their dreams.

We first spoke with Genny on - 26th January 2021.  You can listen here:  https://www.toughgirlchallenges.com/single-post/genny-brown

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast Thank you.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Genny
  • Moving to the UK, 15 years ago
  • Her training to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in late 2024/25
  • Speaking to Genny on the TGP in January 26th 2021
  • What’s been going on since we last spoke
  • Coming to realise how much there is still to learn
  • The beginning of 2021
  • Starting to make plans for 2022 with regards to training 
  • Needing to get more on ice experience 
  • Heading to Norway for training 
  • Working with Helen Turton from Newland Expeditions
  • Getting physical fit by pulling tyres in the UK
  • Knowing her tent mate - Ellen aka @randogirl42
  • Wanting to dedicate her life to polar pursuits
  • Needing to get her act together and getting more sponsors
  • Developing uterine fibroids and how they impacted on her quality of life
  • Needing to have surgery to remove the uterine fibroids.
  • The recovery period after her surgery
  • Putting a plan in place with help from Helen
  • Needing to do more bespoke training and doing a mini solo expedition on her own
  • Needing to test new equipment out in the cold
  • Cold weather management 
  • Getting back into the gym and building back her strength again
  • Underestimating how long it took to recover
  • Building back up her confidence
  • The start of 2023
  • Doing her basic polar training course in Norway
  • Having to face her fears and overcome them
  • Needing to work on her mindset 
  • Continuing to show up for herself and doing all the right things
  • Making the best of the situation and focusing on her camp craft
  • Putting a lot of pressure on herself to be perfect
  • Woking with a therapist to identify the reasons why her fear had occurred 
  • Hillenberg Tent 
  • The challenges of solo expeditions 
  • Dealing with the negative thoughts and learning to enjoy the journey 
  • Taking the time to unplug
  • Being by yourself and spending time with your own thoughts
  • Plans for the rest of 2023
  • Focusing on sponsorship
  • Making progress over the past few years
  • Wanting to learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations 
  • Wanting to develop her mountaineering skills
  • Planning for 2024 and what needs to be done to achieve her polar goal
  • How to connect with Genny
  • Final words of advice for other women who want to pursue their big dream 
  • Stop holding yourself back
  • Needing to factor in rest and recovery

 

Social Media

Website: www.antarcticaruban.com 

Instagram: @antarcticaruban 

Facebook: @antarcticaruban

Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/f/expedition-kit-for-genny-brown-antarctic-aruban 

 

 

Jun 8, 2023

Tegan in her own words: 

“Once upon a time… I was studying to be a lawyer. 

Then I drew some comics in a competition to win a bicycle, which I rode across Spain, telling the story of my adventure through a comic blog. 

This kind of adventure storytelling was too fun to not wildly pursue, so I spent the next few years finding ways to go on more adventures (which included an 11,000km bike trip through Africa with my family, and a 10 Iron Man triathlon around New Zealand), while figuring out how to turn it into a real job. 

Today, I work full-time as a cartoonist, speaker and endurance cyclist. I am currently working on a book, setting up a comic merchandise shop in South Africa and training to try again to set a women’s record of the fastest cycle from Cairo to Cape Town in Oct 2022 February 2024.” 

The challenge: Cycling Africa: Cairo to Cape Town. 1 continent, 8 countries, 10,800 kilometres, and 58,000 elevation, setting a women's world record that needs to exist.

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast Thank you.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Tegan
  • Her love of going on big adventures on her bike
  • Growing up in South Africa
  • Spending a lot of time outside
  • Living in Cape Town
  • Going on a family cycle adventure 
  • Cycle touring
  • Being inspired by Tom Allen 
  • Her first solo trip in Spain 
  • Getting lost, falling off the bike and figuring it out
  • Feeling completely free
  • Transitioning into the adventure life
  • Her love of adventure
  • Professional Adventurer?
  • Problem solving while on the road
  • Cartooning and why it’s more like writing 
  • Making decisions after university 
  • Trying to figure out what to do next
  • Feeling a lot of pressure
  • Reflecting back on her earlier work
  • Being encouraged to follow her passions
  • Heading off to New Zealand to do 10 Iron Man 
  • Trying to figure out how to make money
  • Adventure Grants
  • Altum Consulting 
  • Training plans and joining a triathlon club
  • The planning and preparation 
  • First blind woman attempting to climb Mt. Everest - Shawn Cheshire 
  • What does success look like on an adventure?
  • Anticipating unexpected challenges
  • Where the idea came from to cycle from Cairo to Cape Town
  • Finding out that there was no women’s record for the Cairo to Cape Town cycle 
  • 2019 - applying for the Guinness World Record to find out what the rules were
  • Planning and researching for the challenge 
  • Wanting to start in October 2022
  • Needing to go through the civil war in Ethiopia 
  • Working with a cycling coach for the past few years
  • Figuring out the funding and the support team
  • Being delayed in Egypt and needing to wait 6 weeks
  • Feeling ill and needing medical help 
  • Having a seizure and ending up in hospital 
  • Processing everything that’s happened
  • Trying to figure out what was wrong
  • Having her dream fall apart in front of her eyes
  • Getting back to cycling and training
  • Hormonal problems?
  • Looking after herself and prioritising her mental health 
  • The therapy of talking
  • Plans for 2023 
  • Heading to France do to an Alt Tour of the Women’s Tour de France
  • Staying with Katherine Bertine 
  • The Women’s Tour - UK 
  • Tour de France Femmes
  • Funding for adventures and making a living
  • Working with Komoot
  • Turning 30 and how her mindset is changing
  • Having less fear and coming-out the other side
  • How to connect with Tegan
  • Final words of advice 

 

Social Media

Website: teganphillips.com 

Instagram: @teganphillipscomics 

 

 

Jun 6, 2023

Seanna in her own words:

“I am Seanna (pronounced like Shauna) and I am deep into my healing journey. I am a survivor of multiple severe traumas and some debilitating psychosis. I have been to some of the darkest places and led a very limited life for some time.  

As well as medication and therapy, I have found that carving out an intentional life and staying true to my values has helped me to not only survive, but truly thrive. After spending two months as an inpatient in a trauma clinic, I discovered embodied healing practices, and later qualified as a breathwork facilitator. 

I aim to live a life that is aligned with who I am, focusing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well as a life full of adventure. 

In 2022, I thru hiked the Israel National Trail over two months on my own, which is over 1,000 km. The inner journey was even more powerful than the tangible one, and now I give talks on overcoming adversity and being guided by intuition to live your best, most intentional life.” 

  • Content Warning - During this episode; mental health, trauma, self harm, dark thoughts and psychosis is discussed. 

 

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the Tough Girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media - especially in relation to adventure and physical challenge by signing up as a patron. www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you. 

 

Show Notes

  • Who is Seanna?
  • Being on an 8 month sabbatical 
  • Recording this from Vietnam 
  • Having an adventurous spirit but not fitting into games
  • Not liking any type of game (sports, board games etc)
  • Joining the Army Cadets 
  • Taking 2 gap years to travel
  • Being concerned about what other people thought of her
  • Being a competitive cheerleader and competing in the world championships in Florida 
  • Booking a flight to Arctic Sweden to walk a small section of the Kungsleden Trail (The Kings Trail)
  • The joys of spending time in nature and how it makes her feel
  • Her running journey and signing up for her first marathon at 19 on the South Downs
  • Being ill aged 21/22 
  • Giving up smoking in 2012 and starting to run again
  • Doing her first Ultra Marathon - 50km on the Thames Path Challenge 
  • Biting off more than she can chew, not feeling ready - and why it’s ok to try your best and just muddle through.
  • Running for Joy
  • Feeling her feelings
  • Training for the Thames Path Challenge with running coach Toby - IG 
  • Queer Running Club
  • Struggling with consistency
  • Running with her mum and step dad
  • Magical moments while running 
  • Deciding to take a sabbatical and the planning for her time off
  • Spending 2 months in a trauma clinic in 2018
  • Being inspired to hike the Israel National Trail
  • Making the decision and how it felt right
  • Feeling difficult emotions but knowing how to feel them and cope with them in a sensible way
  • Not feeling ready to leave the trauma clinic 
  • Planning during the covid lockdowns 
  • The Israel National Trail 
  • Getting water on the trail and arranging water drops
  • Dealing with flash flood warnings and the dangers of hiking during those times
  • The Red Guide Book - The full guide to the Israel National Trail - Fourth Edition, 2020 
  • Not feeling safe putting her tent up and not listening to her gut
  • Magical moments with trail angels
  • Money/costs and going over budget (£1,500 for 2 months)
  • How to connect with Seanna 
  • Plans for the next few months
  • Leaving London and moving to Devon
  • Final words of wisdom for women who want to make some changes in their life

 

Social Media

Website: www.seannasworld.org 

Instagram: @seannasworld 

Ko-fi:  ko-fi.com/seannasworld

Youtube: https://youtube.com/@seannasworld6502  

 

 

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