Shilpa in her own words:
“I'm a British Indian gal who is about to hit 60 and feel that I am really only just starting to explore the wonderful joy of outdoor adventures.
I am happiest when I'm on the water on my paddle board, or cycling along a canal, or walking in the beautiful English countryside, or body boarding in Cornwall.
I leaned to swim in my late 40’s and this just opened up a whole new world of paddle sports.
My biggest personal adventure was this summer (2022) when I paddle boarded on a SUP board from London to Nottinghamshire, some 165 miles (and 144 locks) along the vertical length of the amazing Grand Union Canal.
This was such a joyful journey and revealed so much about myself that I had not been aware of - particularly how much I love to meet new people and how caring and kind strangers are.
Since then I have been exploring SUP journeys where I carry my camping kit on my SUP board and I absolutely love doing this.
I am extremely grateful to British Canoeing who accepted me as a #ShePaddles Ambassador and this really helped me to go out of my comfort zone and explore new adventures.”
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out.
- Who is Shilpa
- More about her friends and family
- What Shilpa was like as a little girl
- Growing up in Africa until 8 years old
- Moving to the UK and the culture shock
- Finding a different type of entertainment
- Not having dreams or aspirations as a young girl
- Leaving school to study economics and accounting at University
- Retraining as a town planner
- Getting back into the outdoors and sports
- Meeting up with friends to go for walks in the local area
- Setting up a local walking group which has been going for over 20 years
- Building up her walking gear and kit
- Learning to swim in her late 40s
- Not having the opportunities when she was younger
- Learning how to cycle
- Going to adult only swimming classes to get coaching
- Doing wild swimming for the first time
- Getting into kayaking and water sports
- Her first experience on a paddle board
- Why she prefers paddle boarding
- Her adventure in Summer 2022
- Becoming a British Canoeing #ShePaddles Ambassador
- Wanting to encourage more women to try water sports
- Deciding to do a long distance trip on the Grand Union Canal
- Knowing it was the right time to do the challenge
- Being honest with herself of what she could and couldn’t do
- Doing it at her pace
- The planning and preparation for the journey
- Researching the route and figuring out distances and accommodation
- The Pirate Castle - boating and outdoor activities charity on the Regent's Canal in the heart of Camden Town, London
- Struggling with her back and recovering from injury
- Being helped and supported along the way
- The kindness of strangers and when strangers become friends
- Joining a gym and working out with a personal trainer
- Focusing on getting strong
- Dealing with injury
- Reflecting back on the journey
- Feeling more confident
- Plans for 2023
- Learning new skills and becoming qualified as a coach
- Becoming a She Paddles Club
- How to connect with Shilpa
- Final words of advice - “you'll never know if you love it or not until you try it”