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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Jul 15, 2021
Dora is a Running Coach for Nike UK and has launched Ultra Black Running - a community of Black Women and Non-Binary people to explore and experience the world of trail running. 
“I’ll do everything I can, to make sure trail running becomes more diverse and work towards overcoming any barriers we may face”
Dora is a youth mentor and works on self-development programmes to encourage young people to engage in sport based initiatives.
Listen to Dora on the Tough Girl Podcast! New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out! 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Why running is a really useful life tool
  • Starting running in 2013
  • Getting into running via boxing 
  • Getting into boxing via a friend
  • Starting to take training seriously
  • Finding her tribe
  • The struggle with starting to run
  • Pushing herself to see how far she could run
  • Doing her first 10k
  • The importance of going back to you why
  • Having people to help hold you accountable
  • Struggling with the label of being "a runner”
  • Going to a run club for the first time
  • If you run, you are a runner
  • What happens at a run club
  • Feeling part of a team
  • Becoming a running coach
  • Leadership in Running
  • Studying Sports Coaching at University
  • Deciding to take on The Speed Project! 
  • Running from LA to Las Vegas 
  • Being part of a team of 8
  • Doing intense training
  • Running in Death Valley
  • Fears and concerns before the race
  • Getting through tough sections
  • Her role in the team
  • The push to the finish line and celebrating the end!
  • Needing a new challenge…
  • Deciding to the Speed Project a second time!!
  • Her favourite distance to run
  • What a typical running week would look like
  • Training for life
  • Running the Virtual Race to the Stones (100k in 7 days) 
  • Getting out of the door in the morning
  • Having to be tough on yourself to get things done
  • Foam rolling & stretching….
  • Advice from her physio around active recovery
  • Founding Ultra Black Running in July 2020
  • Wanting to do something for Black Women
  • Getting into trail running
  • Starting to fall out of love with running
  • Feeling overwhelmed and anxious
  • Wanting to share the joy with other people
  • Waning to create a space for Black Women and Non Binary people
  • Encouraging others to get into trail running
  • Her dreams and thinking 5 years in the future
  • Wanting to continue doing the work she is doing
  • Loving South African House music
  • Follow Dora on Spotify
  • Final word of advice to encourage other women to get running 
Social Media
Last Pick Athletics Club (LPAC) was created by and for individuals who want to change the way they look at exercise and fitness.
Website - 
Ultra Black Running - Celebrating and championing Black women and Black non-binary people in Trail running and beyond.
Instagram @ultrablackrunning
Jul 13, 2021
Charlotte graduated from University with a BA in Drama and Classical Archaeology and a MA in Social Anthropology (Specialising in Visual Anthropology). 
During her MA she lived and filmed with a community of Maya deep in the Central American rainforest for her research and discovered, what the archaeological remains of Belize, hold for the Maya people of today.
In 2019, she was named the Scientific Exploration Societies River Foundation Explorer for Health and Humanities 2019.
With this award she returned to live with the Maya of Central America to produce educational resources in their native language, explore the surrounding jungle for ancient Maya archaeology and deliver dental hygiene workshops.
She is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of The Explorers Club. 
In addition she is an author and educator, currently working remotely from a small volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean.
When she is not exploring, she enjoys boxing and weightlifting.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Charlotte
  • Spending time in Central America
  • Living and teaching in the South Atlantic Ocean 
  • Growing up in the countryside 
  • Her dreams as a little girl 
  • Not knowing what she wanted to do with her life
  • Deciding to study Drama and Classical Archaeology
  • Doing her Masters in Social Anthropology (Specialising in Visual Anthropology). 
  • What is Anthropology?
  • Deciding to spend time with the Maya people
  • Organising her first expedition at 23 years old
  • Wanting to study the Ancient Maya culture
  • Planning and funding the expedition 
  • Making some mistakes on the first expedition
  • Spending a month with the Maya people and what that entailed
  • What a typical day was like
  • Gender roles and how they are changing
  • The importance of family and friends 
  • Eco Tourism and the community
  • The languages spoken
  • Working in the film industry and wanting to keep her options open
  • Applying for an expedition to Kenya in 2018 as a filmmaker
  • Magical moments with wildlife while in Kenya
  • What happens with regards to filming and the role of film co-ordinator
  • Advice for aspiring filmmakers
  • The challenges of filming in the heat
  • SES Rivers Foundation Explorer 2019
  • The financial awards available 
  • The 2nd expedition to the Maya in early 2020
  • The logistics of planning for a larger expedition
  • Hearing about Covid via the radio while being in the jungle
  • Working with the children and writing down the myths and legends from the culture
  • Working with local members of the community on special projects
  • The loss of the local language
  • Trekking through jungle and swimming in water caves
  • What does adventure and exploration mean 
  • Tips and advice for women who want to do more solo adventures 
  • The importance of being prepared
  • Giving talks in girls schools and giving advice for girls who want to get into the sciences and engineering
  • What’s next for Charlotte
  • Being interested in Medical Expeditions
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram @charlotteaustwick
Twitter @casa1009
Jul 8, 2021
Preet in her own words:
“I’ve always been ambitious and enjoyed pushing my boundaries. I had limited knowledge of polar travel when I decided I wanted to do a solo Antarctic expedition. 
I wanted to inspire people to believe in themselves. Nobody starts as an expert, everybody starts somewhere, you learn as you go and the more you learn, the closer it brings you to your goal. I started on google reading about polar expeditions and now I’ve completed training and expedition in Norway and Greenland, ready for my next step to Antarctica.
I’m an Army Physiotherapist and I love adventure and finding new ways to push my limits. 
After playing tennis full time as a teenager training in the Czech Republic, I moved back to England at 19 to pursue a different path and to gain my degree in Physiotherapy. This will remain one of my biggest achievements as I came back to the UK with minimal GCSEs and no A-levels. 
I completed my first half marathon at the age of 20, this progressed to ultra marathons and I’m now training for a 700 mile solo, unsupported expedition in Antartica.
This expedition will make me the first Asian female to complete a solo journey on the continent. 
Hopefully it will inspire so many other people, it aims to inspire future generations in achieving whatever they desire and pushing boundaries. It is a solo expedition but i want to bring as many people on the journey with me as possible.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Preet?
  • Seeing an advert for the army and deciding to sign up
  • Playing professional tennis from 14 years old
  • Not enjoying tennis anymore and deciding to leave the sport
  • Feeling as though she was behind all her peers at 19
  • Making the decision to go to university
  • Getting advice from a variety of different people
  • Female role models
  • Not feeling very academic 
  • Wanting to inspire her 9 yr old niece
  • Her progression in running from a half marathon to ultra marathons
  • Doing a 30hr endurance event
  • Spending time in South America
  • Doing Marathon des Sables  
  • Mental resilience and mental grit
  • Focusing on what she can control
  • Talking to friends
  • The power of writing things down
  • Where the dream of going to Antarctica came from
  • Starting with the research, getting on google and reading blogs
  • Connecting with Louis Rudd MBE (record-breaking polar adventurer) 
  • Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions 
  • Needing to gain more winter experience
  • Deciding to book a trip to Iceland to get glacier experience 
  • Booking onto a polar training course
  • Money and paying for trips
  • Asking people for help
  • Team Army 
  • Getting her first sponsor
  • Dealing with cultural norms and pressures of expectation
  • Being labeled a rebel
  • When are you getting married?
  • The power of eduction
  • Wanting to break down barriers
  • Following a physical training plan and working with a coach
  • Being sensible with her training and not wanting to peak too soon
  • Final words of advice to encourage you to step outside your comfort zone
Social Media
Instagram - @polarpreet 
Facebook @polarpreet 
Go Fund Me - 
Jul 6, 2021
Maria Coffey is the author of twelve internationally published, award winning books, the co-owner of an adventure travel company and an adventurer in her own right.
Growing up in England, Maria always dreamt of having a freewheeling life, with no real idea of how she could make that happen. In her twenties she fell in love with an elite Himalayan mountaineer, Joe Tasker, and her adventures became vicarious ones, as she waited at home during his long expeditions. When Joe disappeared on the NE Ridge of Everest, in 1982, Maria was devastated. “His death blew my life apart,” she says, “but ultimately it jolted me alive.” A few years later she moved to Canada. She met a man who shared her dream of travelling the world, and together they began to make it a reality.
Shortly after marrying Dag, Maria wrote her first book, Fragile Edge: Loss on Everest, an account of her relationship with Joe Tasker and her own journey to Everest in the wake of his death. The writing was pure catharsis, an untangling of emotional knots in her past so that she could move into the future. Originally published in 1989, Fragile Edge became a classic in mountaineering literature and has won several prizes. Years later Maria wrote Where the Mountain Casts its Shadow: The Dark Side of Adventure, about the emotional toll of climbing, which won the Jon Whyte Literature Prize at the 2003 Banff Festival and a 2004 National Outdoor Book Award. She completed what she calls ‘an unintentional trilogy’ with Explorers of the Infinite, an examination of the link between adventure and spiritual experience. For these three books she was awarded the 2009 American Alpine Club’s H. Adams Carter Literary Award.
In the meantime Maria was publishing books about her exploits with Dag. Throwing up secure careers, they became expedition kayakers and a writer/photographer team. They paddled through the Solomon Islands, down the River Ganges, up Lake Malawi, and around Vancouver Island. They travelled the length of the coast of Vietnam on local boats and bikes. Dag, who is a large animal vet, did seasonal work in rural areas of Wales and Ireland, and they were head-hunted by a US travel company to develop international kayaking trips. In between all this kaleidoscopic activity, their home base was a tiny island in British Columbia, from where they commuted to the nearest town by kayak.
In 2000 they set up Hidden Places, a boutique adventure travel company, taking small groups of like-minded travellers to remarkable corners of the world. When they weren’t leading trips, they were still exploring themselves. After Dag had a life-changing experience with an elephant in Rajasthan, they established Elephant Earth, advocating and fundraising for elephant conservation and welfare in Africa and S.E Asia.
After Explorers of the Infinite was published, Maria took a break from writing. She is now back in her author’s skin, working on a memoir about choosing to be an adventurer instead of a mother. In the growing body of literature about the childfree choice, her book will fill an important niche, giving the perspective of an older woman – Maria is in her late 60s - who has led, and is still leading, an extraordinary life.
When they are not travelling, or sailing aboard their tiny boat, Maria and Dag divide their time between downtown Victoria, BC and a medieval village in Catalonia, Spain.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Maria?
  • Moving to Canada in the 1980s
  • Giving up her teaching career in her early 30s to lead a life of adventure
  • Writing 12 books and being the co-owner of an adventure travel company 
  • Her early years and having a very sheltered childhood in Wolverhampton
  • Being the youngest of 3 
  • Having different dreams from an early age
  • Being inspired by Alice in Wonderland
  • Going to Liverpool University 
  • Finding a teaching job 
  • Trying to figure out how to have a life travelling the world
  • Longing for a bigger life
  • Being drawn to people who were leading adventurous lives
  • Getting involved in the mountain climbing community 
  • Falling in love with a big mountain climber called Joe Tasker
  • Dealing with grief and loss when there is no body
  • Being supported by the adventure community
  • Not knowing how to rebuild her life
  • Wanting to live intensely 
  • Having a near drowning experience at 21 in Morocco
  • Deciding to move to Canada on a teacher exchange experience
  • Meeting a Dag and sharing the same dream
  • The life as a supportive partner to an adventurer
  • Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure  
  • Becoming super independent 
  • Getting married to Dag
  • Taking a year out to go travelling on a massive adventure in 1981
  • Role models and figuring out how to make a freelance lifestyle work
  • Being a pioneer in expedition kayaking 
  • Planning Vs being flexible 
  • Being determined to be on the river
  • Creating Hidden Places in 2000
  • Heading to Vietnam in 1994
  • Being adaptable to changing plans
  • Becoming part time kayak guides by accident 
  • What adventure means to Maria
  • Choosing to be an adventurer instead of a mother
  • The childfree choice
  • Looking for a publisher
  • Turning back to writing after taking a break
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram @insidehiddenplaces 
Jul 1, 2021
Soraya believes in taking a holistic approach to making the world a better place, and writes about sustainability, nature and adventure travel. Soraya is Lonely Planet Sustainable Storyteller 2021 and founder of the All The Elements – a community working to increase diversity in the UK outdoors.
Soraya in her own words:
In 2014, I left my ‘dream job’ to make a difference. I kickstarted my new career by studying sustainability for business. As a reward to myself for handing in my dissertation, I went wild camping and canoeing on the Mississippi river. This trip was far more than an adventure holiday – it was a re-connection to nature. I want to help you to be more mindful in what you do and to understand that individual decisions can make a positive impact on our planet. When I'm not travelling, writing or creating net-positive artwork, you'll find me tackling diversity in the UK outdoors, organising all-women sailing trips exploring plastics and toxics in our ocean and walking my labradoodle Rory.
Listen to Soraya on the Tough Girl Podcast - New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Soraya
  • What her childhood was like 
  • Having a passion for horses
  • Going to university to study law
  • Pivoting her career into sustainability
  • Not being happy in her dream job
  • Figuring out her purpose
  • Wanting to study sustainability for business
  • What does sustainability mean to Soraya
  • The One Planet MBA - University of Exeter 
  • Adventure and sustainability 
  • Why adventure has to have a purpose
  • Why are we going to these places?
  • How are we communicating what we are seeing?
  • Travel with a lower impact
  • Getting involved in the adventure community
  • Being inspired by Ben Keene  
  • Rebel Book club 
  • Love Her Wild 
  • The Yes Tribe 
  • Adventure Uncovered 
  • Explore at the RGS 
  • Starting to travel on her own in 2016
  • Taking a trip to the Sahara desert 
  • Canoeing on the Mississippi with Dave Cornthwaite and Emily Penn 
  • Liking to have shared experiences while adventuring 
  • Losing the fear
  • The Sail Britain Voyage 
  • Not always being artistic, but always being creative
  • Wanting to be able to paint and draw
  • Drawing while on expedition 
  • Heading to Vancouver in 2018
  • The challenges to tacking plastic
  • Feeling overwhelmed 
  • Breaking the challenge down
  • Black Lives Matter 
  • How can we create change?
  • What are you most passionate about?
  • Making informed decisions
  • All the elements which was set up in August 2020
  • The importance of role modelling
  • Stepping into the light
  • The many aspects to diversity 
  • Bringing everyone together 
  • Sharing her story online and feeling uncomfortable at the start
  • Taking on a new project with her mum and dog (Rory)
  • Deciding to walk the South West Coast Path 
  • Final words of advice
  • Working out what is important to you 
  • Not worrying about what other people are doing
Social Media
Personal Website - 
All The Elements - A network to support everyone working to increase diversity in the UK outdoors #diversifyoutdoorsuk.  
Facebook @sorayaearth 
Twitter @sorayaearth
Jun 29, 2021
Mina was born in the UK and moved to Nigeria when she was five years old. Mina had a carefree childhood growing up in Northern Nigeria with siblings, before deciding to move back to the UK at sixteen to continue her education. 
Mina shares more about this challenging time in her life, from losing her mother at eighteen years old and having to work three part time jobs to support herself as she continued her education to become a Doctor.
Mina talks about her reasons for deciding to join the army and how she incorporated fitness into her already busy schedule. Mina talks about her passion for running and why its such a big part of life, she talks about training, jegging and taking on her first marathon and what she has learned along the way, and why she has kept on running even after being diagnosed with Lupus (autoimmune disease) a long-term condition that causes joint pain, skin rashes and tiredness. 
If you are passionate about running then this is the episode for you to listen to, Mina will inspire you to take your first step and to sign up for a marathon, whether that’s taking on a fast flat marathon like the Berlin Marathon or deciding to head to New York City to experience a running atmosphere like no other. 
Listen to Mina now on the Tough Girl Podcast - available on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud & iheartradio.
New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out.
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please visit Monthly and annual options available. 
Show notes
  • Being born in Newcastle 
  • Moving to the North of Nigeria at 5 years old until 16
  • Being the middle child
  • Being able to walk to school and living in a very peaceful area
  • Spending a lot of time outside
  • Moving back to England at 16 for her education
  • Wanting to be a Doctor from a young age
  • Her journey to joining the military in the UK
  • Being independent from a young age
  • Working 3 jobs while being in full time education
  • How it all changed in her 3rd year at University
  • Being accepted into the Army 
  • Being able to focus on her studies full time
  • Broken sleep and studying for University
  • Kindness of strangers who helped her
  • Not getting the A’Level grades she needed
  • Losing her mum at 18  
  • Going back to college for another year and getting offered a place at Southhampton
  • How fitness and maintaining her health during stressful times
  • Finishing university and focusing on her military fitness
  • Learning how to run and focusing on swimming
  • Being taken outside her comfort zone
  • Being stubborn and not liking to be told no
  • What drives her
  • Learning to be comfortable in her own skin
  • Starting to love running
  • Deciding to run her first marathon to raise money for charity
  • Signing up for the Berlin Marathon 
  • The benefits of going on long runs
  • Being diagnosed with Lupus
  • Jeffing - walk/run 
  • Figuring out her run training and focusing on her pace
  • The Hanson Marathon Method 
  • Happy memories from the NYC marathon
  • Telling her story to inspire young women
  • The Namu Project
  • Visiting Internally displaced people (IDPs) at camps in Nigeria
  • Crochet with plastic bags
  • Maintaining her positivity when there is so much to do 
  • Needing to impact one person 
  • Taking her children to the IDP camps
  • How the charity is coping doing Covid
  • Wanting to teach basic breast examination to women
  • Final words of advice to motivate and inspire
Social Media
Namu Project - “Namu" is Hausa for "ours". A charity working towards alleviating poverty through training, education and empowerment.
Instagram - @thenamuproject 
Instagram - @justdoing.m.e 
Jun 24, 2021
Kat spent her early years in France and England, and has lived and studied in the Middle East (Syria, Egypt) prior to studying medicine, Kat gained a BA in Arabic and Law.  
During this episode Kat shares more about why she decided to change careers to become a Doctor and the challenges she overcame to make her dream become a reality, from going back to night school to get science A’levels to dealing with imposter syndrome.
Kat shares more about her recent challenge of spending 18 months living and working in the remote and isolated Bird Island, in South Gerogia, which is only accessible via a 4 day boat journey and what it was like coming back to a different world to the one she left behind in October 2019. 
Kat shares more about being part of a small team and community, how the expectations compared to reality and the lessons she has learned from that experience. We learn about the wifi and living situation, food, money and what she did in her down time. This is an insightful and open conversation about this unique experience.
Kat is also a keen endurance runner and has completed many ultra races from the Spartathlon race in 2017 where she ran from Athens to Sparta! Kat has also done the Dragons Back Race in 2017, plus the Grand Union Canal Race 2016 - where she placed 2nd female, and the Centurion 4x100mile "Grand Slam" 2014 - where she was the first female. Kat shared more about her passion for running on the Tough Girl Podcast episode 367. That episode was released today (24th June) at 7am UK time. By hitting the subscribe button you won’t miss out on any bonus content!
New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time!
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Kat
  • Coming back from Antarctica to a different world 
  • Not wanting to become a Doctor
  • How medicine was a second career
  • Moving to France when she was 12/13
  • Studying Arabic and Law for her first university degree
  • Heading back to study medicine in 2007
  • Working in Malaysia and Egypt
  • Going back to night school to get science A’Levels
  • Going into medicine at an older age
  • Dispelling the myths about being a Doctor in Antarctica
  • How the job came about 
  • Being ready to commit 2 years of her life
  • 6 months of training with the British Antarctic Survey 
  • Being single and taking the opportunity that came available 
  • Heading to South Georgia, Bird Island
  • Wanting to live and work in a small team in a small community
  • Expectations V Reality
  • Being on call all the time
  • Helping each other out with the running of the station
  • Downtime and learning how to weld
  • Wifi and connection with the outside world
  • Setting up a running club 
  • Team dynamics with a group of strangers who may or may not get on with each other
  • Having her own room for the 7 months of winter
  • Feeling guilty about not being in the UK and not being able to help with the pandemic
  • Missing cuddles and physical contact
  • Romance?!
  • Best memories from the trip
  • Money - not having to pay for rent and food 
  • Would she go back?
  • Salads, cheese, fresh fruit & vegetables
  • Advice and top tips for those people wanting to go to Antarctica 
Social Media
Instagram - @katganly 
Twitter - @katganly 
Jun 24, 2021
Kat is a keen endurance runner and has undertaken many of the Toughest Endurance Races - from running across the Sahara Desert in Morocco while competing in the Marathon des Sables. Or challenging her body to take on 4, 100 miler races in the UK - which is known as the Centurion “Grand Slam” which she did in 2014 and placed as first female. 
Every year since Kat has looked to take on a new running challenge which would test her from the Dragons Back race in 2015 - where she got her first DNF, to taking on the Grand Union Canal Race race in 2016 -where she placed 2nd female.
Not to be deterred by her DNF in 2015, Kat took onboard the key lessons she needed to work on, trained hard and heading back to face the race in 2017, where she finished with a smile on her face. 
With her 100 mile race times, Kat qualified for the Spartathlon ballot in 2017.  When her name was pulled out the hat she was in shock, she didn’t think she’d be taking on the 250km timed race from Athens to Sparta quite so soon! 
The race takes place in the September of every year in Greece. It is one of the most challenging ultra-distance races plus it has a very unique history. 
Kat will be sharing more about her different ultra races, how she got into the world of ultra running, the lessons she has learned along the way, how she trains, what she eats to fuel her challenges as well as talking in detail about her mindset, staying resilient and overcoming setbacks and failure. 
There is also a Tough Girl Extra BONUS episode with Kat - where she will be sharing more about her life as an Antarctic Doctor (Oct 2019- March 2021 - South Georgia, Bird Island and RRS James Clark Ross) - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. This goes live at 11am TODAY!!
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Her first experience of running 
  • Deciding to enter the 2010 Brighton Marathon 
  • Hearing about the 2013 Marathon des Sables 
  • Why she decided to enter…
  • Deciding to treat herself as a gradation present  
  • Wanting to take on a 100 mile single day race
  • Discovering the Centurion Grand Slam Event (4 - 100 mile races in a calendar year) 
  • Making friends in the long distance running community
  • The Dragons Back Race 2015
  • Dealing with failure and having her first DNF
  • Turning failure into a challenge
  • Deciding to run the Dragons Back Race in 2017
  • The Grand Union Canal Race (GUCR), UK, Birmingham to London, 148 miles 
  • Being able to enter the ballet for the Spartathlon Race 
  • What’s involved in the Spartathlon Race and why it’s so hard
  • Getting a trainer and following a training plan while working full time as a Doctor
  • Her motivation for training
  • 2018/2019 preparing to go to Antarctica
  • Mindset from making the change from a multi stage race to a single stage race
  • What’s the next thing which is a bit harder?
  • Breaking down the challenge to make it more manageable 
  • Keeping focused on the present and not looking too far ahead
  • Recovery in between races when taking on 4 - 100mile races in a year
  • The benefits of gentle walking and taking time away from running
  • Planning her training before getting a running trainer
  • Running 6/7 days per week, plus long runs at the weekend
  • To get faster you have to run faster
  • What happened in the 2015 Dragons Back Race
  • Not being able to recover between day 1 and day 2
  • Dealing with failure and the lessons learned
  • Top tips for people who want to enter the Dragons Back Race
  • The importance of hill training and navigation
  • Eat on the ups
  • Eating while running and go to nutrition
  • Working with a trainer and the mental side of preparation for the Spartathlon Race
  • The benefits of proper, focused training
  • Missing a session….
  • The Spartathlon Experience
  • Needing assistance at the end
  • Feeling relief at the end of the race
  • Feeling deflated after getting home from Greece
  • Top tips for runners
Social Media
Instagram - @katganly 
Twitter - @katganly 
Jun 22, 2021
Alvina was brought up in a traditional Navajo running family and she has always loved to get outside in nature and run, she dreamed about being a competitive runner when she was younger and pursued this dream by heading off to Arizona State University to compete for them.
Alvina has made it to the Olympic trials three times in the marathon and the 10K distance. She runs a 2hr 22 min marathon time. 
Alvina is a Registered Dietitian, and has a Masters Degree in Health Administration. In November 2020 Alvina gave birth to a healthy baby girl. 
During this episode Alvina shares more about her passion for running; how she trains, what she eats and how motherhood has impacted on her running. Plus the women who inspire her. Listen now!
New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out! 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Alvina introduces herself by her clan in her traditional Navajo culture
  • Explanation of her introduction
  • Becoming a mother in November 2020
  • Growing up in a small town on the Navajo Reservation
  • Life as a new mother to a baby girl
  • Just about getting enough sleep
  • The naming of her child with a traditional Navajo name
  • Being a high risk pregnancy
  • Sharing more about the Navajo Culture
  • What her childhood was like and her connection to nature
  • Growing up in a running family 
  • Having a coming of age ceremony 
  • Having a female mentor and being taught how to be a strong Navajo Woman
  • The importance of running to the East every morning
  • Thoughts while running and enjoying her run time
  • Knowing that she wanted to be a runner from a young age
  • Making the transition from running for pleasure to being more competitive
  • The Olympic Trials in 2008
  • Not being a super start in college 
  • Working with a Native American running coach Mike Daney
  • Focusing on the 2012 Olympic Trials
  • The importance of a coach 
  • Being a small town girl
  • What a typical training week would look like  (120 miles weeks, speed work, hills)
  • Doing more strength training and helping to reduce injury
  • Diet, fuelling and nutrition while training
  • Making sure she got enough iron
  • Getting blood work done every 3 months
  • The hardest aspect of training and how she approached it
  • Changing her mindset and how her mindset evolved as she got older
  • Working with a sports psychologist
  • Running while pregnant
  • Having a difficult labour and needing to take 6 weeks off
  • Increasing her milage gradually and getting back into shape
  • Working on rebuilding her ab strength
  • The hardest challenge mentally with running and pregnancy
  • Needing to focus on herself and the health of her baby
  • Being surrounded by good people
  • The women who inspire her
  • Rachel Sneider @rachschneid18 
  • Michele Reyes @micheleinthemaking 
  • Final words of advice
  • Be patient and be consistent 
Social Media
Instagram @aybegay 
Jun 17, 2021
As our world grows ever smaller and more connected, it’s easier to travel, but harder to find true adventure but at twenty-eight years old, Lucy is at the forefront of modern exploration. 
From high mountains, rainforests, to the Arctic, she has plotted a thrilling, inimitable path. Made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society at age twenty three and on the council for the Scientific Exploration Society as a result of her expedition achievements. 
Lucy's expeditions have taken her all over the globe and she now shares her love for this world with others by both guiding expeditions to the Arctic and sharing her own adventures on film.
Lucy in her own words:
“I am a strong believer that when we put ourselves in challenging situations, whatever that may be, that our character grows and we become better people as a result. Given the current climate of how those in power are acting and how mental health and obesity problems are on the rise, we could all do with stepping outside our comfort zone and doing what we previously thought impossible.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Being called an adventurer!
  • Her job and what she does
  • Spending time in the Arctic, Jungle and high mountains
  • Her parents
  • Her early years, climbing trees and being creative
  • Losing her mojo in her teenage years
  • The term ‘expedition’
  • Applying to join a scientific expedition in Svalbard at age 18
  • Trying to figure out what’s next
  • Her next steps to make adventure her career
  • Going to York University to study film and TV production
  • Trying to gain new skills over the next 3 years
  • Connecting with individuals via the Royal Geographical Society 
  • Spending 1 month in the jungle at 22 years old
  • Saying she wanted to be an adventurer for real in 2015
  • Living in the jungle for a month
  • Being stalked by a jaguar
  • Dealing with the dangers of the jungle
  • Deciding to head back to the jungle in early 2020
  • Wanting to do citizen science 
  • Kanuku mountain range in the Amazon jungle of Guyana
  • Micro plastics in the jungle…. 
  • Having 3 weeks for the expedition
  • How the expedition evolved and changed
  • Documenting the journey 
  • Her process for planning expeditions
  • The initial idea
  • The struggle of getting detailed maps
  • Advice for sponsorship and why you need to tell everyone about it
  • The challenges of covid and getting sponsorship
  • Getting physically ready for the expeditions
  • What a typical weeks looks like training
  • Mental training before and during expeditions
  • Calculating risks
  • Spending 2 weeks in a tent on Denali at -40 degrees
  • Moving into acceptance 
  • Peeing in the tent!
  • Periods on mountain expeditions
  • Charging electronics - Goal Zero 
  • Practical tips for dealing with the cold
  • Why you need to empty your bladder before bed
  • Favourite piece of gear
  • Why you should be bothered.
Social Media
Website - 
Instagram: @lucysheps 
(New) YouTube Channel: LucyShepherd 
Facebook: @lucysheps 
Twitter: @lucysheps 
Jun 15, 2021
Lavina Mehta is a 43-year-old award-winning Personal Trainer and mum of three who has been awarded an MBE for services to health and fitness during Covid-19 in October’s Queen Honour’s List. 
Over lockdown, she provided free twice-daily virtual workouts with her family, aimed at keeping people of all ages healthy and mentally positive from home. Her slogan was to “Exercise for Sanity not Vanity” and she also provided a free Feel Good 21 Day Workout Plan.
Lavina’s free specially designed virtual chair workouts for Seniors, in English and Gujarati, with her 73-year-old mother in law featured on national TV and radio and inspired thousands of elderly members of the community to get involved. She continues these to give back to the disproportionately affected British Asian communities and help the elderly and vulnerable stay fit, physically and mentally. 
Lavina continues providing free home workouts & videos over the pandemic. She also uses her concept of Exercise Snacking for her daily Feel Good Fitness Advent Calendar workouts through December on her Instagram. 
She appears regularly on TV and radio passionately promoting the health benefits of exercise to treat, prevent and reduce risks of common chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. She is also a big advocate of the mental health benefits of exercise.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Lavina
  • Where she was brought up
  • Doing normal school sports
  • Her dreams as a little girl
  • Thinking about being a teacher
  • Having a passion for Art
  • Deciding to go down a managerial route
  • Using art to help with mental health
  • Her focus on education
  • Lack of Asian role models in the fitness space
  • Deciding to become a Personal Trainer
  • Having a mild medical scare
  • Joining a gym with work
  • Getting into strength training and falling in love with it
  • Studying in the evening after the children were asleep
  • Wanting to learn more about the body 
  • The benefits of strength training and why everyone should lift weight
  • The mental health benefits of lifting weight
  • Opening up to the world of social media
  • Needing to be patient with regards to getting results
  • Supporting people of all ages during lockdown. 
  • Wanting to help people and doing 15min live workout on Instagram
  • Exercise Snacking
  • Time, motivation and costs
  • “Exercise for Sanity - Not Vanity”
  • Doing exercise from home
  • Feel Good Walks - just get out - even for 10mins
  • Getting adequate rest and recovery
  • The benefits of stretching
  • Why rest is key
  • Wellness in terms of lifestyle
  • Nutrition and feeding your body during workouts
  • Helping her mum write her book - Feel Good With Food
  • Using food as well as medicine
  • Not believing in the word “diet”
  • Enjoying food and not cutting out any food groups
  • Peri-menopause and menopause 
  • Feel good fitness prescription
  • Covid and mental health and the challenges of 2020/2021
  • Workouts for women and men online
  • Seniors Session with her mother in law 
  • Final words of advice to help you feel good again
Social Media
Instagram - @feelgoodwithlavina 
Facebook - @feelgoodwithlavina  
Twitter - @feelgoodwithlavina
Jun 10, 2021
A lover of all things outdoors, Cathy is an explorer, mother, wife and USA Operations Lead at global drone-based inspection company, CyberHawk - and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.
Back in 2014, Cathy led a climbing expedition to a remote part of East Greenland, establishing four new, never-before-explored routes. 
Cathy passionately believes that these kinds of life-changing experiences don’t just fall into your lap - you have to work hard for them. 
Expeditions are born from a book full of notes and ideas, endless nights of planning, and more spreadsheets than any outdoor-lover cares to imagine.
Australian-born and adopted-Scot, Cathy currently splits her time between Colorado and California, where she’s learning to both snowboard and surf, while spending time with friends and family. 
It’s safe to say that she’s really taking advantage of every opportunity life throws at her.
Listen to Cathy on the Tough Girl Podcast! New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out! 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Cath?
  • Currently based in Denver, Colorado, USA
  • Living in Scotland for the past 20 years with her husband and children
  • Working for CyberHawk using drones 
  • Growing up in Adelaide in South Australia
  • Spending time in the outdoors and climbing trees at a young age
  • Leaving Australia to go to Canada in her early 20s
  • Meeting her husband in Canada and moving to Scotland
  • Starting climbing in her mid thirties after having her 3 children
  • Making progress in climbing 
  • Having an accident and spending 9 months in recovery
  • Building her confidence back up
  • Finding people to climb with 
  • Venturing outside to climb
  • Not giving up when challenges happen
  • Dealing with fears and building confidence
  • Deciding to head to East Greenland in 2014
  • Wanting to climb in a remote and challenging location
  • Needing to find a team and get people on board
  • Starting with the research
  • Struggling to find women to come and climb
  • Spending 5 weeks in East Greenland
  • Planning the new routes
  • The tent sent up and what base camp was like
  • Feeling confident but apprehensive
  • Paying and funding for the expedition
  • Being supported by Tiso 
  • Figuring out the food requirements for 5 people for 5 weeks
  • Human waste and dealing with poo!
  • The wildlife considerations from crows to polar bears
  • Her physical preparation and working with a personal trainer 
  • Being part of a “fit-family”
  • Reflecting back on Greenland and the lessons learned
  • Being careful of the people who you surround yourself with
  • Being open to the learning 
  • The next challenge…. and wanting to head to South America
  • Final words of advice to encourage other women to take the next step
  • The power of talking about what you want to do 
Social Media
Website - 
Instagram - @cathyalldred 
Twitter @cathyalldred 
Jun 8, 2021
Before summiting Everest, Tima had climbed 18 high mountains around the world including 6 out of the 7 summits (highest mountain on every continent) and became the 1st Arab woman to climb Ojos del Salado, the highest active volcano in the world. With her passion for exploring and redefining limits, mountaineering came as a second nature to her. Staying true to her wanderer spirit, she aims to continue leading an adventurous lifestyle and never stop climbing.
Tima grew up traveling the world collecting bungee jumps and memories of nature and extreme sports. She pursued her licenses in both skydiving and advanced scuba-diving as she made both the skies and the oceans her playgrounds. But, for her, nothing compares to being on the mountains. When on Elbrus, her first summit, Tima knew that this was not yet another hobby; but a natural and essential aspect of her life- just like breathing. It’s where her soul sparkles and her light shines. It’s where she feels she is the best version of herself. And so, it was no surprise that after Elbrus, she decided to focus on mountaineering.
The once-finance professional working in a multinational firm, gave up her career ladder for the love of mountains. Life changing decision is an understatement as she threw herself in a new path she knew barely about. Yet, she explored and excelled and later ventured into entrepreneurship by launching two startups while still climbing around the world. 
When she’s not on a mountain, Tima, founder of Mountain Gipsy and a professionally certified coach, believes that her mission is to give back to the world what the mountains gave to her. As such, she works with people from all backgrounds and circumstances to develop an invincible mindset so they can achieve their most ambitious goals by becoming more resilient, creative, confident, and courageous. 
Moreover, she dedicates her time to support and raise awareness for essential socio-economic topics that are shaping our world. She’s an advocate of children, youth, and women’s rights, and an activist of environmental issues. She works with various organizations to equip children, youth, and women with the means to follow their passion, develop their leadership skills, and carve their own path for a better future. In parallel, driven by her love of nature, Tima campaigns on environment issues such as climate change, deforestation, and waste recycling.
Tima’s priority remains being in the outdoors and going for any adventure that life has to offer.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Her mission for Arab Women
  • Going back to her childhood
  • Being into sports and wanting to try everything
  • Thinking it wasn’t for her 
  • Turning 19 and getting into scuba diving and sky diving
  • Enjoying extreme sports and living on the edge
  • Feeling the most alive when she was under pressure
  • Never thinking she would climb mountains
  • Being Nomadic and wanting to explore more of the world
  • Going travelling with her family to Nepal at 14
  • Deciding to go and climb mountains at 23
  • Making her dream come true
  • What her first steps are
  • Why you need to be determined and serious about wanting to climb mountains
  • Climbing Mt Elbrus - the highest mountain in Europe
  • Not knowing what she was getting into….
  • Deciding to focus exclusively on mountaineering
  • Not reaching the summit on Mt. Aconcagua 
  • Dealing with failure in the mountains
  • Learning to control her confidence 
  • Making a promise to herself
  • Working as an accountant and climbing mountains
  • Having a vision board
  • Getting the deposit for Mt. Everest from her family
  • Heading to Mt Everest in 2019 and becoming the first Lebanese Woman to summit the mountain
  • Going to Kilimanjaro with 8 young women
  • Wanting to use her platform to give back to others
  • Struggling to find role models in mountaineering 
  • Going against society and the expected norms of society
  • Being very focused on what she wants
  • Confidence and being supported by her parents 
  • Dealing with sickness while out in the mountains and coughing up blood
  • The push to reach the summit of Mt. Everest
  • The practicalities of the journey 
  • Why every move counts at high altitude
  • Being stuck in the bottleneck on Everest for 2hrs
  • Deciding to go to Lebanon after the blast (2020)
  • Working for an (NGO) - Non-Government Organizations
  • Training for the mountains and figuring out what works for her
  • Working as a mindset coach
  • Values….
  • The power of gratitude
  • Planning her next climbs in Nepal & Africa
  • Final words of advice for women who want to get into the mountains
Social Media
Instagram - @mountaingipsy 
Facebook - @Mountaingipsy
Jun 3, 2021
Angela started running at the age of 53 as part of a series of ‘small steps’ she took to improve her health and quality of life.  A friend then introduced her to the world of ultra running and she become fascinated with what the human body can achieve when asked.
Since then she has completed events of varying distances including 50 miles, a 100 mile race and the 190 mile Northern Traverse and a number of 24 hour races as well as taking up cycling and swimming.
A former surgeon, Angela has a passion to inspire others to take their own ‘small steps’ to adopt healthy lifestyle choices throughout life and has set up a social enterprise to encourage and motivate people to improve their future health.
Prior to medicine Angela had a first career in the computer industry but in her early thirties she went to medical school and retrained as a doctor. Thereafter she undertook surgical training and specialised in trauma and orthopaedics. She developed a special interest in older people and hip fracture. She combined her skills from both careers throughout her practice to improve services for patients. Among other roles, she has been a Trustee with an Age UK charity and chaired a Local Authority Health and Wellbeing Board. Each of these roles gave her different perspectives on issues affecting us as we age but a predominant concern is the level of long term health problems people develop through life.
Angela says that age really is just a number and, with increased life expectancy, it’s really important that we change our expectations of older age and remain healthy and continue to pursue our dreams and ambitions. 
Setting ourselves goals of one sort or another can help give us purpose and a sense of achievement.
In September 2019, to raise awareness of the need to look after ourselves, Angela challenged herself to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End, ‘the JOGLE’, a distance of 875 miles. Overcoming extreme weather and injury, she found herself re-framing her expectations on the run.
Completing the JOGLE in 18 days, 10 hours and 3 minutes, at the age of 60, Angela set a new Guinness World Record as the oldest female to do so.
Angela has three children and three little granddaughters for whom she hopes she is a worthy and positive role model.
‘You’re never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream’
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Angela
  • Having 2 careers, first in the computer industry and then becoming a Doctor in her early 30s
  • Developing an interest in trauma in older people
  • 2006/2007 losing 3 close family members within 4 months of one another
  • Throwing herself into work and becoming unfit and unhappy
  • 2009 dealing with personal illness and needing to make a change in her life
  • Taking - Small Steps
  • Taking up running at 53 years old and being introduced to ultra running
  • Learning how to cycle and swim and doing triathlons
  • Being fascinated by what the human body can do
  • 190 mile Northern Traverse  
  • Losing her husband to a brain tumour 
  • Wanting to find a way to help others
  • Setting up a social enterprise to encourage other people to take their own small steps to improve their own quality of life
  • Wanting to change the perception of ageing
  • Going for Old Community Interest Company to help improve the quality of life for all of us as we age (Company Number: 11481424)
  • Starting with walking
  • Renewing social contacts with old friends
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • How can I make it fun? How can I make it enjoyable?
  • Progressing with her running!
  • Joining a running group for mature ladies
  • The Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge - 30 summits over a distance of 48 miles and climbs 17,000 feet (77km, 5182m).
  • Lakes in a Day - 50 miles, 4000m ascent  
  • Mental resilience during tough times
  • JOGLE - 875 miles running from John O’Groats to Lands End
  • Dealing with the bodies response to trauma
  • Running 40 miles a day in training
  • Running 74 miles on the first day of JOGLE
  • Supplementation
  • Food and snacks to fuel the JOGLE run!
  • Dealing with adverse weather conditions - of heat and a North Atlantic Storm!
  • Costs of JOGLE 
  • The challenge of gathering the evidence for Guinness to prove the World Record
  • Advice for women who think they are too old to take on a new challenge
  • Why you are never too old to set a new goal or a new dream
  • Having to make the social enterprise dormant due to covid
  • Taking on a new challenge for her 62nd birthday! 
  • Running the 62 highest lake district peaks back to back in 62 hours on the 6th June 2021
  • Feeling anxious about the upcoming challenge
  • Racing the Montane Lakeland 100 at the end of July  
  • Advice and top tips for other women 
Social Media
To find out more about Angela and The Running Granny:
Instagram @therunninggranny 
Twitter @running_granny  
If you’d like to make a donation to support Angela’s social enterprise:
Jun 1, 2021
Amira in her own words: 
“My name is Amira I’m 28 years old and I’m from Bolton. I’m a Muslim British Indian. I currently work at a Spa retreat, and when I’m not working you’ll find me somewhere in the mountains or on an adventure. I’m the founder of The Wanderlust Women Group which is a hiking and adventure group for Muslim women. My aim is to break down the barriers and stereotypes of the niqab and to break down misconceptions of Muslim women. The niqab to me is liberating and dignifying. It gives me strength and freedom. I wear the niqab as a personal act of worship and I deeply believe it brings me closer to god.”
Amira shares more about her passion for the outdoors, why she spends time outside and how she is encouraging other Muslim women to get outdoors and try hiking. 
“Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; it’s about what you inspire others to do.” 
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”
Listen to Amira on the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time. Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Amira
  • Living in Bolton
  • Combing her passions for photography, videography and the outdoors
  • Doing community based work with other Muslim women
  • Being the oldest child and getting to travel a lot
  • Not wanting to do anything in her teenage years
  • Being encouraged by her mum to go hiking 
  • Going solo travelling and backpacking after college
  • Getting to explore more of England
  • Finding her own route into the outdoors
  • How her mum found more people to go hiking with
  • Being a “good scared’ about going solo travelling
  • Deciding to go on a road trip around England
  • Planning a trip to Paris which then expanded to more of Europe
  • Studying art & design at university
  • Being questioned about her decisions
  • How the name for Wanderlust Women came about
  • Researching and answering questions about her safety
  • Lessons learned from being on her own
  • Trying to find out who she is
  • Needing to get out of her comfort zone
  • Wanderlust Women and how it came about
  • The benefits from joining the group
  • Encouraging women to sign up for new challenges and adventures
  • Why the outdoors is for everyone
  • What the niqab is and what it means to her
  • Advice and tips for Muslim women who want to solo hike
  • Finding appropriate clothing to wear to dress modestly
  • Syndeed Clothing 
  • Food while hiking
  • Magical moments from the mountains
  • Doing the 3 Peaks Challenge in the UK
  • Connecting with God when outdoors
  • Needing a pause and spending time in nature
  • Wanting to do more in the outdoors
  • Dealing with anxiety on Ben Nevis
  • Bucket List Dreams
  • Who her Muslim role models are
  • Don’t let your fears get in the way
Social Media
May 27, 2021
Nalini in her own words:
“I’m a grants manager at a nonprofit that focuses on youth development by day and an outdoor enthusiast by weekend. Whether I’m tending to my balcony garden, walking in parks in my hometown of the Washington, D.C. area, hiking iconic trails in National Parks, or carrying everything I need for a week or six-month long backpacking trip, I love spending time in the outdoors (and sharing stories of everything that goes wrong during my adventures).
  • Backpacking. It’s nothing short of a gift to have time to be in your head, carry no other worry than the miles ahead for the day and feel the freedom that comes with with carrying everything you need in a pack.
  • Hiking. The remarkable view from the summit of a mountain feels different when your body’s efforts get you to the top.
  • Walking. Nothing makes me feel more connected to all the beauty and possibility of nature than a walk in a park close to home.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Growing up in DC Area
  • Not growing up going to green spaces
  • Being the daughter of immigrants
  • Not having time to explore the outdoors
  • Getting into the outdoors in 2014
  • Going through tough times 
  • Watching a documentary on the Appalachian Trail
  • Not seeing herself in the traditional narrative of what’s seen as outdoorsy
  • Wanting to change the narrative of what it means to be in the outdoors
  • Starting the blog and instagram account - Hiking Misadventures 
  • Spending time with her mum in the garden
  • Her earliest memories
  • Being a quiet child
  • Looking after her mum while she had cancer
  • How her parents fled Sir Lanka
  • Deciding to hike the Appalachian Trail
  • Always following a road map and needing to change something
  • Not liking new things
  • Deciding to go solo on the hike
  • Sleeping in the shelter for the first time
  • Focusing on the next step, the next mile and the next day
  • Dealing with her feelings of fear
  • The planning and preparation time
  • The privilege of being able to do a long distance hike
  • Being a good planner
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome
  • Learning to believe in herself
  • The challenge of being 4’9 tall
  • How her body needed to adjust to the trail
  • Getting to the summit of Mt. Katahdin
  • How the Appalachian Trail changed her and helped her to believe in herself
  • How her priorities changed
  • Wanting to share more of her story and starting her next blog in 2018
  • How the Appalachian Trail was also an isolating time for her
  • Connecting with an amazing community online
  • What adventure means to Nalini
  • Feeling isolated and dealing with those feelings while on the AT
  • Racism on the Appalachian Trail and not feeling safe 
  • Taking time off and using her support networks off the trail
  • Life after the trail and not wanting to make work her entire life
  • The Wonderland Trail (93 miles)
  • Applying to be a thru hiking ambassador 
  • Being rescued from the trail
  • Making the right decision even though it was tough to make
  • Ending the hike early 
  • Dealing with feelings of shame
  • How her mum is doing
  • Advice for other women who want to spend more time in the outdoors
  • Words to encourage you to try new things
Social Media
Website - 
Instagram @hikingmisadventures  


May 25, 2021
Earlier this year, On January 22, Brooke Thomas an ultra runner and nurse, finished running the 3,000km Te Araroa Trail. Which starts at Cape Regina in the North Island and runs through to Buff, which is the bottom of the South Island. 
Brooke started her journey (supported) on November 26, 2020 and ran for 57 days, 12 hours, breaking the Te Araroa women’s route record by almost nine days! 
During this episode, Brooke shares more about her love of running and why she wanted to take on this challenge, she shares the high points; running 100km in one day and finishing the challenge. To reflecting back on when she ending up in hospital and not knowing if she would be able to carry on. We talk about the logistics and the physical and mental preparation. Brooke also shares more about her heart condition and how having a pacemaker/defibrillator installed has impacted on her life and running. 
Brooke was raising money for Heart Kids, a nonprofit organisation in New Zealand that supports children living with heart defects. 
Brooke in her own words:
“At age 22 I was diagnosed with a heart condition and became the recipient of an inserted cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator. Being told you have a long term condition at that age, I reckon it's probably pretty normal to go through the journey of feeling hard done by, asking 'why me', then eventually learning to accept and embrace it. 
One of my favourite quotes is that "it's not the throw, but the catch". You can't always choose what life might chuck at you, but you decide how to receive it, and what to do next.
Being a nurse and witnessing the enormous challenges some patients go through has also definitely helped me to stay grounded when it comes to my own condition, and 100% inspired me to keep pushing my own boundaries.
I guess the best thing I've learned through my own experiences is that you never know how long you're going to get in life to do all the things you want to do. We've just got to make the most of what we’ve got and embrace any opportunity you get while you can.
For me, anything that both scares me and makes me question myself is definitely something I want to try!”
“Running the length of a country is without doubt the toughest challenge I have ever undertaken before. Yet somehow all the moments of struggle, exhaustion, frustration and disbelief in myself are so quickly forgotten in comparison to the excitement, raw happiness and gratitude that I have experienced throughout this journey.” - Brooke Thomas
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Brooke
  • Not thinking of herself as an athlete
  • Going running with her dad when she was younger
  • Living in Queenstown 
  • Coming from a close family
  • Having a twin sister 
  • Her running journey 
  • Being into rowing at a competitive level 
  • Using running as an outlet 
  • Training 2x a day for rowing 
  • Quitting rowing due to a heart condition
  • Having a pace maker fitted to help her heart beat
  • What her pace maker does
  • Not being able to compete in the world championships
  • Fundraising for Heartkids
  • The transition period from professional athlete to having a pace maker fitted
  • Finding your own limits 
  • Building back her confidence with running
  • Deciding to run the full length of New Zealand
  • Being inspired by Mina Holder and Lucy Clark 
  • Meeting her running coach - Adam Keen
  • The planning and preparation for the trip
  • Wanting to start the trail in November
  • Getting 2 months off work
  • Thinking about the record
  • Wanting to prove something to herself
  • Feeling the pressure from being behind schedule
  • Feeling like a failure every day
  • The magical moments while on the trail
  • Mental preparation
  • Dealing with the challenging sections and moments
  • Fuelling her body!
  • Getting into flow while running
  • The beauty of trail running and community
  • Dealing with the challenging river crossings
  • Dealing with food care
  • Documenting her journey in order to get the FKT (Fastest Known Time) 
  • Wearing a Coros watch
  • The finish line...
  • The final 100K - a nice round number
  • The biggest lesson learned from running the TA
  • The power of believing in yourself 
  • Thinking about the worst case scenario 
  • Getting back to work straight away
  • Follow Brooke and donate to Heart Kids - links down below.
Social Media
Instagram - @brooke_bt_thomas 
Charity donation link - 
Brooks Running Coach - Aerobicedge Coaching
Listen to Mina Holder on the Tough Girl Podcast 
May 20, 2021
Jessie’s lifelong outdoor odyssey began with Duke of Edinburgh walks in the Peak District. 
This segued into long hill hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, multi-day treks in the Lake District, scrambles in North Wales and adventures scaling alpine pinnacles. 
When not walking, she can be found rock climbing, wild swimming, cycling, photographing, filmmaking, writing and modelling. 
Jessie in her own words:
“It’s so so important to be championing a greater diversity of voices and lenses that show a different narrative on the world.”
“For me, trad climbing helps me slow everything down. When I have deadlines on, worrying about where my next job comes through or trying to give my head a bit of space, I find nothing helps concentrate me more than heading to my local crag and putting all the mind chatter in a box. Being on the sharp end and taking a deep breath, committing to the move above my gear - that is what gives me energy”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Jessie
  • Juggling a lot of things as a freelancer
  • Being British-born Chinese 
  • Her family and growing up in Essex
  • Being encouraged by her parents to get into a good university
  • Doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award through Air Cadets
  • Getting mini expeditions under her belt in the local area
  • Heading out to the Peak District for the DoE Silver Award
  • Going on to do the Gold Award and doing the expedition to the Pyrenees Mountains!
  • The spark for hiking, trekking and exploration 
  • Her future plans and dreams
  • Being the oldest in her family and being a rebel
  • Having a desire to spend time outdoors
  • Where her drive and ambition comes from
  • Her passion for photography 
  • Being inspired by amazing and supportive teachers
  • The realities of being a professional photographer in the outdoors
  • Heading up North to Leeds to get a degree
  • Working in a commercial studio 
  • Getting involved in a hiking club 
  • Starting as a social hiker and how it evolved into climbing
  • The loss of a climber from the hiking club and its impact
  • Finding solace in the mountains
  • Gaining Alpine Skills
  • Getting Trad Climbing experience in 2015
  • Having good friends
  • Heading to the Alps for her first Alpine Adventure 2016
  • Being an OS #GetOutside Champion 
  • Dealing with the Beast from the East in the UK while climbing
  • Encouraging people to see what adventures are available on their doorstep
  • Advice for other women to achieve their goals
  • 2020 goals
  • Taking her ML assessment and her challenging experience 
  • Advice for those who want to take their ML 
  • New film….with the Pinnacle Club 
Social Media
Instagram @jessielphoto 
Facebook @jessieleongphotographyuk 
Twitter @JessieLPhoto 
Youtube - 
May 18, 2021
Jessi (Jessilynn) was born in a small town in Southern Alberta Canada. She grew up on a ranch and has always loved being in the mountains. She moved around quite a bit as a child and is now living in Sandy, UT, USA. 
Jessi started competing in cross country in high school but stopped due to illness, which later was diagnosed as Lyme Disease. After going through treatments in the United States, Jessi spent three consecutive summers in Kerala, India where she learned the value of meditation and building a relationship with herself. 
After having her daughter, who is now seven, Jessi decided to run her first marathon. She went on to compete in many ultra-marathon distances and recently won the female division at Moab 240 in October 2020. 
Jessi recently wrote a book called, Defying the Odds, which talks about her journey and how she used mental fortitude to become the person she is today. 

CONTENT WARNING - Rape is mentioned and miscarriages are discussed in detail.

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Growing up in Alberta, Canada on a farm
  • Moving to Texas with her mum when she was in the 10th grade
  • Going to 15 different high schools
  • Her passion for ultra running, yoga and meditation
  • Staying in Utah
  • Trying different sports but never sticking at any one sport
  • Getting into running and falling in love with it
  • Becoming a PT
  • Having her daughter and running her first marathon
  • Not being a natural runner
  • Doing the mile test 
  • Running at night around the farm
  • Running while pregnant
  • Having multiple miscarriages 
  • Being active during pregnancy
  • Running her first marathon 4 months after having her daughter 
  • The Boston Marathon bombing 
  • 48 hr labour
  • Why her first marathon was a disaster 
  • Signing up for her first 50 mile race
  • Using running for therapy 
  • Feeling healed
  • Increasing the mileage and going outside her comfort zone
  • Feeling so nervous doing her first 100 miles
  • Hearing about the Moab 240 race 
  • Breaking down the race into smaller distances
  • Why she enjoys the longer distances
  • Nutrition and problems with digestion
  • Having chronic lyme disease
  • Staying on top of hydration
  • Mindset and mental resilience 
  • Why running ultra’s is like life
  • Being the fastest woman running Moab 240
  • The final stretch
  • Winning her first race
  • Being humble and wanting to be relatable 
  • Book - Defying the Odds 
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Instagram - @jessimortonlangehaug 
May 13, 2021
Jordan Marie Brings Three White Horses Daniel – Kul Wičasa Lakota, a citizen of Kul Wicasa Oyate (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe) as well as a passionate and devoted advocate for Indian Country and all people. 
Nationally known for her advocacy and grassroots organization for anti-pipelines/climate justice efforts, change the name/not your mascot, the epidemic and crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls, two spirits and relatives (MMIWG2S), and native youth initiatives. 
Her experience in grants and project management, policy, blogging, and organizing has been leveraged by both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to quality healthcare, MMIWG2S, the Violence Against Women Act, and a variety of other worthy causes.
Jordan is the founder and organizer of Rising Hearts, an Indigenous led grassroots group devoted to elevating Indigenous voices and promoting intersectional collaborative efforts across all movements with the goals of racial, social, climate, and economic justice. 
The primary focuses are to inform, elevate, mobilize, and organize through strategic and targeted advocacy, establishing collaborative partnerships to help create a better and safer future and environment for all of our relatives who inhabit this planet, past, present and future. Jordan sits on the Board of Directors with the PowerShift Network and ReNew Earth Running, to work with passionate individuals to influence change and to help increase Indigenous visibility. She was also awarded the NCAIED Native American 40 Under 40 in the fall of 2018. 
In 2019, she served on the Womxn’s March – Ending Violence Against Womxn and Femmes Policy Committee with other Native womxn representing on multiple committees. She is also a 2020 Society fellow with Return to the Heart Foundation. As well as sitting on the Intersectional Environmentalists Council, and Runner’s World Alliance Ambassador program.
Currently, she is using her running platform, to help raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives by dedicating the miles she runs to a missing or murdered Indigenous person, #RunningForJustice and is now intersecting this effort and prayers for Black Lives Matter and calling an end to police brutality. She is among many Indigenous people working to elevate this crisis and to bring justice to the families and victims. And creating programming to build community and focus on wellness through Indigenous Wellness through Movement while continuing the heart work in supporting communities. 
Now, she is continuing this running journey and advocacy, as a professional runner with Altra Team Elite and Rabbit. She is an Ambassador with Ultimate Direction for her running and advocacy. Jordan has launched, Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related), a COVID19 relief program since June 2020 for Indigenous communities, to send masks to Indigenous relatives and communities to help protect and keep the communities safe and organizing virtual running and wellness events to support Indigenous communities and expand community through allyship. 
Jordan is consulting on documentaries as Indigenous advocate, producer on films focused on Indigenous Earth Protectors, BIPOC runners, and supporting families impacted by MMIW, Executive Producer and co-director of #RunningWithPurpose. She consults with outdoor organizations to develop content on social media to protect sacred lands and promote health and wellness for Indian Country. Jordan is an Outreach and Project Manager with the UCLA, supporting researchers with their project proposals and with the new pivot to COVID-related studies and clinical trials, and continuing to organize in the community she lives on, homelands to the Tovangaar people, also known as Los Angeles, CA.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • What Jordan does
  • What her early years were like
  • Moving to the state of Maine
  • Trying to figure out life 
  • Experiencing racism for the first time
  • Being different
  • How her life changed at college
  • Her dreams as a little girl
  • Living in DC and being an advocate for Indigenous Women
  • Learning to love and accept herself
  • Making it through high school
  • How running became her identity
  • Finding her community 
  • Moving to DC and making the transition from college to work
  • Building her network 
  • Running and fitting it into her life
  • Why her community comes first
  • Combing her passions for running and advocacy
  • Running the Boston Marathon and doing a prayer run
  • Giving up
  • The red hand print symbol
  • 2 spirits
  • What can I do?
  • Self care
  • The challenges of 2019 
  • Being mentally and physically exhausted before races
  • Taking 2 months off
  • Founding Rising Hearts in 2016
  • Why the wellness industry needs to reflex diversity 
  • Being inclusive
  • Running on native lands 
  • Dealing with an injury for the past 2 years
  • Words of advice to encourage you to start running 
Social Media
Instagram @nativein_la 
Twitter @_NativeInLA 
May 11, 2021
Ellie in her own words:
“I am a Mental Health Personal Trainer based in East Sussex. I started my business WellbeingFIT last year because I want to raise awareness of the many benefits of exercise on our mental health and wellbeing. I also want to make exercise more accessible and positive to people - especially if they usually feel that exercise isn’t for them.
All of this was inspired by my own mental ill-health. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for the last 10 years, and have also received treatment for PTSD. I did get to the point when I began planning my suicide.
Exercise was my saviour through my toughest times. I am still on my journey of recovery and I am using my experiences to help people; to provide empathy and compassion; alongside emphasising how exercise can really help our mental health.
Alongside WellbeingFIT I have also started my mental health blog #WeGotThis. My aim here is to raise awareness, challenge stigma and to provide a safe space to share stories.
I want people to know that you can go through a really tough mental health journey and still come out the other side. There is hope when you are able to share what you are going through. Stigma still tells us that we should feel guilt or shame when we are experiencing mental ill-health - this alone adds a huge amount to our suffering which is completely unnecessary.
Exercise can provide relief from symptoms of mental ill-health and can be a space for sharing how you are feeling. It can also be a way of maintaining good mental health - regularly giving yourself priority and challenging what you are capable of.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Who is Ellie and what she does
  • Being a Mental Health Personal Trainer
  • Her journey into fitness and how it started
  • How exercise helped her with her mental health
  • Getting though the toughest times
  • Feeling alone with her mental health and not being able to talk to people
  • Realising that becoming a PT could be a way of helping people
  • Wanting to help people with their recovery
  • Signing up to a PT course after her first child
  • Starting her own business - WellbeingFIT
  • The exciting and challenging times at the start of her business
  • Trying to get paying customers
  • Knowing the reasons why you are doing this
  • Being supported by her Brother in Law who built her website
  • The power of asking for help
  • Enjoying all types of exercise
  • Exercise after having your baby
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Mum guilt
  • Depression and anxiety after having her first child
  • Seeing a therapist every week
  • Getting professional help
  • Being told she had ‘mild depression’
  • Talking therapy by the NHS
  • Needing to know the core reason of why she was feeling how she was
  • The stigma of mental health and how it’s changed over the past 8 years
  • What makes a Mental Health PT different
  • Dealing with stress
  • Coping with lockdowns
  • Comparing situations with other people
  • Wellness and kindness
  • Final words of advice
Social Media
Website - 
Facebook @wellbeingfitwithellie 
Instagram @wellbeingfitwithellie
May 6, 2021
Patricia Alcivar (Patty Boom Boom) was born on December 12, 1983 from parents who emigrated from Barranquilla, Colombia. She is one of four sisters who grew up in a small two bedroom apartment in Woodside, Queens, N.Y. Her father was removed from their home when she was 10 years old leaving her mother to take care of four girls.
Patty left an abusive home at the age of 16 after completing her first NYC Marathon. She knew that if she could complete 26.2 miles on her own, she could do anything! She completed High School with honours while working after school to support herself.
Patty is a 2-time NYC Golden Gloves Champion, USA Nationals Champion, NY Metro Champion, Western States Champion and the first Female ever to be voted and win “Athlete of the Year,” as voted by the United States Olympic Committee. As a Professional Boxer, she captured the New York State title.
Patty’s passion is Alpine/Mountain Climbing and one of her goals is to be the first Latina from Queens, New York to climb the 7 Summits of the World. She has already successfully summited 3 of the 7 thus far: Kilimanjaro-the highest peak in Africa (in 2 days!), Aconcagua-the highest peak in South America and in the Western & Southern Hemispheres and Mount Elbrus in Russia-Highest Peak in Europe.
When Patty is not out climbing, running or boxing, she supports herself by working in a variety of ways which include being Spanish Interpreter/ Translator, EMT, Event Manager, Group Fitness Instructor & Print Ad & Commercial fitness model.
In Patty’s free time, she is an animal activist and is also active in Fighting Hunger & Poverty through NYCARES, Meals on Wheels and NYC Harvest which provide Food to homebound elderly or New Yorkers in need.
Patty hopes to go back to school in the near future for a Nursing degree and continue giving back and be a positive role model to athletes and women of all ages around the world. 
Upon completion of her project " Climbing for a Dream-7 Summits" she would like to help build a foundation to educate people around the world about the great outdoors and how to use the challenge and beauty of nature to heal physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • CONTENT WARNING - we discuss leaving an abusive situation.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Her nickname and professional boxing name
  • Who Patty is and what she does
  • Her goal to climb the 7 summits
  • 3 done, with 4 more to go
  • Living in NYC on her own 
  • Running her first marathon at 16
  • Being 1 of 4 sisters
  • Being inspired by the Boston Marathon and knowing she would run it one day
  • Coming from Colombia in South America
  • Being laughed at for her dream of running a marathon
  • Going for her first run at 5am
  • Joining the NYC Road Runners
  • Living in a bad situation at home
  • How running helped her leave an abusive situation
  • Being diagnosed with ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Being enrolled in sports at a young age
  • Getting into martial arts 
  • Winning a world title in martial arts
  • Deciding what to do next
  • Lying about her age to get her first job
  • How she got into Boxing
  • Not being able to support herself through boxing
  • Taking the opportunity to focus on mountaineering
  • Falling in love with the mountains
  • Climbing in Ecuador
  • Wanting to take climbing to the highest level
  • Becoming more patient 
  • Having to turn back from a summit
  • Her though process while climbing 
  • Needing to be fully focused while climbing
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro in 2017 in 2 days!
  • Climbing Aconcagua in South America and why it was so challenging 
  • Training for 12 months
  • Carrying all her own equipment at high altitude
  • The power of visualisation 
  • Getting back to normal after summiting Aconcagua
  • Money and paying to climb mountains
  • Maintaining her motivation levels
  • The power of praying
  • Living in NYC during the pandemic
  • Making the most out of her time
  • Getting up at 3:30am
  • Her plans to go and climb Denali 
  • Documenting and sharing her journey 
Social Media
Website - 
Medium -
May 4, 2021
A lover of adventure: climbing, hiking, camping and fun, Frankie started biking in lock down and with very little experience took her second hand bike on a squiggly loop of the UK to interview 51outdoorsy folx older than her about how they kept the adventure alive, and showing that you don't have to "do it whilst you're young”. 
These stories were recorded and the conversations shared via the Extraordinary Ordinary Womxn Podcast*
*Extraordinary Ordinary Womxn - has had a rebrand and has changed its name to Extraordinary Ordinary You - this transition is taking place now. The reason for the name change will be discussed during this episode. 
Listen to Frankie now on the Tough Girl Podcast! You can listen on itunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify & iheartradio.
New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure to hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out! 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please visit
Show notes
  • Who is Frankie
  • What she loves
  • Growing up in the countryside in Devon
  • Moving to rural France when she was young
  • Wanting to live in the city 
  • Moving to Brighton, UK at 17/18 years old
  • Living in France
  • Doing an exchange to New Zealand
  • Being broke and living on a tight budget
  • Investing in a pair of hiking boots, sleeping bag and backpack
  • Getting into hiking in New Zealand
  • Having fun on a budget
  • Connecting with awesome people
  • Not planning on going to university 
  • Studying childcare in college
  • Working seasons for 2 years as a kids rep
  • Wanting to move up or move on
  • Deciding to go to university to study Tourism
  • Wanting to work and travel!
  • Not having a plan for the future
  • Doing a placement year in Chamonix - Action Outdoors 
  • Playing catch up and wanting to do as much as she could
  • Heading back to the UK to finish her degree
  • Having a go with the flow plan for after university 
  • Starting working as a freelancer and wanting to work from her van
  • Getting injured at the climbing gym
  • Having a tough few months in rehab in 2019
  • The start of 2020 and dealing with the UK lockdown
  • Moving to Hastings to stay in a holiday home
  • Having negative thoughts about prioritising adventure
  • When things go wrong, while living an alternative life
  • Wanting to ask people for advice
  • Wanting to do a cycling trip
  • Buying a bike for £70
  • Wanting to find more role models
  • Deciding to cycle around the UK and interview as many women as possible
  • Taking the first step and putting herself out there
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome and feeling anxious about putting herself out there
  • Was the trip too big and too cool for her?
  • Extraordinary Ordinary Womxn
  • Speaking to 51 amazing women and non-binary folk
  • Judging the success of the podcast 
  • Re-branding to Extraordinary Ordinary You
  • Reflection on using the term “Womxn”
  • Reaching out to her community 
  • Book: What the T?: The no-nonsense guide to all things trans and/or non-binary for teens 
  • Book: Life Isn't Binary: On Being Both, Beyond, and In-Between  
  • Womxn Instagram post on @Extraordinaryordinaryyou 
  • Moving to Sheffield 
  • Plans for 2021
  • Supporting Frit (@frit_tam) on their 2 month trip doing a zig-zag across the UK - starting on the 15th May 2021 - #glideforpride Rollerblading England tackling the issue of belonging in the LGBTQIA+ community 
  • LGBTQIA+ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual and/or Ally.
  • Working with RachelSarahM 
  • Final words of advice 
Social Media 
Website - 
Instagram @frankie_dewar
Extraordinary Ordinary You
Instagram @extraordinaryyou 
Apr 29, 2021
Zelzin was born in Mexico city in the Iztapalapa neighborhood in Nov 1993. Since she was a girl, she was passionate about outdoor sports such as rowing, running, mountain biking, a sport in which she excelled in National and International competitions and forged her determination and love for the mountains. Zelzin graduated in Communications and Electronics Engineering from the Instituto Politecnico Nacional.
In 2017 she traveled to the USA for the first time alone, without speaking the language to hike the second longest trail in the US the PCT. On April 4 she started the adventure and despite her little knowledge of hiking, being new to the high mountains, and dealing with snow. Zelzin completed her first thru hike in 153 days, covering a distance of 4,277 km. In 2018, Zelzin thru-hiked from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail in 100 days. In 2019, she completed the Continental Divide Trail in 145 days. Zelzin was the first Mexican person to have thru-hiked the three longest trails in the US. 
Zelzin goals is to promote thru- hiking in Mexico and her dream is to create the first long-distance trail in Baja, California.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out
Show notes
  • Growing up in Mexico City
  • What the triple crown in hiking is
  • Her childhood
  • Being the oldest of two brothers
  • Growing up in a dangerous neighbourhood
  • Starting working at 11 years old
  • Hearing about the PCT for the first time
  • Studying engineering at university 
  • How her family reacted to her wanting to go to America and hike
  • Being worried about the snow and black bears
  • Not speaking English
  • Her worries before the hike
  • Getting a visa for America
  • Research and planning for the trail
  • Not being able to find information in Spanish
  • The support of Facebook Groups
  • Going to the mountains in Mexico 
  • Learning about the gear and the animals
  • Trail name?
  • What it was like doing her first thru hike
  • The challenging and difficult sections on the PCT
  • Dealing with a lot of snow
  • Facing river crossings
  • Making a few mistakes on the trail
  • Lessons learned from those mistakes
  • Finding someone to walk in the mountains with 
  • Having good luck and trying to catch up with other hikers
  • Dealing with the cold
  • Keeping her clothing simple
  • Food on the trail
  • Eating “trash food”
  • Her love of cheese!
  • Hiking the Appalachian Trail 2nd
  • Leaving the Continental Divide Trail to the last 
  • The challenges on the CDT
  • What happens when times get tough
  • Has she ever wanted to quit?
  • Learning from her mistakes
  • Feeling passionate about hiking
  • Her favourite hiking trail is the Hayduke Trail
  • Paying for her hikes
  • Struggling to find sponsorship in Mexico
  • Her dream of starting a new thru-hiking trail in Mexico
  • Figuring out the new trail and having support with water and food
  • The goals of the project
  • Finals words of advice for other women who want to get into hiking
  • “Don’t be afraid and live your dreams”
Social Media
Instagram @zelzin_aketzalli 
Facebook @unquetzalennorteamerica
Apr 27, 2021
Cadi in her own words:
“Having lost a partner to suicide in 2014 I turned to being active in the outdoors to bring joy back into my life. Challenging myself, whether it's an ultra run, white water raft racing or cycle touring somewhere fabulous bring great sparks to me. I am never happier than when I'm running on the trails with my dog, swimming in a cold lake with friends or just taking in the beauty of nature. My desire to chase positivity and help others find theirs has led me to now become a Life Coach. I plan on using the great outdoors along with my coaching to create positive change in peoples lives.”
*please note during this episode we do talk about, mental health, losing someone through suicide & dealing with frightening situations.
Show notes
  • Growing up in Nottingham
  • Being passionate about the outdoors
  • Working for British Canoeing - running ShePaddles program 
  • Re-training as a life coach 
  • What her early years were like
  • Her dreams as a young girl
  • Not being a career person
  • Working to live
  • Going to university 
  • Trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life
  • Starting to go travelling more
  • Losing her partner to suicide 
  • Wanting to be more of an independent traveller 
  • Dealing with the shock of losing someone a partner
  • Making a decision on how it would affect her
  • Wanting to carry on doing adventures
  • Her first trip with Bob to Egypt
  • Getting her first bike
  • Cycling in Cuba
  • Deciding to do the coast to coast challenge in a day
  • Being supported by friends and family 
  • The benefits of blogging and how it helped her process her feelings
  • Joining a local group SOBS - Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide 
  • Seeking out support and finding people to speak to 
  • Going to Nepal in 2015 after the earthquake 
  • Spending time in Tibet 
  • Mount Kailash Kora Trek 
  • The challenges of getting a visa for Tibet
  • How her definition of adventure has changed 
  • Blogging at Adventurous Girl and sharing beautiful pictures
  • Dealing with Covid and it’s impact on time outdoors and mental health
  • Focusing on the joys and positives of the situation
  • Summer 2017 and heading up to the Lake District
  • Handling setback when things go wrong on an adventure 
  • Dealing with disappointment and feelings of failure
  • Running across Iceland and the lessons learned
  • Why it’s worth trying new things
  • Making the decision to run across Iceland - East to West
  • The lessons learned from the Iceland experience 
  • Feelings of disappointment 
  • Running around Malta solo
  • Dealing with frightening situations while being solo on an adventure
  • Being followed and flashed at. 
  • Taking a knife?
  • Further solo challenges?
  • Being aware of her surroundings
  • Training before trips
  • She Paddles - what it is and what the goals are
  • Funding to coach women and girls in leadership positions
  • Building a positive community for paddlers
  • Making the decision to leave British Canoeing and transition into self employment
  • Losing her mum last year and making changes to her life
  • Training to be a life coach and gaining new skills
  • Turning 40 on the 1st January
  • Wanting to cycle tour in Japan
  • Final words of advice and why you should go with your heart
  • What do you really want to do?
Social Media
Blog -
Instagram @adventurousgirl  
Twitter @cadilambert  
Shine Life Coaching - If you have a change you want to make in your life I’ll help you get there. Person centred coach & NLP Practitioner
Website -
Instagram @shinelifecoach  
Facebook  @CadiShineLifeCoaching 
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