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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: Page 17
Sep 25, 2018

Katy 'KP' Parrott has been described as “Tinkerbell crossed with the Terminator”. Katy found her passion for adventure at a young age and when she was 17 went on an expedition to Nepal. Her love of nature and the outdoors led her to gain a First in Biology from the University of Bath and a Masters in wildlife film making for which she had to make a video out in the wilds of Bulgaria.  

She was a ‘recruit’ in the BBC programme Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week, which she was selected for out of thousands of applicants, and made it to the final six in the show. It was an experience she found ‘life-changing’ and one that has inspired her to train to become an Army medic.

Most recently she has done her first 100K and half ironman. Katy also shares more about her future challenges and she wants to undertake!

** Please note during this episode we do talk briefly about her friend who lost of her life to suicide**

Show notes

  • Living in Bristol
  • How Katy would describe herself - “tinker bell crossed with the terminator”
  • Growing up in Bristol, spending a lot of time outside playing sports
  • Heading to Nepal at 17
  • Not knowing how much adventure was going to play a part of her life
  • Doing sport, theatre, and paining, but also having a passion for wildlife
  • Having a passion for adventure and why it snowballed
  • What the BBC TV show #UltimateHellWeek was all about
  • Having 5 weeks to prepare…
  • 15 men and 7 women
  • Why she wanted to apply and the shock of finding out she had made it!
  • Mentally not knowing how she was going to cope
  • Preparing her body and training at various times to get herself use to different situations
  • Coping with the unknown and getting anxious about what was going to happen next
  • Going in with an open mind - “why there was nothing that would make her quit during the process”
  • Getting respect
  • The task that almost pushed her over the edge, being locked in a coffin for most of the night
  • Being made Team Leader!
  • 4 women making it to the final 6
  • What she learned from going through this experience
  • Planning a 400K hike through the Bulgarian Mountains!
  • Mental tips and tricks - why it is always going to finish at some point
  • Heading out to Bulgaria to hike
  • Crashing after 4 days into the hike
  • Finding old Russian military maps from the 1980s
  • Having feet issues
  • How she recovered once she got home
  • Wanting to take on another challenge & signing up for the Army Reserves as a Combat Medic
  • Deciding going full time in the Army isn’t the right decision for her
  • Doing the Cotswold Way Ultra - 100K (62 miles) from Bath to Cheltenham 
  • Managing her feet before and during challenges  & why she swears by talc
  • Diet, food and drinking
  • Future challenges and goals including wanting to walk the full length of Sir Lanka, an Ironman and maybe rowing an ocean
  • Not letting her height stop her
  • Advice for other women who want to take on new challenges
  • Why you should say Yes and worry about it afterwards
  • The marines letting in women 
  • Being rubbish with social media!

 

Social Media

Twitter  - @ParrottKaty 

Instagram - @katy.parrott  

Sep 18, 2018

Jane has travelling and lived all over the world, she is a qualified solicitor and would describe herself as a ‘soft’ adventurer.  Her adventures have included hiking over 750 km along an old pilgrim trail from France and across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostella; rafting and canoeing for 17 days on the Zambesi River; and travelling across China by overland truck before heading down Pakistan’s Karakorum Highway to Islamabad.  

During this podcast Jane shares more about her life growing up, losing her mother and Aunt to breast cancer at a young age and the impact that had on her. She shares more about wanting to do the Marathon des Sables and why it took her over 15 years to achieve her dream. She gives practical advice about how you can figure out what you want to do with your life and how you apply this to your next adventure. 

Jane is a big supporter of women and has started AdventureShe magazine dedicated to empowering, educating and entertaining (predominantly) women of all ages, through sharing stories of adventure. 

Show notes

  • Where her accent is from
  • Believing in justice and becoming a solicitor
  • Growing up in Wales and coming from a large family
  • Going on a cycle adventure at 15
  • Going to university at Cardiff and having some fun
  • Wanting to move to London and why it was easy
  • Coping with the loss of her mother at 18, as well as losing her aunt and her grandfather 
  • Travelling and taking a gap year and getting the bug for travelling
  • Working for 2 years while doing her training contact to qualify as a solicitor
  • White water rafting in Africa 
  • Why she decided to do the Marathon des Sables in 2016
  • Giving herself 11 months to train and prepare
  • Getting a chest infection and having to postpone the race until 2017
  • Why she was most worried about the shame of not finishing
  • Why education was a way out of poverty 
  • Mental preparation and splurging on a warm sleeping bag
  • Her most challenging moments during the MDS
  • Going step by step
  • What it was like crossing over the finish line
  • What she’s learnt from the experience
  • Doing her 2nd Half Ironman in 2017
  • Roll down and getting a slot in the half ironman World Championships!
  • Doing her Ted Talk - It takes a million small steps to achieve big dreams 
  • Being a single female with no children
  • Making the time to achieve your dreams
  • Developing your mission statement and doing a SWOT Analysis
  • AdventureShe Magazine
  • Future challenges

Social Media

Website - www.adventureshe.com 

Instagram - @adventure_she 

Facebook - @AdventureShe 

Twitter - @adventure_she 

 

Ted Talk  - https://youtu.be/AM-B5rvx-sc

Sep 11, 2018

In 2000, Tricia went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic requiring a wheelchair for mobility. Her life was changed forever, but Tricia’s competitive spirit and zest for life continued on. Through her experiences in both rehab and racing, Tricia has overcome adversity and learned what it takes to perform at the top of her game.

Having made the transition from able-bodied cyclist to an athlete with a disability, Tricia knows the true meaning of the words challenge and change, and has learned a wealth of lessons to deal with the obstacles we all face in reaching for our personal goals.

Tricia has completed over 100 races, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons, since her accident. She was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon and qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 2006 and 2010. In 2011, she competed as part of the U.S. Rowing team at the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

Tricia’s professional life has also been immersed in sports as she earned a master’s degree in Sport Management in 1995 and worked at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was the press officer for the USA Table Tennis team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and for the USA Swimming team at the 1997 World University Games in Italy. Before becoming a professional speaker, she taught high school in the Denver Public Schools. Today she takes people on their journeys from start to victory, motivating each person to discover his or her own “inner champion”, just as she has. Receiving many sports accolades including being inducted into the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame, the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority, Tricia has truly excelled despite her life-altering injury.

In addition to her current sports pursuits, Tricia has completed master’s degrees in Disability Studies and Sports Management. She is also the Director for Camp Discovery, a camp for women in wheelchairs who want to explore fitness opportunities as well as create a support system of other women who have experienced mobility disorders/disabilities. In 2010 she has published her memoir: Cycle of Hope—A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility.

Show notes

  • Based in Denva, Colorado
  • Who is Tricia…. where to start
  • Identifying as an athlete
  • Doing sports when she was 4 years olds
  • Starting bike racing after college
  • Growing up with 3 brothers
  • Being captivated with gymnastics
  • How her athletes life evolved after high school 
  • Growing to 5’10 and deciding to become a diver at college
  • How she got into cycling and road racing
  • Getting hit by a car and knowing something was wrong
  • Breaking her back and injuring her spinal cord
  • The aftermath of the accident
  • What she learnt mentally and emotionally going through that experience
  • Getting back into sports after the accident
  • Being a goal driven person
  • Doing her first Ironman in 2005 -Taking over 18hours to complete
  • Maintaining balance and not letting her goals take over her life
  • Happiness?
  • The Ironman in Kona in Hawaii
  • Dealing with the grief of losing her legs
  • Being kind to herself
  • Having multiple surgeries and ending up in chronic pain
  • Taking up shooting as a Para-Olympian
  • How she earns money
  • Why she started to write 
  • The mental challenge of shooting
  • Adapting to change - advice and tips
  • The Cycle of Hope Organisation
  • Books! - Her first book - Cycle of Hope
  • Plans for the rest of the year
  • Final words of advice

Social Media

Website - www.triciadowning.com 

Twitter - @redefiningable 

Facebook - @RedefiningAble 

Instagram - @redefiningable

Sep 4, 2018

2018 CHALLENGE 

Cycling the Pacific Coast Highway & the Baja Divide!

On the 4th September I will fly out to Vancouver. On the 10th September 2018 - I will be cycling over 4,000km down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Diego, before crossing the border into Mexico to cycle the Baja Divide to Cabo San Lucas.

I will be sharing all of the planning and preparation as well as daily vlogging the cycling challenge!

I can't wait to share this experience with you! 

To support Tough Girl Challenges, please become a patron. Help me to increase the amount of female role models in the media.

 Show notes

  • What Caroline does
  • The next challenge what it is and why I choose it!
  • How it came about
  • Getting outside my comfort zone
  • Why the timing was just perfect
  • Being inspired by Faye Shepherd
  • 10th September….
  • How do you plan for a trip like this?
  • Breaking it down and writing to do lists
  • Paying for the big ticket items
  • Equipment needs…
  • Spot Tracker….
  • Buying a tent
  • Support from the tribe with equipment
  • Training and being in recovery from the Appalachian Trail
  • Hip flexors and glutes
  • Being a blue sky thinker
  • Packing… and being more relaxed
  • Throwing in a few more luxuries
  • Not knowing how I’m going to pack stuff…
  • The bike…. needing 2 bikes…
  • Bike sponsorship….
  • Borrowing a bike and being able to post it back to LA US$90
  • Ride On - http://www.rideon.com 
  • Buying a bike, getting a bike fit & accessories, maintenance for the bike
  • Ignorance is bliss!
  • Bike maintenance…. 
  • Pedals & bike loading…
  • Rucksack on my back?
  • Time pressure
  • Saddle sores
  • Self care
  • Wanting a different pace
  • Mileage and nutrition
  • 6 months to get  my back balance back with nutrition
  • Not having ridden on a loaded bike before…
  • Crossing the border and why I’m a little apprehensive
  • Social events while on the road
  • Meeting up with Roz Savage - maybe?
  • The difficulties of planning while on the road
  • How much of the trip have I planned?
  • Heading to Forks…
  • Milestones…
  • Reaching LA for Halloween..
  • What I’m most looking forward to on this trip
  • Sharing my journey - “Document don’t create” (Gary Vee)
  • My two fears…. cars & guns
  • What if lists… and writing down all my fears
  • Having back up plans
  • Accommodation - Using warmshowers.org
  • Budgeting and reducing all of my costs down
  • Needing to be sensible 
  • Looking for accommodation in LA
  • What can the tough girl tribe do to support
  • Managing the business while I’m on the road
  • Designing my business so I can be on the road
  • When I’m coming back to the UK
  • Heading to India and taking a month of everything
  • Trying to be relaxed
  • The next mega milestone

Connect with Caroline Wellingham

IAPC&M Accredited Career Coach and NLP Practitioner looking to inspire, motivate and encourage women to find their dream career.

Website -  http://www.raisethebarlifecoaching.com 

Twitter  -  @raisethebarlife  

Instagram - @raise_the_bar_life 

 

 

 

Aug 28, 2018

“Inspired by Tough Girl Challenges. I finally made the decision to go on my big adventure - facing a fear of solo cycling to ride 1009 miles via the three peaks - ad I'm so glad I did” 

During this podcast we learn more about Janine’s journey into fitness from running the London marathon to training for her first ironman, we learn why she started her blog triathlove.com and where she hopes to take it in the future. 

Janine shares more about her own personal fears, the anxiety she has dealt with and why she has struggled to write about her most recent challenge. 

Show notes

  • Living in Bristol
  • Spending 15 years working in marketing, but now working as a freelance writer
  • Not growing up sporty and discovering running in her twenties
  • Her running journey and signing up for the London Marathon in 2008
  • Running it in 2009 due to an injury
  • Joining a running club and how it took her to the next level
  • Making the transition over to triathlon
  • Dealing with injury over a year and a half and the impact on her life
  • Getting her first bike
  • Starting her blog  www.triathalove.com
  • Being inspired by Chrisse Wellington and why the message to ‘Pay it forward’ stuck with her
  • Signing up for her first Ironman and why she was terrified and excited in equal measure
  • Dealing with her own personal fears and anxiety
  • The Ironman Bible 
  • Hitting walls in training and hiring an ironman coach for the final 6 months
  • Starting a new job and breaking up with her boyfriend
  • Chaining her nutrition and feeling supported in her journey
  • Dealing with her anxiety
  • IronMan Bolton in 2015 — the rain, the hills, the highpoint, the low points & transitions!
  • Recovery and feeling like a new women after the race
  • The ironman swagger
  • Doing her first ultra, qualifying for Team GB (age group)
  • Taking on bigger and bigger challenges and deciding to tackle her next fear  - heights via the 3 Peaks Challenge
  • Dealing with her fears of isolation and wanting to be alone, but being scared 
  • How meeting Anna McNuff changed the direction of her life
  • Why her big idea got shelved
  • Following her heart and doing what made her happy
  • Wanting to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG)
  • Telling 3 people your plans
  • Deciding to quit her job and go back to being a freelancer
  • Dealing with the negative feedback and how she coped with it 
  • The Adventure Queens 
  • Feeling the isolation kicking in
  • What’s she’s learnt from doing this solo challenge
  • Celebrating the finish!
  • The blog and how’s it evolved over time
  • The women who have inspired her on the blog
  • The LEJOG Blog….. maybe a book!
  • Final words of advice 
  • Dealing with the adventure blues

 

Social Media

Blog Triathlove.com - INSPIRING WOMEN WHO TRI

Triathlove started life in 2014 as a training blog for my first ironman, but quickly became a place for Janine to share the stories of inspiring women she met along the way, who swim, cycle and run.

Instagram @missjanineelizabeth 

Twitter @janinedoggett  

Aug 21, 2018

For the past 4 years, Terra has been walking solo and unsupported around Australia. On the 2nd May 2018 Terra became the first woman to walk the 17,000kms + to complete this challenge.

Throughout the last 20 to 30 years having the freedom to roam has helped Terra in many ways including physical and mental health, self-awareness and peace. 

During this podcast, Terra shares more about the challenges she has faced, why she has kept motivated and what she has learned from pushing her body to the limits. 

Terra talks very frankly about her life and the journey she has been on, she also provides top tips and advice on why and how you should start your next challenge.

Terra is currently staying put for a short time, while she writes a book and prepares for her next challenge!

In November this year, Terra will be starting her next challenge which is to cycle tour around Australia! She expects this will take her about 2 years to achieve! 

 

** Please note we do talk about mental health issues from depression, PTSD, and attempted suicide**

Show notes

  • Being based in Adelaide and writing a book
  • Who is Terra? 
  • Starting wandering from a young age and allowing nature to teach her and guide her
  • Moving to the Snowy Mountains in 1988
  • Having confidence in herself
  • Heading over New Zealand at 19 on a theatre trip and becoming addicted to travel
  • Getting the idea to walk around the Australia. Being inspired as a 12 years old by Robyn Davidson’s book - Tracks
  • Dealing with mental health issues, from depression to PTSD and hospitalised after attempting to take her own life in 2010
  • The Happy Walk - walking the first 1600 km for suicide prevention
  • Not being able to cope any longer and reaching out for help
  • Using nature as therapy and being scared of medication
  • Writing down the highlights in her life and noticing they were all adventure.
  • Giving herself 2 years to get ready to walk Australia and figuring out how to do it alone
  • Not letting the fear in
  • Money and how she paid for the challenge, and why she turned to crowd funding towards the end
  • Planning to walk for 7 years originally and having to change her plan
  • Deciding to start with Tasmania (10 week, 1250 km)
  • Stopping to have tumours removed and then waiting for the next season to start walking again
  • Mental health during her trip and loving the solitude that it provided
  • Dealing with flashbacks and relapses during the trip
  • The physically scary moments and getting to meet incredible people along the way
  • How her body coped on the roads while following a vegan diet
  • Bulking up between each section
  • The next expedition! Roam for Eva - starting in September 17th and finish in November 2020
  • Writing a book at the moment - a collection of short adventure stories
  • Using Patreon to fund her next adventure 
  • Being stubborn when she wants to do something
  • Being diagnosed with Aspergers later on in life
  • What she’s learnt most from this experience and why it’s about going with the flow
  • Advice for other women who want to take on a big challenge
  • Dealing with the question - ‘Are you scared?

 

Social media

 

Website - www.terraroams.earth

Instagram - @terraroams  

Support Terra with her next challenge & sign up to be a patron

 

 

Aug 14, 2018

Katy Willings is the Mongol Derby Chief, and erstwhile Chief of Adventures at The Adventurists.  Based in Bristol, UK, she was a junior international dressage rider in her teens.  She rode in the inaugural Mongol Derby, the world's longest horse race, in 2009, sparking a later endurance riding career which saw her compete up to 120kms internationally, and became a full-time Adventurist in 2010, working on the Derby, and later the Ice Run, Icarus Trophy and Monkey Run. 

In the course of producing high profile events for the Adventurists she has ridden vintage Russian motorcycles in -30 (and got the damn things started in -40 when no-one else could), wrangled with customs in far-flung places to get equipment and people in country, managed local and international teams to deliver logistically complex and culturally significant goods and services.  And learned to fly a paramotor.  Kind of.  She finally did her motorcycle test in May 2018 (5 years late then) and will be taking to the open road, legally, this summer.  

She has ambitions to cycle the iron curtain, to fly her paramotor over Victoria Falls, to ride from New York to Buenos Aires as Aime Schiffely once did.  In the meantime she'll be wielding a clipboard and a satellite phone in her spiritual home of Mongolia this summer, and manning the airwaves during the Mongol Derby (it's live now!) in the operations room.  

She declares herself to be utterly devoid of talent, and proof that talent is no barrier to doing whatever the hell you want.  One day she will ride at Grand Prix and further prove this.  She has worked with horses in Europe, Mongolia and Malawi, and men and machines in Morocco, Siberia, Sierra Leone.  She has had as much adventure putting on the adventures, as the participants have had taking part.  Oftentimes, a great deal more. 

Show notes

  • Moving to Bristol in 2010
  • Struggling to call herself an adventurer
  • Spending most of her life on a horse
  • Happening on adventure by accident after losing her best friend in 2008
  • Fighting to make the world less boring
  • Being 25 and living in London and living for the weekend
  • The Rickshaw Run how it came about and why she decided to do it
  • What is it and how you plan for it!
  • Starting with a New Years Eve Party then 2 weeks to get to the finish line!
  • Being 40Km from the finish line and rolling the rickshaw…. 
  • Driving to the finish line and finishing the race
  • Being lucky to walk away from the crash
  • First hearing about the Mongol Darby!
  • A healing, a closure, and a change in attitude about herself
  • Being a glorious amateur!
  • What adventure means to Katy
  • Applying for the Mongol Darby and being placed on the reserve list
  • Not being able to let it go and also not being able to commit to the challenge 
  • Having 10 weeks to prepare and having to change her expectations for the race
  • Running, cycling and riding horses to build up endurance and to be as fit as possible
  • Loving history and reading up on the historically and cultural aspects of the race
  • Was the race even possible? Could it be done?
  • Dealing with the unknowns
  • Becoming friends with her fellow competitors
  • The structure of the race, and what it was like on a daily basis ‘glorious isolation’
  • Riding 1000km over 9 days…
  • How completing the race changed the direction of her life 
  • What she’s leant from working at the Adventurists
  • The difficulties of making money from adventure
  • Getting the flying bug and what the next challenge is going to be
  • Her plan to cycle the Iron Curtain
  • Advice to fill your life with adventure and why it’s ok to do things for pleasure
  • Her side hustle in Mongolia - Morindoo

 

Social Media

Insta (Katy) - @willingskaya

Insta (Morindoo) - @morindooadventures

 

Website - Morindoo - www.morindoo.com

Website - The Mongol Derby - www.theadventurists.com

 

Twitter - Katy - @KatyAdvntrists

Twitter - Mongol Derby - @mongolderbylive

 

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Aug 7, 2018

Nicola "Nicky" Spinks is a 51 year old, British long distance runner, specialising in fell running,

Nicky has over 16 years' experience of fell and ultra running, successfully completing ten 24 hour Rounds holding the record for the Ladies Lakeland 24 hour round with 64 Peaks in 23.15 hours. She also held the Ladies records for all three UK rounds; BG 18.06, Paddy 19.02 and Ramsay 19.39. 

In 2016 she broke the record for the Double Bob Graham finishing in 45.30 hours. 

In racing she prefers long mountainous fell races such as 10 Peaks Extreme winning outright and current course record holder, the Ultra Tour Mont Blanc (11th & 16th) , E’Chappee Belle (2nd),  Grand Raid Pyrenees (1st twice) and Grand Raid Re-Union (4th).  

Nicky has set women's records for the major fell running challenges including, The Ramsay Round, the Paddy Buckley Round and the Bob Graham Round! She is also the holder of the overall record for the double Bob Graham Round.

Show notes

  • Who is Nicky Spinks?
  • A farmer & a fell runner
  • Growing up on a farm with 6 kids and running everywhere
  • Going from the farm to working in an office in the city for 7 years
  • Meeting her husband!
  • Deciding to take her running more seriously 
  • 2001 - running with a friend and doing her first 10K
  • Joining a running club and finding a passion for fell running & doing her first 20 mile run
  • Being a competitive person and using races for training.
  • What the Bob Graham round is?
  • Heading back up to Scotland for training
  • Her 10 year journey in running and why she doesn’t rush things
  • Enjoying 100 mile races and being happy with her performance
  • The biggest challenge she’s had to face - cancer
  • 2006 being diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Dealing with the emotions and how she handle it and why she applied her training to cancer
  • Celebrating more in her life
  • Getting back into running after surgery
  • Giving her brain a break from the cancer by running
  • Diet and food
  • Preparing mentally for the Double Ramsey
  • Getting through the low points and how she gets out of them
  • Dealing with the heat and leg cramps (after 4 hours!)
  • Strategy for the race 
  • Being her own coach and creating her own training plan
  • Never wanting to quit
  • Knowing she was going to complete the double!
  • Sleep deprivation…
  • How she recovers
  • Would she go back & try to do it faster?!
  • The next race….
  • Advice and tips for women who want to take their running to the next level
  • Blogging since 2006
  • Working as a running coach and how it works
  • Final words of advice

Social Media

Website - www.runbg.co.uk 

Twitter - @NickySpinks 

Jul 31, 2018

In 2013, Pip cycled home from Malaysia to London, a journey of 10,000 miles through 26 countries! Once back in London she started to work for Red Bull as their Adventure Editor. 

In 2016 Pip headed off on a 3,000 mile cycle, boat and plane journey exploring Brazil and Peru to raise awareness of the environmental issues in the region, Pip documented the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest with adventurer Reza Pakravan and shared more about it’s devastating effects on the indigenous communities.  Pip started at the mouth of the Amazon River in the Atlantic, and finishing in Lima at the Pacific.

Pip loves going on challenges and pushing her body to the limits. In February 2018 Pip teaming up with fellow adventurers Laura Bingham and Ness Knight to take on a world first – paddling the entire length of The Essequibo, South America's third largest river, which flows for 1,014 km through remote jungle, and untouched virgin rainforest until it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

During the podcast we learn more about her life, the steps she has taken to get where she has. How the opportunities she has taken have come about and what she has learnt by going on these challenges in remote parts of the world.

Show notes

  • Living in London
  • Being adventurous as a young child
  • Why home is not a place and it’s the people you are with
  • Being based in Germany and having family holidays around Europe
  • Not knowing what she wanted to do growing up
  • Following the structured path
  • Heading off to go travelling
  • Doing a Journalism Masters over in Hong Kong
  • Removing expectations from your life
  • What is was like living and studying in Hong Kong
  • Moving to Malaysia and deciding to cycle home to London
  • Planning and preparation for the big cycle ride!
  • Having 13 months to get home in time for Christmas
  • The biggest challenge while cycling
  • Why the challenge was more of a mental one
  • The magical moments on the trip
  • Preconceptions about certain countries
  • Why travel and talking is so important
  • Connecting with the locals
  • The realities of being on the road
  • Coming back to the UK and not having a plan
  • Travelling with her partner Charlie
  • Dealing with difficult situations while on the road
  • Transitioning back into real life
  • Applying to be Red Bull’s Adventure Editor
  • Getting itchy feet and wanting to go travelling again
  • How she gets her ideas for her next challenges and adventures
  • Why she focuses on what she is interested in
  • 2016 challenge - traversing the Amazon via the Trans Amazonian Highway
  • The damage that gold mining does
  • What she leant most from the experience and why it comes down to the power of a community
  • Filming the challenge!
  • Eating ants!!
  • Heading out to the Amazon with Laura Bingham and Ness Knight
  • Saying yes to the opportunities when they become available
  • Planning and training for this adventure over 8 months
  • Family and friends reactions to her next adventure
  • Dealing with fears, how she overcome them and managed them before and during the trip
  • Often you can’t change the problem - but you can change your response to a problem.
  • Dealing with snakes
  • Working as part of a team with Ness & Laura - dealing with team dynamics
  • What she leant most about herself on this challenge and why it was about the ego!
  • #ExploreHappy and using social media in a positive way
  • Keep looking forward
  • Dealing with the adventure blues after coming back from the trip and talking about mental health
  • Heading off to Norway with the Marines
  • Final words of advice and top tips

 

Social Media

Website  - www.phillippastewart.com 

Twitter - @Stewart_Pip 

Instagram - @pipstewart  

 

Jul 24, 2018

Paula McGuire's world was shrinking. Bullied as a child and plagued by excessive social anxiety, she had become a recluse. Unable to even go into a shop on her own, Paula's life was effectively over before she hit thirty. But then something changed. She isn't even quite sure what. But after years of running away from life, Paula decided to make a change, and decided to face up to her fears.

Paula gave herself less than 2 years to try all 17 Commonwealth Games sports! After learning how to ride a bike and completing a triathlon. Paula decided, she was going to continue facing her fears, one of her biggest was swimming, even though she was frightened of the water, and couldn’t swim, she decided to set the biggest challenge possible. Deciding to swim around Great Britain! Although he Big Mad Swim around Britain didn’t quite go in the direction she wanted, she’s leant a huge amount about herself and continues to talk about mental health and wanting to encourage others to face their fears and to live their most full lives. 

Show notes

  • Where Paula is based at the moment
  • Being an unlikely adventurer and an anxiety survivor
  • Growing up in Glasgow and not being sporty or outdoors at all!
  • Being very shy and hiding behind books and her family
  • Dealing with childhood anxiety at 5/6 years old and how her parents handle it
  • Not having risk management skills or social skills
  • Entering her teenage years and how her anxiety developed
  • Leaving school for university and wanting to start a new life, and how it didn’t happen
  • Starting work while dealing with anxiety, and it getting to the point where she couldn’t leave the house
  • Maybe this is as good as it gets…
  • Learning to live with her anxiety
  • Giving herself a chance to live her life - starting to blog about it to have accountability
  • The first challenge/fear she decided to face and why she decided on a sport
  • Taking the negativity and turning it around!
  • Learning to ride a bike and what she learned from it
  • Why you have to keep trying and keep on learning
  • Feeling pride in her accomplishment
  • Getting joy from these new experiences
  • Why 99% of people want to help you
  • Taking the power away from anxiety
  • The timeframe she gave herself to complete these challenges
  • The magical moment - and why doing a triathlon helped to propel her forward
  • Not being able to swim and being afraid of the water
  • The Big Mad Swim Around Britain! 
  • April 24th starting her swim!
  • Dealing with panic attacks in the water and not being able to overcome it
  • Failure and what’s she learning from the experience
  • Adapting the challenge to the Big Mad Splash - to help raise awareness for mental health challenges
  • How she’s funding the trip
  • Advice and tips for others who are dealing with anxiety
  • How to get in touch with Paula if you need someone to talk to

Social Media

Website  - www.paulamusttryharder.co.uk

Twitter - @pmusttryharder 

Instagram - @pmusttryharder  

Facebook - @pmusttryharder 

Jul 19, 2018

Hannah, is a 34-year-old creator, minimalist and adventurer living in Manchester, UK. Last year she got rid of everything she owned except what would fit in a carry on backpack. She travelled overland from the UK to Bhutan through eighteen countries with her partner Phil to document and discover what makes people happy. 

Hannah has scoliosis and deals with chronic pain, although she wears a permanent back brace, this does not stop her from getting out side and hiking on a regular basis. In her early twenties, she was £20,000 in debt and working in a stressful, badly paid job. Her Dad dying suddenly encouraged her to become debt free and focus on doing work with purpose that helps support other people. 

Hannah is now back in the UK writing about her experiences at betternotstop.com. Hannah shares stories about how to enjoy everyday life through work, friendships, travel, and adventure. Hannah believes experiencing different countries and culture is a way to discover more about ourselves and how to make the world a better place.

During this podcast we focus on the money, how she got into the debt, the mistakes she made and how ultimately she turned it around by getting out of debt and saving £15,000 in a year to pay for the ‘Road to Happiness’ Expedition.

*** this is not financial advice*** If you are having financial problems please speak to a qualified professional.

Show notes

  • Growing up, getting a job at 15
  • Going to university getting a full time job, a student loan and an overdraft
  • Work hard and play harder - not being sensible with money - racking up credit card debt while at university, 
  • Taking out a loan to expand a business
  • The breakdown of a relationship and moving to a new town
  • Not being able to pay the minimum payments on her credit cards
  • Feeling overwhelmed by her money situation 
  • Why only overspending by a few hundred pounds a month can lead to huge problems down the line
  • Moving back home to live with her mum, about 45 mins from London
  • Planning to move to London and to get a job working in events
  • Would you like to live on a tropical island? Disappearing off to Asia for a year to forget about the money problems in the UK
  • moneysavingexpert.com 
  • Deciding between 2 options - declare bankruptcy or going down the Individual Voluntary Arrangement
  • Individual Voluntary Arrangement and what that involved for Hannah
  • Having major surgery, and losing her father while all of this was happening
  • How it felt once she paid if all off
  • No debt, no credit cards, no overdrafts
  • Minimalism how she got into this movement- the minimalists
  • Never earning more than £25,000
  • Saving up £15,000 for a 10 month expedition (the Road to Happiness )
  • Having a 2 bedroom house and why she decided on that
  • Getting a flat mate, cycling into work, saving everything she could
  • Gary Vaynerchuk and the Flip Challenge 
  • How to make money from doing adventures and the plan for the blog
  • 2 new books coming out - How to save for an adventure and how to plan for an adventure 
  • Tim Moss from the Next Challenge - self publishing books 
  • Cathy O’Dowd - The Business of Adventure 
  • Pat Flynn - Smart Passive Income 
  • Patreon for creators https://www.patreon.com 
  • Privilege in the adventure industry
  • Earning £600 a month going forward
  • Taking ownership of her goals and financial future and being very clear with what she wants to achieve.
  • Doing monthly income reports
  • Documenting the journey
  • Final words of advice  - ‘You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you’
  • Find your tribe 

Social Media

Follow Hannah's Writing at betternotstop  

Support Hannah on Patreon 

Instagram: @betternotstop  

Facebook: @betternotstop    

___________________________________________________

Feeling inspired week after week? 

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

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

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

Want to do more?

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

_____________________________________________________

Jul 17, 2018

Hannah, is a 34-year-old creator, minimalist and adventurer living in Manchester, UK. Last year she got rid of everything she owned except what would fit in a carry on backpack. She travelled overland from the UK to Bhutan through eighteen countries with her partner Phil to document and discover what makes people happy. 

Hannah has scoliosis and deals with chronic pain, although she wears a permanent back brace, this does not stop her from getting out side and hiking on a regular basis. In her early twenties, she was £20,000 in debt and working in a stressful, badly paid job. Her Dad dying suddenly encouraged her to become debt free and focus on doing work with purpose that helps support other people. To date, she has travelled to forty-five different countries. 

Hannah is now back in the UK writing about her experiences at betternotstop.com. Hannah shares stories about how to enjoy everyday life through work, friendships, travel, and adventure. Hannah believes experiencing different countries and culture is a way to discover more about ourselves and how to make the world a better place.

During this podcast we focus on the expedition the ‘Road to Happiness’ and in Tough Girl Extra coming out on Thursday we focus on the money, how she got into the debt, the mistakes she made and how ultimately she turned it around by getting out of debt and saving £15,000 in a year to pay for the ‘Road to Happiness’ Expedition.

Show notes

  • Being based in Manchester
  • 34 year old, minimalist adventure
  • Where the idea came from for the ‘Road to Happiness’ Expedition
  • Being kept accountably for what she wanted to achieve
  • Having no money and no idea how she was going to make it happen
  • How she started to plan to turn her dream into a reality
  • The visa machine
  • Having to be flexible with the planning and how the idea evolved and anchored over time
  • Dealing with a head injury that makes planning hard and having to put systems in place
  • To do lists, Trello, Evernote and how they all work together
  • Getting the date to leave and being delayed for a few months
  • The run up to leaving and dealing with the imposter syndrome
  • Packing for the trip while taking into account her chronic back pain
  • Documenting the trip - trying to figure out the best way to do it
  • Getting rid of everything she owned apart from what she carried on her back and a small suitcase she kept at her mums
  • Starting to write a 3 part book series about the journey 
  • The European part of the adventure and the moments that stand out
  • Working in Europe on Organic farms
  • Spending 6 weeks in Denmark!
  • What happiness means to Hannah
  • The correlation between money, time and happiness
  • Being open to new experiences and why she’s much happier now than when she was in her twenties 
  • Taking a short break from the trip and coming back to the UK for 3 weeks
  • Attending an adventure conference and feeling like she wasn’t doing adventure right
  • Why she loves to travel by train 
  • The Trans-Siberian Express and being able to travel on the first train line in Cambodia
  • Arriving in Bhutan after 10 months, crossing the land border from India into Bhutan and the difference
  • The culture shock of being in Bhutan
  • Wearing a back brace and the final stretch of the journey making it up the mountain to visit the Paro Taktsang monastery/‘Tigers Nest’ Monastery.
  • What she learnt from going on this journey 
  • The significance of her bee tattoo and why she got it 
  • Why her blog is called better not stop
  • Why there is no better time to take control of your life
  • Starting to do monthly income reports and why talking about money in the adventure world is important

Social Media

Website - www.betternotstop.com

Support Hannah on Patreon

Instagram: @betternotstop

Facebook: @betternotstop

 

Jul 10, 2018

Rachel Ann experiences the reality of mental health issues from a young age- she grows up in a dysfunctional home with a mother who suffers with bipolar disorder and disordered eating. Rachel Ann isn’t naturally athletic and from a young age, feels the pressure of being compared to her graceful ballerina sister Jane. She finds comfort in food and rapidly gains weight throughout childhood and into her teenage years.

Rachel Ann begins running at age 18, but she finds no pleasure in movement. Running is a necessary evil to help her lose weight, an ‘energy-depleting, laboured chore with the sole purpose of burning calories’. She dips in and out of running throughout her life, but only begins to take it seriously after the birth of her daughter, when she sets herself the goal of completing the London Marathon.

It gives her purpose and some headspace away from her new role as a mother. Running becomes Rachel Ann's saviour, she finally finds contentment and freedom she has been searching for all her life. 

Show notes

  • Living in Yorkshire and speaking to use from her attic
  • Being a runner and a writer  
  • Publishing her book - Running for my life
  • Her background of being a lawyer, to running her own health business and now working for a charity
  • Growing up with her mum, who suffered from mental health issues
  • Absorbing her mothers sadness (even though her mum loved her)
  • Coming into her teenage years and dealing with a lack of self confidence
  • Turning to comfort eating to deal with life
  • Being in an abusive relationship when she was a teenager
  • Wanting to feel better about herself and how she started running
  • Why her running came from a place of self loathing and negativity
  • Hating running but sticking to her running plan
  • Seeking professional help with her mental health
  • Being diagnosed with clinical depression and being on medication for 12 years
  • Deciding to set herself the challenge of running the London Marathon
  • Wanting to get pregnant and have a child
  • Getting a place the first time she entered the London Marathon!
  • Making up her own training schedule by booking in a series of races
  • The mental side of training and the marathon
  • Crossing the finish line of her first marathon in 2011
  • Experiencing the pain zone
  • What she would say to the 18 year old Rachel now
  • Why she deciding to write her book - “Running for my Life”
  • What can we do to raise awareness of mental health issues
  • Advice for new runners
  • Her next running goals
  • Running Boston Marathon and Leeds Half Marathon
  • Writing her second book

Social Media

Blog  - www.rachelcullenwrites.wordpress.com 

Twitter - @writtenbyrach  

Instagram - @rachel_running_for_my_life  

***********************************************

Feeling inspired week after week? 

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

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

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

Want to do more?

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

***********************************************

Jul 3, 2018

Ghazala, was born in 1963, in Lahore, Pakistan, when still a baby, her family moved to London and she grew up in Twickenham. She has led an active life, being involved in rock-climbing, mountaineering, running, skiing and swimming, both in the UK and abroad. She loves the outdoors and now lives in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District.

She is married to the mountaineer Roger Mear, who in 1986, with Robert Swan and Gareth Wood, made the first unsupported walk to the South Pole with the expedition ‘In the Footsteps of Scott’. For this achievement, all three members were awarded the Queen’s Polar Medal.  

In 1996, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had a year off work for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Focusing on the positive aspects and being determined to be well, both physically and emotionally, helped her through that year. Having been a keen long distance runner, and never accepting that she would be anything other than recovered after her treatment, the following year with a 30% reduction in lung function, she ran the Sheffield Marathon.

The whole experience, despite the difficulties, was positive for Ghazala and it enabled her to develop resilience, determination, humility, compassion and patience. During this podcast we learn more about Ghazala, her life, the decisions she’s made to get to where she is and what she’s learned along the way.

Show notes

  • Living in the beautiful peak district and working as a surgeon in Sheffield
  • Who is Ghazala and why she loves fitness
  • Becoming an environmentalist
  • Having 2 sons - 14 and 10 years old
  • Having to adjust her life after children
  • Loving to swim in the open air swimming pool
  • Growing up in Twickenham with 3 brothers
  • Joining the mountaineering club at University and getting into walking and rock climbing
  • Meeting her husband on the summit of the Matterhorn 
  • Being at a crossroads in her life
  • Getting access to the mountains
  • Taking on big wall climbing - Angels Landing
  • Ice climbing in Scotland 
  • Balancing life as a surgeon, with climbing and children
  • Keeping up running after her first child
  • Getting help with the children
  • Being 3 stone overweight after the birth of her first child and getting back into fitness
  • 1996 being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Learning patience and having gratitude 
  • Going on a healing course and working through personal issues
  • Deciding to love her tumour
  • Setting a new challenge after chemo 
  • Completing the Sheffield Marathon and being able to move on from the illness
  • Building her confidence back up 
  • A big road/climbing trip
  • The South Pole Energy Challenge - to walk the final 60 miles (the final degree)
  • 2041 Foundation 
  • The significance of 2041
  • Step by step helping to raise awareness and raising funds for the challenge
  • Par helium and wanting to see it
  • Tips for fundraising and getting sponsorship
  • Being on the ice for 2.5 weeks - getting hypothermia and how she dealt with it
  • Taking the positives from a negative situation 
  • Final words of advice
  • Why music plays a big part of her life

Social Media

Website - www.stepbystep.scot  

Twitter - @ghazala_mear  

 

Jun 28, 2018

Felicity's Polar career began in the year 2000, when she travelled to Antarctica for the first time with the British Antarctic Survey as a Meteorologist. Aged just 23 she spent a continuous period of two and a half years (including two consecutive winters) at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula to monitor climate and ozone.

Felicity went on to organise and lead numerous expeditions to remote places around the world, but particularly to the Polar Regions. Her expeditions have included the first British Women’s crossing of Greenland, a 6000km drive to the South Pole, a 36,000km drive to the Pole of Cold, and leading the largest and most international team of women ever to ski to the South Pole.

Felicity continues to explore, specialising in new and exciting ways to communicate the expedition experience to the wider world. Her Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition was the first to ‘Tweet to the Pole’ and material from her Pole of Cold expedition has been developed into a travelling art exhibition. She has written three books Call of the White: Taking the World to the South Pole (2011), Alone in Antarctica (2013), Chasing Winter: A Journey to the Pole of Cold (2014).

Most recently she was behind, The Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition 2018. Which was an international team of women from across Europe and the Middle East who set out to ski the last degree to the North Pole in April 2018. The expedition faced many physical challenges – with temperatures down to -40°C, polar bears and shifting pack ice - but the core purpose of the expedition was to foster greater dialogue and understanding between women from Western and Arabian cultures. In addition, the expedition worked to inspire all women to reach beyond the expectation of others to fullfil their own ultimate life ambitions.

Show notes

  • First speaking back in November 2015!
  • Putting together expeditions to visit very cold places
  • Why the Arctic?
  • Spending the summer on a Russian Icebreaker going back and forth to the North Pole
  • Wanting to put together another expedition with a new set of challenges
  • The new challenges in the Arctic!
  • Her role on the icebreaker 
  • The Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition 2018
  • Turning her idea into a reality
  • Taking the first step in finding a team
  • Putting it out on her website and getting over 1,000 responses!
  • Meeting the team for the first time at a training expedition in September 2016
  • Teamwork and why it is so important for expeditions in the Arctic
  • Trying to understand their motivation and why they wanted to do this challenge
  • September 2016 and the first time the team comes together.
  • Handing the cold and the extreme temperatures
  • Dealing with a cold injury and having frostbite
  • The expedition and what was involved
  • Having to be prepared for Polar Bears while out on the ice and dealing with the cold!
  • The journey to the pole - sponsorship, fitness and the costs involved.
  • Training in the desert and why there was benefits especially in regards to navigation and team bonding
  • The costs of the expedition & getting sponsorship 
  • The challenges of having a large team of 12
  • Physical training…. and getting fit for the challenge
  • Mental fitness - and not wanting to be over confident or complacent
  • Leadership style and how Felicity leads and why she was not the guide 
  • What Felicity learned from the expedition 
  • Plans for the future
  • Documentary and books!
  • Advice for women who do want to step outside their comfort zone
  • Why there is never a good time to do what you want to do
  • The book she has been meaning to write for 10 years!!

Social Media

Website - http://www.felicityaston.co.uk 

Twitter - @felicity_aston 

_____________________________________________________

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

Feeling inspired week after week? 

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

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

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

Want to do more?

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

https://www.patreon.com/ToughGirlPodcast?ty=h

_____________________________________________________

Jun 26, 2018

During this podcast we do discuss content, that some listeners could find disturbing, although nothing explicit happens or is discussed, it is more around the fears that women have going on solo adventures, and the threats that they may come across, Olivia talks very personally about her fears and how they developed, and how she took steps to overcome them.  It is discussed in a very sensitive manor, but I just want to make you aware before you listen further that any women who has faced these threats, or been a survivor may not wish to listen to this episode.

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Olivia Round is a storyteller, artist, and cyclist currently living in Seattle, Washington, USA. Originally raised in the small town of Ketchikan, Alaska, Olivia enjoyed many grand adventures... and never stopped. In 2011, at the age of twenty two, she embarked on a 5,000 mile solo bicycle journey across the United States, in an effort to face her deep-seated phobia of men. Olivia is now writing a memoir of that transformative cross-country adventure. Learn more about her story, and the stories of other cycling women, at www.oliviaround.org.

“Overcoming FEAR through ADVENTURE”

Show notes

  • Where Olivia is based
  • Being a writer and a biker (bicycle!)
  • Growing up in Alaska with only 40 miles of road, on a small island with only 12,000 people
  • Christmas presents….. of flights & family holidays!
  • Not talking about biking!
  • Being inspired by her mum and wanting to be a wild eccentric!
  • Thinking she would be the first woman to cross the USA on a bike
  • If you can’t see it - how can you become it?
  • Her secret - being afraid of men
  • Where her fears came from and trying to understand them
  • Feeling doomed and horrified about the world
  • I was Olivia the little girl who was afraid of men
  • Not wanting to let go of her phobia of men 
  • Why it was more scary not to face this
  • Tackling the phobia with a 5,000 mile bike ride!
  • Wanting to figure it out for herself and why solo travel was the decision she made
  • Heading to Chile for 3 months to volunteer on organic farms
  • Where the idea came from for her big cycle ride
  • The next step she took to make her dream a reality
  • Research via the internet, the library and speaking to anyone who had a bike!
  • Why she never thought that she’d be able to make it
  • Why she decided to try
  • Dealing with other fears before the start line
  • Practising meditation and thinking about worst case scenarios and how to deal with them
  • The logistics behind the journey
  • Making use of warmshowers.org
  • The start of the adventure!
  • Having a spot tracker and why she was so glad she had it
  • Routines while on the road
  • The magic moments from her trip
  • Wanting to quit many times!
  • Getting to the end of the trip
  • Missing out the last 15 miles!
  • Taking the time to reflect back on her journey!
  • Being inspired by Cheryl Strayed 
  • Her book and looking for an agent! 
  • New story on the Out There Podcast

 

Social Media

Website: www.oliviaround.org 

Facebook:  @oliviaroundbikes 

Instagram: @roundolivia  

Twitter: @0liviaR0und  

Jun 19, 2018

Leanne was a City exec until March 2012, when she resigned after suffering from burnout and alcoholism. She spent a few weeks in rehab before coming out and redesigning her entire lifestyle at age 37. Leanne trained to be a personal trainer, and worked as a sole trader for a while before setting up her company Bodyshot Performance. 

During that time, she build up a team and stepped away from personal training herself. She’s written two bestselling books, done a TEDx Talk, won a business award, contributed to Thrive Global and is paid to speak.

Leanne, has run the London Marathon 4x, Completed the Scotland Coast to Coast Races 3x. Which involves – 105 miles across Scotland over two days via bike, foot and kayak. She’s also done, Man v Mountain – which is a 22 mile run up Snowdon and down via obstacle course. Leanne is currently training on roller-skis for the Arctic Circle Race for 2019 which is– a 160km cross-country ski race where participants are entirely self-sufficient (3 day event).

Show notes

  • Where Leanne is based, & her gorgeous dog!
  • Who Leanne is ?
  • Growing up and what life was like when she was younger
  • Working in the city and balancing health and fitness
  • Drinking, and having a party lifestyle in her 20s
  • Deciding to leave the city and changing her life
  • Giving up alcohol and deciding to do what she was passionate about - business and health
  • Becoming a personal trainer and starting her company BodyShot
  • Going to rehab for 6 weeks
  • Not having a plan when she resigned from her job
  • What she changed when she came out of rehab
  • Doing her own personal challenges while being a PT
  • Training for the London Marathon
  • Her second marathon and the challenges she faced!
  • Running in fancy dress, during the hottest ever London Marathon!
  • Advice for other runners who want to do a marathon!
  • Why having a coach is a good idea!
  • Fundraising and fundraising fatigue
  • Doing the Arctic Circle Race in 2019!
  • Why she wanted to do this challenge!!
  • Training via roller-skiing!!
  • Planning as a pair for the Arctic Challenge
  • Looking at funding and sponsorship
  • The mental side of the preparation
  • Fear… and why you have to be mindful of it - her tips and tricks for managing it
  • Meditation and why having a daily session works for her
  • Books  - Rise and shine & Remove the Guess Work
  • Remove the Guess Work Podcast - what it is and who it is aimed for
  • Being strong of mind, body and spirit

Social Media

Website - www.bodyshotperformance.com 

Facebook - @BodyshotPT 

Twitter @bodyshotpt 

Instagram @bodyshotperformance 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Want to do more?

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

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

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Jun 12, 2018

Mirna’s transformation into a long-distance runner happened slowly. It started with doing a mile at a time and then eventually she worked her way up to a 5-kilometer race. Then that led to a 5K, then a 10K, which led to a half marathon, which led to her first marathon in 2011.

Mirna started her blog in 2011, Fat Girl Running while training for this marathon as a way to share stories with her friends and family. The blog is about being an active larger girl in a thinner world via the individual yet universal sport of running.

Mirna, uses the blog to write about her training routines, race experiences and obstacles that she faces as "an active larger girl in a thinner world.” Her personal accounts have helped her become a source of inspiration for other female athletes. "People took comfort in the fact that I was experiencing the same things that they were but I was still out there running. It didn't stop me.”

As her story grew, so did her running goals. Marathons turned into ultra-marathons. The longest race she has run so far is 100K; that's 62 miles. And she's not looking to slow down anytime soon. Mirna, continues to challenge stereotypes and inspires others to do the same.

Mirna’s ultimate running goal, is the Trans Rockies Race, which is a multi-stage, 6-day, 120-mile run through the Rocky Mountains!

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"I think most people who are my size and in athletic pursuit, we exude something different. There is a joy in what we do and we love to spread that joy to other people. Especially if it motivates them and inspires them to be athletes."

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Show notes

  • Being based in the North Georgia Mountains
  • Preparing to move house back to New Jersey
  • Growing up in NYC
  • Being known as - Fat Girl Running & the Mirnavator
  • Blogging about being a larger women who runs
  • Representing plus sized women in athletics
  • Being sporty as a child
  • Why she started running in high school
  • Why she loves running
  • Making transitions from high school to college and from college to work
  • Having her son and how it changed her life
  • Being discouraged from sports by the adults in her life
  • Going after her first marathon
  • Starting the blog and wanting to share her adventures with her friends and family
  • Not wanting to focus on weightless
  • Training for the marathon while blogging
  • Dealing with a fractured ankle
  • Getting hooked on running and wanting to do more marathons
  • Dealing with the physical pain while running
  • Dealing with criticism about her size
  • Deciding to go after her first ultra marathon in 2012
  • What her training looks like
  • Working with a coach
  • Being invited to run at the Boston Marathon
  • Speed work!
  • Her mantra - “small steps - big distance”
  • The Boston Marathon - Taking it in 2 mile chunks 
  • Fuelling her long runs and working on her nutrition 
  • Dealing with chaffing
  • How her running has impacted on her friends and family
  • Spending time in Portugal doing a trail race
  • Dealing with a DNF
  • Dealign with the pressure of being a public figure while out running
  • Wanting to run a stage race in Colorado! The Trans Rockies Race 
  • Saying yes to new opportunities
  • What’s she’s learnt from running these races and distances
  • Advice for other women
  • Why you should buy her book -  A Beautiful Work in Progress

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Social Media

Blog - Fat Girl Running

Instagram @TheMirnavator 

Facebook - Personal Page  @MirnaValerio

Facebook - Athlete Page -  Mirna Valerio - The Mirnavator 

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Feeling inspired week after week? 

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

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

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

Want to do more?

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

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Jun 5, 2018

Moire is a a bit of an extreme sports junkie. She’s been involved in the mountain running scene in Ireland for over a decade. In 2013, she got into a relatively new sport: multi-sport adventure racing, where individual races can involve disciplines such as biking, running, and kayaking, on both smooth road and rocky mountain surfaces. Moire has adventure raced the Quest GlendaloughGaelforce West and Westport Sea2Summit.

Moire ended up winning the Irish National Adventure Racing Series in 2014, 2016 and 2017. At the same time, her husband and her were starting a family, with her first son Aran being born in 2013 and her second son Cahal being born in 2015. 

Moire has written two books, the first in 2011,  Mud Sweat and Tears and her second, Bump, Bike and Baby in 2018, where she shares more of her journey with having a family while juggling training and racing across the country!

Show Notes

  • Living in Northern Ireland
  • Growing up in Derry 
  • Being a juggler and balancing many different roles
  • Being a mother, a runner, an adventure racer and author
  • What she was liking growing up
  • Living in Kenya for her 20s before moving back to Ireland in her 30s
  • Getting into mountains running for the first time (both hating it and loving it at the same time)
  • Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA)
  • What she loves about mountain running and why she likes who she is while running
  • Managing the fear of running down hill at speed
  • The Wicklow Round - the history of the challenge and the planning involved for it
  • 2008 giving it ago and learning huge amounts.. What if I….
  • Mentally getting over setbacks and making the transition to wanting to give it another go
  • Why she doesn’t overthink challenges and focuses on breaking them down
  • Training schedule and working with a coach
  • Pregnancy, babies and the impact on her life and training
  • Judgement about doing exercise (running, mountain biking weight lifting), while being pregnant 
  • What it was like after having her first child…
  • Susie Mitchell -Book “Pregnancy to Podium” and 4 months later winning a world masters track cycling title!
  • Training for her next adventure race and breast feeding!
  • Losing bladder control while racing and what you can do about it
  • Having a 2 year old and a 4 year old
  • Her love of bike rollers!
  • The next challenge - Quest Wales (Adventure race!)
  • The Dennis Rankin Round - the challenge, 24 hrs, 40 peaks and starting at 3 am
  • Lets talk about pooing and getting your period while out running
  • Books - Mud Sweat and Tears, Bump Bike & Baby 

 

Social Media

Twitter: @moireosullivan

Blog: https://moireosullivan.com/ 

Books!

Mud, Sweat and Tears

Bump, Bike and Baby

May 29, 2018

Helen joined a running club four years ago mainly because she needed a new social scene that didn’t involve drinking! She threw herself in to the club scene, going to cross countries at weekends and it was a revelation. For a city girl like Helen, hanging out in a cold, muddy field on a Saturday and buying thermals and waterproofs was a complete change of life! At her first race she didn’t even own a backpack so carried kit in a designer tote bag! But each time she survived a day in the cold, it made her want to test more boundaries. 

Helen, started road cycling, open water swimming and then triathlons. For two years she filled almost every weekend with a new endurance challenge - She did a 112 mile cycle through the Peak District, a 5km ocean swim between two islands in Greece, and spend two days of fell running in Isle of Wight.

Two years later, she qualified for the age-group World Champs triathlon and got to go to Chicago and compete in GB kit. In her book she talks about how outdoor sport changed her life and outlook. Not only has it made her physically stronger but it also made her mentally tough, calmer and more patient. She stopped being a slave to glamour and feminine ideals, and made her appreciate what a beautiful country we live in and introduced her to a whole new wholesome social scene. 

Her goals is to inspires more women to get into sport and she’s passionate about getting women to discover their adventurous side.

Show notes

  • Author, Journalist and producer working freelance
  • This Girl Ran: Tales of a Party Girl Turned Triathlete is a memoir about ditching a glamorous city girl lifestyle,  toughening through outdoor sport, and two years later qualifying to be a GB age-group triathlete.
  • Never seeing herself as sport but loving the outdoors
  • Losing her love for the outdoors and becoming an indoors person
  • Wanting to be fit and using the gym and being very image conscious.
  • Fitness is not a chore and the realisation of what the body and mind can do
  • Joining a local running club and discovering how much she loved it
  • Why she wanted to make this change at 36
  • Making new friends and ditching drinking
  • Deciding to run 10 miles on her first run with the running club
  • Feeling a sense of achievement and getting hooked
  • Buying a bike and cycling to running club   
  • How it changed her life   
  • Her first race and how it led to future challenges
  • Signing up for a half marathon and going on a triathlon training holiday!
  • The imposter syndrome and dealing with fears
  • Being torn between the old person and the new person
  • Her first triathlon race and why it stands out in her memory
  • When Helen has learnt most from doing triathlons that she has applied to other parts of her life
  • Qualifying for the age group world championships after 2 years of starting triathlon! (June 2015)
  • Deciding on whether or not to get a coach
  • What training looked like and being near breaking point
  • Racing in Chicago! Being in GB Kit and getting to meet other athletes
  • Feeling lonely at the race and feeling low at the end 
  • Why she changed her attitude after the race and relaxed her regime 
  • Cycling to Paris and planning to cycle the South Down’s Way
  • Tips and advice for other women and why you have to know your reason why
  • Why you just have to go - no thinking - just get up and go!

 

Social Media

Website  - www.helencroydon.com  

Twitter - @helen_croydon

 

May 22, 2018

In the spring of 2010, Susan decided to take on the Inside Passage which is an extraordinary coastal route, with some of the most spectacular fjords and convoluted coastlines in the world. It’s a narrow artery that connects with and is part of the sixty-four million square miles that comprise the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the most scenic and most challenging paddling trip in North America, it’s been touted as a holy grail for paddlers.

Her journey, was a 1200 mile, mostly solo paddle adventure down the western coast of North America from Anacortes, Washington to Juneau, Alaska. During the 66 day she was out there, she experienced the astounding power and beauty of nature. She paddled in drenching rains, fierce winds, and violent seas.

Susan had scaled her world down to an 18-foot sea kayak and started to run toward her dreams. Her dream wasn’t only to paddle the Inside Passage. It was also to challenge herself and see how she would handle adversity and discover how that adversity would make her a better version of herself. It was about experiencing that heady sense of freedom that comes from being alone in the wilderness and making her own decisions, relying on her abilities, her strength and courage … Listen to the tough girl podcast, it’s pretty powerful stuff!

Show notes

  • Where Susan is based
  • Who Susan is?
  • Growing up on a farm in Upstate New York
  • Getting into paddling and the outdoors
  • Her passion for white water kayaking
  • Starting her own paddle sports company
  • What it was like becoming a guide and why she was terrified at the start
  • Being taken by the solo experience
  • The Inside Passage
  • Her inspiration and the power of having someone believe in you
  • Losing her father and going through a painful time
  • Starting to make poor choices in her life
  • Looking for a new goal and wanting to press that reset button
  • Being prepared both physically, mentally, logistically and also on an emotional level
  • Being a firm believer in positive visualisation
  • 66 Days on the water
  • Talking about fear and her fears before the journey started
  • The first day of the challenge, what it was like
  • When reality set in and the ‘challenge’ started
  • Learning patience from the sea
  • The magical moments verses the miserable moments
  • Hitting the reset button and being able to centre herself
  • The ultimate magical moment which sticks in her memory
  • Having 15 miles left to go
  • The inner and outer journey
  • Reflecting back on the journey and what she’s learned on the way
  • Why the sea can be such a good teacher
  • Writing her book and reliving the memories
  • Itching to do a new challenge - and setting a new goal!
  • Get the book!
  • Final word of advice and why you need to get clear on what you want to accomplish!

 

Social Media

Website - www.susanmarieconrad.com  

Twitter - @SusanMConrad 

Instagram - @susanmarieconrad 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/susanmarieconrad/ 

 

May 15, 2018

Hannah Engelkamp is a travel writer and ex-outdoor-magazine editor who bought a donkey, ‘the eccentric and handsome Chico’,  29 maps, and set off to walk the 1000-mile circumference of Wales. The journey took nearly six months, twice as long as her original estimate!

During this podcast we talk more about her life, being involved in adventure,  why she loves small adventures in the UK. Where she got the idea from and why she decided to take on this challenge. For those who have recently had children Hannah also shared more about how her life has changed since and what the impact has been with regards to adventure and fitness.

Show notes

  • Growing up in Wales
  • Being a magazine editor  and working in the adventure industry
  • How adventure has played a role in her life and what has inspired her
  • Where the idea first came from 
  • Why she decided to tell people about her idea!
  • The problems with stiles and kissing gates!
  • Deciding to take a Donkey with her!
  • Chico the donkey and why he was a special kind of donkey!
  • Planning the trip
  • Working as a freelancer in London
  • Why it was easier to take off 3 months than 3 weeks
  • Dealing with the extra logistics of travelling with a donkey!
  • Her fears and worries before the trip started - and why they were mostly donkey related!
  • The complex relationship with Chico 
  • The life lessons she learned
  • The challenges of route planning
  • Knowing that she would next want to quit
  • Making friends with Chico…
  • Dealing with the hills and the magical moments 
  • Being ready to finish the walk in November
  • Adding another donkey into the mix for the final 40 miles!
  • Why going on this adventure helped her with her first child
  • What happened to Chico after the walk!
  • The next challenge - walking to the town of Cardigan in Wales
  • How has life changed after having a child
  • The toughness of being a parent…
  • Learn more about the book and the film!
  • Final words of advice for new mothers who want to incorporate adventure into your life

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Social Media

Personal website - http://seasidedonkey.co.uk 

Twitter - @hannahengelkamp  

Facebook - @SeasideDonkey 

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BONUS TRACK! With Lauren from Discover Outdoors!

Get your tickets for Women in the Outdoors Week HERE!

NYC - 11th June - 17th June

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May 8, 2018

Sacha is an Australian-born conservationist, adventurer and motivational speaker. She works for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in the UK. Over the past 20 years, Berwick swan numbers have nearly halved with just 20,000 remaining in the wild but experts are unsure what is causing the population crash. Sacha had an idea to investigate the problem, which she though was crazy at first.

However, after 18 months of planning in the winter of 2016, Sacha decided to followed their entire 7,000 km migration route from Arctic Russia to the UK. She did this by flying with the birds on a paramotor. Essentially hanging from a paraglider with a propellor on her back! 

During this podcast, we learn more about her early life, growing up in Australia, before moving over to the UK. Sacha also shares more about her life as a champion free-diver! She provides advices and top tips that you’ll be able to apply to your next challenge or adventure! 

Show notes

  • Who is Sacha Dench?
  • Growing upon Sydney and spending a lot of time outdoors
  • Moving to the bush with her mum, having a very basic upbringing 
  • Getting comfortable being out in remote places
  • How she got to school!
  • Moving to the UK
  • Never really being into sports
  • Working out that she was very good at holding her breath!
  • Free diving and how it came about..
  • Free diving in the UK? 
  • Understanding more about Free Diving - what it is and what it’s like being under the water
  • Learning to understand how your body behaves while doing ‘breath holds’
  • Learning how to stay calm and to keep adrenaline under control
  • The transferable skills of free diving - such as mind control and keeping calm
  • The Flight of the Swans... 
  • The reason - Declining swan numbers making the migration from arctic Russia to northern Europe. From 29,000 in 1995 to just 18,000 in 2010.
  • How the idea started to form….and why she sat of the idea for a couple of months.
  • Having 18 months to plan and prepare and why she really needed another year to plan and prepare
  • The challenges she had to face and overcome
  • Dealing with the negativity and criticism for her idea
  • The power of connections and why one person can make a difference
  • Doing her research in Russia and developing local partners!
  • The start, heading up to the Arctic!
  • The call of the swans and being accepted as a lead bird
  • What is it like flying in a Paramotor? 
  • What was learned about the decline of the swans and the exciting discoveries made along the way
  • The kindness of strangers and the impact Sacha was having by meeting individuals on the journey
  • Being the first women to fly over the English Channel!
  • The next challenge (Spring 2019)- planning to fly around the UK and maybe Ireland!
  • A book and film is on the way!

 

Social Media

Website - http://www.sachadench.com 

Instagram - @sacha_dench 

Twitter - @sachadench 

 

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The Tough Girl Podcast has also been nominated for the Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Award - which is fantastic news and really shows what an impact the podcast is having. However, I’m up against some massive organisations - Manchester City, Channel 4 and Sky Sports!!!

I would be very grateful if you could take a moment, to vote (every vote really does make a difference!) http://www.womenssporttrust.com/bagc2018/

*** Stacey Copeland is also up for individual role model of the year.***

Voting ends on the 13th May and the awards night is the 24th May.

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May 1, 2018

Kiko a former teacher, now turned SUPer and adventurer, at 36, rowed 3,000 nautical miles from Gran Canaria to Barbados in 49 days! Gaining a new Guinness World Record in the process!

Solo and unsupported, she was rowing for up to 16 hours a day, sleeping in two-hour shifts. What makes this story even more incredible is that in 2009, Kiko, was diagnosed with Cushing's disease, a rare condition that made even walking up the stairs impossible.

The tumour on her pituitary gland also caused severe memory loss, psychosis, diabetes, osteoporosis, insomnia and muscle wastage.

In order to give back Kiko stated fundraising for Kings College Hospital Charity, who helped save her life. Whilst in the middle of her training to row the Atlantic, she was diagnosed with a second tumour which was successfully removed in August 2017.

In March 2018, she smashed the previous record or 56 days and in the process motivated and inspired others to challenge themselves to do the unthinkable. 

During this podcast we learn more about Kiko; her life, the decisions she’s made and the challenges she’s overcome, what she has learnt on the way and why she wants to continue to inspire and motivate others. She also give a few hints about her next challenge!

Show notes

  • Thinking about her recent achievement!
  • Wanting to move on and focus on the next thing
  • When the dream for rowing the Atlantic came about
  • Growing up as one of 4 children
  • Adventures growing up, travelling and taking gap years
  • Driving to Cape Town from the UK in a team of 4 over 6 months
  • What she learnt on this adventure…
  • Learning to speak honestly to people and to be honest to herself
  • Being diagnosed with Cushing Disease in 2009
  • Why you have to let go of the things you can’t control and focus on what you can control
  • The recovery process…over 18 months
  • Going off her medication and the negative impact…
  • Trying to find her passion
  • Learning to stand up paddle board on the Nile
  • Wanting to do paddle board life coaching in the future
  • Telling her friends and family about her Atlantic Rowing Challenge!
  • Not having the support from her family 
  • Doing the planning at the start
  • Deciding to do women only funding
  • Having to deal with her tumour coming back
  • Why it was a relief to start rowing the Atlantic
  • Being closest to a person in space rather than on earth!
  • Never feeling lonely or alone
  • What a typical day was like on the water - her routine and day to day habits
  • How she entertained herself while on the boat & getting obsessed with the data
  • The last day and the finish
  • Knowing her life was going to change after getting the world record
  • What she’s learnt from this experience
  • The next big challenge!
  • Final words of wisdom…
  • Where her name - Kiko came from


Social Media

Personal Website - http://www.kikomatthews.co.uk 

Twitter - @Kikomatthews 

Instagram @kikomatthews 

Donate here  to help raise funds for Kings College Hospital Charity -  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kikomatthews

 

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I'm excited to be up for an award at this year’s @womensporttrust #BeAGameChanger Awards! Please vote for me here - http://www.womenssporttrust.com/bagc2018/

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Apr 24, 2018

Fiona Oakes is a British marathon runner, who holds three world records for marathon running. In 2013, she won both the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon. She runs despite losing a knee cap from an illness when she was 17.

At 48, she holds three world records, including becoming the fastest woman to run seven marathons in seven continents, plus the north pole, with an aggregate time of 31 hours 11 mins and 53 secs.

Show notes

  • Why Fiona describes herself as an animal advocate
  • Going vegetarian at 3 years old in the 1970s
  • Becoming vegan at 6 years old and her passion for animals
  • Becoming an advocate for animals and needing a platform to speak out
  • Where the running came from
  • Working in London and coming from a cycling background
  • Starting to jog to keep fit
  • Not having a knee cap!!
  • Considering herself as an amateur runner (even though running a 2.38 marathon!)
  • Working out everything for herself
  • Having determination and grit, but no talent…
  • Deciding to go after ultras such as Marathon des Sables
  • Running in pain
  • The London marathon and training for it - and why you have to be brave to run a marathon
  • Fitting training into her life - getting up at 3.30 am
  • Her running routine to run a 2.38 marathon
  • The magic for moving up a level in running - SPEED WORK!!
  • Signing on to be available for the fire service
  • Diet and why it is not a priority
  • Not taking supplements, no gels or recovery drinks
  • Vegan marshmallows!
  • Eating one meal a day and not snacking
  • Why she focuses on her feet
  • Being on a very tight budget both financial and time wise
  • Stomach problems while running
  • Her most magical race
  • The Marathon des Sables
  • Being invited to run the North Pole Marathon!
  • Learning a lot about herself while running
  • Vegan running club
  • 4 Deserts Grand Slam!
  • How you can help and support!

 

Social Media

Fiona Oakes Foundation -http://fionaoakesfoundation.co.uk/about/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fionaoakes/ 

Twitter - @Marathonfiend 

 

Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary - http://www.towerhillstables.com 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/towerhillstables 

Twitter - @towerhillstable 

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