717 episodes

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.

Tough Girl Podcast Sarah Williams

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 291 Ratings

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.

    Sunny Stroeer: Completing the Iditarod Trail Invitational 1,000-Mile Race on Skis, Becoming the First Woman to Do So.

    Sunny Stroeer: Completing the Iditarod Trail Invitational 1,000-Mile Race on Skis, Becoming the First Woman to Do So.

    Sunny is a professional adventure athlete, guide service owner and story teller based in Kanab, Utah.  
    After obtaining an MBA from Harvard Business School and pursuing a career as a management consultant in her twenties, Sunny decided to leave behind the business world in order to focus full-time on mountains, climbing and VLDs (very long distances). 
    Today, she is a professional athlete and owner of two guiding businesses - AWExpeditions and Dreamland Safari Tours. 
    She is also the founder of the AWE Summit Scholarship Foundation that breaks down barriers for women+ to access mountaineering and the backcountry -- in the form of tens of thousands of dollars in expedition scholarships. 
    Sunny first came on the Tough Girl Podcast on Jun 23, 2020. Sharing her story about being the first woman to circumnavigate and summit Aconcagua in a single push. 
    You can listen to that episode Here
    ***
     Don't miss the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 AM UK time!  
    Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women. 
    This episode of the Tough Girl Podcast is proudly sponsored by INOV8, pioneers in cutting-edge sportswear. 
    Use code TOUGHGIRL15 to get your 15% discount.  Click Here 
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Sunny  Working as a professional adventure athlete and running her own travel companies  Sunny first came on the Tough Girl Podcast on Jun 23, 2020. First woman to circumnavigate and summit Aconcagua in a single push. What happened in 2020  Deciding to buy a tour company/guide service business Using her MBA from Harvard Thriving with the challenge and the uncertainty  Pursuing her own adventures and being her own boss Getting involved in running Fastest Known Times (FKTs) Starting to focus on adventuring in Alaska 350 mile race on cross country skis - Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI), held in Alaska during Winter (2021) Planning to head to the South Pole in the future  More info about the ITI and how its structured, and what you can expect.  The short version - 350 miles. The long version 1000 miles. You need to do the short version of the race before you can attempt to race the longer version. The different modes of travel: Fat bike, dogs, skies, walking The lessons learned from the recce before the bigger race No mandatory gear list Being able to connect with folks who had done the race before to get advice and tips Leaving her comfort zone behind and moving into the stretch zone Dealing with uncomfortable feelings Reflection back on her first ITI in 2021  Dealing with overflow Not having a background in cross country skiing Knowing that she able to keep herself safe in these extreme conditions Dealing with broken bindings and having to hike the final 150 miles Having a 10 day deadline to cover the 350 miles Being pushed to her limits both physically and emotionally  Going back in 2022 to ski the 350 mile distance again - gaining more experience and knowledge Fat biking the race in 2023 with her husband Feeling ready to commit to the 1000 miles race in 2024 Race strategy and plan (both adhoc and thought through) Needing to complete the 1000 miles (approx 930 - 960 miles) in 30 days Dealing with a stress fracture on her shin in the December and only having 5 weeks to train Using both a backpack and a pulk/sled to transport gear.  Dealing with the cold and trying to avoid getting wet in -30/-40 degrees Aiming to travel slowly, keeping her heart rate low in an aim to keep from sweating Dealing with wet and damp gloves and getting a little bit of frost bite on her fingers.  Dealing with numb heels and maybe a little bit of nerve damage after the race Highlights and magical moment from life on the trail Being in her own thoughts for 14hrs or more a day Food and nutrition on the trail Feeling the pressure to reach the finish line before the cut off point Making it across the sea ice before it flooded or

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Sarah Perry - INOV8 Ambassador: Setting Records on the South West Coast Path (630 Miles) with a Fastest Self-Supported Completion

    Sarah Perry - INOV8 Ambassador: Setting Records on the South West Coast Path (630 Miles) with a Fastest Self-Supported Completion

    Sarah Perry is an ultra-runner, dedicated educator, and INOV8 ambassador with a passion for the outdoors and pushing her limits. On this episode of the Tough Girl Podcast, Sarah shares her journey from her Yorkshire roots to breaking records on the South West Coast Path (SWCP).
    Living in Cumbria and working in adult education, Sarah balances her career with her love for long-distance running. Growing up with family holidays in the Lakes, Wales, and Scotland, she developed a love for the hills. After lockdown, Sarah sought a healthier balance, moving to a greener environment and embracing running for the joy it brings.
    In March 2024, Sarah set a new British backyard running record, showcasing her mental resilience and strategic approach to ultra-running. Her most notable achievement came with her record-breaking, self-supported run of the SWCP, covering 630 miles in 13 days, 11 hours, and 31 minutes. Despite a failed attempt in 2023 due to injury, her meticulous planning and determination led to success.
    As an INOV8 ambassador, Sarah discusses her favourite gear and the support she receives from the brand. She also talks about the importance of community and staying motivated, even when balancing a full-time job with intense training.
    Looking ahead, Sarah is preparing for future challenges, including the 13 Valleys Ultra in September and the Winter Spine in January 2025. Her story highlights the power of dreaming big, learning from failures, and the importance of detailed planning.
    Tune in to hear Sarah Perry's story, her adventures on the SWCP, and her advice for women looking to elevate their running: "Dream big and don’t forget the spreadsheet!" Connect with Sarah on social media to follow her journey and upcoming challenges.
    ***
     Don't miss the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 AM UK time!  
    Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women. 
    This episode of the Tough Girl Podcast is proudly sponsored by INOV8, pioneers in cutting-edge sportswear. 
    Use code TOUGHGIRL15 to get your 15% discount.  Click Here. 
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Sarah - Teacher, dog mum & ultra-runner.   Living in Cumbria and working in adult education  Doing a little bit of longer distance running! Running the South West Coast Path (SWCP)  Breaking the record (self supported) 630 miles in 13 days, 11 hours and 31 mins Growing up in Yorkshire Making a change after lockdown and deciding to move somewhere greener Having an older brother and being quite competitive  Having family holiday in the Lakes, Wales and Scotland and doing lots of walking in the hills Not having the healthiest balance with running when she first started in her early 20s Trying to gain control in her life Why your 20s can be so stressful  Using running as an escape and a tool for finding herself  Running for the love of it and not doing super structured training programs Setting a new British backyard running record in March 2024 What is a backyard ultra? 4.2 miles per lap, going out on the hour, every hour until 1 person is left.  The mental side of a back yard ultra - and the tactics involved? Getting her head down and doing her own thing. 52 mins for each lap - approx 8/10 mins to recover What goes on during the rest break Not wanting to run until she dropped The reality of running while having a job and living Staying in the zone and thinking of the small things  Becoming an INOV8 ambassador  Favourite INOV8 Trainers - Trailfly  Fell shoe - INOV8 Mudtalon Speed  Attempting to run the SWCP last year in 2023 and needing to stop on day 3 due to an injury  The reason for going self supported Planning for the SWCP Trying to figure out how far to run each day…. Working out ferry crossings, food and water stops Living out the adventure via the spreadsheet, before even stepping on the path Needing to fail the first time, in order to understand wh

    • 45 min
    Kelly Smith: Founder of The Black Tri Tribe, UK's First Triathlon Club for Black People

    Kelly Smith: Founder of The Black Tri Tribe, UK's First Triathlon Club for Black People

    Kelly Smith is a trailblazer in the UK triathlon community, known for her pioneering work as the founder of The Black Tri Tribe (BTT), the first triathlon club specifically for Black people in the UK. On this episode of the Tough Girl Podcast, Kelly shares her inspiring journey from a private triathlon enthusiast to a public advocate for inclusivity in sports.
    Kelly's initial foray into triathlons was a personal endeavour, but her passion for the sport soon evolved into a mission to break down barriers and create a supportive community for Black athletes. She first spoke about her experiences on the Tough Girl Podcast on February 24th, 2022, detailing the challenges she faced and the pivotal moments that led to the creation of BTT.
    In September 2022, Kelly officially launched The Black Tri Tribe, starting with a survey to understand the needs and barriers within the triathlon community. The feedback highlighted a recurring theme: the need for greater inclusion. BTT was born as a community organisation dedicated to addressing these issues, organising events, and fostering a welcoming environment for its members.
    Throughout the episode, Kelly discusses the highs and lows of running BTT while working a full-time job, including the expansion of the club from Brighton and London to Birmingham. She shares insights from hosting panel discussions on diversifying triathlon, and the importance of community support in maintaining motivation when things get tough.
    Kelly's commitment to BTT goes beyond organising events; it's about creating a space where Black people and People of Colour feel welcomed and supported in the outdoors. Despite the challenges and the risk of burnout, her dedication remains unwavering, driven by the belief in the power of community and the importance of inclusivity in sports.
    Tune in to hear Kelly Smith's story, her vision for BTT, and her advice for anyone considering taking up triathlons: "Why you should ‘Try a Ting’.” 
    Join us as we celebrate the journey of a remarkable woman making a significant impact in the world of triathlon.
    ***
     Don't miss the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 AM UK time!  
    Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women. 
    This episode of the Tough Girl Podcast is proudly sponsored by INOV8, pioneers in cutting-edge sportswear. 
    Use code TOUGHGIRL15 to get your 15% discount.  Click Here. 
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Kelly Smith Being the founder of The Black Tri Tribe (BTT) First speaking to Kelly on the Tough Girl Podcast - Feb 24th 2022 - Kelly Smith - On the Go - Being passionate about the outdoors.  Keep her triathlons private  Spending a year doing different things, from swimming to SUPs  Being asked about her triathlons  Signing up for a local triathlon event  Starting the BTT in September 2022 Starting with a survey to find out what was missing  Living in an echo chamber via social media  Figuring out what were the barriers were  Having - inclusion come up over and over again Why the BTT is a community organisation Putting on events The next steps in building the BTT Starting with the social media Being receptive to feedback  Finding out the distances that people want to do  What is realistic? Is a sprint triathlon entry level? The BTT special Not enjoying running  Why can’t tri including walking Spending a year figuring out her life Not being very good at admin Not asking for help Getting a committee together - June 2023 Getting admin help November 2023 Expanding from Brighton and London to Birmingham  People didn’t know where to get gear from  People needing support from their community  Hosting panel discussion - on how to diversify the sport of triathlon Working a full time job and running BTT Not sleeping and feeling close to burn out Making thing happen - takes hard work and consistency Not being able to train  Not havi

    • 49 min
    Erin Leider-Pariser: From Celebrity Trainer to Global Adventure Leader - Insights and Principles from Her New Book, "Get Lost: Seven Principles for Trekking Life with Grace and Other Life Lessons from Kick-Ass Women’s Adventure Travel”

    Erin Leider-Pariser: From Celebrity Trainer to Global Adventure Leader - Insights and Principles from Her New Book, "Get Lost: Seven Principles for Trekking Life with Grace and Other Life Lessons from Kick-Ass Women’s Adventure Travel”

    Erin Leider-Pariser is a trailblazer in the realm of wellness and adventure travel. Beginning her career as a fitness instructor in Los Angeles and later becoming a trainer to the stars in New York City, Erin's journey has been defined by a passion for adventure and a commitment to empowering women.
    After earning a master’s degree in exercise physiology at Columbia University, Erin founded Sports Travel Adventure Therapy (STAT), leading women on transformative journeys around the world for over 30 years. In 2023, she authored "Get Lost," a memoir and manifesto articulating her Seven Principles for Trekking Life with Grace.
    Growing up in Miami as the "tomboy" of the family, Erin's adventurous spirit led her to explore the world, spending time abroad in London and hitchhiking 45 years ago. Her experiences have shaped her belief in the transformative power of nature and the importance of embracing life's journey.
    Join us as we delve into Erin's remarkable story, reflect on her insights shared in "Get Lost," and discover why it's not where you are, but where you've been that truly matters.
    ***
     Don't miss the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 AM UK time!  
    Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.
    This episode of the Tough Girl Podcast is proudly sponsored by INOV8, pioneers in cutting-edge sportswear. 
    Use code TOUGHGIRL15 to get your 15% discount.  Click here 
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Erin Being based in NYC and Aspen, Colorado Writing her book: Get Lost: Seven Principles for Trekking Life with Grace and Other Life Lessons from Kick-Ass Women’s Adventure Travel.  Travelling and adventuring for over 30 years Growing up in Miami and being very active Being the 3rd girl in the family and growing up as the ‘tomboy’ Playing all the sports  Spending time in London and doing a semester abroad Hitching 45 years ago STATs - Sports Travel Adventure Therapy  Making her way to NYC and working as a personal trainer Teaching fitness - the Jane Fonda Method Going back to get her Masters Getting married and having kids Being forced to reevaluate her career and needing to make some changes Looking for purpose in her own life Why it’s about the journey and not the destination The talking stick ceremony  The transformation power of nature The power of vulnerability  Dealing with a challenging moment and group dynamics Honouring and obeying your intuition  Getting lost and feeling lost in her own life Walking with integrity  No judgement  Asking for grace Starting her morning with a mantra Love, honour and obey your intuition  How the book came about Breaking her leg January 2020 The power of embracing your community Getting travelling again after covid Planning a hiking trip/trek to Nepal Travel burnout ? Getting the balance right with travelling  Travelling in Colombia and dealing with a flash flood while on the Lost City Trail Planning a future trip to Azores in November (the Hawaii of Europe) The Overland Track in Tasmania Dual Pilgrim Status. Hiking in Japan and Spain How to connect with Erin Advice from Erin for women who want to do more adventure travel Why it’s not where you are, buy where you’ve been   
    Social Media
    Website: stattrip.com 
    Book: Get Lost: Seven Principles for Trekking Life with Grace and Other Life Lessons from Kick-Ass Women’s Adventure Travel 
     

    • 42 min
    Rachel Durchslag: Finding Freedom on the Trails - From the Camino de Santiago to Hiking in Nepal. A Story of Healing, Hiking, and Personal Growth. Discover the Transformative Power of Solo Travel.

    Rachel Durchslag: Finding Freedom on the Trails - From the Camino de Santiago to Hiking in Nepal. A Story of Healing, Hiking, and Personal Growth. Discover the Transformative Power of Solo Travel.

    In this episode, we delve into the inspiring journey of Rachel Durchslag, an avid hiker and healing professional who has spent the last five years trekking some of the world’s most magnificent mountain ranges. Rachel shares her transformative experiences and the profound lessons she's learned along the way.
    Rachel’s story begins in downtown Chicago, where she grew up and later founded the nonprofit Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. As the executive director, she dedicated herself to ending the abuse of sex trafficking and sexual assault. However, after years of self-sacrifice and battling burnout and empathy fatigue, Rachel realised she needed a significant change.
    In her 30s, Rachel decided to leave her career and the bustling life of Chicago behind, moving to the serene landscapes of Asheville, North Carolina. Here, she embraced a new life focused on healing, both for herself and others. Her healing work involves providing alternative therapies to help people recover from trauma and create more room for joy in their lives.
    Rachel’s adventures in solo travel began with a life-changing trip to Iceland, where she learned to embrace loneliness, freedom, and self-fulfilment. From walking the Camino de Santiago to hiking in Nepal and reaching the base of Everest, Rachel's treks have taught her invaluable lessons about resilience, self-discovery, and the importance of a fulfilling relationship with oneself.
    Throughout the episode, Rachel offers advice for solo female hikers and travellers, discusses the challenges and rewards of being vegan while hiking, and shares her daily hiking routines. She also reflects on the concept of RFS - Return Flight Syndrome - and how it affects her post-travel mindset.
    Join us as we explore Rachel’s incredible adventures, her healing practices, and the wisdom she's gained from her journeys. Discover why Rachel believes we are all pilgrims on our own unique paths and the importance of creating time for yourself.
    ***
     Don't miss the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 AM UK time!  Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women. 
    This episode of the Tough Girl Podcast is proudly sponsored by INOV8, pioneers in cutting-edge sportswear. 
    Use code TOUGHGIRL15 to get your 15% discount.  Click here: https://www.toughgirlchallenges.com/marchdailymile 
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Rachel Working in the healing profession Supporting people in the non-profit world Moving away from self sacrifice and harm Growing up in downtown Chicago Travelling and being inspired by her dad What changed in her 30s Dealing with burnout and empathy fatigue Realising that she needed to leave her career and Chicago Moving to North Carolina  Wanting to explore travelling by herself Her first solo trip to Iceland Having a date with loneliness  Feeling freedom and opportunity  Having a fulfilling relationship with yourself  Walking the Camino de Santiago - the way of St James The lessons learned from her first experience  Arriving into Santiago de Compostela Suffering from RFS - Return Flight Syndrome  Reflection on the return  Why we are always pilgrims on journeys  Getting a tattoo on her wrist 21 dots… Choosing the next adventure  Hiking in Nepal and to the base of Everest  Advice for solo female hikers and travellers Anticipate that there will be lonely times How other people can put their fear narrative on you Being vegan while hiking  Walking to Petra in Jordan  Daily hiking routines Tour de Mount Blanc (TMB) How fitness helps with mental health Healing practices  Hiking in Romania  Hiking in Wales  How to connect with Rachel Words of advice  The importance of creating time for yourself  
    Social Media
    Website: www.whileiwalk.com 
    Instagram: @whileiwalkbook 
    Facebook: @whileiwalkbook 
     

    • 41 min
    Audrey Payne - Long-distance backpacker, writer, and nature nerd. Overcame a debilitating back injury to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and recently published a memoir about it!

    Audrey Payne - Long-distance backpacker, writer, and nature nerd. Overcame a debilitating back injury to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and recently published a memoir about it!

    In this episode, we sit down with Audrey Payne, a long-distance backpacker, acclaimed writer, and nature enthusiast who calls Boulder, Colorado, her home. Audrey's incredible journey from overcoming a debilitating back injury to thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) forms the heart of our conversation. Raised in Upstate New York and inspired by her transformative experiences abroad in New Zealand and Madagascar, Audrey has always had a deep love for the outdoors. Her passion led her to pursue environmental science and journalism, but the pressures of her studies and early career eventually led to burnout and a severe back injury. Undeterred, she found inspiration in Bill Bryson’s "A Walk in the Woods" and set her sights on the AT, a journey she chronicles in her newly published memoir.
    Throughout our chat, Audrey shares the highs and lows of her trail life, from the supportive community she found to the physical and mental challenges she faced. We explore her trail name ‘Glowstick,’ her trail family dynamics, and the lessons learned from her trek. Audrey also opens up about the post-trail depression she experienced and how writing her memoir helped her process the journey. As she plans future hikes, including the possibility of tackling the Pacific Crest Trail, Audrey’s story is a powerful reminder of resilience and the joy of embracing life’s adventures. Tune in to hear her inspiring story and gain insights into the life of a dedicated thru-hiker and nature lover.
    ***
     Don't miss the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 AM UK time!  Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women. 
    This episode of the Tough Girl Podcast is proudly sponsored by INOV8, pioneers in cutting-edge sportswear.
    Use code TOUGHGIRL15 to get your 15% discount.  Click here: https://www.toughgirlchallenges.com/marchdailymile 
    ***
    Show notes
    Who is Audrey  Being a hiking and backpacking enthusiast  Living in Boulder Colorado, USA Growing up in Upstate New York Her early years and her passion for the outdoors Spending a summer abroad in New Zealand at 16  How it changed her life Spending time in Madagascar for a semester abroad during college Staying environmental science and journalist with a minor in anthropology  Dealing with burnout and how it happened.  Moving to Washing DC to study for a Masters Degree in Public Relations.  Working for an entertainment communications firm  Dealing with a back injury while having to work all the time Starting to think about the Appalachian Trail (AT) Getting inspired by Bill Bryson and his book; Walk in the Woods Making the decision to start taking the first steps towards achieving her goal of walking the AT Getting to the start line  Landing her dream job at World Wildlife Fund Connecting with an old friend from college who also wanted to hike the trail Having a good boss 1 month before the start! On the start line of the Appalachian Trail in 2018 Loving every moment and feeling so happy and grateful Getting her trail name, ‘Glowstick’ Day to day life on the trail and being part of a trail family Food and nutrition on the trail and eating on a budget Craving and what it’s telling your body The ice cream challenge… Key lessons learned from taking on this challenge Dealing with conflict on the trail and the break up of the trail family Being anaemic  Wear and tear on your body on a thru-hike Writing her book 5 years after the hike Post Trail Depression/Post Trail Blues  Getting the urge to write and writing non stop Hiking on a regular basis and making it apart of her life Future hiking dreams and planning to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the future  Hiking the John Muir Trail and why the PCT might be the wrong trail for her Taking the time to figure out which trail to walk in the future How you can connect with Audrey and follow along with her future journey

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
291 Ratings

291 Ratings

zedzedzedzedzedzedzed ,

Love!

Love these episodes
Would be great to have volume at same level for ads and music too as go to sleep with it

yaytolucy ,

My motivation to go running

Love this podcast!

@RunHelenLane ,

I always listen to this when I’m struggling

Always come away feeling positive from listening to this podcast and being kinder to myself. It washes away any of my own and other peoples negative comments from my head.

Listing to these women’s incredible journeys and their profound, powerful emotional experiences helps me find purpose, and reflect upon my own life and gives strength keep a positive mindset through difficult times and set my own mini challenges.

Sarah the interviewer positive, inspirational voice pop into my head “you can do this”, “you are capable”, “you can handle what life throws at you” sometimes when I do my little challenges which is so motivating.

Excellent early episodes Season 1&2 e.g., Rosie Swale-Pope

Top Podcasts In Education

The Mel Robbins Podcast
Mel Robbins
The L&D Challenges Podcast
Assemble You
The Rich Roll Podcast
Rich Roll
The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
TED Talks Daily
TED
Coffee Break Spanish
Coffee Break Languages

You Might Also Like

Tea & Trails
Edwina Sutton & Gary Thwaites
The Adventure Podcast
Terra Incognita
The Runner's World UK Podcast
Runner's World UK
The Women's Running Podcast
Esther Newman
RunPod
Global
Adventure Sports Podcast
Mason Gravley