Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Nov 8, 2022
Rue founded Outdoor Afro as a social enterprise in 2009. 
The now national not-for-profit celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. Headquartered in Oakland, California, Outdoor Afro incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2015. Today, the staffed organization includes more than 100 trained volunteer leaders, led and designed by Rue to innovate not-for-profit as movements of change. 
International cruise line Hurtigruten Expeditions made cruise industry history with the creation of its Black Traveler Advisory Board. Hurtigruten invited Rue to become one of its founding members. Rue took an 18-day Antarctica voyage in February 2022 to help drive change and new opportunities for Black people in the adventure cruise industry, increasing visibility and inclusivity of Black travellers.
When Rue shares stories from the land, people of all walks of life listen. She’s served on national platforms with congresspeople, outdoor professionals, corporate partners, and global leaders.
“Nature Swagger” is Rue’s first book by American publisher Chronicle Books. This project is a beautiful combination of breathtaking photos and compelling stories of Black joy in nature. The book releases to the public Nov. 1, 2022. 
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. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Rue and what she does
  • Living in Northern California 
  • Growing up between the city and a ranch
  • Early childhood memories from spending time in nature
  • The importance of hospitality
  • Learning more about her family
  • Having a natural curiosity for the environment 
  • The stories that weren’t being told
  • Sharing a new narrative of the Black experience
  • The origin story of Outdoor Afro in 2009
  • Asking herself the question - what does she really want to do?
  • Growing through outdoor experiences
  • Being an early adopter of technology 
  • Growing a team of 120 Outdoor Afro Volunteer Leaders 
  • The joy of nature and the joy of being outside
  • The importance of remaining a practitioner 
  • Her love of the water
  • Spending time in Antarctica 
  • The importance of having the right gear
  • Designing a new clothing collaboration with REI
  • REI X Outdoor Afro
  • Wanting to solve problems especially with fit and function
  • Wanting to wear bright colours 
  • 2022 and what a year it’s been 
  • Why Outdoor Afro has been a 13 year overnight success story 
  • Writing her book over the past 2 years 
  • Book: Nature Swagger Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors 
  • How to connect with Rue on the Socials
  • Her plans/visions for 2023
  • Thinking about succession planning for Outdoor Afro
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Instagram @ruemapp 
Facebook @RueMapp 
Twitter @RueMapp 
Book: Nature Swagger Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors. 
An exquisite combination of beautiful photography and compelling stories, this book from Outdoor Afro founder, Rue Mapp, celebrates Black joy in nature. 
Filled with breathtaking photography, inspiring stories, profiles, and spotlights from Outdoor Afro group members, prominent Black leaders in outdoor spaces, and other organizations, this book inspires Black communities to reclaim their place in the natural world. Interspersed throughout are essays from Mapp on the rich history of Black involvement in the outdoors, activism, and conservation, as well as resources for readers who want to deepen their own connection with the elements. A perfect blend of gorgeous photographs, awe-inspiring stories, and Black history, this collection is the perfect gift for anyone looking to heal in these sacred natural spaces.
Nov 1, 2022
Gill in her own words:
“My name is Gill Castle, and in October 2011 I gave birth to my son, Sam, at 34 weeks gestation, a traumatic birth which resulted in a permanent stoma (colostomy). Over the following years I have set out to prove to myself, and others, what is achievable with a stoma, as initially I was presented with a lot of “no, you can’t do that with one of those”. I also wanted to overcome the trauma of the birth, which resulted in the loss of my job as a police officer, and which forced me to create a new identity for myself. 
On my website I signpost people to all the amazing organisations out there who can help, like the Birth Trauma Association, the Masic Foundation, Purple Wings, Samaritans, Colostomy UK to name but a few. 
Am I superwoman? Absolutely 110% not. Lots of women suffer like me and come out the other side ok. But when you are experiencing such a load of shite there is often no one who has made it out onto the other side who is shouting about the good life that is possible. 
I want to be that person. I want to show that girl who was living through hell that it can turn out ok in the end. 
How will I do it? Simply by my actions. I will gladly, happily, discuss people’s trauma with them, and discuss my own, in PM, I understand that talking and discussing helps. But I want to just SHOW you by everything I do, every smile I have, that you can be happy, you can do things. The same for people with stomas.
But, this is also true for ANYONE. I want to sweep people along with my enthusiasm for life and encourage you all to just get OUT THERE and TRY something. Anything! We all have our own desires and goals. So many people say to me that they would “love” to do something “but I’m too scared” . 
WAIT UP! Have you actually tried it? How do you know then? 
I understand trauma, I understand pain, I understand fear. But right now I understand HOPE and JOY. 
That’s it really, just me, doing my thing, being happy, being active and encouraging people to do to the same.” 
  • During this episode there is a lot of poo chat and very open and honest conversations about child birth injury and recovering from trauma.  If you are not sure if you should listen to this episode- for what ever reason - I would encourage you to ask a friend to listen to it first to make sure it is suitable for where you are in your journey. The episode will always be here, so there is no pressure for you to listen to it now.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Gill?
  • How animals and the outdoors are important parts of her life 
  • Starting to have sailing lessons at eight
  • Enjoying sailing with her brother until seeing the film Jaws
  • Not going back to the sea for about 30 years 
  • Her next big challenge in 2023 - swimming the English Channel
  • Reasons for taking up the challenge 
  • What is a stoma and how it is formed
  • Dealing with mental health issues 
  • How a stoma impacts Gill's life
  • Feeling lucky and starting to embrace her life
  • Saying YES to everything 
  • Doing her first sprint triathlon
  • Doing Olympic distance and half Ironman
  • Sharing her journey for the first time in public to raise awareness 
  • Raising over £5000 for the Birth Trauma Association
  • Training and nutrition 
  • Biggest challenges and lessons that changed her life
  • Gill's experience at a swim camp 
  • Why she doesn't want to watch Jaws again
  • Overcoming her fear of open water 
  • Getting her slot in Dover to swim the English Channel
  • Getting full sponsorship from Hollister Incorporated
  • Planning and preparation for the event 
  • Getting a shoulder injury
  • How she’s getting back into training
  • "The more miles, the better" 
  • Working on the mental side of the channel swim 
  • Struggling with relaxation


Social Media
Instagram @stoma_chameleon 
Oct 27, 2022
Vedangi Kulkarni was born and raised in India and currently lives in the UK. 
She’s an adventurer, endurance athlete, writer, expedition/project manager and a business owner. She loves organising mountain biking and bike-packing events, managing a million projects simultaneously and talking to a ton of new people. 
In 2018, she rode 29,000km around the world in 160 days, mostly solo and unsupported, at the age of 19/20, becoming the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe on bike. 
She’s always keen for an adventure, be it cold water swimming, long distance hiking or cycling, climbing, mountain biking, skiing or travelling through remote places. 
On her most recent expedition, she skied across Svalbard. 
Her happy place is anywhere outside, in the wild, and on the move. She tells stories from her adventures both digitally (through her social media channels) and through in-person events. 
When she isn't out and about, you can find her reading non-fiction books or writing something in one of her million Moleskine notebooks.
You can listen to Vedangi on the Tough Girl Podcast, new episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Vedangi
  • Moving to Inverness in 2022
  • Cycling daily and taking up mountain biking
  • Mountain biking and how it’s helped with her confidence
  • Imposter syndrome 
  • Blog post - “I shouldn’t be here” 
  • Becoming more ambition especially in the world of adventure
  • New book coming soon - why people need adventure 
  • Feeling selfish while doing adventures 
  • Book: SOLO: What running across mountains taught me about life By Jenny Tough 
  • Starting to organise adaptive mountain biking races in the UK
  • Mountain Biking Race 12th - 13th November 2022 - “MTB4ALL” is a downhill race series where our aim is to make racing fun. Whether you're a first time racer or a pro, we've got something for you! 
  • Wanting to get more women racing mountain bikes
  • Arranging a series of events in 2023 for women in mountain biking 
  • Wanting to help build women’s self esteem in mountain biking
  • Working on improving her mountain biking skills
  • Heading to Svalbard in April 2022
  • The Trans Arctic Expedition
  • Speaking with Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions
  • Helen Turton - Newland Expeditions 
  • Visa challenges 
  • Sponsorship for Svalbard 
  • Sharing a tent with Helen & Ellen Piercy 
  • Reflections from the experience 
  • Dealing with the cold and learning patience
  • Tent life
  • The plan for the Trans Arctic Expedition
  • Just Around The Corner — exploring the best of the South West by bike 
  • How to connect with Vedangi
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Instagram @wheelsandwords 
Facebook @wheelsandwords 
Twitter @wheelsandwords 
Oct 25, 2022
Ellen started to get into adventure in her late 30s. By day she work as an engineering, by night, she dream of adventure. 
In 2017 she wanted a new, big, scary challenge and decided on an arctic expedition - crossing Svalbard. 
Ellen has never been anywhere that cold before and she didn’t’ know how to ski! She didn’t know if the challenge that she had decided on would even be achievable.
The Svalbard Expedition was meant to go ahead in 2020, when Ellen was 42. It was postponed from 2020 to 2021 and again to 2022. 
To keep herself motivated, during the delays and wanting to focus on building her endurance, she set herself a more local project – the Cheshire Challenge to walk all 25 long distance paths in Cheshire totalling 1,500km.
In January 2022, Ellen had her sabbatical booked, and found out the Svalbard crossing would be going ahead in April. 
During this podcast Ellen shares more about the challenge, the lessons learned and provides top tips and advice to help you with your next adventure. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Ellen?
  • Age 45….
  • The concept of identity 
  • Describing herself pre and post Svalbard 
  • Calling herself a cold adventurer!
  • Who is Ellen pre-expedition?
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome
  • How adventure has changed her life
  • Not knowing if she would be able to do the challenge
  • “Maybe I can do this sort of stuff”  
  • The mindset shift that has happened
  • Dealing with setback after setback
  • 42 the second, 42 the third etc
  • Doing a polar training course in Norway
  • Covid Times and being able to work from home
  • What’s your plan B…..
  • The Svalbard Expedition April 2022
  • A 10 day crossing across the main island from the East to the most northerly town in the world
  • The route - 130km/100 miles
  • Being part of a team of 5, plus the guide
  • The pulks and the kit
  • Polar Bears, glaciers, mountain passes and an enormous ice cave
  • Structure of the day and the daily routine (melting water, packing up, ski and break time, tent life)
  • Thinking about doing her Mountain Leader Qualification 
  • Working towards her Chartered Engineer Qualification 
  • Tent mates, group dynamics and roles
  • Peeing and pooping outdoors
  • Fitness and training
  • Costs
  • Completing the challenge and what happened afterwards
  • Reflecting on the challenge and having time to process 
  • Getting Covid and being knocked for 2 months
  • Plans for 2023
  • Newland Expeditions Guided polar ski expeditions to North/South Poles, Greenland, Svalbard and Norway. 
  • How to connect with Ellen
  • Final words of advice for working women who want to have more adventures
Social Media
Instagram @randogirl42 
Facebook @EllenRandoGirl 
Twitter @RandoGirl42 
Oct 18, 2022
After a lengthy battle with a rare brain disease, Crystal Gail Welcome came to recognize the healing power of nature. 
She now uses her intersecting identities; Black, disabled, lesbian to break down barriers so more people can access the outdoors. 
Crystal is an experiential educator, author, storyteller, activist, backpacker, and Black outdoor leader. She chooses to speak out against racial injustice in the United States by hiking and giving voice to her experiences.
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 especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit  Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Crystal Gail
  • Living in Minnesota 
  • Turtle racing!
  • Growing up in Florida 
  • Where Minnesota is located in the States
  • Not being exposed to the outdoors 
  • Not thinking the outdoors was for her
  • Her first visit to a National Park
  • Visiting the birth home of Martin Luther King Junior in Atlanta, Georgia 
  • Learning about the National Parks 
  • Feeling connected to Nature
  • Feeling a sense of belonging and wanting to spend more time in nature
  • Continuing her journey and connecting with nature 
  • Going out to live life and getting back into running
  • Her desire to go backpacking and wanting to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)
  • Hiking 600 miles on the PCT 
  • Learning about her capabilities
  • Her love of the outdoors and the power of connecting with nature
  • How hiking improved her health 
  • Why nature is a wonderful place to be
  • Her experience on the PCT 
  • Trail culture and trail families
  • Needed to recharge her batteries every 7-10 days  for 1.5 days
  • Connecting with new people and the kindness of strangers
  • Her trail name “The Giver” 
  • Book: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry 
  • After the death of George Floyd
  • Protesting in the way that she knows
  • Her reason for hiking the Superior Hiking Trail 
  • The Great Western Loop - is a 6,875-mile footpath that links together five existing long-distance trails — including the Pacific Crest Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Grand Enchantment Trail, and Arizona Trail — and a trail-less segment through the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts. 
  • Hiking until her body tells her body it’s time to stop
  • How her disability effects her hiking and how she adapts her hiking to suit her
  • Needing to keep her base weight at 10lbs /4.5kg and having to forgo luxury items (apart from her tent!)
  • Structuring her day while hiking 
  • Listening to podcasts and music while being on the trail
  • Listening to true crime while being out in nature
  • The music to power her up the hills - Eminem - fight song
  • Being inspired by Harriet Tubman
  • Learning about adventure therapy and going on to study it at Prescott College 
  • Sharing more about restorative narratives
  • The power in the stories we tell ourselves 
  • Plans for 2023
  • How Crystal Gail afford to backpack
  • Writing a book of poetry when she was first diagnosed with a rare brain disease
  • Being published in an anthology “Crossing Paths”
  • How to connect with Crystal Gail (see links below)
Social Media
Instagram: @footprintsforchange 
Facebook: @crystalgailwelcome 
Twitter: @awesomewelcome 
TikTok: @footprintsforchange
Oct 11, 2022
Jennifer Strong McConachie is a life-long outdoor adventure athlete.
She has traveled the globe, raced an ultramarathon on five of the seven continents, swam the Hellespont from Europe to Asia, escaped Alcatraz, climbed several of the Seven Summits, and conquered an American epic by running across the Grand Canyon and then back again.
For more than 30 years, Jennifer has competed in running, swimming, triathloning, and adventure racing as part of her global endurance sporting lifestyle. She also trains for various kinds of paddling sports and mountain ascents around the world.
When not tackling tough adventures, Jennifer is an award-winning marketing executive based in the US, with more than 15 years of experience working with local, regional, national, and global firms. 
Jennifer most recently became a Fellow in the Royal Geographical Society after writing her first book, Go Far: How Endurance Sports Help You Win At Life. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show Notes
  • Who is Jennifer
  • Being able to do all kinds of endurance sports 
  • Running at a young age 
  • Getting into mountaineering, climbing, and wild swimming 
  • Putting all of her endurance sports experience into her book: Go Far: How Endurance Sports Help You Win At Life
  • Getting into new adventures with kids
  • Dedication to endurance challenges and writing a book
  • Growing up in a sporty, outdoorsy family 
  • Having fun as a child triathlete in the 90s 
  • Being on a rowing team back in college 
  • Getting into ultra running and marathons in her 20s 
  • Travelling the world with her family
  • Choosing her own unique life path
  • Having a female role model
  • Going on adventures with her dad 
  • What does adventure mean to Jennifer
  • Her secret to exploring the adventure mindset 
  • Making the most of what you have to be the best you can be 
  • Reading books about places and feeling energized 
  • Magical moments from her adventures and challenges 
  • Motherhood and how her adventure has changed over the years 
  • Creating physical and mental space for her recovery 
  • Having her team as her recovery tools 
  • Getting into more details about therapy and recovery 
  • Running the length of the Grand Canyon and back
  • What inspired Jennifer to write the book
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram: @jenstrongmccon 
Facebook Author Page: @JenniferStrongMcConachieAuthorPage 
Twitter: @jenstrongmccon 
Oct 4, 2022
Julie Bradley was born with adventure genes and shares her passions in her books “Escape from the Ordinary” and “Crossing Pirate Waters”. Both are true stories about an 8 year adventure of sailing around the world with her husband, Glen. 
After twenty years in the Army as a Military Intelligence Officer she traded her uniform and worldly possessions to pursue the dream that had inspired her to keep going through the long separations of military deployments. 
During those years her stack of Cruising World, Sail and Latitude 38 magazines grew to hoarder proportions until the big purge of all belongings to buy their new home: a French built Amel blue-water sailboat.
Julie shares more about her passion for adventure and sailing and what it was like selling everything she owned to sail around the world.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
*Content Warning - during this episode - addiction to alcohol is talked about. 
Show Notes
  • Julie in her own words
  • Living out on the water with her husband 
  • Joining the army after high school 
  • Getting hooked on an adventure 
  • Julie's decision to leave the army after 20 years 
  • Sailing around the world with her husband for eight years
  • Not worrying about the money 
  • Julie and her husband's background in sailing 
  • Delivering a friend's boat
  • Being a company commander and sailing at the same time 
  • Selling everything and buying a sailboat 
  • Sailing in the South Pacific 
  • What it was like to sail through the storm 
  • How did they spend their days on the boat
  • Writing her books Escape from the Ordinary (Escape Series Book 1)  and Crossing Pirate Waters (Escape Series Book 2)
  • How she lost control of her addiction to alcohol
  • Keeping a close relationship with her husband 
  • Deciding to stop sailing 
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Facebook: @julie.bradley.798 
Twitter: @redjuliebradley 
Books: Escape from the Ordinary (Escape Series Book 1)
Meet Glen and Julie, sailors who follow their dream and discover that reality can be even bigger than imagined. From Force 10 storms in the North Atlantic to the crystal blue waters and native dancers of French Polynesia, Escape from the Ordinary (book 1 of the Escape Series) opens a window to adventures in extraordinary places not found in travel brochures.
Told with keen observations and sparkling with wry humor, Julie describes the terrors and pleasures of living a life of total independence on a sailboat where even simple decisions can have big consequences.  This exhilarating, true story will thrill those planning to sail off into the sunset as well as armchair adventurers. Escape from the Ordinary reminds you of the unlimited possibilities in life and offers inspiration to go “all in” on your own dreams.
Crossing Pirate Waters (Escape Series Book 2)
You don’t have to know a spinnaker from a mainsail to enjoy this adventure book. Join Glen and Julie as they continue around the world through less traveled, dangerous areas on the far side of the world.
Turmoil in the Mideast convinces Glen and Julie to linger in the South Pacific visiting primitive villages on remote islands. But hang on tight, because to finish their voyage they must leave friendly shores and navigate through trouble in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea before arriving in Europe.
Full of dry wit and compelling descriptions, Julie takes the reader along for the ride of a lifetime in this sequel (book 2 of the Escape Series) to her previous bestseller, Escape from the Ordinary.
Sep 27, 2022
Molly Huddle is an American long-distance runner who competes in track and cross country running events. 
Molly has won 28 USA titles, held six American records, looked down the start line of two Olympic finals and four major marathons. 
Molly set the American record in the 5000 m at the 2014 Herculis Diamond League meet in Fontvieille, Monaco (14:42.64). She also set the American record in the 10,000 m at the 2016 Olympics, with a time of 30:13.17. Molly lives and trains in Providence, Rhode Island.
Molly has recently co-authored “How She Did It”, with college coach Sara Slattery.The book is the ultimate roadmap for female distance runners—featuring 50 candid interviews with women who’ve made it
The book begins with key information from the professionals who help make athletic excellence possible: trainers, physicians, nutritionists, and sports psychologists. Then, you’ll hear the first-person accounts of fifty women who’ve done it themselves. From the pioneers who fought tirelessly for women’s inclusion in the sport to the names splashed across headlines today, featured athletes include: 
Joan Benoit Samuelson • Patti Catalano Dillon • Madeline Manning Mims • Paula Radcliffe • Deena Kastor • Brenda Martinez • Shalane Flanagan • Emma Coburn • Raevyn Rogers • Molly Seidel • and more
With Molly and Sara guiding the way, these athletes share their empowering stories, biggest regrets, funniest moments, and hard-won advice. 
Collectively, these voices are the embodiment of strength, meant to educate, inspire, and motivate you to see how far—and how fast—you can go.
Learn more about the book and Molly on the Tough Girl Podcast. 
New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
You ca support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit
Show notes
  • Who is Molly
  • Her job as a professional distance runner
  • Having her first baby and entering her 3rd trimester 
  • Running while pregnant
  • Reducing her average weekly miles down from 90 miles to 40 miles.
  • Learning more about her childhood and her younger years
  • Her journey into running
  • Not thinking about becoming a professional athlete
  • Her senior year of high school and wanting to qualify for the National Cross Country Championships
  • Quitting basketball and focusing on running all year
  • Setting a new national record in high school for the 2 mile distance
  • Running with professional runners
  • Dealing with big failures and figuring out how to bounce back
  • Tools and strategies for mindset
  • The power of writing down goals and journaling
  • Having a mantra and using powerful words - STRONG
  • Loving the 5k distance and finding it fun
  • Running the London Marathon in 2019 and getting a Personal Best
  • Wanting to run a sub 2.25 marathon
  • Figuring out her race strategy for a marathon
  • Having faith in how you are feeling and going with your own plan
  • Releasing her new book: How she dit it - A high performance guide for female distance runners with stories of women who’ve made it. By Sara Slattery and Molly Huddle.
  • Wanting to write a resource for young female runners
  • Writing the book and speaking to 50 women about their running experiences
  • Speaking with Dr. Stacy Sims (Author of ROAR) and working with the female body 
  • The new developments with maternity cover for professional athletes since The Dream Maternity Campaign organised by Alysia Montaño 
  • The NY Times Article - Nike Told Me to Dream Crazy, Until I Wanted a Baby - Alysia Montaño 
  • Contracts and being away from the track and the impact on the financials
  • The running woman emoji 
  • Creating the Keeping Track Podcast
  • Wanting to share athletes stories who don’t get exposure via the main stream media
  • Particular highlights from the podcast - Racing for Representation
  • Reflecting back on finishing her first marathon in 2016 
  • Advice for women who want to get into running
  • How to connect and follow along with Molly
  • Final words of advice for women who have lost their running mojo
Social Media
Personal Instagram @mollyhuddle 
Keeping Track Podcast - A podcast built to elevate. Inspiring athletes & figures in sports, lesser known stories, & complex topics of Women’s sports ALL IN ONE PLACE!
Podcast: Instagram @keeptrackmedia 
Book: How she dit it - A high performance guide for female distance runners with stories of women who’ve made it. By Sara Slattery and Molly Huddle.
A book of interviews with elite female distance runners on what they’ve learned along the way & words from experts in the endurance sports world. 
Instagram: @howshediditbook
Sep 20, 2022
Anyika 37, is a retired British sprint track and field athlete who competed in the 100 metres200 metres and 400 metres, and also the 4×100 metres relay and 4x400 metres relay.
Anyika is one of the few GB athletes of the past 20 years to achieve a full set of major medals.She has won medals at the Olympic Games, the world championships, Commonwealth Games and European championships.
Anyika has published a book about her life called - My Hidden Race.  
My Hidden Race is the story of Olympic medallist Anyika Onuora, who stood on the podium at every major championship in athletics.
This book won't go into detail about the technicalities of her sport or the beauty of the Olympic spirit however.
In the era of the Black Lives Matter and Me Too, this is an unflinching testimony of what it takes to pursue your dreams as a Black British woman against all odds.
This three-time Olympian will lift the lid on the reality of life as a black female athlete in Britain in a way that nobody else has done before her.
Nothing is off the record. She is revealing her life for the first time in this book with complete fearlessness.
There have been far too many years of silence caught in a system. Now Anyika is determined to make up for lost time and use her story to inspire and heal others.
My Hidden Race will take you into a world that often takes place far from the spotlight of the Olympic torch and shines an intense light on the brutal reality of professional sport for many black females.”
Listen to Anyika on the Tough Girl Podcast, new episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Anyika and what she’s achieved
  • Working as a consultant and sharing more about her new book
  • Living between Liverpool and London
  • Her childhood and early years
  • Growing up in a sporty, competitive family 
  • Being inspired by her older brother 
  • Realising that she was good at running
  • Her dreams and ambitions as a little girl
  • The dream of becoming a professional athlete
  • Being shy and ambitious 
  • How you progress to the professional level in athletics 
  • Getting a degree while also competing as a full time athlete
  • Any regrets over missing out 
  • Working hard for everything she has
  • Getting to the senior level and being consistent in performance
  • Competing at her first senior championships in Melbourne, Australia
  • Learning from her peers 
  • The lessons learned from failure 
  • Mental health and support and how it’s changed over the past 17/20 years
  • The lack of support to help with changes and transitions 
  • Feeling disposable as an athlete 
  • The pressure to perform and to be consistent
  • How expectations can weigh you down
  • Blocking out the pressure and working with a psychologist 
  • Smiling and laughing to release the pressure 
  • Getting into flow and what it’s like
  • The struggles 10 months before the Olympic games in Rio
  • Contracting malaria and ending up in hospital
  • Getting back to full fitness and getting ready for the Olympics
  • Focusing on getting the job done
  • What it was like winning a Bronze Medal in the 4x400m 
  • Fitness and sport now
  • Making the transition to the next stage of her career
  • Figuring out what’s next 
  • Getting qualified in Corporate Governance 
  • Role models and the women who have inspired Anyika
  • Advice for women and girls who want to get into running
  • Figuring out your why
  • Remembering to have fun
  • Looking after her Olympic Medal
  • The shrine!
  • Book: My Hidden Race
Social Media
Instagram @anyika
Twitter @annyonuora 
Book: My Hidden Race 
Sep 13, 2022
Siobhan is 62 years old. She retired from the BBC two years ago, after 30 years working as a Reporter, Presenter and Producer in News. During that time she juggled being a single mother with working full-time. When she was nearly fifty and her daughter went off to university, she took a gap year from work and backpacked solo around the world. It was then she hatched a plan to one day travel around in a motorhome when she retired.
By her mid-fifties she felt burnt out after dealing with symptoms of the menopause, ageism and bullying. She realised she needed to find her escape plan.
So it was in 2019, aged sixty, she bought a motorhome and embarked on her solo trip around Great Britain, to champion positive ageing and to challenge ageism and ageist stereotypes of what society thinks a retired woman does. She wants to change narratives around ageing from ANTI-AGEING to POSITIVE-AGEING. She has faced her fears and weathered severe storms and a pandemic along the way but she feels the highs and lows are all worth it. 
She hopes her experiences inspire women, both young and old, to embrace ageing.
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. 
Show notes
  • Who is Siobhan
  • Learning more about her background
  • Buying her motorhome and travelling Great Britain 
  • Her goal to promote positive ageing
  • Having a hysterectomy at 40 
  • Taking a gap year from the BBC and going solo backpacking around the world
  • Feeling ageless and alive
  • Wanting to retire and go travelling 
  • Planning her gap year with Trailfinders 
  • Going with the flow and meeting incredible people
  • Fears and concerns before the adventure
  • Magical moments which bring joy
  • Dealing with change
  • Facing each challenge and breaking it down into little bits
  • Running marathons in her 50s
  • Not being a planner - “My plan is to have no plan, to go with the flow and see where life takes me”
  • Losing family members and going through the menopause
  • Struggling with life 
  • Out of adversity comes opportunity
  • Being a stubborn Yorkshire lass
  • Finding a way to do things
  • Fitness and exercise and how it’s evolved over her life
  • Training for her first marathon and her feelings after crossing the finish line
  • Top tips and advice for new runners who want to take on a marathon
  • Why you are never too old for adventure 
  • What pro ageing looks like 
  • Changing the negative narrative
  • Retirement rebellion and why its a chance to have more adventures 
  • Working on a farm for 5 weeks in Dorset
  • Feeling liberated after selling everything
  • Confidence around driving the motorhome
  • Enjoying her own company
  • Sharing her life online and blogging 
  • Writing a book?! And signing up with a literary agent
  • Living her life by 4 values
  • Talking about bravery
  • Being an anti-agism campaigner
  • Being true to yourself and age as positively as you can 
  • Why you should enjoy and embrace ageing 
  • Plans for 2022
  • Taking the motorhome over to Europe
  • How to connect and follow Siobhan
  • Final words of advice for other women
  • What do you want to do? What would make you happy? 
  • You will work out a way to have your adventure 
Social Media
Instagram: @shuvonshuvoff 
Twitter: @siobhandaniels 
Sep 6, 2022
Abby in her own words:
“I used to be a competitive ultra-runner. I competed in 100-mile mountain races and was pretty decent at it. In 2013 I competed and won (female division) the Grand Slam of Ultra-Running. This is 4 x 100 mile races in a 10 week span.
But too much endurance + too little calories and carbs= Burnout. Anyone that doesn’t believe burnout or adrenal issues are real is a liar. It’s real and it’s debilitating to your body and mind.
I was forced to stop running and I eventually found weight-lifting. I tried my best at CrossFit but really gravitated towards heavy lifting and fell in love with Powerlifting. 
I worked with a Nutrition Coach and spent years reverse dieting to support my body and goals and un-do all the years of damage I did as an endurance athlete. My sole purpose was to lift as much as I possibly could in a weight class sport and I was pretty decent at it. In 2018 I competed in PowerLifting Nationals. At 138 pounds my best squat was 290 pounds, bench 190 pounds, and deadlift 325 pounds.
I ended up hurting my back while lifting in 2019. I eventually decided to walk away from all competitive sports and focus on living a normal life with food and fitness balance.
These days my goals include lifting weights to support health and hormones. I want to be fit and strong enough to keep up with Molly-dog and continue hiking some beautiful miles in the Colorado mountains. I enjoy eating all foods and consume over 2300 calories. I strength train for ~ 1 hour x 4-5 days per week. I walk 2.5-3.5 miles every-day with Miss Molly.
I am happier and confident with my body now than any time before. You don’t need to be extreme or restrict yourself to get results. I follow an all-foods fit approach. As a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach my mission now is to prevent other athletes from making the same mistakes I made. 
My purpose in life is to serve others (women) and help them fuel their bodies, improve their relationship with food + fitness, and body image.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode. 
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Show notes
  • Who is Abby
  • Living in Denver, Colorado
  • Working as a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach
  • What her early years were like
  • Being 1 of 4 girls
  • Being inspired by her older sister and getting involved in running from a young age
  • Running in college and being a mid range mid pack person
  • Post college getting into longer distances and finding her calling
  • Loving the people in the running community
  • Getting into the longer distances 
  • Running her first trail ultra and building a solid foundation
  • Enjoying the mental side of the physical challenge
  • Why 2013 was her break through year 
  • Putting in the hard work everyday
  • Entering the grand slam of ultra running 4x100 mile races and winning (2013)! (the Western States 100 in California, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run in Vermont, the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado, and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run in Utah.
  • Post season - and trying to recover
  • Struggling with insomnia, fatigue, blood sugar levels, being anaemic, and not having a menstrual cycle for 3 years
  • Trying to run through the symptoms 
  • Getting support and starting to help herself recover
  • Adrenal Fatigue - HPA Access Disfunction
  • Why Abby started strength training 
  • Having the goal to be as strong as possible
  • Running following a low carb diet - and following keto
  • Dr Stacey Simms - ROAR 
  • Why low carb isn’t the best for women
  • Needing to step away from competitive sports
  • Having more balance in her life with regards to food and fitness
  • Starting her own business
  • Having balance in her life?!
  • What a typical week of training looks like
  • Loving and appreciating rest days
  • Her philosophy with food now - all foods fit
  • How to connect with Abby
  • Final words of advice
  • Figure out why you are making changes
Social Media
Instagram: @abbymcpabby 
Facebook: @AbbyMcQueeneyPenamonte 
Aug 30, 2022
About Sabrina
Sabrina Pace-Humphreys is a 44-year-old mother of 4 and grandmother of 3, an award-winning businesswoman, an ultrarunner, a social justice activist and a recovering alcoholic.

She is a mixed-raced woman, the daughter of a white Scottish Roman Catholic woman and a Black man. 
In July 2020 she co-founded the fast-growing community and campaigning charity, Black Trail Runners, and is also a well-known ultra-marathon runner. She finished the 'toughest footrace on earth', a 250km multi-stage marathon across the Sahara Desert known as the Marathon des Sables, as 10th UK woman and most recently she completed the Spine Race, a non-stop 268 miles race down the Pennine Way. 
Sabrina is the author of Black Sheep: A Story of Rural Racism, Identity and Hope

“In Black Sheep, Sabrina reveals how she got from there to here: about growing up in a home, a school and a town where no-one looked like her and her subsequent struggle to understand and find her identity; about her lived experience of rural racism; about becoming a teenage mother and her determination to break that stereotype; about her battle with alcoholism and her mental health; about how running saved her life; and ultimately about how someone can not only survive but thrive in spite of their past.

Sabrina's experience will chime with anyone who has felt like an outsider. Poignant and eye-opening, and exploring themes of trauma, identity, mental health and addiction, Black Sheep is a tale of triumph: of grit and determination, of hope over despair.”
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Show Notes
  • Who is Sabrina
  • Previously chatting on the TGP - July 7th 2020
  • What was happening in late 2020
  • Launching Black Trail Runners (BTR) in July 2020
  • Black Trail Runners - writing an open letter to race organisers 
  • Taking about the issues and the lack of diversity in trail runners
  • Moving house, welcoming a new grandchild, running the Ramsey Round
  • Doing the 3 peaks challenge and seeing me at the top of Ben Nevis (Watch the vlog)
  • Building the community of Black Trail Runners and the impact 
  • Having the uncomfortable conversations
  • Collecting ethnicity data
  • Having a BTR race fund 
  • Taking real action and breaking down the barriers
  • Running the 4.5% challenge in 2021
  • Working with youth groups
  • Coping with the mental and emotional pressure
  • Running and mental health
  • Running as a form at activism
  • Understanding her why of running the Spine Race
  • The Spine Race 
  • Working with her running coach Damien Hall
  • Figuring out her race strategy and how her race goals changed over time
  • Focusing on the “B” goal - completing the race
  • Focusing on 10k stretches and reaching certain views 
  • Keeping in the moment and not thinking about the full distance
  • Struggling with sleep deprivation and figuring out a new sleep strategy
  • The power of sleep and needing 30 mins of sleep at every checkpoint
  • Dealing with food pain and having to implement a pain management strategy
  • Training for the Spine Race and what a typical week looked life
  • Doing more back to back training runs and weighted runs
  • Winning her first ultra marathon! 
  • Kissing a wall
  • The lessons learned from running the Spine Race
  • “You can do hard things - you can do this”
  • Being on the June cover of Women’s Running UK 
  • Book: Black Sheep: A Story of Rural Racism, Identity and Hope.
  • Black to the trails - 11th September 2022 - The FIRST trail running event designed, directed and run by Black Trail Runners for Black people, people of colour, and White allies who want to do their bit to diversify the UK trail running scene. 
  • The vision board and hopes for the future
  • Wanting to participate in the UTMB Race
  • Wanting to write a second book about running
Social Media
Instagram: @sabrunsmiles
Twitter: @sabrunsmiles
Black Trail Runners - A community and campaigning charity seeking to increase inclusion, participation and representation of Black people in trail running.
Community and campaigning charity. Registered in England and Wales, No. 1194094.
Black Trail Runners: 
Black to the Trails: 
Twitter: @RunnersBlack 
The Check Point Podcast 
A podcast hosted by Black Trail Runners which discusses access to, skills for and representation of Black people who want to experience, or are experienced in, trail running. Featuring tips, tricks, events, guest interviews and much more.
Aug 23, 2022
Sophie has spent the past 2 years trying to raise awareness of open water swimmers with disabilities in the hope that more people will become inclusive and accepting to people of all abilities. 
She has also spent the past year building a community of athletes with disabilities through her ADOWS Facebook group which now has over 600 people in it. 
Members include those with all sorts of disabilities from people with invisible conditions such as Fibromyalgia and brain injuries to those with visual impairments and amputees. There are also coaches, event organisers and carers in the group so that they can learn the best way to support and include those with disabilities within their work. 
Since starting the group Sophie has worked with The Henley Swim Company and The British Long Distance Swimming Association to help them improve accessibility at their events.
Sophie grew up in Hastings and was an active, fully able-bodied swimmer but in 2011 she was involved in a cycling accident, which resulted in a long diagnostic process before finally being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome; one of the most painful conditions in the world in late 2012. 

Suddenly finding herself struggling to walk and in constant pain was tough. She struggled with being constantly exhausted and to put the cherry on the top; due to hypersensitivity she was unable to wear trousers or leave the house if it was windy because it was too painful for her.
Triathlete to wheelchair user in under a year.
It took several years of struggling with different medications, physiotherapy appointments, hospital stays and falling into a deep depression before she was sent onto a pain management programme. The course was intensive for 3 weeks but in total lasted a year and it was as a result of this course that Sophie rediscovered her love of the water. 
It wasn’t an easy journey back into the water because anything on her legs hurt – including water! 
It was about 6 months before she could get in the local leisure centre pool and start swimming again but as soon as she did she knew it was where she was meant to be.
Since then (2016) she has gone on to not only get back into open water swimming but has taken on some huge swims including The Great East Swim 1 mile (2016) and 5km (2019), The Thames Marathon Swim (2018), 10km in lake Tallyn in Wales (2019), the Swim England Open Water National Championships (2019) and finally, in September 2021 Two Way Windermere, which she completed in 16 hours and 41 minutes!
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Sophie
  • Growing up in Hastings
  • How she got into swimming
  • Doing her first 5k at the age of 11
  • Being disqualified from her first swimming gala
  • Playing music in an orchestra
  • Wanting to be a sports physiotherapist
  • Choosing between music and sports or physical education
  • Being diagnosed with epilepsy as a child
  • Playing clarinet and piano as her way to relax
  • Studying music at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge
  • Going to university and swimming at the same time
  • Joining a local triathlon club
  • Before and after the accident
  • Being diagnosed with Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Being on her own while in the middle of her degree
  • From being active to absolutely nothing
  • Feeling all her plans are out of reach
  • Being away from her family
  • Experiencing bullying at university
  • Feeling lost for about five years
  • Being put on a pain management program at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge
  • Getting back into the water and tolerating the pain
  • Falling in love with swimming again
  • Wanting to be a swimming coach again
  • Getting her level two open water coaching qualification
  • Getting help from Straight Line Swimming run by Keri-anne Payne
  • Feeling herself again after 8 years
  • Campaigning for disabled swimmers
  • Creating the community Adaptive/Disabled Open Water Swimmers (ADOWS)
  • Magical moments for her when it comes to swimming
  • Making so many new friends through swimming
  • Doing the Aberdovey Swim in 2019
  • Her plans to do the Two-Way Windermere (2WW) in 2020
  • Using Windermere swim to raise awareness and fundraise for a disability sports charity The Arctic One
  • Having surgery before her two-way swim
  • Pushing through the challenge
  • Her whole experience while doing the Windermere swim
  • Her top tips and advice
Social Media
Instagram @sophie_adaptive_athlete 
Facebook @SEasaptiveathlete 
ADOWS (Adaptive/Disabled Open Water Swimmers) Facebook group 
Aug 16, 2022
Meaghan is a Canadian writer and ultra-endurance cyclist whose two-wheeled adventures have taken her from Haida Gwaii to Mexico’s high plateaus, across Canada and the United States, and from North Cape to Tarifa along some of Europe’s highest paved roads. 
She is a Trans Am Bike Race, NorthCape4000, and Paris-Brest-Paris brevet finisher, as well as the 2019 24-Hour World Time Trial Champion and current course record holder in the women’s division. 
In 2021, Meaghan took the overall win in the 2021 BC Epic 1000 and landed on the podium of the Alberta-Rockies 700. 
Her debut travel memoir, "South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels" (NeWest Press, 2019) was shortlisted for a two Canadian book awards. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media visit Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Meaghan
  • Living in British Colombia, Canada
  • Being on a journey of self discovery
  • Her love of sports and competing 
  • Being into sports from a young age
  • Her love of full contact sports 
  • Discovering more solo sports and getting into long distance cycling
  • Structuring her life around the things that she loves
  • The women who have inspired Meaghan
  • Being inspired by Lael Wilcox 
  • Taking on the Trans Am Bike Race across America 2017 
  • Having the courage to sign up for the race
  • Training and getting strong for spending long days on the bike
  • Getting her first Bivvy bag
  • Getting prepared for the race
  • Mental resilience and mental grit and the new lessons that have been learned
  • Having fears and insecurities and being worried about the race
  • Why showing up to the start line is a massive win
  • Taking the pressure off and focusing on the fun
  • Book: How bad do you want it?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle By Matt Fitzgerald 
  • Building up her own toolkit of resilience tips and tricks
  • Dealing with sleep deprivation
  • The balance between suffering and having fun
  • How her training has evolved over the years
  • Investing in an indoor smart trainer (Wahoo Kickr)
  • Focusing on short intense indoor rides and long rides outside
  • How many bikes?!
  • Rest and recovery and injury prevention 
  • Getting into a good routine
  • North Cape 4000 Race 
  • Setting goals and having a race strategy around sleeping for 4hrs each night
  • Food and nutrition while on the bike
  • Advice for women who want to sign up for a new challenge
  • Having people around you who support you
  • Magical moments and feelings of joy while cycling
  • Connect with Meaghan 
  • Writing her book: South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels
  • Plans for 2022
  • Her aim of being - consistently consistent 
Social Media
Instagram @meaghanhackinen 
Facebook @meaghanhackinen 
Book: South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels 
*Shortlisted for the Sixth Annual Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize - Nonfiction Category & Shortlisted for Best Trade Non-Fiction at the 2020 Book Publishing Awards!
Aug 9, 2022
Tayo is The Five to Nine Traveller who believes life is more than your 9 to 5. As an adventuring enthusiast she is always on the hunt for adventure both local & global and loves to share her stories to inspire the same in you! 
She truly believes adventure is what you make it so you can find her hiking up some mountain or discovering the latest immersive cultural experience in the city.
Tayo in her own words:
My name is Tayo and I am just a regular gal with a job (oh the inconvenience) who exhibits off the scale delight when she travels and explores!  I love travelling as it appeals to my inner childhood of being an explorer and finding something new in my surroundings, be it in the city I live or a new destination.  As a child I was an avid reader of The Famous Five by Enid Blyton who were always on adventures and I was always exploring around the estate where I grew up.  
Travelling for me is a collection of interactions, memories and personal development, and tells me more about the world I live in.  Some of my most vivid memories from travelling are moments I reflect on and smile, like seeing the gorgeous sunsets over Oxford city to meeting Frank in Cuba who kindly gave me a hat made of local leaves (which I still have to this day and use for fancy dress!)
Blogging is my outlet to share my eclectic narratives and photos of the beautiful world I get to see, packed full of adventure!  The main thing  though is that I hope it inspires you to go out there and have an adventure even with your 9 to 5!
Not all travels have to be in far flung exotic places
(although that is fun too!)
And who says who have to jack it all in to travel?
That’s what makes me The 5 to 9 Traveller!
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. By visiting .Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Tayo
  • Working as a pharmacist 
  • Growing up in Newcastle
  • Her early years
  • Being connected to her Nigerian heritage 
  • Learning more about her family history 
  • Being a curious child
  • Heading back to visit Nigeria 
  • Not taking a gap year after school
  • Deciding to start her blog at the end of 2015
  • Being inspired by Travel Noire
  • Not really knowing what blogs were
  • Not telling anyone about her blog
  • Using her blog as a creative outlet
  • What adventure means to Tayo 
  • Being willing to have her mind opened to the new around her
  • Deciding on where to go travelling 
  • Spending time in South Africa and Brazil
  • Having a wanderlist
  • Traveling solo and travelling with other people
  • Doing a summer placement in America
  • 2019 spending time in South America
  • Making the decision to go travelling 
  • Telling her parents about her trip
  • Making sure she had a reason to come back
  • Wanting to learn Spanish 
  • Need to get the balance between adventure and routine
  • Making changes to hair
  • Travelling on buses in South America
  • Visiting Machu Picchu 
  • Dealing with Covid 
  • Loving travelling and loving to learn 
  • How to connect with Tayo
  • Final words of advice 
  • Making time for travel
  • The joy of starting off small and staying local.
Social Media
Instagram: @the5to9traveller 
Twitter: @5to9traveller 
Facebook: The Five to Nine Traveller 
Aug 4, 2022
During this episode, I reflect back on the final 6 months of 2021 and the beginning of 2022.
I really enjoy doing the solo reflection episodes as it is an opportunity to look back on what's been achieved and where we currently are at the moment with regards to the Tough Girl Podcast, what I'm doing personally and where I expect to see the business go over the following 6 to 12 months. 
It also gives me an opportunity to answer any questions that patrons or members of the Tough Girl Tribe have.
During this episode I talk more about the Wales Coast Path and go into detail about money. How I afford to travel and go on adventures.
I also share more about my future plans which will be taking place in 2022 and what I hope will happen in 2023 
I hope you enjoy this episode. New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show notes
  • Welcome to the episode
  • What this episode is about
  • Where I am at the moment
  • What you can expect
  • Why I do these episodes 
  • Bringing you on the journey with me
  • Being committed to the journey
  • What’s been going on
  • Stats from the Tough Girl Podcast - Aug 2021
  • October 2021 - 28,000 downloads
  • What am I doing wrong, how can I improve
  • 2021 - Average of 45k - 50k per month
  • January 2022 - 90,753 downloads in 1 month
  • 2022 - Average of 77K per month
  • Hitting 2 million downloads 2nd Feb 2022
  • Working with Playstation and Glamour Magazine
  • What happened in March 2022 - Inov-8 and the March Daily Mile challenge, Sky Sports - International Women’s Day
  • New challenge with cicerone - Wales Coast Path in 2022 in 50 days
  • Having a structure and having a plan 
  • What happened in Aug 2021 - December 2021
  • Reflecting back on the Tough Girl UK Adventure Series 
  • Celebrating my 40th Birthday and visiting the tough girl mural in Liverpool
  • Special Birthday episode with Zoe Langley Wathern - Why so many women are scared to adventure and recognising our female role models with Sarah Williams  
  • Doing the Great Glen Way in a day - 77 miles in 2 days
  • 40 miles to celebrate my 40th - Youtube vlog - 
  • Figuring out how to edit my adventures vlogs and working with a new editor
  • Finding an editor - splitting the Tough Girl Youtube Revenue Split
  • Working with Sharon in New Zealand - @freewheelingkiwi 
  • Working with Georgia in Scotland @georgia.mercedes and Katy from the UK @tinytealtrekker
  • Wanting to walk the PCT and vlog it at the same time. Trying to figuring out how to do it….
  • Oct/Nov/Dec 2021 - Recording and editing podcasts 
  • Christmas 2021 and getting covid.
  • March 2022 - Sports Podcasts Awards - Winner Best Urban and Adventure Podcast 2022 - winner by public vote
  • Outdoor Expo in Birmingham - highly recommend
  • Walking with Arry Berresford Webb on the first day of the Wales Coast Path - starting in Chester
  • Where are the public toilet in Chester?!
  • Question from Dan re the Wales Coast Path
  • Climbing Aconcagua January 2013
  • The Altitude Centre London - Mountaineering Consultation
  • What do I want to do for the next 6 months - not having any plans 
  • Not having a plan and feeling unsettled
  • Dealing with uncertainty and focusing on fitness
  • Having a nephew in November - spending 3/4 months in Australia
  • Working with Inov-8 in 2023 #MarchDailyMile Challenge 
  • Doing an adventure with Adelaide Goodeve - helping to celebrate her 30th Birthday
  • The Outer Hebrides - 156 miles - vlogging the challenge
  • Doing an adventure with Gemma for 2 weeks in October
  • What does the next few months look like….
  • PCT - SOBO July - November 2023
  • Talking about money - Question from Franny
  • Having a safety net and being privileged
  • Financial worries….
  • Not making money 
  • Starting on Patreon in 2017
  • Not spending money at home
  • Costs of adventures and how I pay for them
  • “Feeling trapped”
  • What do you want your life to look like
  • Journal and ask yourself the simple questions
  • What can I be grateful for?
  • What are the little changes you can make
  • Focus on what you can control
  • Updates from the last episode - DProf, Women’s Adventure Institute, Yin Yoga Qualification
  • Project 7 - soft launch 7th August 2022
  • Any questions please do reach out or DM me on Instagram
  • THANK YOU for all your support
  • 1,000 episodes and 3 million downloads in 2023
  • Driving change and wanting to make a difference
Social Media
Instagram @toughgirlchallenges
Twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
Take a listen to the previous solo reflections episodes 
4th Aug 2021 - Sarah Williams - Reflects on the end of 2020 and the start of 2021
7th Aug 2020 - Sarah Williams - Reflections on 2019 & and the start of 2020. 
4th Aug 2019 - Reflections on 2018 and the start of 2019. Plus plans for Tough Girl Challenges. 
30th Dec 2017 - Reflecting on 2017 and the plans for 2018 
30th Dec 2016 - Reflections for 2016 & Plans for 2017
Aug 4, 2022
Abby in her own words:
“Growing up, the outdoors wasn't a place I spent much time, unless you count doing all nighters in the park guzzling Bacardi Breezers and shivering into my Jane Norman parka as a teenager.
It wasn't a place I felt I belonged. I hated exercise and actively avoided it at all costs, so much so, I'd hide in the showers to bunk PE lessons.
During lockdown, my dad gave me his 23 year old mountain bike and I set myself a challenge to cycle the distance from John O' Groats to Lands End around my hometown to keep myself from melting into the sofa.
I LOVED it! I felt strong and alive as I whooshed through the isolated streets. Is this what it felt like to enjoy exercise? Had I finally found 'my sport’? 300 miles in, I discovered an enormous Ovarian Tumour. 
2 weeks later I was having surgery and my virtual cycle adventure was paused.
The tumour turned out to be a rare form of Ovarian Cancer. I was lucky, it hadn’t spread to other organs which meant surgery was all I needed, however, I discovered the dire stats surrounding Ovarian Cancer and feeling lucky to be alive, I wanted to do something to raise awareness and vital funds for the disease.
I decided to cycle John O' Groats to Lands End for real, but this time, I'd make it as fun and spicy as possible. I strapped my gear to the bike and headed for an off road route following GB Divide and Great North Trail. I’d be camping most nights and carrying everything I needed.
I didn’t train, I didn’t even cycle much before I left, I just had blind faith that if I pedalled one foot at a time I’d eventually get there.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Abby in her own words
  • Growing up in a non-sporty family
  • Her teenage years
  • Hating all sports but enjoy skiing
  • Started climbing in Northumberland
  • Climbing and hiking with her ex
  • Spending a month in Grampians National Park
  • Breaking up with her ex and going out on her own
  • Plans to go together to Hampi in India
  • Being uncomfortable going out by herself
  • Driving a camper van to the North Island and South Island for two months
  • Back to working in the events industry
  • Wanting to do more
  • Feeling uncomfortable being seen as a climber
  • Pushing through the fear
  • GB Divide - her first ever bike packing trip
  • Cycling as a kid
  • Deciding to cycle from John o'Groats to Land's End
  • Discovering a big tumour in her ovary
  • Not having any symptoms aside from bloating
  • Finding out about her cancer at the start of COVID
  • Being isolated alone before surgery
  • Fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Action
  • Why is she raising funds for Ovarian Cancer Action
  • Getting support from her mum after her surgery
  • When did she decide to give back
  • Being unable to engage in any activities for six weeks
  • Missing the bike ride around her area
  • Feeling lucky despite going through a traumatic period
  • More details about GB Divide and how she learned about this challenge
  • Taking on the challenge on her father's old mountain bike
  • Borrowing and purchasing necessary equipment
  • Planning the cycle challenge
  • Procrastinating and panicking about being unprepared
  • Getting fit as she goes
  • Driving with her friends from Edinburgh to John O'Groats
  • Getting nervous and figuring out things as she goes
  • Her first night of the challenge
  • Enjoying cycling and feeling proud
  • Staying in Scotland
  • Doing the Cairnwell Pass
  • Being able to do 580 miles on the trail
  • Learned lessons that she can apply to the second half of the challenge
  • Having knee pain
  • Having no knowledge about nutrition
  • Where did @adventure_logistics_queen come from
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Aug 4, 2022

Nirjala, the "Mountain Queen," was born in Kumari Pati in Kathmandu, Nepal. Nirjala is one of two children, with a younger brother who is a keen road biker. Nirjala started out in her late teens as a professional model. For this career, she was required to keep fit, and it was through going to the gym that she got into first bodybuilding and then cycling.

In 2001, some friends suggested she try her luck in a mountain bike race, The Himalayan Mountain Bike Race Series, and she won the National Women's Category. This proved to be her inspiration to leave modelling and pursue a professional career as a cyclist for the Nepal National Team.

Nirjala's rise to fame and to working as a professional athlete for the Nepal National Team was beset by the difficulty that arose from the patriarchy-based society in which she grew up. Although she competed at a national and international level and at a higher level than the majority of Nepalese male riders, she was marginalized by her own national cycling association, which found sponsors and endorsements for her male counterparts. Despite this, she continued and found her own sponsors (like Qoroz Professional Titanium Bikes).

Nirjala's Notable Achievements:

  • First Nepalese Woman to cycle 22 days from Lhasa (Tibet) to Everest Base Camp (North) to Kathmandu (Nepal)
  • First female to Win (2 times) the Highest Altitude, Endurance race in the World, "The Yak Attack"
  • First Nepalese Female to win a cycle race in the UK
  • First Nepalese Cycle Athlete to compete in a UCI World Cup Finals
  • First Nepalese Cycle Athlete to compete in South Asian Games
  • First Nepalese Woman to complete a cycle race of the Annapurna Circuit
  • Recipient of the - "Tamrakar Award Fund" - Ugrachandi Award (Nepal)
  • Participated in the mountain biking competition at the 16th Asian Games in China in November 2010

She is now a keynote speaker and role model for young women in Nepal and all over the world who have grown up in oppressive societies but dream of being recognized for their sports and achievements. The British writer Jane Nobel Knight wrote a book titled "The Inspiring Journeys of Pilgrim Mothers" and included a chapter on Nirjala's struggle and eventual success in her field.

Nirjala is now married to her British husband, Daniel Wright, and has a son, Percy, and a daughter, Aurora. She is also a respected Mandala Artist (3-time Nepal National, Street Mandala Winner) and holds a Masters in Business Studies (MBS).

Nirjala recently completed her 10km swim race on 9th July in 5 hours, organized by MediaCity UK Swim Challenge.

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. Learn more by visiting . Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Nirjala
  • Her passion for sports and fitness
  • Wanting to do more challenging things in her life
  • Her life in Nepal
  • Being sent to a very academic school
  • Her role as a girl in her household
  • Her destiny in life 
  • Trying to make her parents happy
  • Doing all the household chores from a young age
  • Her teenage years and realising that she wanted more from life
  • Getting into physical exercise, starting with yoga and then onto cycling
  • Winning her first mountain bike race
  • Meeting like minded people who enjoyed mountain biking
  • How winning the race changed her life
  • Not having the proper gear 
  • Feeling like somebody
  • Not knowing what she needed to do to get to number 1 in the sport
  • The next step in her journey 
  • Taking part in all the mountain biking races, while studying and working
  • Wanting to know how she compared to other athletes around the world
  • Wanting to compete with the best mountain biking athletes in the world
  • Getting the opportunity to race for 10 days in Northern India in 2009
  • Starting to win the international races
  • The challenges she’s faced, from getting gear to finding sponsorship
  • Racing for no prize money 
  • Funding her life and the financial struggle
  • Racing in the World Cup in France
  • The struggle of having to do everything by herself
  • Facing a very technical route
  • Having children and getting back on to the bike again
  • Moving to the UK 
  • Dealing with the cold lake water
  • Signing up for her first triathlon 
  • Dealing with pre race anxiety
  • The women who have inspired Nirjala
  • If you can dream big you can make it possible
  • Connect with Nirjala on Facebook
Social Media
Aug 4, 2022

Parvinder was doing well until she was 22, when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and ended up needing a wheelchair.

Despite her physical challenges, Parvinder has never let them stop her from pursuing her dreams to travel and to see the world.

At 38, she decided to follow her passions and became a solo traveller. While travelling she has undertaken numerous adventure activities from paragliding in Taiwan, snorkelling in Australia, parasailing and kayaking in Udupi, and zip-lining in Ecuador, South America.

At 52, Parvinder has now explored 59 countries and she’s not planning on stopping anytime soon.

For Parvinder, there are many lovely experiences and stories that she would like to share with the world and if she could inspire even one person, it would make her really happy.

Parvinder in her own words:

“I have been travelling solo for more than a decade using my wheelchair. I have a small budget and aim to use public transport and hostels where ever wheelchair friendly. In 2020 and 2021 I drove my car from Bombay to Delhi and then from Bombay to Kanyakumari.”

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Show Notes

  • Who is Parvinder in her own words
  • Not considering herself old
  • Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 15
  • Going through severe pain
  • Her love for all kinds of sports
  • Having a lot of faith in God
  • Being bedridden for 5 years
  • Taking herbal medicine
  • Getting onto a manual wheelchair
  • How her love for travel started
  • Wanting to travel on a budget
  • Being refused to travel without a companion
  • Life changes after receiving an automated wheelchair as a gift
  • Being on her own and being able to go wherever she wants
  • Going to Hong Kong with a friend
  • Deciding to travel to Bali alone
  • Getting herself a cheap flight and a budgeted hotel
  • Getting help from people wherever she goes
  • Encountered challenges while travelling alone in a wheelchair
  • Having faith and being fearless
  • Learned lessons from her trip to China
  • Magical moments while travelling to 59 countries
  • Travelling by bus and metro and staying in hostels
  • Getting into full detail about her time in China
  • Making travel videos to share and inspire others during lockdown
  • Getting used to highway driving
  • Driving from Mumbai to Delhi
  • Driving around nature and being closer to it
  • 2020 as the best year for her and many people
  • Not earning money from social media
  • Wheelchair-friendly places
  • Advice and tips for people in wheelchairs and solo travellers


Social Media
Instagram @wheelchairandeye 
Facebook @PammuParvinderChawla 
Youtube @wheelchairandeye 
Aug 4, 2022
Rebecca in her own words:
“First and foremost, I’m a mum of 5. However, I’ve always maintained and embraced sport throughout pregnancies and parenting. 
My love of the outdoors and especially running, was instilled in me from an early age having grown up with a very sporty family. Many holiday was spent walking and camping in Scotland
I started running, ballet and horse riding at a very early age. I grew up in a small village in the north and if I wanted to see friends I’d walk, run, ride a bike or pony ! 
It wasn’t really until 2014 that the ultra endurance big kicked in with full effect ! I wanted a new, bigger challenge to raise money for a charity which had helped me during one of my pregnancies. I’d heard about a brutal desert race ( the infamous Marathon Des Sables ) and decided that this would be a great challenge. 
It’s from here that the endurance bug really kicked in. I finished a respectable 10th lady on my first big challenge. What’s better is that I’d found this incredible community of like minded people who loved being outside and running for hours on end ! 
I competed globally racing in Colorado, Himalayas, Spain, France - picking up the occasional podium on my travels. 
Yet, it was the mountains which really set my heart on fire. Racing in the Himalayas, I’d often seen this beautiful mountain called ‘Ama Dablam’. I’d think to myself how wonderful it would be to climb it but I’d been told it was for really accomplished climbers only. 
It is a technical mountain. Unperturbed, I decided ‘why not try?!’ 
A running friend put me in touch with his climbing friend and we worked together last year climbing in Wales - around the lockdown. 
I summited Ama almost a year ago and from there, a love of high altitude mountain climbing was ignited. 
To find myself completing the Everest and Lhotse ‘High Double’ at the beginning of the season and then to summit K2’ was simply a dream!”
Learn more about Rebecca and her love and passion for the outdoors. 
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You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Becks
  • Being adopted and coming from a sporty family 
  • Growing up in North Yorkshire on a farm/small holding
  • Having sport parents
  • Being encouraged to go outside and try new things
  • Spending a lot of time with her dad 
  • Exploring in the Peak District
  • Spending 2 months in Australia at 15
  • Being active through her teenage years
  • Her running journey 
  • Looking for a running challenge in 2014
  • Running the Marathon des Sables (MDS) in 2015 
  • Being told that it was a stupid idea
  • Getting into the ultra running world
  • Making great friends in the community
  • Training by herself 
  • Getting to know ultra runner (and previous Tough Girl Podcast guest - 29th December 2015) - Elisabet Barnes 
  • Continuing to push herself with endurance challenges
  • Running the Everest Trail Race, Nepal (2017)
  • Feeling comfortable in the hills
  • Being inspired by Ama Dablam (6,812 metres (22,349 ft)) and wanting to climb it
  • Reducing her risk of injury, doing cross training, stretching, pilates, and gym work
  • How the body performs during a multi-stage ultra race
  • Nutrition and fuelling
  • Making the transition from endurance running to mountain climbing
  • Working with a high altitude expedition guide - Jon Gupta 
  • Climbing Island Peak and Ama Dablam in Nepal
  • Having the capacity to endure and keep going
  • Going with the flow and wanting to do the things that she enjoys
  • Preferring the quieter mountains
  • Having the adventure blues after the MDS
  • Adjusting back to normal life after expeditions
  • Living in the present and making the most of everyday 
  • How adventures and challenges can evolve
  • Climbing for 3 months in Nepal (Everest, Lhotse (4th highest mountains in the world at 8,516 metres) & K2)
  • Wanting to climb an 8,000 peak mountain and thinking about the “high double”
  • Not summiting Makalu (5th highest mountain in the world at 8,485 metres) and the lessons learned 
  • Struggling on the mountain and not feeling very well
  • Summit night arriving at camp 3 and dealing with too much wind and snow and having to head back down
  • Feeling proud of her achievement and never giving up
  • Why it’s more than just the summit
  • Her children’s thoughts on her climbing
  • Having a birthday on the mountain
  • K2 - “the savage mountain”
  • Being aware of the danger
  • Using oxygen 
  • Being able to move quicker on the mountain and the benefits
  • Feeling grateful in having the opportunity to climb such an incredible mountain
Social Media
Instagram: @becksferry 
Aug 3, 2022
It's always fantastic to speak about my adventures. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Hannah for Cicerone’s podcast.
I am also sharing this episode on my platform as well just in case you haven't had the opportunity to listen to it yet. 
Cicerone’s podcast is called - 'Footnotes' which is a podcast to inspire you about outdoor travel and activities in the UK and across the world. Through conversations with their guidebook authors, team members and other outdoor experts, the podcast offers plenty of inspiration and advice about exploring the outdoors. Whether you're an established long distance-trekker or have just rediscovered a love of walking or cycling, listen in to discover your next outdoor adventure.
I am on episode #49.
“In this episode, Hannah is joined by Sarah Williams of Tough Girl Challenges to talk about her experiences walking the entire Wales Coast Path in only 50 days.
The Wales Coast Path is 1,400km (870 miles) along the length of Wales from Chester to Chepstow, including Anglesey. The route passes through the Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire National Parks and many AONBs and can be linked with the Offa's Dyke Path for a complete circuit of Wales. You can find out more about the Wales Coast Path here.
If you'd like to walk the Wales Coast Path yourself, you can find Paddy Dillon's Cicerone guidebook here, and when you use the code "WALESLIVE25" at the Cicerone checkout, you'll receive 25% off all of our Wales guidebooks.”
Show notes
  • Doing the Wales Coast Path challenge
  • More details about the Wales Coast Path
  • Taking on the challenge in 50 days
  • Difference between fast-packing and walking
  • Being joined by Arry Beresford Webb
  • Walking, wild camping, and keeping stats
  • Talking about paid and gifted accommodation
  • Having stress-filled days
  • Finding people's kindness
  • Walking with Alex Mason
  • More on her wild camping experience
  • Her encounters with cows and dogs
  • Seeing interesting wildlife
  • Walking with Abbie Barnes of Spend More Time In The WILD
  • Challenging weather in Wales
  • Amazing sculptures in England
  • Getting to know more about Wales as a country
  • Walking the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path in 2021
  • Having many places to visit and explore
  • Talking about the guidebook author, Paddy Dillon
  • Speaking with Laura Kennington
  • The Wales Coast Path Guidebook
Social Media - Cicerone #ChallengeWithCicerone
Facebook Group - Cicerone Connect 
Sign up for the Cicerone newsletter to keep up to date with their news, events and guidebooks. 
Aug 2, 2022

An African-American from a family of modest means, Bonnie became an amputee at age five. Against tremendous odds, she used imagination and determination to push past the limitations of disability and win a silver and two bronze medals in downhill skiing in the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. As the first African-American to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in skiing, she has been honoured at the White House during the annual Black History Month Celebration.

More than an Olympic skier, Bonnie's other accomplishments include an honours degree from Harvard, a Rhodes scholarship, multiple awards for her innovations as an IBM sales rep, and a position on the White House National Economic Council. President Obama named her to represent the US in delegations to both the Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver and the Summer Paralympics in Rio.

NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.”  She has also been featured on the Today Show, CNN, and The Montel Williams Show.  In addition, the nation's leading publications, such as the New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Essence, and People Magazine have profiled Bonnie and noted her extraordinary achievements.

Drawing on her unique experience, analyses, and signature brands of resilience and inclusion, Bonnie St. John established Blue Circle Leadership with the mission to equip professionals with research based, rigorously tested, easily actionable tools and techniques that directly improve bottom-line business results.

Now, Bonnie focuses on bringing out the best in others through executive coaching and motivational speaking for corporations and associations, as well as writing books and articles.

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

To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a Patron - Thank you.

Show Notes
  • Who is Bonnie 
  • Some of the challenges Bonnie has faced becoming a ski racer
  • Getting into skiing at a young age
  • Having an amputation when she was 5 years old
  • Learning to ski on one leg
  • Training hard and qualifying for the Paralympics 
  • Competing in the 1984 Winter Paralympics in Austria
  • Dealing with a lack of snow
  • Was it life changing winning medals
  • Being picked as a Rhode Scholar
  • Learning to work with the press
  • Taking a year off from Harvard
  • Going to Oxford University for 4 years 
  • Working for IBM and working for President Clinton at the White House
  • Starting to focus on leadership development
  • Leadership for women
  • Having confidence 
  • Writing with her husband
  • Having to prove herself over and over again
  • Book: Live Your Joy 
  • Smiling through the challenges
  • How have things changed over the past 30 years
  • The rise of Trumpism and the increase in animosity 
  • Self care and making sure to make it at a priority 
  • The downside of socials media 
  • The power of polarising views
  • Trying to be seen and heard
  • Building resilience and embracing success
  • Focusing on micro-resilience
  • Why resilience doesn’t have to be big things
  • The biggest challenge is incorporating it into your life
  • Day to day routine and what that looks like
  • If you were to give a TED Talk…
  • Ted Talk - Be More Resilient with a FIRST AID KIT FOR YOUR ATTITUDE!  
  • Building your own “first aid kit”
  • Making a choice and the silence behind it - Martin Seligman
  • I choose to….
  • The importance of sharing what’s in your “first aid kit”
  • Figuring out what type of support you need in challenging situations
  • From training to failure to - training to growth
  • The power of your words
  • Reframing things - a great side and a good side
  • How you can connect with Bonnie
  • Blue Circle Leadership
  • Final words of wisdom from Bonnie
  • Learning to get up when you fall down
  • Get back into the race
Social Media
Leadership - 
Facebook @bonniestjohn 
Twitter @bonniestjohn 
Listen to the Straight Up Podcast: 
Jul 26, 2022
Tori is perhaps best-known as the first woman and first American to row a boat solo across the Atlantic Ocean, having accomplished the feat in 1999 after 81 days at sea. 
A decade earlier, she became the first woman and first American to ski to the geographic South Pole during a 50-day, 750-mile expedition.
Tori is author of the memoir, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean, which details her life and journey across the Atlantic. 
The book is the basis of a stage musical, called, Row, which made its world premiere at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in the summer of 2021.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show notes
  • Who is Tori
  • Growing up all over the east coast of the United States
  • Spending a lot of time outside as a kid
  • Having an intellectually disabled brother
  • Bullying that she and her brother experienced in the past
  • Going to Smith Collage and playing basketball
  • Meeting Rita Benson who had been at Smith since World War II
  • Learning to row and to ski
  • Skiing to the South Pole a few years later
  • Getting a degree in psychology
  • Working in the National Outdoor Leadership School in Alaska
  • Ending up at Harvard Divinity School
  • More details about her skiing journey
  • Falling in love with travelling in a very remote country
  • Applying for the expedition team to the South Pole at the age of 24
  • The 750-mile journey across Antarctica
  • Psychological challenges she experienced
  • Being the first woman and the first American to reach the Geographic South Pole
  • Having a cassette recorder and cassette tapes
    Solitude as the biggest challenge for them
  • Talking more about Harvard Divinity School
  • Wholeness in seeing nature
  • Changes to her after the challenges and adventures
  • Finishing Divinity School and returning to Louisville, Kentucky,
  • Working with homeless people in Boston
  • Going to law school
  • Working for the mayor of Louisville
  • Training rowing for the Olympic team
  • Being too slow to make the Olympic team
  • Signing up to do the Atlantic rowing race
  • Being asked by a sponsor if she would consider rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Getting into more detail about the sponsorship in 1998
  • Being hit by the hurricane Danielle
  • Hurricanes Dania and Earl
  • Having an overwhelming sense of failure
  • Spending almost a year working for Muhammad Ali
    Creating the Muhammad Ali Center
  • Being lifted up by Muhammad when she was broken
  • The difference between having a growth mindset and a fixed mindset
  • “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
  • Her fears on her second journey
  • Hurricane Lenny - first hurricane in recorded history to travel 1000 miles west-east
  • Getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere for weeks
  • Her book: A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean
  • Meeting and falling in love with her husband, Mac McClure
  • Adventures in her life at the moment
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram: @torimurden

Twitter: @toriposu
Book -  A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean 
Jul 19, 2022
Claire in her own words:
“I have always been a highly motivated person, but when I was younger, I was highly motivated to self destruct! 
Over the last ten years, I have learnt how to use my drive, ambition and general craziness for a better purpose. I completed my first marathon, Ironman and then Double Ironman... Many more ultra triathlons followed and also, Brutal Events was born.
I will be honest and admit I have struggled with addiction (and the depression and self-esteem issues that come with it), but almost eight years ago, I finally turned my life around and have not looked back since.  Of all my achievements, this is what I am most proud of, but it’s the one I don’t speak about. Well, until now…
I often get asked why I do the ultra endurance stuff, and I guess I love the fact that you can do anything if you train well and really want it. 
In other news, I am a mum of two children (that aren’t kids anymore), a graphic/website designer, a writer, and I also run Brutal Events -"
  • Content Warning - I’ve marked the episode as explicit as we do talk about weight and disordered eating. We don’t go into specifics but it is mentioned. 
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.
Show Notes
  • Who Claire is in her own words
  • Setting up her business Brutal Events
  • Writing and publishing books
  • Moving back to Bournemouth from Hereford
  • Getting a bit more rebellious
  • Doing her own thing at school
  • Starting to run at 20
  • Challenges she faced as a single parent
  • Completing her first half marathon
  • Meeting her husband
  • Having no idea what Ironman is but wanting to participate
  • Not having a bike and being unable to swim
  • Splitting up with her husband
  • Getting a tattoo
  • Keeping friends with her ex-husband
  • Completing the Double Ironman
  • How important is it for her to complete the Ironman
  • Her Double Ironman finishing experience
  • Not working with coaches
  • How she balances training with two kids
  • Managing the pain from her ongoing injuries
  • Having Hyperlordosis
  • Focusing on her routines and plans
  • Things that help her manage her pain
  • Feeling like giving up
  • How and why did she keep going
  • Training for the Arch to Arc Triathlon
  • How she feels about the challenge
  • Being on the right track after 13 years
  • Struggling with panic attacks
  • Managing her stress and anxiety
  • What causes her panic attacks in the water and swimming through it
  • How much does it cost her to do this challenge
  • A big bag of crisps and Netflix
  • Being addicted to sugar
  • Having to eat more than she wants to gain weight
  • Needing to step away from junk food and eat better food
  • Struggling with an eating disorder and monitoring herself against it
  • Writing her book, Becoming Brutal
  • Getting into more detail about Brutal Events
  • Doing the Snowdonia marathon
  • Where does "brutal" come from
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram: @brutalclaire 
Facebook: @brutalclaire
Jul 12, 2022

Anisa Aubin, from Reading and Wokingham Cycling clubs, is an experienced ultra cyclist who has completed well know challenging events such as the Transcontinental Race (TCR) and Transatlantic way (TAW).

In 2020 she was one of 20 people who set off in the midst of a global pandemic to complete a different, rigorous format of the GBDURO adventure challenge where only 5 people finished.

The GBDURO20 required riders to be completely self-sufficient from start to finish while cycling the length of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats. They could receive no supplies or assistance whatsoever for the duration of the ride. With the exception of publicly available water outside, riders carried everything they needed to be able to reach the finish.

Anisa in her own words:

“I started cycling with the goal of riding a 4,000km ride for charity, and then realised there was a lot more to learn for the journey, about the bike, the training, and myself (mind and body).

I learned from everyone around me; at the local bike kitchen, on club rides, and from Audaxers. My introduction to long distance cycling started with the Transcontinental, followed by the North-cape Norway to Tarifa Spain, the Transatlantic way, and the Paris–Brest–Paris (PBP).

Eventually, I started dabbling in off-road and when the pandemic hit and GBDURO (self-sufficient) was the only event option I took the opportunity to see what was possible.

I want to see more people encouraged to try new things, and not let other peoples perceptions of what you should be capable of stand in your way.”

During this episode Anisa shares more about her passion for cycling, what it’s like being on the bike day to day, plus how her body copes with these challenges when she’s being pushed to her limits.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
To support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. 
Sign up as a Patron: Thank you. 
Show Notes
  • Who is Anisa
  • Being based in the UK
  • Growing up in Africa
  • Studying for her PhD
  • Her love for the outdoors and passion for cycling
  • Her cycling journey which started 4/5 years ago
  • Being inspired by her cousins who rode the Tour Divide 
  • Wanting to raise money for a Children’s Home
  • Deciding to get a road bike to learn the skills
  • Learning about the Transcontinental Race (TCR) and signing up for it
  • What is the Transcontinental Race
  • Being solo and having to look after yourself
  • Taking 15/16 days the first time doing the race
  • Magical moments from the TCR and falling in love with the bike
  • Learning more about herself from spending time alone in nature
  • Not knowing if it was possible to get to the end
  • Deciding to do the race again and why it was an accident
  • Having 24hrs to prepare before the race
  • Her experience the 2nd time around
  • Being able to relax once the race started
  • What a typical day looks like while out racing 
  • How her body copes with the physicality of riding hard every day
  • Recovering after the races and starting to take more rest
  • Losing small motor function in her hands 
  • Doing the GBDURO Adventure Challenge 2020 during Covid
  • Riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats (2,000km) and the challenges she dealt with
  • Being so focused that she doesn’t remember the weather
  • What cycling looks like now and how it fits into her lifestyle
  • How many bikes?!
  • Getting into rowing and working with a rowing coach
  • Being active everyday
  • Being a mentor to other cyclists 
  • The Ultra Distance Scholarship
  • Being inspired by Carla Molinaro 
  • The divide between the mental and physical side of the challenge
  • Top tips for mental toughness and resilience 
  • Plans for 2022 - rowing, hiking and plans for walking the Camino
  • Planning some smaller UK walks
  • Connect with Anisa on the socials 
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media
Instagram @anaubie
Facebook: @DreamRiderAnisa
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