568 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
    • 4.9 • 270 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.

    Kelda Wood - First female adaptive athlete to summit Aconcagua and row solo across the Atlantic Ocean!

    Kelda Wood - First female adaptive athlete to summit Aconcagua and row solo across the Atlantic Ocean!

    Kelda started her sporting career playing netball at a national level as a teenager. Sport very quickly became the thing that defined who she was and the person she wanted to be. Her real passion lay with horses and her ultimate goal was to ride for her country and represent Great Britain at the Olympics. 

    Unfortunately, after a serious leg injury in 2002, Kelda’s hopes of competing at an international level seemed to have disappeared. The leg injury had a huge impact on her life, leaving her no longer able to run or play many of the sports that meant so much to her. This had a huge impact on her confidence and self-belief, and she spent nearly 10years fighting to accept who she was. 

    In 2002 she decided to climb Kilimanjaro, and this proved to be the start of a new direction in life. She returned and began retraining as an outdoor instructor. As a result of the dramatic effect the outdoors had on her own mental and physical recovery, Kelda decided she wanted to help others facing similar challenges to herself, and this led her to set up the charity Climbing Out.
     
    Kelda went on to represent Great Britain in Paracanoe and competed at the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World Championships. The ultimate goal was the Rio Paralympics.
     
    Unfortunately she just missed out on selection for Rio, but she went on to join an Adaptive Team attempting to climb Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America at 7,000m. 
     
    On the 19th January 2017 she became the first recorded adaptive female to summit the mountain.
     
    In summiting, Kelda found many of the answers she’d been searching for since her injury and this inspired her to attempt a solo row of the Atlantic. After 76 days unsupported at sea, Kelda became the first adaptive person to ever solo row any ocean.
     
    But the challenges didn’t stop there. 12 months ago Kelda was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to set herself the goal of completing a triathlon as motivation to push through her recovery. 
     
    She completed her first triathlon just 4 months post mastectomy and went on to complete 2 further triathlons last year, including the Snowman Triathlon, known for being the toughest triathlon in the country. She now has her sights set on completing a half ironman in 2022.
     
    New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out. 
     
    To help increase the amount of female role models in the media. Sign up as a patron!  www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. 
     
    Show Notes
    Who is Kelda Being based in Shropshire  Her 4 legged family Her early years and her passions for sports  Playing netball at a national level Her dream of wanting to ride at the Olympics Hanging around the local stables Getting her first horse at 16 The riders who inspired her Being in an accident with her horse Dealing with the trauma after the accident The start of her resilience journey at 21 Losing her confidence and going back to riding too soon Moving away from horse and going travelling to Australia  Getting into eventing and gaining her confidence The accident that changed her life completely Trying to be the person she was before the injury Feeling like a failure Learning acceptance  Deciding to climb Kilimanjaro and why that was the start of her recovery Not being able to get the mental health support that was needed Table legs….  Video resources to help with resilience Being dumped… Lessons from climbing Kilimanjaro Needing to change her attitude and focus more on what she could do Deciding to retrain as an outdoor instructor Figuring out how to get sport back in her life Aiming for the para-olympics for 2016  Meeting Martin Hewitt - Adaptive Grand Slam  “It’s not about saying I can’t, it’s about saying how can I” How can I make it possible to climb Aconcagua? Figuring out the how Advice for people who are feeling like a failure The importance of being honest with yourself Being brave enou

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Mary-Ann Ochota - Anthropologist and lover of the outdoors. Hillwalking ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council, and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

    Mary-Ann Ochota - Anthropologist and lover of the outdoors. Hillwalking ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council, and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

    Mary-Ann is a broadcaster, anthropologist and lover of the outdoors. She mostly makes TV shows about archaeology and anthropology, and her work has taken her from yak herders' camps on the Tibetan plateau to the slums of Dhaka in Bangladesh, the deserts of Australia and crofters' cottages on the Scottish islands. 
     
    She's currently pinned in one place (give or take) by two small children, and is working out ways to live an adventurous life with kids and a mortgage. 
     
    Mary-Ann is also passionate about helping people from diverse backgrounds find outdoor adventures, and challenging the systems that mean access isn't equal for all. She's a hillwalking ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council, and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
     
    New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
     
    To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. 
     
    Show Notes
    Who is Mary-Ann in her own words Growing up in Cheshire loving outdoors Learning and working with adults as a kid Wanting to be a vet back then How she got into Anthropology Her first research as an Anthropologist Challenges getting on adventures as a mum of two kids Joining a 40-day expedition in the Simpson Desert in Australia Making positive choices rather than missing out Her role as the British Mountaineering Council's hillwalking ambassador 'Finding Our Way' Podcast and what this is about Celebrating people who are making a difference Seeing Sarah Williams as a role model Being inspired by Izzy Lynch and Tessa Treadway of Motherload Getting into more detail about her role as a Royal Geographical Society fellow Future challenges she would like to take on Wanting to hike the Cape Wrath Trail Her goal of travelling more in the east and west of Africa Wishing to go on a long journey with horses Spending time with the yak herders Having deep connections with animals and landscapes Biggest challenges she faced in her 20's Budget and travel with confidence Gender and safety Final words or advice
     
    Social Media
     
    Website: www.maryannochota.com 
     
    Instagram: @Maryannochota 
     
    Twitter: @MaryAnnOchota 
     

    • 42 min
    Lael Wilcox - Ultra-endurance bike rider and racer who won the Trans Am Bike Race in 2016, and set Tour Divide's women's course record on an individual time trial in 2015.

    Lael Wilcox - Ultra-endurance bike rider and racer who won the Trans Am Bike Race in 2016, and set Tour Divide's women's course record on an individual time trial in 2015.

    Lael Wilcox is an ultra-endurance bike packer from Alaska. In racing, she’s excited to compete against the whole field and sometimes wins overall. She’s extremely motivated to encourage more women & girls to try bike packing. 
     
    She organizes a girls cycling mentorship program, women’s adventure scholarships & bikepacking challenges.
     
    Lael started bicycling in 2008 at age 20, when she and her partner decided to tour the world. Working stints to collect money, the two set out on a bicycle tour of over thirty countries. They started in North America, then traveled in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, logging over 100,000 miles.
     
    Lael entered the Holyland Challenge, a 1000-mile unsupported race across Israel. She was both the youngest rider and the only woman. She led the race by 25 miles the first day, and although she did not win the race, she became hooked on endurance racing. 
     
    In 2016, Lael participated in the 4,400 mile Trans Am Bike Race that crosses the United States from west to east. Lael averaged 235 miles per day for 18 days, averaging less than 5 hours of sleep per night and ending up winning the race outright.
     
    In 2018, Lael became only the second female to complete Switzerland's Navad 1000 bikepacking race, finishing in second place. The race features 627 miles distance and 99,770 feet of climbing. Lael's race was commemorated in the film I'm Not Stopping produced by Rugile Kaladyte (who is now her wife!)
     
    New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
     
    To support the tough girl mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Please sign up as a patron www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast Thank you.
     
    Show notes
    Who is Lael in her own words What was it like to grow up in Alaska Being obsessed with sports Starting to cycle at 20 How her passion for bikes started Her travel and biking journey in the Middle East Talking about her first race Getting a job as a bicycle taxi driver Working in a restaurant Saving up money and getting back on her bike Not expecting bicycling as her lifestyle Riding in the US, traveling to Europe, Africa, Middle East, etc. Seeing more remote places and meeting interesting people Expecting to go to medical school and become a doctor Working hard organising girls scholarships and mentorship programs while doing another job Feeling stressed out for about 3 years Getting worried about not having enough time to do everything to live a healthy and happy life Getting support from people within the industry Talking about the 1400 km bike race in Israel Taking on the challenge as a woman Utilising only the equipment she has to win the race "I didn't know I'd love it until I did it." Why does she love bike packing Riding the Tour Divide in 2015 Her breathing experience in the Tour Divide race "I don't have to quit; the race will keep going, but I can just rest and see how I'm doing." Becoming sick and being diagnosed with asthma while on the race Finishing the race and breaking the women's record Experiencing tough situations and how she deals with it Recovering from exhaustion physically and mentally What is Trans Am and its history Road racing is not as easy as it seems Sleeping in a sleeping pad or sleeping bag Averaging 183 miles per day for the Tour Divide and 237 miles per day for 18 days for the Trans Am Eating while on the race Talking more about her bikes Getting into detail about the film I'm Not Stopping Meeting her wife Rugile Kaladyte How Rue asked to marry her in 2020 Her wedding and how it felt How she encourages girls to get into bike packing Starting a program in Tucson in 2022 Hosting 2 women's bike packing challenges with Komoot Hosting 3 women's scholarships Final words of advice "It doesn't have to be the biggest goal or the biggest achievement but start doing some part of it."
     
    Social Media
     
    Website: https://lael

    • 47 min
    Jillian A. Brown - Paddling a tandem sea kayak down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and becoming the first Canadian to paddle across America; 6,500km in 150 days.

    Jillian A. Brown - Paddling a tandem sea kayak down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and becoming the first Canadian to paddle across America; 6,500km in 150 days.

    After leaving her entire life behind to escape an abusive relationship, Jillian found herself living in a tent in the woods. 
     
    Confused, depressed and feeling a lack of control over emotions and herself, she learned of her diagnosis of PTSD. 
     
    Refusing medication, she shifted PTSD to fuel her drive to connecting back to fitness, health, nature, adventure and herself. 
     
    She is now particularly known for her niche of integrating her imagery and story telling in powerful presentations, offering healing and connection for others. 
     
    She has also reframed her definition of PTSD  to  - Perseverance - Trust - Strength - Determination
     
    In the past few years Jillian has pushed herself to achieve a world first: Paddling a tandem sea kayak down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and becoming the first Canadian to paddle across America; a journey of  over 6,500km completed in 150 days. This involved going through 16 states with 23 portages (carrying the kayak), including 675kms over the Great Divide, which she did on a broken foot.
     
    “Nothing is placed in front of us, that we don’t have the strength to overcome. It’s just believing in ourselves enough.”
     
    * Content Warning - Abusive relationships are discussed as well as PTSD - we don’t go into specific but it is mentioned and talked about. 
     
    New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
     
    You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media by signing up as patron Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast Thank you.
     
    Show notes
    Who is Jillian What does she do Growing up and spending half of her life in Winnipeg How did her love for the outdoors and nature start Growing up in an island with her entire family Discovering and finding their own hobbies and activities in the woods Wanting to be a naturalist and being creative as a kid Taking photos and having camera in hand since 10 years old Making plans of going to specific school or university to study photography Struggling in university studying fine arts Getting into Prairieview School of Photography Feeling stuck again after finishing the program Returning to the island in northwestern Ontario to reconnect with nature Falling inlove with the mountains and oceans Packing up and driving to the west coast with her dog Landing a photography job Becoming a live-in nanny Getting fitness while doing photography Having a musher partner and friends Starting their own team and a dog sledding company Having an abusive relationship and leaving everything behind Living in a tent in the woods with her dog for seven months Living in the best home she could ever have that moment Dealing with trauma Becoming concerned about her negative thoughts Meeting a counselor and being diagnosed with PTSD Believing a counselor is not for her Discovering her own healing tool out in nature Having a supportive family Doing  a solo roadtrip across Canada Wanting to reconnect with her passions and family Not opening up about her abusive relationship to her family Writing an article published in the Canadian Women's Foundation Talking about her solo travel experience Having others inspired by her article and her story Shifting her mindset around PTSD "I've been able to basically utilise that kind of diagnosis and what we affiliate as a negative to be my fuel to accomplish goals and allow me to accept saying yes to things, new experiences, and push myself. I believe wholeheartedly that nothing is placed in front of us that we don't have the strength to overcome." Perseverance, Trust, Strength, and Determination Being a CEO and lead guide of a camp Being able to share all of her knowledge to help others get through life's challenges Becoming the first Canadian to paddle across America How she started the journey with Jaime Sharp @jaimesharp_adventures Her journey on paddling a tandem sea

    • 49 min
    Donna McConnell - The Iron Empress. Ironwoman - IM Barcelona 2021. Working to increase female participation in Ironman races.

    Donna McConnell - The Iron Empress. Ironwoman - IM Barcelona 2021. Working to increase female participation in Ironman races.

    Donna (@fitfetishtri) 52, mother of one (27yrs). Recently completed Ironman Barcelona (Oct 3rd 2021) her first full distance endurance triathlon after being inspired to sign up by 10 Ironwomen, a group who are working to increase female participation in Ironman races. 

    Donna was one of 194 women that took part in the event out of 1500 athletes. 
     
    It was only her third triathlon event, she had also never run a marathon before. 
     
    Learn more about Donna, her early years, her reasons for wanting to do an Ironman, her training, journey to the start line, lessons from the race as well as advice and tips to help you take on your next challenge.
    New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out! 
     
    To support the Tough Girl Podcast and to help increase the amount of female role models in the media become a patron www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. 
     
    Show Notes
    Who is Donna Growing up in London Always enjoy reading as a kid Starting to think about her future career Acquiring a journalism degree Getting into fitness in her early 20s Having no interest in running a marathon Signing up for her first triathlon at 46 Aiming to always be fit Riding and owning three bikes in her teenage years More details about Ironman training Doing online workouts and keeping herself positive to stay fit Getting into the details about Ironman Being inspired by 10IronWomen @10ironwomen Signing up for Ironman Barcelona 2020 at the age of 50 Representing and encouraging women of colour Her main concerns about the challenge What is it like to be part of 10IronWomen Becoming more driven by achieving the goal Forming a training plan with the help of the book Be IronFit More information on her preparation and training Not wanting to skip a session Personal challenges associated with menopause Listening to podcasts to keep herself mentally healthy Working on strengthening her mindset Dealing with anxiety when in Barcelona What it was like prior to the event Being determined to complete the challenge Looking back to when she was out on the course Biggest challenges she experienced throughout the Ironman Her reaction when she crossed the finish line Wanting to do more cycling challenges Planning to sign up for another 10IronWomen event in Barcelona in 2023 Other future challenges she wants to take on The story behind her name "The Iron Empress" Final words of advice "Signing up for Ironman and pushing myself to the limit physically, has really shown me that I am capable of so much more."  
    Social Media
     
    Instagram: @fitfetishtri 
     
    10 Iron Women - Striving for a 50:50 Gender Split in an Ironman Event 
     
    Follow us as we inspire more women to take on the unthinkable, and our goal of a 50/50 gender split in an Ironman event in 2023 
     
    Website - www.10ironwomen.com 
     
    Twitter - @10ironwomen
     
    Instagram - @10ironwomen

     

    • 55 min
    Kate Pilcher - Founder & guide of Globetrotting - sharing her passion for horses and exploring horse cultures around the world.

    Kate Pilcher - Founder & guide of Globetrotting - sharing her passion for horses and exploring horse cultures around the world.

    Kate Pilcher is the founder & guide of Globetrotting, a worldwide travel agency that specialises in horse riding experiences to all corners of the globe. Kate discovered this form of travel as part of a quarter-life crisis and ran away to Argentina and then Kenya to discover herself from the back of a horse. Now in her forties Kate leads globetrotting rides to some extraordinary places with her three daughters and husband in toe.
     
    Kate in her own words:
     
    “I started Globetrotting a bit over a decade ago, thanks to a quarter-life crisis. You see, I had turned 25 and went on a 10-day horse riding safari in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, where my mind was blown by witnessing the wildebeest migration astride a safari horse. 
     
    It was THIS crazy, colourful, life-changing experience that led me to step away from my business (Salt magazine), my boyfriend (now husband – thankfully Steven is a very patient man), mortgage and flee to a remote 100,000 acre estancia in Patagonia only accessible via horse.
     
    For the next nine months I jumped from saddle to saddle, driven by an unquenchable thirst to explore horse cultures in South America and Africa. When I finally returned home, Globetrotting took form alongside my business at the time, Salt magazine.
     
    You see, I fell in love with this form of travel – Globetrotting – where the pace is slower and the experience richer.
    Rather than travelling in a tour bus (conveyor-belt travel, I like to call it), when you’re astride a horse, you climb under the skin of a country, absorbing every nuance it has to offer.
     
    I knew it was the only way for me to travel, and I was determined to share this passion with other horse folk and I have. 
     
    This is a true calling for me.”
     
     
    New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 
     
    To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. 
     
     
    Show notes
    Who is Kate What is Globetrotting How they use horse riding to change people's lives A little background about her family Her first and earliest memory of horses Having a little interest in horses back then Never thought of horses as part of her career Having no idea what she wanted to do Working in small businesses alongside her degree How sales and marketing interest her She enjoys marketing and sales Moving to the UK after finishing her degree Returning to Australia and having the chance to ride a horse once again Exploring Maasai Mara in Kenya for 10 days Wanting to get away from everything Feeling that she isn't living the life she was meant to live Rejecting Steven's marriage proposal How Globetrotting started Background on how and why she took the risk of changing careers Wanting to be invited to the world's oldest horseback riding event Being able to open many people's doors through her space Getting more detailed about horse riding Different types of rides and items to carry on the journey Ensuring that each client is well-cared for from start to finish. Her favourite horse breeds Talking about horse therapy Road testing in European rides in 2018 Riding with a baby and just wanting to go home The most challenging time she had during her riding journey Having her husband's support and encouragement Being a mother and how it affects her work "Home is my family and we can go anywhere and have adventure." Planning a six-week adventure in August with family and guests Experiencing the most terrifying adventure with her girls back in 2021 Returning to horse riding after having children More information on the Silk Road Adventure - Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan - Mongolia Partnering with Katy Willings Final words of advice
    Social Media

    Website: www.globetrotting.com.au

    Instagram: @globetrotting.com.au

    Facebook: @globetrotting.com.au

    Youtube: Globetrotting - Horse Riding Holidays

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
270 Ratings

270 Ratings

KJABAnstey ,

Best Podcast

Favourite podcaster, been listening to Sarah since she started, inspirational and have listened to my favourite episodes twice, highly recommend 👍

nessaclyne ,

Still one of my faves

I’ve been listening to Sarah for years and she never fails to inspire and uplift

zstanek ,

love this!

amazing!

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