Episodes

  • Join us for an exhilarating journey into the world of long-distance hiking with Arlette Laan, affectionately known as "Apple Pie."

    In this episode, Arlette shares her awe-inspiring tale of becoming the first woman to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails in the USA, covering over 35,000 miles on foot. From her childhood adventures in Holland to navigating the rugged terrains of America's most iconic trails, Arlette's story is one of perseverance, passion, and the sheer joy of exploration.

    Tune in as she delves into the essence of long-distance hiking, the challenges she faced along the way, and the profound lessons she learned from her epic adventures. Whether you're an avid hiker or simply someone who loves a good adventure story, this episode is sure to leave you inspired and itching to hit the trails!

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement.

    Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Arlette? Being born in Holland Living in Boston, USA Getting the trail name ‘Apple Pie’ Growing up in Holland and having a typical childhood Moving over to California after college Visiting Switzerland and getting into backpacking The hiking culture in the Netherlands Starting with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in America in 2003 Learning more about the long distance trails What she loves about long distance hiking Being empowered after reaching her goals How hiking has changed over the years The social aspect of hiking Not being an ultra light fast packer What a typical day hiking looks like Having dinner at 5pm and then carrying on hiking Finishing up the 11 National Scenic Trails Not giving her body the rest she needed Pushing harder while hiking Dealing with the heat and humidity and struggling to hit the 25 miles per day needed Advice for recovery and why taking time off is a good thing Eating well while hiking Cooking v cold soaking Food chat! Wearing dresses while hiking Hiking through all seasons Tips for winter hiking Feet and shoes for hiking Road walking with a pack Hiking with poles Fitting hiking into her life and working as a hiking guide Hiking all of the 11 National Scenic Trails in the States Putting a plan in place in 2018 Speaking with ‘Buck 30’ (Brian Tanzman) Planning and preparation for the final few hikes Dealing with aggressive barking dogs North Country Trail (4,600 miles) Advice for when it gets tough on a hike Making her goals smaller Keeping track of expenses while on trail Paying for breakfast as it’s a better deal than dinner Advice for hiking the Te Araroa (TA), New Zealand Skipping the road walks in New Zealand Hiking in Nepal Hiking in Europe Preferring to hike in the wilderness Going back to hike the Arizona trail Wanting to thru-hikes the trails that she section hiked Wanting to ‘redlining’ the White Mountains guide book (1,440.4 miles ) How to connect with Arlette on social media #ApplePieHikes Selling sock dolls (only sold/shipped to the US) Redline Guiding Final words of advice

    Social Media

    Website: www.arlettelaan.com

    Instagram: @arlette_laan

  • In this episode, we embark on a journey with Lauren Beihoffer, a trail and ultra-running enthusiast residing in Tennessee, USA. As she prepares for a 100-mile race in the rugged mountains of Virginia, Lauren shares insights into the physical and mental challenges she faces and offers valuable advice for fellow runners, particularly women over the age of 40.

    Lauren's love for running runs deep, having discovered it in her 30s and gradually progressing into the world of trail running. Through trial and error, she has gained valuable knowledge, emphasising the importance of self-compassion and honesty in balancing training with life's demands.

    With a passion for helping others, Lauren specialises in working with women over 40, offering guidance on improving sleep quality, nutrition, and managing conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). She highlights the significance of metabolic efficiency training and advocates for a balanced approach to nutrition, emphasising the importance of real food over supplements.

    As Lauren shares her wisdom, she addresses the common feeling of imposter syndrome when pushing beyond one's comfort zone. Her final words of advice resonate deeply, reminding us that growth often occurs outside our comfort zones, and it's okay to embrace the uncertainty that comes with it.

    Listen to Lauren on the Tough Girl Podcast as we navigate the trails of life with her, finding inspiration and guidance for our own journeys along the way

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement.

    Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Lauren Living in Tennessee in the USA Her love for trail and ultra running Tapering for her 100 miles race in the mountains of Virginia The uncertainty feeling before a race Managing the various mental and physical challenges as they arise Dealing with the uncertainty Advice and tips for tapering before a race Reducing your alcohol consumption A glass of wine before bed…. What the sleep studies show Working with women over the age of 40 Advice and tips for improving sleep quality Her love and passion for running Coming to running in her 30s How her running journey progressed Getting into trail running Gaining new knowledge in running via trial and error Getting serious with running 3/4 years ago Fitting ultra training in with your life Having self compassion and taking an honest look at your life Nutrition and why it’s so important Dealing with PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Metabolic Efficiency Training - a concept developed by Bob Seebohar in 2003 Good nutrition occurs on a spectrum Practical nutrition for before, during and after the 100 mile race Eating real food and taking sports supplements Connect with Lauren on the socials Final words of advice Why it’s normal to feel like an imposter when you are pushing outside your comfort zone

    Social Media

    Website: www.misfitmountainathletics.com

    Instagram:

    @lauren_runswild

    @misfitmountainathletics

    Facebook: @LaurenRunsWild

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  • Shirin made history as Iran's first female triathlete to compete in a world championship.

    On 15 September 2013, Shirin represented Iran at the triathlon championship in London, wearing full Islamic dress.

    Growing up, Shirin discovered her love for movement through activities like yoga, swimming, and running. Her passion for sports blossomed further during her university years when she decided to pursue triathlon. Despite initial fears, she pushed through, embracing the challenge with determination.

    After graduating from Durham University, where she studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Shirin embarked on an internship with the United Nations. Throughout her academic and professional journey, she explored the complex interplay between human nature, societal expectations, and the realities of life.

    Shirin's participation in the 2013 Triathlon World Championship in London garnered attention worldwide. Donning full Islamic dress, she defied stereotypes and inspired women everywhere to pursue their athletic dreams, regardless of cultural or societal barriers.

    Beyond her athletic achievements, Shirin remains passionate about advocating for inclusivity and challenging societal norms. She actively engages in discussions about privilege, gender equality, and the importance of representation in sports.

    Join us as we delve into Shirin's remarkable journey, exploring the intersections of athleticism, philosophy, and social change. Her story serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of sport in transcending boundaries and fostering empowerment.

    Don't miss out on the opportunity to hear Shirin's final words of advice, as she shares her insights on resilience, determination, and the pursuit of one's passions.

    ***

    New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement.

    Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Shiz Being based in London Not considering herself a tough girl Being born in Iran and moving around a lot in her early years Being introduced to yoga and the mountains Getting into running and swimming at school Getting into triathlon at university The pros and cons of moving so much when she was younger Being in the right environment to do sports The power of movement and nature How she defines being competitive Being involved with many societies at university Studying PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at Durham University Rowing at college College chat! Deciding it was now or never and getting into triathlon Feeling scared and pushing on through Graduating from Durham and doing an internship with the United Nations (UN) Wanting to ride a rickshaw in London Exploring what is human nature in her dissertation Being told it wasn’t a safe environment for girls How theory is different from reality Competing in a triathlon world championship in London 2013 The connection between your body and mind Don’t take your privilege for granted Flying to Iran to speak with the Iranian Needing to dress modestly What should women wear? Being patronised while racing Paris Olympics and the restriction on French women wearing a hijab Being passionate about moving Stepping back from social media Final words of advice

    Social Media

    Instagram: @shiringeramitri

  • Beth is a traveler first and foremost. With 35 years of travel experience, each year she spends three to four months abroad, combining her love of adventure with vacation and business.

    For 15 years she has been running WanderTours, focusing on women-only tours, where she encourages and inspires women to dive deep into cultures and to challenge themselves by getting out of their comfort zone.

    She recently discovered running and, at age 50, ran her first marathon. She then discovered ultra-running and has been using these as an excuse to explore remote destinations around the globe that few people ever see.

    Most recently she completed the Grand Slam Plus with Racing the Planet. This consisted of running five 250K stage races across four deserts: the Gobi in Mongolia, the Atacama in Chile, the Namib in Namibia, Antarctica and, the one non-desert race, a run across the country of Georgia.

    While many people have completed these races, she is part of a small group of competitors (only seven women!) who have completed them in a year's time (OK, slightly longer due to Covid).

    ***

    We first spoke with Beth - Feb 11th 2020 - Running her 1st Marathon at 50, completing the Snowman Trek in Bhutan.

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement.

    Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Beth Whitman and what she does Speaking with Beth at the end of 2019 where she shared more about running her first marathon and completing the Snowman Trek in Bhutan. Going back to the start of 2020 4 desert races - with Racing the Planet Wanting to run these 4races in 1 year (Namib Race (Namibia), Gobi March (Mongolia), Atacama Crossing (Chile) and The Last Desert (Antarctica)) Continuing to run and train, even when races and borders were getting closed Not knowing what was going on, and continuing to hope that the race would go on. Running every street in your city/neighbourhood Having a purpose to get up every day and go running The rules of the ‘running every street’ The mental side of always being ‘on’ while running The challenges of running a tour company during covid Dealing with uncertainty Her first race - running Georgia (country) in 2021 Dealing with stress Using mediation and becoming more aware of her thoughts Needing to know what was happening and starting to doom scroll Becoming more aware of her habits Cutting back on caffeine and sugar Moving on quickly from each trip/race Needing to spend more time in reflection and appreciation for what’s been achieved Revenge travel Having 7 weeks between the Georgia race and the next ultra in Namibia Fuelling ultra marathons being a mostly vegan Magical moments and highlights from running Running in Antarctica and the challenges with the terrain and weather The mental struggle and thinking that she wasn’t going to be able to carry on while running in the desert What kept her going during the tough times How to find out more about Beth and her tours Being most active on Facebook Final words of advice Having something to look forward to The power of making a plan Why you are capable of so much more than you think

    Social Media

    Website:

    www.WanderlustAndLipstick.com

    www.WanderTours.com

    Instagram:

    @bethwhitwa

    @wandertours_pics

    Facebook: @bethwhitwa

  • Hey Hey, it's Sarah Williams from the Tough Girl Podcast, and I'm thrilled to share with you my latest solo episode reflecting on my unforgettable journey hiking the 3,000km Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand.

    Sponsored by Zoleo #ChallengeWithZOLEO, this episode dives deep into the highs, lows, and everything in between of my epic adventure.

    Join me as I address questions from listeners about a wide range of topics, including solo hiking as a woman, hitchhiking, hygiene, nutrition, and more. I share it all.

    I'll take you on a journey through the stunning landscapes of both the North and South Islands, highlighting memorable moments like canoeing adventures and breathtaking views on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

    Whether you're a seasoned hiker or dreaming of your first big adventure, this episode offers inspiration, practical advice, and a glimpse into the transformative power of outdoor exploration.

    Listen now and be inspired to take on your next personal challenge or adventure.

    ***

    Show notes

    Intro Sponsored by Zoleo #ChallengeWithZOLEO Who am I? The challenge - to hike 3,000km on the Te Araroa Trail Planning & Preparation episode 2nd November 2023 Why it’s not your typical wilderness thru hike North Island Stats Questions from listeners, tribe members etc Safety for a solo women - men on the trail, wild camping, hitching Hitching Purist and EFK (Every F***king Km) Inov8 trainers - get a 15% discount here Trail Angels V Trail Entrepreneurs Koha V Donations Enjoyment of the North Island Canoeing Highlights - Timber Trail, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Colonial Knob Walkway Costs from the North Island Reaching Wellington and having a Christmas break South Island 1st January 2024 - 6th March 2024 Planning…. Verses being spontaneous Breaking down the challenging days Rivers in New Zealand Hiking in Wales, Tryfan and Welsh 3000s TA - Navigation and GPS Whittakers Creamy Caramel Chocolate Food, resupply, bounce boxes, being gluten free Wildlife encounters, sandflies Hygiene - Pee, Poo Periods Equipment - loves and hates Department of Conservation (DOC) Hut pass Highlights from the trail Advice for hiking the trail TA Resources page on the Tough Girl Website Final stats Regrets Learnings What’s next

    Social Media

    Instagram: @toughgirlchallenges

    Facebook: @ToughGirlChallenges

    Youtube: @ToughGirlChallenges

  • In this episode, we explore Sophie Power's incredible journey from self-professed anti-runner to ultra-runner and advocate for women in racing. Despite her initial reluctance towards running, Sophie discovered a passion for it at 26, leading her to tackle challenges like the Marathon des Sables (MDS) with only nine months of training.

    Her journey wasn't without hurdles, especially as a mother of three. Yet, Sophie's dedication to running while pregnant sparked global attention, inspiring women everywhere.

    Fuelled by her experiences, she founded SheRACES, aiming to make racing more accessible for women, advocating for pregnancy deferrals, and breaking barriers.

    Sophie's resilience shines through, overcoming setbacks like a coma and memory loss. Her story embodies the power of belief and perseverance. Listen to Sophie now to learn more about her remarkable journey.

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement.

    Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Sophie Being an anti-runner Not being sporty Discovering running at 26 Being a good hiker and doing kick-boxing Ready to take on a new challenge Having 9 months to train Going from zero to ultra The planning and preparation for Marathon des Sables (MDS) in 2010 Doing her own research and putting previous experience in planning and logistics to use. Enjoying running and why she does ultras Looking to find herself again Starting to travel and do adventures at the same time Working long hours and running 20 miles max per week Running while pregnant and why it was different every time The photo that went viral UTMB Not wanting to let her 3 year old down Not wanting other women to be in her position How She Races came about Why races should have pregnancy deferrals Wanting to reduce the barriers for women to encourage more women to race Surveying over 2,000 women about their barriers and wanting to understand what events can change Coming up with guidelines for races Not having any free time How people can support the work that She Races is doing Also focusing on cycling and triathlon Why women and girls deserve better Running for Team GB and her ultra runner journey Finding herself on the start line of the European championships in 24hr running Taking running more seriously after turning 40 and having 3 kids Training for a 24hr race The mental side of the challenge Recovery after races Nutrition and fuelling herself during races and recovery Being in a coma for 36 hrs Dealing with short term memory loss Going back to work too soon Running with a prolapse Mummy MOT Emma Brockwell - “why did no one tell me” How to connect with Sophie Final words of advice “Believe that you deserve it”

    Social Media

    Website:

    https://www.sophiepower.com/

    www.sheraces.com

    Instagram:

    @ultra_sophie

    @she.races

  • AN ADVENTURE STORY – WITH A DIFFERENCE

    Jessica Hepburn is an unlikely athlete. She hates exercise and believes the only reason to do it is for food, booze and box-sets on the sofa.

    However, in her forties, following a succession of hard life experiences, she started to try and exercise her way out of heartbreak. She has now become one of the world’s most extraordinary endurance athletes.

    The first and only woman on the planet to have completed the “Sea, Street, Summit Challenge” – which is to swim the English Channel, run the London Marathon and climb Mount Everest. And possibly the only woman to have listened to eighty years and over 3,000 episodes of her favourite radio programme – Desert Island Discs.

    Jessica joins us for the 3rd time on the Tough Girl Podcast, to share more about her new book. “Save me from the Waves”. Which shares more about her inspirational story of physical and mental endurance which starts on the streets of London and culminates in a life-threatening event on top of the world. During the podcast, Jessica share more about the challenges on the mountain, the lesson learns and provides advice and tips to encourage you to live big and bravely especially when life doesn’t go to plan.

    Previous TGP episodes with Jessica.

    2nd October 2018 - Author of 21 Miles and The Pursuit of Motherhood. Swimming the English Channel.

    8th February 2022 - Adventure Activist - Her journey to climbing Mt. Everest.

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

    Show notes

    Who is Jessica Being an author Working in the arts Going through multiple rounds of IVF Experiencing multiple miscarriages Describing herself as an adventure activist Swimming the English Channel Her journey climbing Mount Everest Completing final training for Mount Everest Climbing Kilimanjaro immediately after the channel swim Realising the importance of mental and physical strength Realising she's not fit and fast enough Climbing massive mountains in her 50s is a significant challenge Discussing pushback when climbing Everest and feeling defensive Recounting a conversation with a stranger Limited window for climbing Mount Everest due to weather conditions Climbing to the top of the world while listening to her favorite radio program The reason why she writes her books Why she wouldn't change anything even after everything that has happened to her Feeling stronger and more confident on her second attempt to climb Everest Finding the Khumbu Icefall challenging Finding the summiting experience to be terrifying Not feeling the expected emotions on the summit Feeling exhausted and sick during the summit Having endurance and mental strength on the mountain Getting hit by a free-falling oxygen bottle, breaking her leg Sharing the details of what happened to her in her book Sharing her experiences with IVF and climbing Everest, hoping to provide solidarity and a survival guide for others What helped her process her thoughts and emotions during her fertility journey Creating playlists for various occasions and people in her life Composing a playlist for the child she never had Final words of advice Social Media

    Website: www.jessicahepburn.com

    Instagram: @jessica_hepburn_

    Twitter: @JessicaPursuit

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/jessicahepburnauthor
  • Celeste's love for hiking began in Maui, Hawaii, following a difficult breakup. The Lahaina Trail hike was transformative and made her feel empowered.

    She quickly progressed in her hiking journey and decided to share her experiences on social media. To her surprise, she inspired other plus-sized individuals to explore the outdoors.

    In 2022, Celeste embarked on a mission to hike in every US state. Her dedication to this goal, despite being a non-planner, is truly inspiring. She encourages others to find gear that fits their body types and shares her inspiration from Fat Girls Hiking.

    Celeste's story is a celebration of confidence and happiness found in nature.

    Listen in to learn about her magical moments while hiking and her valuable advice for women seeking joy in the outdoors.

    Please be aware: In this episode, there is a single use of strong language at the end.

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Celeste Moving to Las Vegas in 2021 from California Why did she move to Vegas! Being born in El Salvador, Central America Her love for travel and living in different places Her early years When her hiking journey started as an adult Working at the airport in Maui, Hawaii Coming out of a long relationship and feeling lonely and heart broken in 2013 Wanting to give hiking ago and deciding to hike the Lahaina Trail Never seeing other plus sized people out hiking or represented in the media Not having the right gear and running out of water The challenges of descending in the dark Why that hike changed her life Feeling empowered Progressing in her hiking journey Being connected in nature and feeling happy Hiking for fun Wanting to move to the US mainland to pursue her passion for hiking Wanting to share more of her journey on social media (2017) to document her journey for her Realising that by shaken her story on social media it was encouraging more plus sized people who looked like her to get outside and give hiking ago Wanting to hike in every state in the USA and starting in 2022 Having a new mindset and making her hiking goal a priority Not being the best planner and wanting to change that Finding gear to fit her body type Being inspired by Summer from Fat Girls Hiking Her first time going camping as an adult Why you deserve to be there (in the outdoors) How you can connect with and follow along with Celeste Magical moments from hiking and spending time in the outdoors Connecting with herself while hiking Final words of advice for other women who want to experience joy in the outdoors Find out what makes you confident Why you deserve to be happy

    Social Media

    Instagram: @Fatgirlforthefitsoul

  • Meet Jacky Hunt-Broersma, a remarkable individual who's shattered expectations as an amputee ultramarathoner, endurance coach, dedicated mom, and cancer survivor. Recognised as the RRCA Road Runner of the Year, WRAL Athlete of the Year, and featured in Strong Fitness Magazine's Women to Watch in 2021, her journey is nothing short of inspirational.

    In 2016, Jacky embarked on her extraordinary running odyssey. Her path to greatness was marked by a profound personal challenge—losing her leg to Ewing Sarcoma. However, she didn't let this setback define her. Instead, she set out to build an impressive portfolio of "firsts" for female amputees in trail and ultra running, even securing several world records. She's on a mission to prove the naysayers wrong and carve a path for other adaptive athletes, especially women, in the world of trail running and ultramarathons.

    Among her numerous achievements, Jacky's incredible feat of running 104 marathons in 104 days stands out, raising an astounding $194,000 for Amputee Blade Runners. She's also set a new world record as the first amputee to complete a 100-mile run on a treadmill, doing so in under 24 hours (23 hours and 38 minutes).

    Jacky Hunt-Broersma's remarkable journey is a testament to resilience, determination, and the power of the human spirit to overcome obstacles and achieve the extraordinary. She's not only a trailblazer but a beacon of hope and inspiration for adaptive athletes worldwide.

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Jacky Living in sunny Arizona, USA for the past two years Growing up in South Africa Moving to the Netherlands in her early 20s Being very sports orientated and spending a lot of time outdoors How things have changed in South Africa Leaving South Africa with two suitcases and living in a new country Struggling to learn dutch when in the Netherlands Being diagnosed with cancer when living in Holland From diagnosis to the amputation of her leg Hearing the news Figuring out the next steps and finding out what was going to happen Saying goodbye to her leg Getting to a place of acceptance Wishing she had taken up running sooner How running helped her to accept her body how it was Going through denial Having a pity party and feeling that life was unfair Wanting to be normal and not wanting any pity Dealing with anger Why it’s a process Becoming more open about her journey and her struggles Taking up running and why it changed her life Wanting to encourage more amputees to run The expensive cost of a running blade ($10,000) Fighting the system to get funding for running blades Wanting to make a difference and encourage more amputees to get out and active Being surprised at how far she could push her body Wanting to push boundaries and distances in running Running 104 marathons in 104 days in April 2022 Being inspired by Alyssa Clark running 95 marathons in 95 days (2021) Wanting to see if she could do it and not knowing how her prosthetic would hold up The metal side of the challenges Dealing with chin splits at the start of the journey Getting through the tough days and taking the time to celebrate the milestones and live in the moment Having 3 different routes to choose from The paperwork needed for the Guinness World Record Being strict about recovery and following a routine Running 104 marathons and raising funds for Amputee Blade Runners Running Boston Marathon - Para elite division How to follow along with Jacky on social media Future running plans for 2024 Running a half marathon a day for Cancer Research (for 250 days) Planning to run Comrades in South Africa Final words of advice to inspire to you in your next challenge

    Social Media

    Website: www.ncrunnerjacky.com

    Instagram: @ncrunnerjacky

    Twitter: @ncrunnerjacky

  • Melissa in her own words:

    “After connecting with my now husband on match.com 20 years ago, we realized we had one key difference: he wanted a partner to ‘Sail around the world’. I, on the other hand, wasn't an adventurer. I was a professional woman with a degree in Psychology, dedicated to non-profit work and healthcare.

    But my husband ignited a desire in me to embrace life's adventures while we were still healthy. The turning point came when he asked, ‘When are you going to quit your job and sail around the world with me?’

    Despite my initial fears and attachments, I couldn't ignore the call to live life to the fullest. We set sail across the Pacific Ocean, and it changed me profoundly.

    We continued our adventures by buying an RV and exploring the US, Canada, and Alaska, much to the surprise of our family.

    These experiences made me resilient and fearless.

    Returning from a sailing journey and hiking the John Muir Trail at age 62, I realized that the world was full of opportunities.

    I see people looking at me differently now, sensing my quiet confidence. My adventure started late, but it's proof that life-changing decisions can happen at any age. The question remains: “Do it now or not?””

    *Content Warning: This episode contains an instance of strong/abusive language that some listeners may find offensive.

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Melissa Living is San Diego, California Not being born into an adventurous family Her early years and feeling connected to her dad (who died when she was 4) Meeting her husband on match.com about 18 years ago Blending 2 families together After 10 years of marriage starting to discuss the sailing adventure Being a career girl and not focused on adventure Not having passion in her life Doing little adventures but not committing to the big adventure of sailing around the world Waiting for the kids to go to college Making the commitment and putting a plan in place Getting the boat and needing to learn new skills Having a 5 year plan and changing everything about their life Not spending more that $25 unless speaking to another person Working as a team in a partnership Having garage sales, saving money and making it happen Starting to change and starting to get excited about the future adventure Being called ‘Captain B*tch Slap’ Being a forgiving person Proving people wrong Noticing her confidence changing Dealing with tangled anchors while a storm is rolling in Stats from the trip - the boat (Island Packet 37) Starting in San Diego and sailing down to Mexico Stopping to take a 1,000 mile car tour throughout Mexico Pacific Puddle Jump from America’s to French Polynesia Feeling done with sailing after 11 months and wanting to go home The challenges of getting the boat back from Hawaii to San Diego The dream vs reality Magical moments while out sailing and the challenges while being out on the water Spending time on remote beautiful islands - the instagram moments When the autopilot stopped working and having to steer the boat in 2 hour shifts for 24/7. Deciding what to do next and wanting to sell the boat, take the money and buy an RV and travel around the US, up through Canada and head up to the wilds of Alaska The challenges of RV Life and wanting to do ‘Boondocking’ Feeling numb after traveling and feeling lost Having therapy and starting to feel again Getting into voice overs and having a way to start earning an income again Learning to appreciate the little moments and the free moments Being done with the corporate world and being a different person Choosing to live a simple life and having more money than before, even though they’re earning less Renting out the RV Deciding to hike the John Muir Trail (211 miles) Planning and testing out all the gear Why it was one of the toughest things she’s ever done Climbing Mt Whitney and the challenges with the elevation gain and loss Trying to get equipment and gear to fit her height at 4′ 11″ / 150 cm Ending up with an Osprey EJA 58 Trying to find trainers and shoes to fit Watch the videos from the Pacific Ocean on YouTube Final words of advice Why you need to take an honest look at yourself and where you are in your life Why you need to make a plan and get into the details Give yourself little mini milestones to work towards Start by putting your plan down on paper

    Social Media

    Websites:

    www.theadventuretravelers.com

    melissaharlowvo.com

    Instagram: @theadventuretravelers

    Youtube: @theadventuretravelers

  • Join us today as we have a conversation with Dr. Katie Myint, an eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. Her journey takes us from her Midlands upbringing to becoming a doctor and the role running and exercise played in promoting mental well-being.

    Katie candidly shares her battle with depression during her second year as a doctor, shedding light on how exercise and medication became transformative tools for enhancing her mental health. As we explore her running journey and marathon experiences, one theme remains constant: the pure joy of movement.

    Throughout the episode, Katie discusses her marathon adventures, from running alongside her husband to using races as a gateway to explore the world. She passionately underscores the importance of running as a cherished hobby, never allowing it to encroach upon her daily life.

    Katie offers advice on motivation and self-compassion and encourages women to embrace exercise with the conviction that it can be an enjoyable endeavour.

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Working as an eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, in London Her early years growing up in the Midlands Being focused on academics Learning how to swim with her dad Enjoying school and wanting to do well Finding her way into sports and exercise as an adult Not enjoying sports at school Dealing with depression in her 2nd year of being a doctor Feeling alone Using exercise to improve mental well-being Taking the first step to going out and doing exercise Not recognising in herself that she had depression Going to see her GP and being recommended exercise and medication Going on her first run in winter in the rain and the dark Her running journey and what that looked like Being a solo runner for a long time Running to help process her thoughts Not having any running goals and using running to improve her mental well-being Working her way up to a half-marathon and marathon Why it wasn’t about times or PBs but rather the joy of moving Running with her husband and using a marathon race as an excuse to go on holiday abroad Fitting in running around her job and life Not following a structured running program Wanting to keep running as a hobby Doing 2 or 3 shorter runs throughout the week with one long run at the weekend Not letting running get in the way of life Magical moments while running Running the Barcelona Marathon, Spain Marathon du Medoc, Bordeau, France Managing the tough times in a race and how to mange that The race is just the final victory lap and the journey is in all the runs you’ve done before it. Why it can be tricky between mile 16 and 18 Loving Park Run and starting Saturdays with a run followed by brunch Getting involved in triathlon Getting her first bike Training solo or with her husband Doing her first triathlon and why it was a total wash out Taking the race at your own pace and not comparing yourself to others Being an Ambassador for ON Advice for when you don’t want to go out running Remembering why you are doing it, but also being kind to yourself Stretching…. Race plans for 2024 Where Katie is most active on social media Final words of advice to encourage more women to get exercise in their life Encouraging you to run for the love of it and that exercise can be fun!

    Social Media

    Instagram: @katietriestorun

  • Nicky is a self-confessed adventurer, loves a challenge, delights in cold shenanigans and is ready to embrace the next stage of her adventure life. Her super powers are making things happen and connecting people and she is the Queen of pushing herself out of her comfort zone.

    Nicky lives in Brighton with her husband, 2 teenage boys and Daisy the camper van.

    At 52 her adventure journey has changed many times over the years, from a 20-year-old canoeing and sailing instructor, to a Mum with young children teaching them to embrace the outdoors through camping, building dens and cooking on open fires. Her boys are now in their late teens now and are slowly flying the nest, it is here she finds herself, ready to embrace the next stage of her adventure journey.

    Her adventures have included; fire walks, abseiling down castles, coast steering, a cross country ski marathon in the Arctic Circle, a wing walk and running a half marathon in Greenland which included training in an Environmental Cold Chamber at the University of Sussex at minus 20!

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Her love of adventure How her adventure journey has changed as she’s gotten older Where her adventurous spirit came from Being inspired by her dad Why you can have adventures on your doorstep What does adventure mean to Nicky Why adventure is so many things Why you can fit adventure around your life Why adventure is there for the taking, but you may have to be creative. Her first job working in a water sports centre Working for World Challenge Having children and going camping with 2 young children Making adventure part of family life Having to put solo adventures on hold with having a young family Parrot hunting on the Amazon (finding and taking photos) Going to the Artic Circle to do a cross -country ski marathon Doing a big challenge every year from 40 - 50 to raise money for charity Being drawn to the cold Needing to do the training to enjoy the experience Planning future challenges Running her own business for 18 years Deciding to go wing walking! Doing a fire walk Feeling empowered after doing challenges and stepping outside her comfort zone Doing a half marathon in Greenland at 50 (a big, bold, cold, challenge) Deciding to step down from her business Liking a spreadsheet and being organised with her training Working with a specialist performance coach Working with the Environmental Extremes Lab at Sussex University Getting to experience minus 20 and the impact on her body Being set up for success and learning how to manage herself in extreme conditions Going to Greenland and why it was outside her comfort zone Learning how to deal with panic on the start line Turning panic into power Wanting to run a happy race and take it all in Dealing with the adventure blues Completing a 5k sea swim Working with Genny Brown and helping her with her social media Looking at the North Pole Marathon Svalbard? Daisy #pinknicky How to connect with Nicky on the socials Working with Outside & Active Doing an International Women’s Day Sea Swim with Land & Wave in 2024 Wanting to elevate women Final words of advice for other women Make an Adventure Action List Find people who inspire you Take mini steps

    Social Media

    Instagram: @daisyvw1

    Facebook: @nicky.chisholm

    Nicky runs an annual event in Brighton to celebrate International Women's Day (8th March), she organises a mega sea swim for over 500 "mermaids" supporting surfers against sewage.

    Land and Wave are an Official Event Partner. Join her Saturday March 9th 2024

  • Christine Yu is an award-winning journalist whose work focuses on the intersection of sports science and women athletes. Her writing has appeared in Outside, The Washington Post, Time, Runner’s World, and other publications. She’s a lifelong athlete and yoga teacher who loves running, surfing, and skiing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

    About the book:

    “In the past half-century, women have achieved remarkable progress in the realm of athletics. More women are participating in sports and maintaining an active lifestyle throughout their lives. Whether they're elite athletes striving for excellence or passionate amateurs enjoying their athletic pursuits, women deserve a sports culture that empowers them.

    This culture should offer training programs and equipment specifically designed to support their unique physiologies, along with nutrition and injury prevention guidelines grounded in scientific research and tailored to their individual experiences.

    Unfortunately, women have often received guidance based on research that fails to consider their distinct experiences and physical characteristics. Much of what we've accepted as the standard in exercise and sports science is rooted solely in studies conducted on men.

    But the landscape is changing for the better. Researchers are now conducting more inclusive studies to close the gender data gap. They're investigating how women can enhance their athletic performance, reduce the risk of injury, and maintain good health.

    In 'Up to Speed,' sports and health journalist Christine Yu unravels myths and dissects gender bias in light of real science. She advocates for new approaches that empower female athletes to excel at every life stage, from adolescence through adulthood, encompassing pregnancy, menopause, and beyond.

    Christine delves into the latest research findings and shines a light on the researchers, athletes, and advocates challenging the status quo. They are pioneering innovative solutions to enhance the active and athletic lives of women and girls, ushering in a new era of gender equality in sports science and performance.”

    ***

    The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

    ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home.

    Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

    Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Christine Being based in New York Growing up in Connecticut before moving to San Francisco Being sporty from a young age and always being active Getting into running, strength training and yoga Working in the non profit sector for 10/15 years before making the switch to journalism Wanting to write and tell more stories Taking time off after having her first child Combing her love for writing with her love for sports, science and health Wanting to focus on issues relating to women, women’s health and women’s sports Being curious and wanting to know more The lack of easily accessible information available for women Wanting to learn how to make her body more resilient Wanting to improve her health and wanting to move her body in a way that makes her feel good Wanting to be strong and healthy over the long term The starting point with research Knowledge from print magazines….. which wasn’t women specific Looking at more specific sports science research Dr Stacy Sims: ROAR The lack of knowledge for women who want to do strength training More women getting into strength training New Book: Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes Where the idea came from and how easy it was to get it published Only 6% of sports science (2014-2020) studies focus on issues related to women Why do we know so much less about women’s physiology? What are the implication due to the gender data gap? What you can expect from the book - information on the menstrual cycle, breast health, sporting gear, injury rates and chapters devoted to the life stages of a women’s life ‘Women are Not Small Men: a paradigm shift in the science of nutrition’ - TED Talk How to study women with the challenges of women’s menstrual cycle The blindspots in science Leaving women out of the narrative Hormones related to the menstrual cycle and how they can impact performance Noticing the trends when tracking your period Don’t blame yourself - blame your hormones Peri-menopause and menopause where is the science? Food and nutrition Weight and performance Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) How to connect with Christine Final words of advice for women who want to learn more about the science Pay attention to your own body, track your cycle and see how your body responds throughout the month Dr Stacy Sims Feisty Menopause Be a critical consumer of the media you are consuming

    Social Media

    Instagram: @cyu888

    Substack: christinemyu.substack.com

    Book: Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes

  • Nikki Love is an adventure runner, a sports psychology under-grad, and a motivator of dreaming big, taking action and achieving extraordinary goals.

    Nikki turned 50 in 2017 and decided it was time to take her love for travel, marathon running, and cross-country running to a new level.

    She is now on a mission to run across, around, or through as many countries that her feet can take her, bringing as many people as she can along for the run.

    Her big adventures include running 63 marathons in 63 days through the UK to celebrate her 50th birthday, a craic of a 750 mile run around Ireland, a runcation through Malta and around Gozo, a jolly jaunt across the Netherlands, an extremely muddy and cow-pat laden run from top to bottom of Wales, a 40 day x 1,000 miles treadmill run, and on July 16, 2023 at the age of 56 Nikki set the women’s record for running across Australia from Perth to Sydney 4,044kms in 76 days, 3 hours and 43 minutes.

    Driven by her curiosity to answer the question “I wonder if I can do that…”

    Nikki shares her adventures – the highs, lows, fun, tears and her experience of overcoming fears, doubts and obstacles as she navigates perimenopause – through her writing, speaking and film-making.

    Her goal is to help women know and own their place and space in the world and to keep believing and backing themselves.

    Listen to the previous TGP episode with Nikki.

    30th July 2020 - Adventure Runner, Ran 63 marathons in 63 days in 2017

    ***

    The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

    ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home.

    Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

    Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Nikki Being an adventure runner 56 years young Speaking with Nikki in 2020 on the TGP A quick recap of Nikki’s previous challenges Reflecting back on 2020 and 2021 Coming up with idea to do a ‘training run’ on a treadmill Running 1000 miles and tearing tendons in her toes which ended her adventure Learning that she could do hard things Setting herself up to run across Australia for real Dealing with multiple peri-menopausal symptoms 2021- deciding to run 100 marathons in 100 days Getting a stress fracture in her pelvis Starting a process to understand what was going on in her body Getting advice to downgrade her ambitions and dreams Being stubborn and wanting to figure out a way to achieve her goal at 56 of running across Australia Figuring out what was going on and getting advice from doctors Starting on different versions on HRT Being encouraged to stop doing her exercise Having bloods taken and doing MRI scans - privately Speaking to as many people as possible to come up with solutions Figuring out that her body wasn’t absorbing the hormone therapy Going back to basics - getting back to a good diet and doing strength training Taking 2 years to recover from her pelvis stress fracture Feeling sad and frustrated Not being willing to give up on her goal Starting to wonder if it would be possible for her to run across Australia Starting to do more planning and putting dates in place Dealing with setbacks along the way and why it wasn’t easy Setting the start date for 1st May 2023 Being supported by her partner Hiring a camper van and driving from Jhalong to Perth and getting to see the route in reverse. Going after a Guinness World Record to be the fastest women to run from Perth to Sydney 76 days 3hrs and 43 mins * (waiting to see if it will be accepted by Guinness) Having to increase her running distances pretty quickly and averaging about 53km per day Getting into a flow with the running after 2 weeks Dealing with the traffic which was much more intense than she was expecting What a typical day looked like How her experiences helped her to keep on going when times got tough Having a mantra in the morning Start off slow and I’ll get into a flow Challenges with animals! Physically not feeling too bad, but mentally feeling very drained and tired Listening to binaural music to calm her body down and the importance of sleep to help with recovery Dealing with the adventure blues after the challenge Making the decision to go to university to study sports psychology Applying to Loughborough University Becoming more aware of her time line and getting older How you can connect with Nikki and follow along with her journeys Nikki is also blogging about her run on her website Wanting to keep her adventure passion alive Feeling that you can - requires that you back yourself Keeping telling yourself that you can.

    Social Media

    Website: www.nikkilove.co.uk

    Instagram: @nikkiloveruns

  • In 1996, Sue Stockdale achieved a remarkable feat: she became the first British woman to set foot on the Magnetic North Pole, a journey she never thought possible.

    What followed was a realisation that her success held a profound purpose—to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and unearth their untapped potential.

    Sue's captivating memoir, "EXPLORE: A Life of Adventure," chronicles her life's journey, commencing from challenging beginnings and extending into a lifetime of intrepid exploration in some of the world's harshest environments, including the North Pole, Antarctica, and Greenland.

    Within these epic adventures lie invaluable life lessons that Sue readily shares, illustrating how the mindset, discipline, and commitment honed in the crucible of extreme exploration are equally applicable in the professional sphere.

    "EXPLORE" serves as a wellspring of inspiration, urging all of us to embark on our personal odysseys of self-discovery. Sue firmly believes that no endeavour is too daunting when undertaken with determination, a well-conceived plan, and a readiness to embrace discomfort.

    ***

    The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

    ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home.

    Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

    Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

    Show notes:

    Who is Sue Describing herself as an adventurer Not going on to guides Growing up and not doing adventurous things Going on a cycling trip at 15 Not having any role models Being inspired by books like Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven The unexpected death of her mom when she was 14 Wanting to make the most of her life Challenging herself to see what she's capable of Sue's memoir, Explore: A Life of Adventure Adventure mindset, inner voice, and risk-taking Why did she write the book Becoming the first UK woman to ski to the Magnetic North Pole Deciding to apply despite feeling unqualified Being determined and believing in herself Overcoming fears and fundraising for an Arctic expedition Being part of a team of 10 people Her initial lack of experience in cross-country skiing Being very optimistic and having an adventurous mindset at heart Expedition leader David Hempleman-Adams Engaging in an exercise as a team called "what if list" to share their fears and concerns Advocates for facing fears by writing them down and talking about them Successfully securing sponsorship for her expedition Mental and physical challenges during her North Pole expedition in 1996 Talking about period while she's out on the ice Bonding between her and Susanna, the first Swedish woman to reach the extreme Learning to tolerate each other's differences and frustrations during the expedition How her experience at the North Pole changed her perspective on life Deciding to set up a business as a motivational speaker Joining Robert Swan on an expedition down to Antarctica The process of evolution and building up her business Entrepreneurship and finding her unique calling Pushing herself too hard and judging herself too negatively Talking about her podcast Final words of advice

    Social Media

    Website: suestockdale.com

    Podcast: Access to Inspiration

    Twitter: @suestockdale

    Youtube: @SueStockdale

  • A self-proclaimed late outdoor bloomer, Kimberly began exploring life outdoors after purchasing a folding kayak, which she credits with changing her life.

    What started as an impulse purchase put her on a path of adventure, and she now travels around the world with her dog (Bentley), camping, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

    Learning as she goes along, she documents her travels on her instagram page, in hopes of inspiring and empowering other women to have solo adventures.

    ***

    The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

    ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home.

    Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

    Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Kimberly and what does she do Kimberly's happy place Always being drawn to water, even as a child Learning to swim at a young age Discovery of her passion for kayaking Going on a 6-day kayaking trip in Canada Not having her own kayak Obtaining a folding kayak and practising in her living room Overcoming barriers, pursuing her goal of spending time on the water Solo kayaking safely Being a very introverted person Kayaking as therapy Mountain lakes kayaking Disconnecting from the world while connecting with nature Giving peace of mind to friends and family Bently, her little adventure buddy Describing Bentley and matching hats with him Not going into the same place twice Using Google Maps to see where she can go Paddling for hours without feeling hungry Usually kayaking with canned wine Naming her kayaks and their stories Feeling judged for paddling alone Having fears and concerns all the time The struggle of being a woman of colour Safety measures while camping Solo kayaking experience in Norway Insights on solo outdoor adventures, gear choices, and safety planning Finding like-minded people for outdoor adventures Final words of advice

    Social Media

    Instagram: @paddlingwithbae

  • Meaghan Hackinen is a Kelowna-based bikepacker and writer whose two-wheeled adventures have taken her from Haida Gwaii to Mexico’s high plateaus, across Canada and the United States, and from North Cape to Tarifa along some of Europe’s highest paved roads.

    She is a 4X Everester as well as a Transcontinental Race, Trans Am Bike Race, and Paris-Brest-Paris brevet finisher. Meaghan holds the women’s course record for the World 24-Hour Time Trial Championships, among others.

    In 2023, Meaghan took the overall solo win in all but one of the endurance races she competed in, including the Buckshot and Lost Elephant in British Columbia, Silver State 508 in Nevada, and an Individual Time Trial of the Log Driver’s Waltz in Canada’s Capitol region.

    Her debut travel memoir, "South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels" (NeWest Press, 2019) was shortlisted for two Canadian book awards and her follow up, "Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race" was just released to critical acclaim.

    ***

    The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

    ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home.

    Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

    Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

    Show notes

    Who is Meaghan Her 2023 cycling plans and how she structures her training in the winter Letting things fall into place and being opportunistic Having a dislocated finger and getting COVID Working with a coach in the past Using TrainerRoad as her cycle training platform Using the Dynamic Cyclist app for strength, stretching and mobility work Writing the races down on her calendar Preparing herself and her bikes Choosing races with the goal of competing at her best level Setting a new women's FKT the importance of nutrition and recovery Prioritising route prep using a combination of Strava, ride with GPS, and Google Creating a cue sheet with resupply points, elevation high points, and challenging features Having a to-do list and a checklist Journaling and giving yourself space Meditating and feeling much better afterwards Practicing visualization Transitioning from road cycling to off-road gravel adventures Enjoying the challenge and discovering unexpected places Carrying a bike through obstacles like water crossings and steep hills Not training very much on the TT bike this year Having a friendly and supportive cycling community Finding rivalries motivating Finishing the Dark Divide race alongside her partner Describing the Dark Divide and what it's like Writing and releasing her new book, Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race Having a transformative experience in 2017 that made her write a book Lessons and realizations that made her grow Reflecting on solo mountain biking experience Her plans for 2024 Quick-fire questions Final words of advice

    Social Media

    Website: meaghanhackinen.com

    Instagram @meaghanhackinen

    Facebook @meaghanhackinen

    Book: Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race

  • Sarah Thomas, aged 41, is an ultra-marathon swimmer who achieved the current world record for the longest continuous swim in current-neutral conditions, performed without assistance or a wetsuit. This record-breaking feat spanned 104.6 miles over the course of 67 hours and took place in Lake Champlain, USA, in August 2017.

    Shortly after this remarkable swim, Sarah faced an aggressive form of breast cancer diagnosis at the young age of 35. During her cancer treatment, which included chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, Sarah remained unwavering in her pursuit of an extraordinary swim that many considered impossible.

    One year post-cancer treatment, Sarah made history by becoming the first person to complete a four-way crossing of the English Channel, accomplishing this incredible feat in a remarkable 54 hours and 10 minutes.

    More recently, Sarah achieved another groundbreaking milestone, becoming the first individual in history to conquer a two-way crossing of the North Channel, enduring 21 hours and 46 minutes in frigid waters inhabited by enormous jellyfish.

    ***

    The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored throughout January by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

    ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home.

    Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.

    Hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of tough women. New episodes LIVE every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time.

    Show notes:

    Who is Sarah Her story of becoming a long-distance open-water swimmer Early memories of comfort and joy in the water Begging her dad to sign her up for the swim team Getting introduced to open-water swimming by a friend and found her passion in it Swimming through high school and in college for the University of Connecticut Trying out other sports after college Growing up in Texas where swimming is super competitive How she transitioned to open-water swimming after college How she returned to swimming after a 2-year hiatus Discovering her passion for open-water swimming in 2007 Signing up for Catalina Channel in 2010 Training for the English Channel by swimming around Manhattan in 2011 and booking a slot for 2012 Struggles with cold water and building up tolerance Refusing to take cold showers, and values warm showers as a luxury Poor weather and not wanting to swim the English Channel Returning to England with a reformed crew enjoying a beautiful, sunny swim across the channel Falling out of love with swimming Setting her sights on longer swims, including a 42-mile swim across Lake Tahoe Swimming for 24 hours and the challenge of mentally preparing for such a long distance Having her husband next to her helps her prepare for each swimming session Sarah's experience of swimming 104.6 miles in Lake Champlain Reflecting on her childhood and meeting her potential Feeling on top of the world after completing an incredible swim Having digestive issues during long swims and eating liquid-based nutrition Swimming and craving for giant cheeseburgers Finding a lump in her breast and being diagnosed with breast cancer Her treatment and how it would impact her ability to swim Finding solace in swimming during chemotherapy Sarah and her doctor working together to find solutions What makes her uncomfortable after a mastectomy Being glad for keeping her left side intact Swimming the English Channel in 2019 after completing an 80-mile swim in Lake Powell in 2016 The difficulty of her swims, particularly in the English Channel Struggles with nausea and vomiting, seasickness and mental exhaustion during her swims Battling a strong current caused hours of delay in the swim, causing mental and physical exhaustion Her desire to complete the Oceans Seven Challenge Having two remaining swims in the Oceans Seven Challenge Swimming the Strait of Gibraltar and the Tsugaru Strait Why the swimming organization in Japan stopped accepting swimmers Final words of advice

    Social Media

    Website: sarahthomasswims.com

    Instagram: @SarahSwims04

    Twitter: @SarahSwims04

    Facebook: @SarahThomasMarathonSwimmer

  • Rebecca's story starts in the North East of England, where she grew up on a smallholding in an area with little ethnic diversity. Influenced by her mom's passion for animals, she pursued a dream of becoming a vet and moved to Liverpool for University.

    As a young mom, she discovered tennis and joined a fitness group before her journey led her to running.

    Residing at the foot of the Pennines in West Yorkshire with her husband and two children. Rebecca turned to running in 2021 as a way to escape life's demands of a busy family life and the stress of running a veterinary practice during Covid. In 2022, she set her first trail race goal, a 16k trail race in the Lakes.

    Rebecca's story also includes her involvement with Black Trail Runners, where she found community and purpose. She shares her experiences, from Endure 24 to the 3 Dales Marathon in North Yorkshire.

    Rebecca shares more about why she wants to participate in challenging races, how she build inner strength, and expands her comfort zone. She candidly discusses her experiences, of training for and running in the mountainous Adidas TERREX Infinite trails race in Austria. Plus how she completed her longest run to date, 77k on the Peak Divide running from Sheffield to Manchester through the Peak District.

    ***

    Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

    By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

    ***

    Show notes

    Who is Rebecca Her early years in the North East of England Growing up on a small holding Living in the least ethnically diverse place in the whole of the UK Being influenced by her dad who was super sporty Her mum’s passion for animals and how it influenced Rebecca into wanting to become a vet Having one cat Studying to become a vet at Liverpool University Being use to working hard and dealing with pressure and stress Gaining work experience at every opportunity Not being able to do sport while at university Moving to a more diverse city Growing up in white spaces Not being a runner Having her first child in 2014 and feeling a bit lost Getting into tennis and starting to play on a regular basis Having her 2nd child in 2018 and joining a mums fitness group The impact of covid while working as a vet Getting into running in 2021 Living in West Yorkshire at the foot of the Pennines Running to have time to herself and to get away from everything Deciding to set a running goal in 2022 and entering her first trail race (16k trail race in the lakes) Her journey with Black Trails Runners, where it all started Watching Martin 'MJ' Johnson in the film - ‘Run to the Source’ made with Patagonia Feeling uncomfortable, weird and isolated The sense of satisfaction after completing her first race Finding her community and what she wanted to do Getting more involved in BTR and what that looked like Connecting with an online community via social media Endure 24 with BTR Signing up for the 3 Dales Marathon, North Yorkshire Not eating or drinking enough and how it impacted her race Building inner strength and dealing with the hard moments while out on the race Entering the growth zone and expanding your comfort zone Signing up for 2 more races Running The Haworth Hobble in winter Running the Peak Divide (a 2 day ultra - running from Manchester to Sheffield) Singing up to do Infinite Trails Fitting in training around her life and what it looks like Liking routine and liking to be busy Why it’s about the journey Deciding to apply to run in her first mountain race and becoming part of the first all female, all black running team Needing to be prepared Working with a running coach - Sam from Kings of the Wild Frontier Having the opportunity to train in Chamonix and Snowdonia and spending time as a team Running the “Short Leg” as part of the relay - 21k, 1900m of climbing! Running the 10k technical descent and the concentration needed to get to the finish Recovery after the race and struggling to walk afterwards Having a 77k ultra marathon (Peak Divide) the week after! Dealing with pain and nausea and not being in a good place Not knowing how she would be able to run the final 40k Trying to turn it around mentally Needing to stop thinking about the end and focusing on the next step Taking things step by step and slowly starting to feel better Finishing the race after a difficult and challenging internal battle! Filming a short film for Kendal Mountain Festival Being on the cover of German Trail Magazine Sharing her journey on Instagram Final words of advice to encourage and motivate you This about the journey and don’t always think about the end goal “You can achieve, you just have to take the first steps"

    Social Media

    Instagram: @rebecca_runs_wild

    Black Trail Runners - A community and campaigning charity seeking to increase inclusion, participation and representation of Black people in trail running

    Website: www.blacktrailrunners.run

    Instagram: @blacktrailrunners

    Facebook: @blacktrailrunners

  • Bethan is committed to challenging the way we talk about running to encourage as many people as possible to find joy in the experience. She’s an advocate for pace inclusion, spending time outdoors and living well in the world.

    Bethan in her own words:

    “I live in South London with my husband Mike, our daughter Evie and Loki the Brussels Griffon in a flat that has views over the whole city.

    A few years ago I quit the city and went back to university to work on my PhD and I spend my days researching the representations and identities of women in ultra running in the Sport Business Research Centre at Birkbeck, University of London.

    I’ve struggled with my wellbeing and mental health for most of my life. Over the years I’ve found things that have helped make things more manageable and I’m passionate about sharing what I’ve learnt to help other people ‘Live Well In The World’.”

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    Show notes

    Who is Bethan? Being a feminist sociologist of sport Her academic approach to her insights Having a post modernist feminist perspective Being an activist with an agenda Asking questions and wanting to learn and develop her thoughts Sharing about her life on social media Her manifesto and how it came about Managing her mental health Wanting to live well in the world Managing the physical and mental stress, rest and energy Wanting to be content and to enjoy herself Mindset, gratitude and connection The benefits of movement and why it always has a place in her life Feeling better in nature and spending time outside Starting her running journey 10 years ago Being in her late 20s, in a difficult relationship and a stressful job Running in the dark in her old school t-shirt Knowing that running would change her life Feeling good and capable Entering her first race and starting to run with other people Running her first half marathon and being inspired to run a marathon Doing her masters part time while working and how running had to take a backseat Running her first post baby marathon in April Finishing up her PhD and running 30mins here and there to keep things ticking over Spending time around the running community Having an emergency c-section and returning to physical activity at 6 weeks Working with a postnatal specialist Doing couch to 5k NHS App Starting running too soon and getting injured and needing to postpone the October London Marathon Finding joy in running (Tina Muir) and why London was her ultimate Joy PB Using a run walk strategy and having a detailed plan in advance Doing her long runs during the week as that’s when she’s got childcare available Doing her PhD studying the representations and identities of women in ultra marathon Quitting her job and becoming a full time academic Wanting more women to take part in sport and physical activity Why sports are not just a boy thing Post feminist narratives around participation in sports Will women outrun men? Black Trail Runners The million dollar question!! (When will the PhD be finished?) What’s changed over the years and starting to understand post feminism more The costs of running and why it’s not free Reductionist ideas and why we need to be mindful of what’s said and seen Why you can’t “just do it” The pressure for women to do a lot and to excel at what they do You can have it all…. Working with her partner to balance the challenges of life Why your priorities can’t be everything How to connect with Bethan on the socials Final words of advice Examine what your privileges are when it comes to sport and physical activity Avoid platitudes and how you can understand your journey better

    Social Media

    Website: www.bethantaylorswaine.com

    Instagram:

    @bethantaylorswaine

    @feministsportsociologist